Exploring the role of genetics and gut flora in active longevity represents a new frontier in health ‘cellular nutrition’. Scientists are discovering the interdependent relationship of our inner ecosystem with nature to understand the underlying catalysts of disease and age-related decline—placing fresh emphasis on conservation as a component of our health and survival. A clear example of this would be ocean nutrients: minerals, calcium, and essential fats harvested from the sea, all have clear value to our cellular health but contaminated waters polluting harvests with toxins we then consume, can damage our DNA (telomeres) and encourage inflammation—hallmarks of decline and disease. Thus ocean conservation becomes an act of human preservation.

Diving into this topic with a pioneer in plant-based nutrition, our interview with Udo Erasmus (founder of focuses on active longevity and ocean conservation, ‘nature-nutrient correlations’, lessons on human nature from Tony Robbins, and a SEXY new book creating global health for people and the planet.

How has your vision for health and the role of nutrition evolved?

What I’ve done in nutrition began from being poisoned by pesticide in 1980, for which there is no effective medical intervention. This pushed me to try to find and figure out how to get my health back. Since the body is made from light, oxygen, water, and food, that is where your physical cures most likely come from.

I began with oils, the most neglected, confused and difficult area of nutrition. Oils are the most sensitive food molecules. Light, oxygen and heat damage the essential fatty acids, and especially the omega 3, that oils contain. Oils should therefore be treated with more care than any other nutrient, but we treat them with less care than any other nutrients in our industrial processing and food preparation. Fried oils fry health. Fried foods fry health. More health problems come from damaged oils than any other part of nutrition. More health benefits accrue from oils made with health in mind than any other part of nutrition.

Then I moved on to the second most neglected area of physical health, which is digestion. I work to optimize digestion by using probiotics, digestive enzymes, and plant-based whole foods with prebiotic fiber.

Finally on to greens, our most nutritious and most neglected foods, and I have several other natural products still under wraps.

But times have changed. Physical health is not enough. My interest in health has expanded and become broader and more inclusive. Everything affects health. To be truly healthy, we have to give everything its due.

We have many problems that cannot be fixed with food, because we are not just physical in our nature.

Have the sourcing and ingredients changed with increased environmental issues such as pollution, depletion of natural resources and climate change?

Of course, it’s changed. The more we shit in our nest, the more we nest in our shit. All our problems are symptoms. Behind them are common denominators. If we work them all the way back, we discover that WE, human beings, are the only problem here. This is bad news and good news. It’s bad news, because we have to take our selves, individually, to task. It’s good news, because we CAN do that. We always live right here, in our state of being. We can practice becoming more fully present in all of our being and in our world. Our state of being creates our personal reality, and the state of the world is the collective, pooled sum of all 8 billion people’s states of being.

In spite of the fact that our world is deteriorating, we can each, by making deliberate choices, earn or create a better quality of life.

Fresh, organic, whole food, raw as much as possible, mostly plant-based nutrition seems to be the direction to pursue in physical health.

Could ocean exploration offer similar promise as the Amazon in untapped nutrients?

While the oceans are a largely unexplored liquid jungle, they are rapidly becoming the dirtiest places on earth. There’s evidence that fish are now the dirtiest meat on the planet. Everything goes downhill, and all persistent pollutants eventually end up in our oceans. The solution to our self-created dilemmas is not to exploit yet another part of nature. It is to embrace the internal wholeness that’s deeper than our reactive minds and moods. Most reliably, people change through in-sight. We don’t need to do more. We need to do less. Sit still, breathe, and enjoy our presence more. With life, we already have more than everything we need.

There is a greater focus on cellular nutrition of late especially as it relates to ageing and performance. Can you expand on the potential of plants to support optimal cellular health, a few examples or exciting developments into the science?

Everything related to physical health, performance, and aging happens within our cells. More precisely, energy runs them all. It drives interactions between molecules in accordance with genetic possibilities and limitations. These in turn translate into cell, tissue, organ, system, body, group, and ecosystem behavior/functions. Natural molecules interact naturally to bring about the natural state of health. Life did not make a genetic program to manage molecules that never existed in nature. That is why unnatural molecules cause problems. What kinds of problems? They cause inflammation, pain, and symptoms that, prolonged, doctors diagnose as diseases with specific names.

