At Damanhur, we are constantly engaged in different activities, and each one has its own specific value and qualities. I have noticed that touching and working with the earth is a therapeutic act for me, a source of healing. When I feel tired, depressed, lacking energy and motivation, if I do some work in the fields and greenhouses, in contact with the plant world, I feel better, happier and somehow more energized, beyond the tiredness that settles in after making physical effort. To work with the earth, I need to give a lot of energy, although I also receive so much too. There is a subtle nourishment, and something is always given back to those in service to the earth.
Why does it feel so good? It is a phenomenon that goes beyond the beneficial effect of being in contact with nature. Some research has shown that there are specific bacteria that exist in the soil, for example Mycobacterium vaccae, which stimulate a circulation of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that has the effect of elevating mood and decreasing depression and anxiety. These bacteria may also increase concentration, cognitive functioning and be effective against cancer and other diseases.
It’s interesting that some health institutions that are experimenting with horticulture therapy with their patients use sterilized soil with all the bacteria removed to reduce the risk of infection. Sure there is a small risk for people who have the most serious illnesses, though what if the bacteria were more therapeutic than dangerous?
So we see that Olio Caldo – nutritional self-sufficiency – has health benefits on many levels. On the one hand, there is the cleansing of the body and healthful nourishment that comes from nutrition that is organic and produced within the community, and on the other hand, there is also the effect of balancing the mind and boosting mood through direct contact with the earth and its bacteria. If this way of living becomes more widespread in the world, there will be ever more health and happiness and less dependence on pharmaceuticals and unnatural stimuli to feel a sense of well being.
I feel fortunate to be able to access this therapeutic effect at any time here in Damanhur, in the nucleos, in the Sacred Woods Temple where planting is often needed, at Porta della Terra / Prima Stalla – the agricultural temple, farm and agritourism. With gratitude for our lands and cultivations and all the Damanhurians in service to the earth!
La terapia della terra
Come Damanhuriani facciamo tante attività diverse, ognuna con il suo valore e qualità specifica. Ho notato che toccare e lavorare la terra è un atto terapeutico per me, una fonte di guarigione. Quando mi sento stanca, depressa, senza energia e motivazione, se faccio lavori in agricoltura, nei campi e nelle serre, in contatto con le piante, mi sento meglio, più felice e in qualche modo energizzata, aldilà della stanchezza che si sente dopo lo sforzo fisico. Per lavorare la terra bisogna dare tanta energia, ma si riceve anche, c’è un nutrimento sottile. Qualcosa è sempre restituita a chi è in servizio alla terra. Continue reading