a simpler life, el pocito, healtha simpler life el pocito sendero 01


“La enfermedad es la gran maestra en nuestra vida.  Ella es la semilla y la causa de cambio en la vida.  Ella es el camino donde nos encontramos con el reino mineral, el reino vegetal y el reino animal.  La enfermedad nos une con todo y con todos.”

This was displayed on the wall of our homeopath’s office in Spain.  Roughly translated…

“Illness is the greatest teacher in our lives.  It is the seed and cause of change in life.  It is the road to the kingdoms of minerals/ vegetables/ and animals.  Illness unites us with all these things.”

Has to be one of the most profound things I’ve ever read.  Certainly gave us focus when Maureen was ill.  Now makes me realise how short life is, how we should spend what’s left wisely, by becoming even more tuned into nature.


That despite an abundance of information about nutrition, including healthy eating, and a whole new industry churning out whole foods/ natural foods/ organic/ and raw, this is not the way we should be heading.

We’ve been seriously mislead.  Instead of becoming healthier we are more obese than ever before, getting more serious health problems earlier, and suffering painful and premature death.  All because the food we eat is not suited to the way our body was designed.  Even the hard unrefined stuff like above grains, beans, fruits, vegetables and non-homogenised dairy products are not food, but products created by an industry who is constantly looking for easier and cheaper ways to make money. 

Worse still, of the 20,000 plants we used to thrive on, by foraging, before agriculture took over, there are now none left.  Our entire diet is made from artificially hybridised plants, based on just 20 different species.  And we are taught that progress brings choice.  Try shopping in TESCO for anything with any real flavour/ freshness and you’ll know what I mean.

We have also been made to believe that this new form of food is safe, because it has to be approved by government.  But what is their motivation?  Who are they actually helping?  Especially when year on year there are more and more of these unnatural foods, production methods use less and less ingredients, more chemical sprays are applied against more pests and diseases, genetic modification increases, and the products require more lethal synthetic flavourings to make them palatable (particularly sweeteners, all highly carcinogenic, and salt).

So powerful is the food industry that they spend fortunes on marketing alone, in order to make sure we believe what they tell us.  They also pay the medical world for their unconditional support.  Only a fool would eat any of it thinking it was doing them good.

This is why my partner and I have spent so much of our lives planting edible forests, in order to escape the dependency on what is clearly bad for us.  As well as trying to put back those plants in our diet that used to exist so we can become healthier.  Sadly it wasn’t soon enough to save Maureen, but I will continue if only to create an example others can follow.



There is a finite number of our species this planet can sustain, as in providing enough water/ air/ natural materials for shelter etc, without damaging the planet’s ability to recycle/ replace what we’ve used.  This is obvious to anyone with a brain, and for 5-8 million years we managed to do it without thinking.  Kept our total to approximately 1 million.  No, this is not a typo.

Then 10,000 years ago something strange happened.  Instead of carrying on as we always had, respecting the natural order, we invented religion and from then on things just got progressively worse.  Now virtually everyone has firster mentality, believes the planet was designed solely for their benefit, consequently with so many more of us the planet no longer has any pure water, clean air, or uncontaminated food (regardless of labelling).  Mortality and species extinction rate has also rocketed.  If oil does finally run out/ or become too expensive, 90% of us will starve to death.

Happiness/ mental health

We are creatures born of nature, designed to be part of that, so the only healthy/ true way to live is to reconnect with that.  Anything else simply destroys our equilibrium and leads to illness.  More on that later in the section on stress.


We believe that government ensures that all products are safe, and that what industry discharges and discards creating those products is similarly benign.  This is a myth.  The only safe things in life are the ones we make for ourselves, using materials we have grown for ourselves.

The combustion engine

If the planet wasn’t polluted enough by overpopulation and our relentless need to buy things, the internal combustion engine is adding yet another toxic load, covered up by government.  Fact, if you live anywhere within 2 km of a road/ petrol station/ airport/ or where fuel is pumped, if you drive a car/ take a bus/ cycle/ or walk near a road, then you are exposing yourself to a dose of carcinogens which is way above safe.

EMF (electro-magnetic frequency) radiation

Fact, every single thing our species has invented has had a negative effect on humanity and the rest of the planet.  One of the latest being EMF radiation, which affects the immune system, an incredible function which keeps living things healthy and repaired.  Originally detected near pylons, it is now known to be generated by anything powered with electricity.  The highest levels being transmitters for mobile phones/ radio/ tv/ radar, which have an effect up to a kilometre away.  Then wireless appliances, especially phones/ computers/ and wi-fi, up to 30 metres away.  And even wiring in the home/ office, and appliances switched on all the time carry a risk.  The only safe place is to live and work as far away from any of them.

