One of the things we teach on Live Lighter is how to respect and honour the knowledge of our ancestors. They have much to teach us on healthy living! So I’m happy to introduce today’s guest blogger, Thomas, who writes about the benefits of those who live outside Western life!
Our culture is quick to ridicule indigenous cultures as a quaint chapter in history where man had not fulfilled his true potential and lived a simple and ignorant existence. This arrogant perspective is itself becoming antiquated as people are starting to understand the benefits that come from an indigenous lifestyle.
Paleontology now tells us that they were healthy, well fed people and anybody who has spent time among the remaining tribes will know that they are happy and mentally strong as well. The image of sickly starving child-like people is a colonial stereotype that is plain false.
In today’s busy world there are lessons that we can learn from tribal people that will help us to live in a healthier way.
The twentieth century was all about working hard and getting ahead. We were striving to advance the human race and we didn’t care at what cost. It could be environmental degradation or the degradation in the human spirit. It didn’t matter as long as we were advancing.
Now we realize the folly of our ways to some degree and we are focusing on environmentalism. We also understand better the need for work-life balance and the need to nurture our spirit and spend time on ourselves.
Indigenous people enjoy a slow pace of life. They have been described as “the original affluent society” not because of material wealth but because of their human wealth. Their strong family bonds, the time they have for their own growth and their strong spirituality.
Modern society is relearning the lessons that these things are important and constantly striving for material goals leaves one feeling shallow.
Indigenous people ate meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. That is it. This pre-agricultural diet is what humans evolved on for 200,000 years.
Refined carbs, starches, sugars and processed foods are all new to our bodies. Despite their place as a staple in most civilized diets these foods are not optimal for human consumption.
Many modern people are relearning that this is the best way for humans to eat because it is our evolutionary nutrition. It has become quite famous as the Caveman diet or paleolithic diet.
Humans were not designed to live sedentary lifestyles. But they were also not designed to use treadmills or lift machine weights.
People are also rediscovering caveman-style fitness where the human body is moved in the way it was designed to. This is found in Cross Fit which combines free weight, body weight and various other simple yet effective exercises that cut to the core of human fitness.
There is an excellent article at Mark’s Daily Apple which explains the theory behind the diet and fitness of the primal lifestyle and its relevance to modern man.
A person’s natural state is good health. If there is illness it is a sign that something is not right with the body. In the modern world we have come to see sickness as something normal and to be expected. But it is not.
Our society’s main focus on medicinal theory is allopathic. This means that the body is seen as a machine made up of a series of individual functioning parts. Allopathic medicine treats symptoms not causes, and favors the use of drugs and invasive therapies to bring about relief.
Indigenous people used the natural substances they found around them to make medicines. They had a very homeopathic focus, another aspect of their lifestyle that has been rediscovered in the modern day.
Many people find that natural remedies and homeopathy solve their ailments when Western medicine fails. This is because of the holistic focus and the desire to get to the underlying cause of the issue.
The modern shift towards an environmental understanding, increased spirituality, better diet, health and fitness may be seen as development rather than a return to a time-tested way. But humans lived happy, healthy, fulfilling lives for thousands of years before civilization. All we are doing now is rediscovering old knowledge.
About The Author
Thomas is interested in the philosophy of wellness as well as practical tips to lead a healthier lifestyle. He writes about organic philosophy as well as how to create healthy eco-friendly bedrooms at his organic mattress website.
How many of you can relate to what Thomas is saying? Is it possible that to cope with the upcoming changes in our society (i.e. 2012, end of the Mayan calendar), that we need to marry what works in the old days with what works now?