Living aligned with nature is the cure. Research is now clear that fresh, whole, raw when possible, organic, mostly plant-based nutrition is the ticket to best health and longest life.

It makes sense that herbs and spices with 4 billion years of natural development can provide more remedies and fewer side effects than a pharmaceutical industry that’s been around only a few hundred years. Living aligned with nature is the reason why, at 75 (yup, this year I began the fourth quarter of my first century), I have no pains in my body except briefly when I bang into something.

I understand you have a new book coming out, one with a rather catchy if not controversial title. What is the origin behind the title and premise of the book?

The book is called: ‘TOTAL SEXY HEALTH: The 8 Key Parts Designed By Nature’. I began to think about it when I was 6 years old, so it took me 69 years to get it done. It’s about health, nature and human nature, and how we can all live lit up from with in on this drop-dead gorgeous planet, in harmony with others, with everyone’s basic needs met. That possibility is built into our nature. We came into the world loaded with it.

My working title was ‘total global health’. A co-worker suggested calling it ‘total sexy health’, and I protested. “I can’t write a book on total sexy health! I don’t know anything about sexy.” Then I started thinking, and concluded that I know a lot about sexy. We all do. In common use, sexy is anything that touches our heart and/or makes us take notice in a positive way. Sexy is whatever lights us up, energizes us, or makes us show up vibrant, full on, present, sparkling, confident, radiant, and really attractive.

Everybody wants to be sexy. But few know that health is the foundation of sexy. And, health is more than just food and fitness. Total health involves 8 different parts of nature and human nature, each of which carries part of our sexy. Each part needs attention. Aligned with all, we are totally healthy and totally sexy, which is our natural state. When we get out of line with a part, we lose its contribution to health and to sexy. We get that part of our health and our sexy back when we realign that part with its nature.

One more thought: Everybody uses ‘sexy’ to sell us stuff that is not sexy at all. It’s about time that someone uses sexy to sell us on the built-in, natural magnificence we already own! I get to do that. It’s an honor and a privilege.

Watch Udo’s video introduction of the book and the meaning behind its title.

You are also involved with Tony Robbins as a guest speaker at his events. How did this role present itself?

My son Tai, a fitness trainer who designs targeted nutrition programs that A-list actors use to prepare for upcoming roles, as well as high end athletes and other highly motivated individuals, set up the meeting. Tony had heard about my work on the benefits of using oils made with health in mind, and invited me to speak to his Platinum Partners group in 2002. He taped the talk, uses it in his Life Mastery program, and invited me in to update the information a couple of years ago. I also do live Q/A via Skype with his Life Mastery participants after they’ve watched the video. It’s a ton of fun.

What are some of the key points you teach at his events?

I teach on oils and health at these events. Frankly, I’ve learned a lot more from him than he’s learned from me. I took all his courses between 2002 and 2006 and they helped me substantially, especially in the mental area of human nature, to set the stage for my present focus on how to enjoy TOTAL SEXY HEALTH, and also how to get it back when we’ve lost it.

What nutritional values do you share with the master coach?

This is not a conversation I’ve had with Tony. He takes and recommends Udo’s Oil. In fact, Since 2002, Tony has been my most effective promoter of Udo’s Choice. I have heard, but cannot confirm, that he eats mostly plant-based whole foods as do I. The research is clear that this is the way to have the best health and longest life. I eat a lot of my foods raw or soaked, and sometimes sprouted. The older I get, more I like fresh whole raw organic plant-based foods. I take a vitamin B12 supplement. I also use a lot of different herbs and spices.

Tony has incredible energy and unbelievable schedule, has he shared any of his longevity philosophies or practices with you (are Udo’s products part of this routine)?

He has not, but I can share with you, from my own experience, several factors that contribute to high energy level. Essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 increase energy levels. Fresh, charged and electrolyzed alkaline water can raise energy. Iodine may help. Eating a diet rich in plant-based whole foods and Magnesium. Detoxing can also help to restore vitality.

Equally important, having a passion for or being inspired by what we do increases energy, because we’re not wasting energy doubting what we’re here for and what we’re doing. Being in touch with the energy that is our life (usually by doing some kind of stillness/awareness practice) raises energy levels. Loving and positive intent also raises energy level. Getting the sleep we need and exercising to improve the efficiency of our cellular energy-freeing mechanisms also increase our energy and the lightness with which we live our lives. I describe some of these in more detail in my book.