Mobile phones

Long proven to cause tumours in the brain (two of my friends have had them), so why does anyone continue using them?  And why are manufacturers allowed to sell ever more powerful versions?

Nuclear radiation

It only take a ONE nuclear explosion/ accident to irradiate the entire planet for thousands of years.  This is because it remains lethal for so long (typically more than 500 years) that it can travel the world on the wind and tides.  What else do you need to know?  There is NO argument for continuing to use nuclear power or weapons.

The importance of clean pure water

After clean air, pure water is the next most important/ valuable element on the planet.  More so than food.  Without it we would all die within days.  Yet most people don’t realise this or what pure actually means.  Pure water is what provides our body with a unique kind of nourishment that is unavailable from any other source.

Read more about this in LIVING WATER, which describes the work of Viktor Schauberger, written by Olof Alexandersson 0-946551-57-X.  Also WATER & SALT, by Dr F Batmanghelidj 1-903571-24-3.

Ideally we should only drink from mountain springs, but obviously this isn’t a possibility.  The next best source is from any other kind of (unpolluted) spring or borehole.  Bottled water doesn’t count.  Equally important, we need to drink enough, but more on that in a minute.  Mains or tap water is not healthy.  In fact it should come with a health warning, along the lines of drink this at your own peril.  Personally I wouldn’t even wash with it, especially heated in a shower (as this creates an even more toxic vapour), and certainly not swim in pools filled with it, which have an even higher chemical load.  Don’t think fitting a filter helps either, it doesn’t.

None of this should be a surprise.  You only have to spend a moment to think about where water comes from to appreciate the vast differences between pure and the rest.  Pure is as healthy and nutritious as it is possible to get, and this is because of the amazing journey it has gone through.  Starting out as rainfall, a process of cleansing from impurities .  Then falling onto plants and soils, percolating down through many different types of rock, each with its own unique salts/ minerals/ and other qualities, which the water homeopathically absorbs.  This journey also carbonates it, the force which brings it back to the surface, literally imbuing it with a life force.

Meanwhile tap water has very different journey.  First with the rainwater being stored in vast man-made lakes and reservoirs, where the effects of sunlight cause it to immediately start the process of stagnation/ putrefaction.  Air pollution is also added to that mix.  As is river water, which has to be the most lethal element imaginable.  Why?  Because our rivers today contain the greatest number ever of lethal chemicals/ viruses/ and diseases, the legacy of 200 years of legal and illegal dumping by industry/ seepage from landfill/ agricultural run-off from fields/ petrol, oil, and exhaust contaminant run-off from roads/ and the sewage system, which is legally permitted to pump waste onto fields and direct into our rivers.  An ecological nightmare. 

Sewage alone contains not only the stuff we knowingly but nevertheless flush down the toilet, sinks, and drains.  Products for the house, garden, and motor vehicles which are clearly labelled as hazardous.  But also ALL our personal diseases as well, along with the pharmaceuticals we take and the medical treatments we are given (radiation/ chemotherapy).  None of which are rendered safe by dilution or the so-called process of treatment at the sewage works.  I’ve worked in these places, they essentially are no better than landfill. 

Meanwhile, back in the reservoir, all these ingredients mix together in one big soup.  Until the moment comes to send it to our homes, when it undergoes one last chemical treatment, designed to kill off selected bacteria/ pathogens, using yet another form of industrial waste, cleverly repackaged as benign and perfect for the job.  Then finally makes its way to us, along a network of distribution pipes, all made from materials long known to leach their own load of toxic chemicals.  Am I alone in wondering why the government is allowed to continue poisoning its people like this?

Cleanliness is not always next to healthiness

Washing has become a symbol of protection against infection.  Yet it isn’t that straightforward.  Hot water, for instance, removes essential oils we need,  We don’t need to shower/ bath daily either, two or three times a week is more than enough.  Soap/ shampoo should never be used, as both contain harmful chemicals, even the natural/ pure/ organic ones.  Best is the juice of a lemon, diluted in a bowl of warm water.  Lemon cleans, plus has powerful herbal qualities, no need to rinse off afterwards either.

Never use detergents to wash your clothes, especially scented.  Or empty the waste water afterwards down the drain.  An overnight soak in plain water is usually enough, having first brushed off any obvious dirt spots, or if absolutely necessary use the tinniest amount of pure liquid soap.

