Naturism (Nudism) for Health & Well BeingIs clothing crushing us? Are we trapped in tomb-like textiles, exiling our flesh from experiencing the environment? Are we atrophying our epidermis, our senses, our neuro-intelligence?
If you put a plaster cast on a broken arm the skin starves for Vitamin D, the muscles weaken due to strangled range of motion, the nerve synapses depress to a whimper of their former joy. Twenty-first century hominids? We shroud our entire skin palette except for face, neck and hands - we obliterate symbiosis with the planet.
We hide in cocoons, when we could be free as butterflies.
History reveals many cultures that were not clothes-minded. Spartans were basically bare and their victories in pan-Hellenic sports competitions enticed all neighboring Greeks to exercise nude, creating the word “gymnasium” (Greek gymnos = naked). Romans mingled in magnificent bathhouses, enjoying dense communal nudity as they drank, dined, defecated, bathed, read books, argued politics, and watched theater. Adamists — naked heretics — performed stripped-down church services in North Africa, Bohemia, the Netherlands, and England. Pre-Hitler Germans were avid adherents of Freikorperkultur (“Free Body Culture”) with 70,000 attending co-ed Nacktkultur schools.
There’s naked Japanese in hot springs, naked Finns in saunas, “sky-clad” Jain monks in India, plus millions of nudists worldwide going to “Nakation” camps, beaches, and resorts. They’re still sporty as Spartans, eager to hike naked (“free bush rambling”), canoe naked (“canuding”), bicycle naked, ride horses naked, run naked, play volleyball, badminton, ping-pong and chess naked, swim naked, dance naked, do Naked Yoga, Naked Tai Chi, Naked Gardening, Naked Bowling, and of course, many of us, perhaps you and I, dear readers, are NIFOC — Naked In Front of Computers.
Barefoot Medicine. Going shoeless is now recognized as an anti-Alzheimer’s, brain-boosting activity because the sole sensation entices your brain into growing extra, efficient neuron connections. Dr. Norman Doidge (author of The Brain That Changes Itself) believes skipping shoes increases brain flexibility and youthfulness, and many podiatrists now advise going barefoot as much as possible. Bare feet are today’s prescription. Will tomorrow’s elixir take the next step: Bare Body?
Superior Socialization. Self-actualization proponent Abraham Maslow believed “Nudism… is itself a kind of therapy.” Health benefits of social nudity include stress reduction, satiation of curiosity about the human body, reduction of porn addiction, a sense of full-body integration and developing a wholesome attitude about the opposite gender. Research at the University of Northern Iowa discovered that nudists have significantly higher body self-acceptance. Another study concluded that teens at a New York nudist camp were “extraordinarily well-adjusted, happy, and thoughtful.” It’s also excellent for children to grow up free of shame about the human body.
Tolerant Views.A University of Central Florida 2008 study of 384 participants concluded that pro-nudity students “were significantly more accepting of other religious groups and gays and lesbians” when compared to the anti-nudity students. They were also “less prejudiced towards ethnically dissimilar others.”
Soothe Away Your aches: Massage is recognized as a therapeutic treatment for mental health issues like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolarism, borderline personality disorder, learning difficulties, and low self-esteem. The skin stimulation of massage — improving blood flow and detoxifying the lymph system — is duplicated by the warmth, freedom, and improved circulation generated in nakedness.
Soak Up The Rays Vitamin D deficiency is currently soaring, with up to 75% of USA teens and adults receiving insufficient amounts of the “sunshine vitamin.” Lack of this essential health aid is a factor in numerous ailments, including cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. Anyone who bares all outside as a “naturist” harvests larger amounts of Vitamin D in a quicker time span.
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