Human expansion into wild places is often described in terms of species loss or land fragmentation and destruction—rarely do we identify the displacement of native people, not only in terms of home but heritage as well. Indigenous tribes are tied to the land spiritually and culturally, as custodians of nature defined by their role in it’s wellbeing and through traditions influenced by the land like foraging, crafts and story.

Wild places are shaped by ancient cultures, and for natures sake the balance of progress and preservation demands we value these native people as vital to the health and future of any eco-system.

Earlier this year, Australia helped set a precedent for cultural land denomination by restoring ownership of Shelburne Bay in North Queensland, to the Wuthathi people—reinvesting in native guardians and embarking on a new chapter in conservation.

Shelburne represents a role reversal in human impact on nature—empowering people to restore the land and our connections to it. Andrew Picone is the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Northern Australia program officer based in Cairns. In this article he outlines the impact of this landmark decision.

Crocodiles, stingrays, sharks, dugongs and turtles can be seen in the shallow turquoise waters of Shelburne Bay. Serpentine estuaries, fed by tannin-stained creeks, support immense mangrove forests while tropical heathlands claim the drier ground. Where the dunes have long-stabilised, ancient araucarian hoop-pines grow to emerge above a windswept rainforest canopy, home to palm cockatoos and cassowaries.

At a recent ceremony in the remote town of Lockhart River on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula in far northern Australia, this remarkable stretch of land was handed back to its traditional custodians, the Wuthathi people.

“Most of the land is significant to us and [a] very cultural place,” Loddy Chippendale, a senior Wuthathi Traditional Owner explains. According to Loddy, only certain Wuthathi people can go to some of the most special places.

Concluding decades of advocacy and negotiation, 118,000 hectares of ancestral homelands was finally returned to the Wuthathi people. For them it has been a near 100-year struggle since they were forced off their traditional homelands. As part of the deal, the Wuthathi agreed to a new 37,282 hectare jointly managed national park, which they own, covering a unique landscape of near-pure silica sand dunes and freshwater lakes.

Rewind to 1985. An Australian-Japanese joint venture called Shelburne Silica Pty Ltd was seeking government approval for a 400,000 tonne sand mining project that would include barge and port facilities on the Great Barrier Reef. The Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland’s then coordinator, Don Henry, spearheaded a legal challenge contesting the proposal through the Mining Wardens Court on Thursday Island.

Naively, the mining proponents believed there was no interest in Shelburne Bay from Indigenous people based on an astonishing assumption that the Wuthathi had all passed away. But based on the evidence of then 70-year-old Wuthathi elder Alick Pablo, as well as that of several scientists, economists and others, the Warden’s Court made an unprecedented recommendation against mining.

This recommendation was met with hostility from the state government at the time, which vowed to open up all of the region’s silica dunes to mining.

Realising that the Queensland government wasn’t going to stop sand mining at Shelburne Bay, the Wuthathi people and conservationists convinced then Prime Minister Bob Hawke to intervene. At a press conference in early 1987 the federal government said that although the mine was allowable under foreign ownership rules, it wasn’t in the national interest. In this instance, the national interest was in protecting Shelburne’s environment and the adjacent Great Barrier Reef, by then listed as World Heritage by the United Nations. Hawke made it illegal to export the sand and the proposed mining project collapsed.

But by late 2002, the Wuthathi were forced to take the fight for their country to the Queensland government once again. While Hawke effectively killed off any opportunity to export Shelburne’s sand, the mining leases that had lain dormant were coming up for renewal, a process administered by the state. Knowing there was a risk the licences could be on-sold and renewed, the Wuthathi asked the state government to cancel them.

With support from a growing number of environmental NGOs, including ACF, The Wilderness Society, Queensland Conservation Council and the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, the Wuthathi were successful in convincing then Premier Peter Beattie to cancel the mining leases.

But it was not until 2004, and under threat yet again, that the Queensland Government designated the entire Shelburne area off limits to mining as a restricted area under State regulations. That was also the year the Queensland Government concluded legal proceedings for the acquisition of the Shelburne pastoral lease.