Under-arm deodorant is a really nasty product, especially for the lymphatic system.  If you sweat so much that it smells then you should be asking yourself why, not trying to mask it.  If absolutely necessary use a rock crystal, but beware many of these products are not what they claim. 

Sun-block, and anything containing it, should never be used.  In fact our skin needs far more exposure to the sun, not less, and it is quite possible to do this without harm, aware of when are the safe times.  Otherwise, dress appropriately to protect the skin.

Clothes made from synthetic fabrics, or tight-fitting, prevent the body from breathing properly and maintaining an optimum temperature.  They cause overheating which opens the pores and allows toxic chemicals from the fabrics/ dyes to leach into the skin.  This is especially worrying for areas of major sensitivity (covered by underwear and bras).  For the same reason avoid all internal feminine hygiene products/ chemical-based lubricants/ and contraceptive spermicides.

Even the most natural sounding toothpastes contain lethal toxic ingredients, while not actually protecting teeth/ gums, just yet another product that industry that has grown rich on.  Far better than brushing with toothpaste is to cut out all food/ drink containing sweeteners, and use flor de sal (flowers of salt, 1/2 teaspoon in 1/2 shot glass of water).  Afterwards gargling with the remaining liquid and swallow.  Kills everything, and proven from centuries of use preserving meat & fish.  Also contains essential minerals the body needs.


Believe it or not, what we take for granted as the only effective form of healthcare (conventional medicine) is a totally new invention.  There are still people alive (just) who can remember when it didn’t exist, and a whole range of other methods were used.  The reason why we aren’t aware of this is because the medical profession (as it likes us to be known), has been working hard erasing the past, in order to convince us that they alone know best.  Yet since 1945 the general population has become less fit/ less sane/ contracted more illnesses and diseases/ and now dying off in far greater numbers, much younger.

However, despite what they would like us to believe, they aren’t the only option.

Conventional medicine, what most of us in Europe know now as the NHS or state health system, began in the nineteenth century and then was only available for those who could pay.  In 1948 the government made it possible for everyone to have care.  Now it is becoming totally private again.

This is where you go to see a GP, who typically has 5000 other patients, and get 5-15 minutes of their attention.  It is quite possible the last time they had their training updated was 40 years ago, and outside working hours they probably have zero interest in the subject.  Their motive in becoming doctors is primarily to make lots of money and status.  Any passion to help people is soon eroded by clients who have nothing wrong with them (autopaths), or are seeking certification to gain illegal access to state benefits.  The threat of violence from patients is constant.  Not surprisingly then, given these conditions and workload, their natural reaction is to assess far too quickly, offer remedies that reduce/ mask symptoms, and hope that things will get better on their own.  Only if the patient returns will they refer get a more in-depth assessment and be referred to a specialist or for tests. 

The current structure of the NHS places more importance on budgets than patients, so GPs never gain the necessary deep knowledge base to be effective.

Conventional medicine uses science to evaluate the current state of the body.  Invasive surgery and radiotherapy to treat it.  Plus prescribes a whole range of artificial drugs, all toxic, most of which will be outlawed in a very short time.

Conventional medicine is also under the total control of the pharmaceutical industry, one of the most powerful and ruthless global businesses on the planet.  Whose sole interest is not in greater healthiness, on the contrary, it wants more and more people to be sick.  The most profitable parasite ever, with us as its host.

There is an unhealthy link between government and the pharmaceutical industry, most ministers are shareholders of these companies.

Despite various acts of parliament over the years, there still is no mandate for the government, or their representatives (doctors), to inform us about anything they do which could make us ill.  Which includes any method of screening, even if it is dangerous (toxic/ destroys our immune system/ or causes cancer – mammography being a classic example).

Why should you not trust the medical profession?  Because it exists solely to serve itself.  WE SERVE YOU RIGHT.  A private members club, who selects only those with the right attitude/ background.  The will to succeed, to increase the corporate and personal profits of its members, and protect/ promote their corporate sanctity.  We are merely the means for them to ensure that.  Anonymous units to be passed through their ever more cost-effective, one-size-fits-all, system as quickly as possible.  Which is why they prescribe so many painkillers/ anti-depressants/ antibiotics/ and anti-inflammatories.  It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than trying to do something that will really help.  But then if they don’t work there are plenty more equally bizarre and short-term cheap drug/ surgery-related therapies they can try.  The quote: the operation was a success but the patient died, should be enough of a warning to anyone.

