The natural health movement has taken off and many people are furiously chasing the new ‘revelations’ being made to promote a healthy life. This is great because people should care about their health, and I’m inclined to think that we are coming out of a long period of time in which people either didn’t care as much as they do now, or simply had incorrect information. What’s a little funny however, is that so much of what’s coming to light in the health and wellness world isn’t new information, but rather it’s a return to our ancestral ways and our more natural ways, which simply represent a departure from our over-processed and unnatural world.
Processed foods for example, have been pushed for years as delicious, quick, easy, and inexpensive. But can any of this food truly be called natural, and if not, can we trust it to be good for us. What is the true impact they have on our health?
The same goes for many daily practices, technology we surround ourselves with, and various products we put on our skin or inside our bodies. We are in a time of questioning everything, and that can be excellent although it can also be confusing now that we have access to so much information every day. Furthermore, information is easily shared by anyone whether they are an expert or an amateur. How do we find optimal wellness when we are being provided with too much information, and while we still live in a world in which the question is “how can we make this more profitable” always seems to come before the question “is this healthy?”.
When I analyze how I can improve my overall wellness, I find myself chasing things that I can feel comfortable calling ‘natural’. When I try to label something as natural, I use our ancestors as a guide and try to question if the thing I’m analyzing is something our ancestors would have done or used prior to all of our current technology. Along these lines, I ask myself how much something may have been altered by humans before making it’s way to me. If it has been very processed, or highly modified, I may question if there is a better and more natural way.
Quite simply, I try to pursue practices that seem to align more with what our bodies are designed for. This can include eating more naturally in an effort to distance myself from unnatural eating schedules, from our often unhealthy ways of processing food, or from our mass-farming and mass-agriculture practices that could lead to unnatural hormones or pesticides entering my body.
Another example is a recent initiative I’ve taken is to reduce my usage and dependency on electronics so as to keep from addiction, reduce my exposure to harmful electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and to reduce my exposure to blue light at night. Blue light is commonly blamed for sabotaging our natural circadian rhythm which can impact sleep patterns and sleep quality which can degrade overall health.
It is through that lens that I approach naturism by first questioning why we take steps to prevent our natural bodies from doing what they are naturally built to do.
We wear footwear that prevents our feet from moving naturally. We wear moisture-wicking athletic clothing that does exactly what our skin already does. We swim with clothing on! What purpose does that serve!?
Now of course I must state that there is a time and place for clothing, but it should never inhibit our body from doing what it does naturally. Rather clothing should be less about modesty and more about function. When you’re cold, cover up. When you’re cooking bacon, wear an apron. When you’re hiking over rough terrain, wear some boots. But when we wear clothing out of modesty or shame rather than necessity, don’t we risk missing out on the body’s need for vitamin D from the sun? Perhaps we are preventing our body from naturally cooling us by sweating, or by feeling the cool breeze on our skin? Are we maybe missing out on the grounding effects of our bare feet syncing with the earth’s energy fields?
There’s no doubt that our world has created a clothing dependency, and while I’ll admit I do love to dress up and look good on occasion, we’ve taken our clothing dependency to the point of excess. Could this be an intentional movement by clothing companies to sell products? Or the beauty industry to make us feel shameful (but if you take this wonder cream, you’ll be beautiful!). Who knows, but it’s hard to not wander down that rabbit hole from time to time.
Regardless of what got us here, I’m enthusiastic and hopeful that today’s natural health movement can be the catalyst that leads people to see not only the beauty in their bodies as they are given to us, but also to learn to respect their bodies in their natural form and all the amazing things they can do.
Naturism is truly a celebration of the natural human body. It’s a movement that defies the standards of today by freeing itself from the artificiality of clothing and fashion, and helps open our minds to recognizing that the natural human body is wonderful. It’s not shameful, it’s not inherently sexual, and it is highly capable. For this reason, naturism is very compatible with todays emerging interest in a natural and environmentally friendly lifestyle.