Reversing the ethos of the colonial era, recent Queensland governments have bought back many pastoral leases, facilitating the return of the land to the Indigenous people. To date, Queensland and federal governments have spent approximately $50 million acquiring the most significant properties across the region. Importantly, these lands have been given back to Aboriginal ownership under a landmark initiative known as the Cape York tenure resolution program.

Since 1995, this program has returned more than 3 million hectares of land to Aboriginal ownership. This includes over 2 million hectares of Aboriginal owned and jointly managed national parks and more than 1 million hectares of Aboriginal freehold.

This handback of Shelburne Bay to the Wuthathi people brings to a close 100 years of dispossession and a long campaign to get their land back. While maintaining unbroken cultural connection to their country, the Wuthathi have been planning to permanently return to continue their cultural practices.

Johnson Chippendale, a Wuthathi elder and Chair of the Wuthathi Corporation, said at the ceremony in Lockhart River in December 2016 that since their removal 100 years ago, cultural practices and country stood still. Now, he says “…we got the opportunity to get back to our country to practice our traditional right and customary law.”

While pastoralists, miners and governments have had their time on Wuthathi country, Johnson says, “It’s Wuthathi people now, we’re heading back to country.”

Follow Andrew @andrew_picone

Cultured foods are enjoying a resurgence both for their health benefits and their artisan qualities. Our interest in ancient food crafts, also reflects a hunger for culinary exploration, skill and innovation which transcends generations.

Reinterpreting old world staples with clever tools and techniques helps reinvigorate and preserve the wisdom of these traditions. Companies like Imake relish this revival, investing in DIY products for the adventurous cook. One of Imake’s suppliers Mad Millie produce a line of fermentation kits and specialised equipment, from Kimchi and yogurt to their latest release: a Tofu making kit. Now for the best part, how making tofu can help save rhinos.

Imake have found an inventive way to protect rhinos against poaching—creating a charity funded by a love of handcrafted foods. ‘Imake A Difference’ is the founder’s passion project—a fundraising foundation which supports anti-poaching efforts in South Africa. Their story reveals how a brand can support a culture and innovate conservation at the same time.

What’s Imake’s story?

Imake started out as a passion and hobby of our cofounder, Peter Eastwood. An avid homebrewer himself, he followed his dreams and opened a small homebrew retail shop 27 years ago. When seeing a gap in the market for a good quality wholesaler of homebrew products in New Zealand, he then expanded into this role. Shortly after this, he expanded wholesaling into Australia, and soon after that, the USA. The company has continued to expand and grow now employs 150 people around the world and distributes products in NZ, Australia, UK, South Africa, Europe, Canada, USA, South America, China. The range has also expanded to over 1000 products from both their own brands (Mangrove Jack’s, Still Sprits, Grainfather, and Mad Millie), as well as being a distributor for other top quality brands from around the world.

How do you incorporate ethics in your business?

We focus on five main values as a company at Imake and one of those is ethics. We have our own charity ‘Imake a Difference’, which supports the anti poaching of Rhino in South Africa (something our founder is also very passionate about). Staff members are able to get involved in this by helping to fundraise, and sometimes even get involved in the fundraising activities and events we also hold in South Africa. We also incorporate ethics into our day to day business through robust recycling, and on site composting efforts, and carefully select suppliers and business partners who share our interest in protecting the environment, as well as animal and people’s rights. Packaging and logistics is also a huge consideration for us. We take great care to minimise unnecessary packaging, and choose packaging that is recyclable. We also source and ship as close to the local markets as possible to minimise the carbon footprint of our international business.

How do you ensure staff are engaged in Imake causes?

We have competitions based on staff members’ active input in our charities which gives them the chance to join the trips to Africa to see the difference we are making with the projects we sponsor to save the Rhino. As Ethics is one of our core values, staff members are employed, reviewed and appraised on their ethical actions within the business no matter how big or small. This helps remind all of us of the bigger picture and keep us honest about what we are doing and the greater effects our actions may have outside the business walls.

Where is Imake located? 

Head office is located in Albany, Auckland, NZ. But we also have offices in Australia and the UK as well as warehouses in NZ, Australia, UK and USA.

What’s the personality of Imake? 

We’re a forward thinking company that is innovative, creative and dynamic. We also pride ourselves in being customer centric in our thinking, from product development to customer nurturing post sale. And we’re also fun!

What has helped you become a leader in artisan food kits? 