Don’t expect anything different with rural GPs either, who have far less patients, or the private sector.  The latter seems like a better choice, but on closer inspection is most run by the same NHS consultants, working privately in their free-time, offering exactly the same type of service, except with the implication paying is more efficient/ faster/ better.  Remember, millionaires die just as prematurely and pointlessly as everyone else does.

Complementary medicine.  This is a very confusing, grey area, of healthcare.  Not qualified to act as a GP. Compared to a conventional practitioner barely trained enough to diagnose.  Anyone can set up in practice, doesn’t require qualifications.  The best way them is offering symptom relief.  An osteopath for example.  

99% of complementary practitioners are scammers.  Offering treatment at an affordable price, by someone who claims to care about you as an individual, in a pain & stress-free environment, with the hint of ancient/ eastern know-how, appealing to those who have more time and money than common sense. The bottom line being they don’t accept any responsibility/ liability.  It’s mall-culture, another fly-by-night business exploiting the fallibility and suffering of others.

Alternative medicine is what it says, a totally alternative healthcare system.  No connection with conventional medicine, will never refer a patient back to the NHS.

Their approach is also very different.  You will only ever be treated by one GP/ doctor, yours.  There are no diagnostic tests or equipment.  No surgery.  No drugs or other toxic treatments.  No sale of products with an affiliated business.

Consultations last as long as necessary, there is no time-limit.

Symptoms are noted, but it is always the cause which is important, often psychological.

Treatment is based on getting the body’s own system to do the repair.

Every individual is considered unique, so no treatment will be suitable for another person.

This is the closest to getting your own personal mechanic, who not only understands how your body & mind functions, but knows your full service history.

The problem is finding a good one (just like in conventional medicine), I’ve only met two in 30 years.

Also it’s also a very big leap of faith, taking back responsibility for your own healthiness.  You will need to change everything about your life, not just the GP bit.  Live in a place and way that doesn’t risk your health any more than possible.  You will also have to accept that no-one can keep you healthy if it isn’t meant to be.  

If you still want to do this, then how do you go about finding/ choosing a practitioner?  If only there were a trustpilot app for this, because what you are going to find out very quickly is most of these people are charlatans too.  They may have had training, plenty of qualifications, it means nothing.  Likewise, membership of impressive associations should be taken with a pinch of salt, it is just a question of paying the fees.  I would recommend first trying to find a conventional doctor who has seen the light and decided to swap sides.  Someone who has had many years as a conventional GP, enough time to gain a wide experience.  Who has a good rapport with people, intuitive, empathetic.

I would also be interested in a sliding scale of charges, based on ability to pay.  Or, ideally, a set amount to be paid, like an insurance premium, except when you are ill.

They should also practise what they preach.  Avoid practitioners living in cities, who smoke, are overweight, not good examples.

Avoid anyone who has a large number of patients.  You should be able to contact them whenever you need, and not have to wait more than a few days for an appointment. 

Alternative medicine is not a business, it is a talent/ gift.  Walk away from anyone who makes you think otherwise. 

At which point this is beginning to sound too utopian to be possible.  Which probably is the case in the UK, though not in other countries.  Though there a plenty of wonderful homeopathic vets here.

Natural or original medicine involves none of the above.  This is the way we lived sustainably, more healthily for nearly 8 million years, instinctively.  In theory our DNA still carries all that information/ knowledge.  But how do we access it again?  And if we could, are all those plants etc still available?  Given that 84% of the planet’s flora & fauna has been made extinct by us in just the last 50 years, and we’ve polluted the planet so much, hard to imagine.  But no reason not to try and find out.


This is one of the treatments we’ve both tried successfully.  Very briefly, because you can read about it in far more depth elsewhere, there is no doubt this works, even in situations where you’d be seriously worried that not going to a GP/ hospital would be a big mistake.  Nor is it in any way painful.  There are no toxic side-effects either.  Though, as with all alternative medicine, treatment does take a lot longer than you’d think, typically weeks or months, depending on how healthy you are already.


I have used this (with my pets too) on and off since 1991, always with amazing results.  Now it is also available on-line, via video conferencing, so you aren’t restricted by geography when searching for a good practitioner.

The first consultation is where the practitioner gets to know you, as we are all unique and have had a whole lifetime of things happen to us.  This can take time, so beforehand you will have been asked to complete an extremely detailed questionnaire, then you’ll talk with the practitioner for as long as it takes, typically two hours.  This is to establish which type of person you are (animal/ mineral/ or plant) for when it comes to selecting medication. 

