The Healing Power of the Sea

October 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Ocean Beauty

Author: Andrew Pacholyk

Every summer I take my long awaited trip to the sea. This powerful source of nature yields some of the most essential healing tools and additional benefits that are hard to compare with anything else. We already know the necessary and soothing abilities water offers.

The mysterious and amazing healing power of water has been utilized for centuries. Water cleanses, refreshes and restores all life. We are always drawn to water. Be it a soothing fountain, majestic waterfall or the churning sea. Water is a carrier. It flows. It moves along the line of least resistance to find its way to the ocean where comes and goes in the ebb and flow of tides and waves. The appeal is inexplicable! We crave water, maybe because our bodies are made up of a large percent of it. Maybe beacuse we instinctively know how it can heal us.

Here are some of the best tools and tips the sea can offer:

1. Sun – is the best source of Vitamin D. More than 15-20 minutes can be harmful when you are not protected. The sun is the source of all life and it sure feels good on our face, especially after a long, cold winter. Prevention and precautions are the most important methods when you go out in the sun. Applying sunscreen (SPF 15, at least), wear UV-protective sunglasses, and limiting your time in the sun will help avoid this problem. Stay out of the sun when it’s high in the sky; this is when the UV rays are more intense (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Choose clothing that covers your skin – hats, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts. Pure aloe vera rubbed into the skin can help to heal. Take antioxidants to help block the chemical reactions that can trigger cancer’s uncontrolled cell growth.

2. Sand – is a natural exfoliator. These finely ground seashells become an amazing tool for cleansing your skin. Wet your skin in the sea and rub it gently all over your skin. Use some in a bowl to create a Zen garden or sea display.

3. Salt Water – the healing abilities of salt water are profound and well documented. Salt water is an astringent and speeds wound healing. A cup or handful of water in your hand or neti pot is a wonderful cleansing therapy. Slowly inhale the salt water into your nose to cleanse your sinus and open up the air passages. Floating in sea water is an extreme release of tension and stress of the day. Allow yourself to float weightlessly in the water. You deserve it.

4. Sponge – a natural cleanser and exfoliator, sponge can be dried in the sun and placed in your decorative bowl or on the bathtub. Rewet your sponge and use it in the bath or shower.

5. Coral – comes in many forms. When this beautiful “art of the sea” washes up on the beach and bleached by the sun, it’s beauty can be awe inspiring. Coral is rich in calcium. This “stone” can be used as pumice to exfoliate dead skin cells, bring blood and circulation back to the feet when used as a massage stone and can make a wonderful decorative piece.

6. Sea Air – deep breathing of ocean air helps us to relax and let go. The faint smell of salt in the air can take us to a place of pure joy. Sea air has a certain aliveness found no where else. This deep breathing can help release tension and the problems associated with it.

7. Exercise – yoga, body toning, running on the beach, breath exercises are all great ways to stay fit and take advantage of all the outdoor activities offered us in the summer. Make them enjoyable to you. In the summer months it is a good idea to exercise early in the morning or late afternoon. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after activities to ensure hydration.

8. Seaweed – rich in iodine, and other minerals, seaweed and other sea vegetables are fat-free, low calorie and one of the richest sources of minerals in the vegetable kingdom since they have access to the abundance of minerals in the sea. One of seaweed’s most beneficial health properties is its ability to remove radioactive strontium as well as heavy metals from the body. Seaweed is generally categorized into brown and red algae. Seaweed can also be ground into a wonderful exfoliant and used in mineral and mud treatments.

9. Seashells – these magnificent works of Universal creation are wonders to behold. Finding and searching them out is a great past time that can last for hours, take us away from ourselves and gives us a care free adventure that is rewarding on many levels.

Your favorites can be taken home and cleansed. They can make beautiful decorative pieces. Display them in a bowl. Place them in any room in the house, especially rooms with water. Seashells are natural vessels that can be used for cleansing and make a great carrier for sage or incense. They can be placed on your personal alter as a reminder of good times or as a tribute to nature and all her powers.

10. Stress relief – the best combination for stress is combining the above element of light, air and surf to create the best prescription for good health and relaxation. Take advantage of any of the above suggestions. They will melt away stress and bring you back to nature. Leave your laptop and cell phone behind (for once, please!)

Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac. – http://www.peacefulmind.com – Therapies for healing mind, body, spirit
References
1. Sundance Natural Foods, Inc. “Neptune’s Garden – Vegetables of the Sea”.
2. Shirley’s Wellness Cafe’s “Water the Great Healer”.

Hungarian Toxic Sludge Reaches Danube River

October 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Toxic Spills

Hungary’s toxic sludge spill, which has killed four people, reached the Danube river, threatening to contaminate the waterway’s entire ecosystem, officials have said.

The sludge reached the Danube’s Mosoni Branch, about six miles from the main branch of the river this morning, according to Tibor Dobson, head of the disaster relief services.