I believe our personality as mentioned above and our core values of innovation, being customer centric, ethical, looking after our Imake family and being proactive & determined. We also have a very strong New Product Development department which produce some amazingly innovative products for our consumers. This, coupled with great customer centric marketing and customer service, has lead us to having some of the strongest brands in the industry.

What is your philosophy when creating your products?

Keeping the customer at the forefront of our minds in the development process to ensure we’re developing a product they want and need, but also one they can use easily and with enjoyment. We do a lot of consumer testing with our products to ensure they meet all the consumer’s requirements before bringing them to market. You will often see us doing pilot and beta launches. This is all part of getting the consumer involved in the New Product Development process to allow us to create products that our customers truly love.

What do you believe makes your products so successful? 

I guess this has been covered in 7 & 8, but also our unique products that fulfill the desire of handcrafting food and beverages (and the pride that comes with that) at home as well as knowing what goes in your food. People are so interested in learning more about the process of what goes into their food and beverages these days, and we provide them with all the tools to get involved and become an artisan themselves.

You’re a Kiwi company but how far do your products reach?

We have a global presence. We sell in UK, Europe, USA, Canada, South America, South Africa, NZ, Australia and are now starting to move into China next.

Help save the rhino,

Adrenal fatigue, joint inflammation, anxiety these are some of the issues we seek therapy for—athletes may visit their movement or mobility coach, entrepreneurs may book a mentoring session with their business/life coach, we all visit Dr. Google for advise on supplements and strategies to ease our pain, combat insomnia or any other number of ailments. But for the lucky who live close to nature, work with animals or wildlife the remedy is often much simpler and sustaining.

Science acknowledging the medicinal qualities of wild therapies from forest bathing to swimming with dolphins is still in it’s infancy but the research indicates an untapped potential for healing. Our guest author today is Cindy Jacobs, a trauma specialist who practises Somatic Experience® (SE)* training with a herd of horses in the filed of equine therapy. Her observations suggest horses amplify the SE processes, especially atomic nervous system (ANS) regulation. With the support of the horses Jacobs has seen people move quickly through their traumas, expand their resilience, and increase their capacity to function with greater vitality.

Can horses accelerate the healing of stress and trauma?

The World Health Organization has called stress the epidemic of the 21st Century. Stress is our biological response to threat in our environment—whether it is real or perceived. And leading experts in various health and science disciplines such as Dr. Stephen Porges, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, and Dr. Peter Levine, concur that most diseases and mental disorders are disorders of the autonomic nervous system—which is responsible for our stress response.

Since humans and other mammals share this biological response to threat, why is it that animals in the wild frequently escape near—death experiences and return to ‘life as usual’ without any post-­traumatic symptoms or other stress related conditions that humans often get? This is the question that predicated the groundbreaking, life’s work of Dr. Peter Levine in the field of trauma.

Dr. Levine postulated that if we could understand and support our biological responses to traumatic and stressful events, we could also recover as the animals do and return to ‘life as usual.’ He explains that a normal stress response cycle completes with a discharge of the residual survival energy—often in the form of movement that may involve shaking or trembling, after the danger has passed. This discharge informs the brain that it is time to reduce the levels of stress hormones. However when this message to ‘normalise’ is not given, the brain continues to release high levels of adrenaline and cortisol so the body remains in its high-­energy, ramped-­up state and can result in various disorders including adrenal fatigue, anxiety, depression, post-­traumatic stress and many others. Failure to complete the stress cycle has many causes, it may get interrupted, or we override or suppress our natural stress response—sometimes with good reason.

Through my own work as a Somatic Experiencing® practitioner and equine therapist I noticed a dynamic emerging between clients and horses that seems to accelerate the healing of trauma compared to working with clients when horses are not involved. Although my work and observations are anecdotal, I have noted consistent, reliable patterns and have drawn on various principles grounded in the sciences to explain what happens when horses support the process of healing trauma.

Our bodies entrain to the rhythms of the horses

Winston Churchill apparently said: “There’s something, about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Many theories abound about horses’ size, beauty, presence, and even their mystical qualities to explain this phenomenon, but none of them consider the interactions of biological rhythms and vibrations between horses and humans that may be explained by entrainment, resonance and coherence.

