Forest Fires and Aging

Did you realize that forest fires and aging have something in common?

They do, which means forest fires have something to teach us.

Many in our culture maybe even you are one of them, have complex health situations. It might be multiple medications or even multiple conditions. Perhaps it is the confusion of five to ten symptoms and many opinions about the root cause, the diagnosis, or the way to choose treatment. This strata of our population may only be 70 years old chronologically but biologically they check in older, maybe even 80 years or more. Mary Pfeifer, author of Another Country gives us new concepts in her book. The one that applies here is, ‘old-old.’

I have found that forest fires offer us a great analogy not only of the population we are referring to, but of a strategy that can help us bring hope and health.

Let’s start with the progression of a forest fire, at least in places I have lived like California. When the fire is spotted the first response is to send in aerial firefighters. This will start with smokejumpers who parachute into the fire and tankers (one of many names,) an aircraft equipped with fire extinguishing products. Both are to help contain the fire from spreading. The next step is to get rid of the tender and brush. Anything that might add fuel to the fire needs to be removed. At this point the fire is contained and slowly extinguished. Once the trauma to the land is over the time to reseed has begun. Here we have a map of how to move from disease into health. If a person has a disease process that has been accumulating over decades it is a strong contributor to them sliding downhill in their overall health. A smokejumper or tanker would be a therapist who works with the ailing person to contain the progression of the disease. This generally takes time. After all it took time to develop the complex medical state, usually many years of their adult life. One of the key components to this first level of containing the blaze is making changes to eliminate inflammatory response and the causes of inflammation.

The second step towards the reversal of disease is similar to getting rid of the tender and dry brush that adds fuel to the fire of disease. An obvious yet not so easy application is to address diet. Few people realize how inflammatory many foods are for their system. Many foods are labeled healthy and yet have corn syrup and all sorts of ingredients that trigger inflammation in the body and brain. Two influential men in the field of diet and inflammation support this point emphatically. Check them out! Dr. David Perlmutter, author of The Grain Brain and Dr. William Davis, author of The Fat Belly.

At this point the use of a therapist, such as a CranioSacral practitioner will not only contain the blaze of disease but also reseed the body and the brain. What does this mean? When a healthy lifestyle is chosen an openness to the reseeding becomes possible. Hands-on work can actually repair the ways the systems of the body have been hurt. Stress takes a toll on the body but care can reverse the effect of that stress. Just because people have accumulated a lifetime of stress, or as Willie Nelson puts it, ‘40 miles of bad road,’ doesn’t mean progress to restore health is not possible.

I have personally seen and facilitated this level of healing using Craniosacral therapy. My intensives, CranioSacral for Longevity empower more and more practitioners AND lay persons. In these sessions are taught the techniques to restore balance and health in the body and the brain. Perhaps you could be one of these empowered ones. This is one of many options out there.

Let’s contain the blaze. Let’s remove the fuel leading to downhill spiral of disease and aging AND let’s reseed the forest to keep those we love not only happy but also healthy!

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