The industrial accident triggered by the collapse of walls at the factory reservoir on Monday has been described as an ecological disaster and is now threatening the entire ecosystem of the Danube, Europe’s second longest river which runs from Hungary through Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine before flowing into the Black Sea. Toxic sludge from alumina in Hungary is an ecological catasrophe.

Hungarian villagers whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by the wave that poured out of an aluminium plant reservoir earlier this week have demanded compensation from the company blamed for the disaster.

Authorities have ordered a criminal inquiry into the accident, which killed at least four people, injured 120 and left three people missing.

After bursting from the reservoir and flooding three villages on Monday, the sludge – a waste product of aluminium production that can contain heavy metals – ended up in the Marcal River, part of the tributary system feeding the Danube, some 45 miles to the north.

It is feared it could contaminate the Danube, one of Europe’s biggest rivers.

Angry villagers gathered outside the mayor’s office in Kolontar, as they berated a senior official of MAL Rt., the Hungarian Aluminium Production and Trade Company that owns the Ajkai Timfoldgyar plant, demanding compensation.

Local officials said 34 homes in the village were uninhabitable. However, furious residents said the disaster had destroyed the whole community by making their real estate valueless.

“The whole settlement should be bulldozed into the ground,” bellowed Janos Potza, straining to be heard above his neighbours. “There’s no point for anyone to go back home.”

“Those who can, will move out of Kolontar. From now on, this is a dead town,” fumed Beata Gasko Monek.

Visibly shaken, Jozsef Deak, the company’s operations manager, said it would not shy away from taking responsibility if found guilty. He spoke from the passenger seat of a police cruiser, using its speaker system as villagers crowded around.

Two days after the red torrent disgorged an estimated 35 million cubic feet of toxic waste, it was not known why part of the reservoir collapsed.

National Police Chief Jozsef Hatala was heading the investigation into the spill because of its importance and complexity, police spokeswoman Monika Benyi said. Investigators would look into whether on-the-job carelessness was a factor, she said.

The huge reservoir, more than 1,000 feet long and 1,500 feet wide, was no longer leaking and a triple-tiered protective wall was being built around its damaged section.

(source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/hungary/8047873/Hungarian-toxic-sludge-reaches-Danube-river.html)

Beach Cleanups Phase Out Plastic Bag Usage

October 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Protecting Habitats

by Nichole Richez

Many clean up organizations are setting wonderful examples and really getting with the program by considering their contribution to the planet’s pollution and waste problem in the materials they use for cleanups. San Diego’s Surfrider Foundation Chapter has posted on their site a new policy for cleanups (from http://www.surfridersd.org/beachcleanups.php):

PLASTIC BAGS PHASED OUT AT BEACH CLEANUPS. In an effort to send less extra stuff to the landfill we are asking that beach cleanup volunteers bring their own reusable bucket, reusable bag or a bag(s) from home that you would throw out anyway. Also, please bring work or garden gloves to use rather then then latex/disposable ones if possible. We will continue to have gloves and a small supply of bags on hand until we can fully get the word out and look to provide reusable supplies in the future.

To help out at an already coordinated cleanup, all you have to do is show up. For all beach cleanups, please wear comfortable clothes, closed toed shoes and sunscreen. Bring gardening or work gloves if you have them. If not, we would be happy to provide you with latex gloves if needed. We also provide the bags, hand sanitizer and other essentials for cleaning up trash. (Feel free to bring you own reusable bag, used bag or bucket to help limit what ends up at the garbage dump.)

While this may seem like a no brainer for some of us purists, most cleanup efforts involve using plastic bags, latex gloves, bottled water for refreshment, among other now becoming-taboo polluting products. One might have noticed this on TV watching the BP oil spill cleanup efforts in the gulf: teams of volunteers scooping up tarball-tainted sand into very large clear plastic bags, which could only hold a small amount and be easily carried. So after a few scoops, bam!, time for a new one. I couldn’t help but ask how much pertroleum was being wasted by the use of so much plastics during cleanup and that maybe there was a better solution given the scope and breadth of this disaster.

So, evidently others are getting the idea. The California Coastal Commission’s Coastal Clean Up Day advertised “BYO for CCD” and fruther stated on their website (http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/ccd28.html):

For example, in 2009, Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers used more than 130,000 plastic bags and 135,000 plastic gloves during Coastal Cleanup Day. Countless cleanup sites held barbeques, lunches or snacks for volunteers, and many of these generated additional packaging and food-related waste. Thousands of volunteers drove cars to their cleanup sites around the state.

The Coastal Commission is committed to reducing the environmental footprint of Coastal Cleanup Day, but we need your help to do so! Please join our efforts this year by turning out to the Cleanup with a “Bring Your Own” philosophy.

The Kailua Beach Clean Up Day (http://plasticfreekailua.blogspot.com/) further stated that their event was “followed by a low-impact potluck.” Taking the green and sustainability movement all the way is the way to go, in our daily life, in our activism and clean up efforts and in the actions of our organizations. Kudos to those pushing forward the next step in our evolution of responsible living.