Entrainment occurs when the stronger, regulated and more powerful oscillating field causes the weaker, more chaotic oscillating field to synchronise with it. If the horse has a regulated autonomic nervous system, its body is producing the more powerful coherent rhythms that cause our body’s rhythms to entrain with theirs.

The heart is the most powerful oscillating field that influences all other rhythms in our bodies—for both humans and horses. Changing our heart rate via the breath is the quickest most effective way to affect all other biological functions. In my work, I have often observed horses intentionally changing their breathing, apparently to affect their heart rate in order to influence a person’s heart rate.

When a person is in a highly activated or anxious state, the horses will slow down their breathing, and shift into what looks like a trancelike state. This has the effect of down regulating the person’s heart rate – bringing more coherence to their body. When the person is in a depressed state where there is too little activation for a healthy autonomic nervous system, the horses will breathe rapidly, similar to a dog panting. This has the effect of speeding up the person’s heart rate. Intentional co-­regulation by the horses quickly brings people into a state of autonomic balance where there is more capacity for resilience.

Why do horses do this? One theory draws on their natural instincts of herd dynamics within a domestic environment. Any member of the herd whose nervous system is dysregulated—from stress, injury or pain, is a liability to the herd because a stressed horse may attract predators, and this horse may not be present enough to alert others to potential danger. In the wild, a horse with a dysregulated nervous system may be sent out of the herd, however a domestic herd may not have this choice. Perhaps the horses attempt to co-­regulate the dysregulated individual (whether horse or human) for the safety and survival of the herd.

Horses touch to bring localised coherence

Sometimes our bodies hold physical patterns deep within their tissues that are associated with trauma, and these are most easily accessed through physical touch. When a powerfully coherent ‘system’ such as a healthy horse, makes contact with these areas of the body, greater coherence is brought to that particular area. Horses often intentionally touch clients with their noses or rub their heads on specific areas of the client’s body. Clients are surprised at the accuracy of the touch—being related to a trauma, and frequently report experiences of release, energy moving, and reduction of pain.

Horses enable the discharge of discordant energy

Prior to any release, our bodies need to feel safe. Just as the animal in the wild that escapes danger, it will not release the residual energy until it feels safe.

When clients engage with the horses, they often feel emotional. Their bodies may be releasing heavy emotions that could be from very early traumas or unresolved events. But what causes this seemingly spontaneous release?

Emotions have a quality of vibration where dense, uncomfortable emotions such as guilt, fear, anger, grief, resentment and so on, feel heavy compared to joy, gratitude, compassion, and peace—that are much lighter.

Healthy horses are more likely to experience their emotions in the moment and let them go—unlike humans who tend to over-­analyse or suppress difficult emotions, which then amplifies and keeps them stuck. Since most humans carry some stuck emotions, their vibration (a unique energy signature made up of one’s thoughts, emotions, experiences, and health) is lower than the horses.’ According to physics, when a lower vibration comes into proximity with a higher vibration, the lower vibration rises. Consequently we can feel emotional around horses as the heavy vibrations we are carrying rise to be released from our bodies.

Horses contain clients’ activation within their limits

Discharging even a little amount of the highly charged survival energy and intense emotions can overwhelm the person and cause further trauma and stress. However, in the powerful resonant field of healthy horses, this discharge is contained and down regulated. Sometimes when clients begin to activate too much energy—such as when they are telling an intense story that has a lot of emotional content, horses step in between the client and me to disconnect us and stop the story. They seem to have the ability to detect when the client’s nervous system activation is reaching its limit before the client begins to feel overwhelmed—even when she reports that she is feeling ok. I have come to trust that the horses’ interventions are often more accurate than my own observations or what the clients report.

All equine therapies are not equal

Interest in horses’ potential to support human learning and healing has been rapidly growing for decades, however simply exposing clients to horses has the potential to burden the horses and open people’s wounds without a path to completion.

For this work to be ethical, sustainable, and beneficial to both humans and horses we have to ensure that horses are not exploited. This requires an approach that recognises the needs of the horses, and allows them to live as wild horses do—in a herd that can graze, rest and play without human intervention or any type of conditioning.

“Horses as well as humans must always have choice, and be free to express themselves without fear!”

Practitioners need to have the expertise to not only recognise the contribution of the horses, but also to navigate the delicate territory of our biological responses to stress and trauma, in order to facilitate a return to equilibrium.

