Dr. Linda Geronilla
By Linda Geronilla, Ph.D : circa May 9, 2010 Charleston Gazette : EnergyMedicineCoach.com
AFTER a rough winter, I relish spring mornings. It feels great to go out on my deck and do my morning stretching exercises. I love listening to the birds who are also enjoying the bliss of the moment.
As a master gardener, I love nature. I think about how many other people and critters have enjoyed "nature moments" in the past, and I want to see them continue in the future. As a psychologist, I know how valuable it is to think positive thoughts because research has shown them to be nurturing to both the brain and heart.
I love to dwell on the positive, which has been correlated with longevity. Although I'd love to be the eternal optimist, I believe I must acknowledge the negative in order to create balance for the future. I can't be an ostrich with my head in the sand just ignoring problems.
Many people are unaware that the bird, butterfly and bee populations have declined in our country. They serve a major function in our food production by pollinating. I have noted the same changes in my own yard during the 28 years that I've lived in the Kanawha Valley. The bees love my Rose of Sharon bushes beside the entry deck to my home. They go into the purple blossoms and within minutes their tails are full of yellow pollen.
Sometimes the bees gather too much pollen on their tails. When they do, they stop on the rail and shake some off as carrying too much pollen makes it hard for them to fly. This blissful moment gives me a great opportunity to enjoy the bees up close. Unfortunately, I've definitely noticed that these moments, as well as the overall number of bees in my yard, have declined. This saddens me, knowing that this national trend will have a devastating effect on our food production if we don't soon figure out how to stop it. More than half of the world already goes to bed hungry.
Although I'm concerned about creatures, I'm even more worried about human beings who are having problems with fertility and longevity. In her book "Our Toxic World," physician Doris Rapp points out that health problems are increasing and longevity rates are decreasing in many industrialized nations. She makes the case that humans are slowly poisoning themselves by being exposed to toxic chemicals in the air, water and food supply.
Every year, more than eight pounds of toxic herbicides, pesticides and fungicides per person are used on crops in the United States. As well as being in our foods, these chemicals, along with prescription drugs, infiltrate our water supplies and are now showing up in streams and municipal water systems.
Rapp states that these are "hidden health epidemics" since toxic chemical levels in our bodies are rising. For example, one in six couples in the United States have fertility problems.
"In many industrialized countries the sperm count has dropped by 50 percent, both in quantity and quality, in the past 50 years," she says. If this continues at its current rate, there is the possibility that men may be sterile in 70 years. That is only three generations from now! Do you think that maybe we need to address these problems before it is too late?
Although the United States spends more money than any other nation on health care, our infant mortality rate is high and our longevity is not the best. The World Health Association ranks the United States 24th in longevity, meaning that 23 other nations live longer than Americans. I have to ask the question, "What are those 23 nations doing right that we need to emulate?"
Maybe we have messed with Mother Nature too much! Rather than using toxic chemicals as our first choice, maybe we need to look for natural ways to cure problems and to save ourselves and our planet.
If you'd like to learn more about some of these "natural ways," attend the free Kanawha Valley Sustainability Fair on Saturday, May 22, at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be over 100 exhibits, such as the WVU Extension Service that will demonstrate how to garden and compost. Bring your family and friends and find out what you can do to help save our health and our planet.