Cindy Jacobs practices trauma healing with the support of her 19 horses in Torquay, Victoria, Australia. Visit Cindy’s horses at:

* The Somatic Experiencing® method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. SE Offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. It provides effective skills appropriate to a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, bodywork, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others.

Feeling stressed out and struggling to stay focused and concentrate at work? Well you’re not alone! Most of us have to deal with work-related stress at some time or another. Fortunately, nature has provided us with a simple solution—essential oils.

Rebecca Jackson is a purpose driven entrepreneur, empowerment coach, international speaker and author of ‘You’re Not Alone: A Practical Guide for The Awakening Soul’. Over the years, she has guided thousands of people, to connect with their true self and become the person they most want to be. The book offers a collection of powerful insights, personal stories, practical tools, and guidance that support you on your journey of self discovery, and help you share your unique gifts in the greatest way possible.

In this guest post Jackson investigates: How plant oils can be used to enhance focus, combat stress, and help us communicate, connect and collaborate with others.

There’s been a lot of talk about about essential oils lately and there’s good reason for it—they work! Essential oils, have been used in our homes for many years and are getting more and more traction in the workplace. It’s hard to deny their efficacy when there is an abundance of research supporting the use of oils in a wide range of different workplaces including hospitals, offices and schools.

So what is an essential oil?

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts, that carry the actual essence of the plant which they come from. They are found in the peels, seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Not only do they smell great, they also possess powerful medicinal qualities. Applying the benefits of botanicals to business, here are five ways essential oils can help an entreprenuer…

1. Reduce Stress

On those days where everyone is uptight, projects are due and you feel like everyone wants a piece of you, reach for a calming oil such as : Lavender (it is soothing and helps to build solidarity and strength), Bergamot (has a calming effect and relieves mild anxiety) or Vetiver (helps to focus and calm the mind).

Stress Less Blend: 2 drop vetiver, 2 drop lavender, 2 drops Bergamot.

2. Enhance Focus

Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee or chocolate to get through the afternoon, grab yourself an oil that will help with sharpen your mental clarity and alertness. The best oils to use for this are Rosemary (awakens the mind and improves concentration), Peppermint (provides an instant kick of energy), Lemon (enhances your mood), Ginger (relieves feelings of exhaustion), and Cypress (a natural remedy for restlessness).

Focus Blend: 2 drops rosemary, 1 drop peppermint, 1 drop ginger.

3. Encourage Collaboration

Got a group project that is not going as well as you would like or that you really want to be successful? Introduce some heart opening oils into the mix to encourage connection, openness and collaboration. Ylang ylang (helps reduce feelings of jealousy and lack of confidence), Geranium (promotes positivity and connection), Mandarin (reduces nervous tension and is uplifting).

Happy team blend: 2 drops Ylang ylang, 2 drops frankincense, Cedarwood.

4. Increase Productivity

It’s near impossible to work at your optimum level when there is negativity in the air. Enhance your physical space with an uplifting oil such as: Wild Orange (cheerful and invigorating), Grapefruit (a natural stress buster), Cinnamon (encourages positivity).

Motivation Blend: 2 drops Wild orange, 2 drops Cinnamon, 1 drop Rosemary.

5. Confidence Boost

For those times where you are doubting yourself and could do with an extra boost of confidence you can lean on Cedarwood (grounding and provides stability), Lime (promotes courage and boldness), Neroli (lifts your emotions and opens your mind to new possibilities), Frankincense (encourages you to be strong and let go of anything that isn’t serving you). Spicy oils like Ginger and Clove can add some extra zing into the mix for added excitement and motivation.

Confidence blend: 2 drops Frankincense, 2 drops Lime, 2 drops Clove.

Innovative Ways to Integrate Essential Oils Into Your Workplace

Put a diffuser in your office and take note as you instantly feel calmer and better equipped with your workload for the day.

Place a couple of drops of oil onto a tissue and gently breathe in the oil’s aroma.

Keep a bottle in your desk drawer take a big sniff whenever you are in need of an energy upgrade.

Make a spray bottle of essential oils and water and spray your space whenever needed (or when no one is watching).

Soak cotton balls with oil and place under your desk.

Get yourself an essential oil diffuser bracelet.

Add essential oils to a carrier oil and rub it directly into your skin.

Make up a roller bottle of your favourite blend and apply as needed.