Treatment is based on the cause, not symptoms, so will be through talking and then remedies if required.  The latter stimulate the part of the body’s own repair system that needs to do the work.  They come in the form of tablets.  Follow-up meetings, every three or four weeks gives an opportunity for my talking therapy and altering the remedies, until the problem is resolved.  Afterwards you usually have regular checkups every six months.

Speed of recovery depends on whether the symptoms are sudden or long-term, and it is not unusual for nothing to happen for several weeks, or symptoms to worsen.

Cost (which usually covers all the medication) is roughly between £40-£150 for the initial consultation, then around £40 for subsequent followups.  Phone calls in-between are free.  Some practitioners offer payment by donation, one UK charity even offers the first five consultations for free.

The practitioner should agree to being your doctor.  And if possible incorporate the acupuncture pulse method of identifying problems in the body.  

The remedies come in tablet form and are very cheap.  Containing virtually nothing, the dosage is so diluted (to the thousandth or millionth degree) that is virtually impossible to detect, have no side-effects and are non-toxic.

Homeopathy works whether you believe it or not, and came into existence when doctors in conventional medicine lost their faith in the way they were expected to treat patients and looked into more ancient ways of treatment.  It can be used on people and animals (all our cats in Yorkshire were treated homeopathically, an experience that was a million times better than any conventional practice).  It is also a complete medicine, so there will never be a need to refer back to the NHS at any time.

While there are many books and internet sites offering first-aid & self-help treatment I would avoid them all and find a practitioner instead.

Finally, having tried the following and wishing others to avoid the same disappointment, I would advise folk to steer clear of these two:

LINDA HUMMEL – 30 Park Road, Gifford, Haddington, East Lothian EH41 4QS. 

ANJUM RAHMATULLA – Santosa Yoga and Meditation, 21 Albert Street, Edinburgh EH7 5LH.  West End Osteopathic Clinic, 233 Perth Road, Dundee DD2 1EJ.

Detox and fasting

This is really dangerous stuff and should NEVER be tried without proper consultation.  Certainly not by anyone who is contemplating it as a treatment then intending to return the same way of life.

Before starting on a fast always spend several days gradually cutting back on what you eat and coming off rich/ cooked foods.  The reverse afterwards.

You should NEVER fast for more than 21 days, or do it unless there is a serious health reason.

Commence ten days before a new moon.

…eating during a fast.  Only fruit (as much as you like), oats (once a day, as porridge for example), a sandwich using unrefined flour, with something like yeast extract and olive oil (no butter or margarine).  No sugar whatsoever.  Fasting without consuming adequate nutrition can permanently destroy vital organs.

…drinking during a fastAs soon as you wake drink two glasses of water.  Then make up one litre of water that has been boiled, and store hot in a thermos.  Drink this as often as you feel the need or get hungry/ dizzy.  After it is gone you can then have fresh fruit juice (nothing added)/ herb tea/ chicory/ or water.  No coffee or tea.  Each morning also drink the juice of half a lemon (do not heat), adding honey to taste if required.

…turmeric.  Four times a day (including first thing and just before going to bed) take one flat teaspoon of (organic) turmeric powder.  The best way to do this is to combine with a little warm water and drink in one quick gulp.

…can I carry on with my life as normal during detox?  Yes, as long as you don’t overdo anything, so no strenuous activity demanding a lot of energy.  You will feel a lot more tired and want to sleep more, this is normal so go with it.  Light-headedness is common too.   As is feeling cold, so dress appropriately.  Toxins will be eliminated (in the usual way) more quickly if you rest.  Stop immediately if you have ANY pain.

…new moon.  On this day eat ONLY one kind of fruit (as much as you want).  Drink as before.

The primary function of fasting is to reduce the workload on the body’s repair system.  One of the jobs it spends a lot of precious resources on, which could be better used focusing on threats like cancer, is processing food the body neither needs or recognises.  It’s also another spectacular example why conventional medicine hasn’t a clue.  No hospital (and especially hospice) EVER considers that the food they serve patients could actually be making them more ill.  The very last thing you need is to fill yourself with food that is going to slow down or even halt the healing process.

As it is always our body that cures us, and not medicine or surgery (never forget this).  In desperation, fasting be used as the sole cure.  I have done this myself, when I couldn’t find a practitioner, eating nothing for two weeks, and only drinking water/ urine.  It wasn’t a wonderful experience, but worked.  However, Maureen died because her practitioner said it was okay to stop eating/ drinking.  Be aware of the dangers.


Is the one kind of alternative medicine I thought would abound in practitioners, especially in Spain & Portugal.  But I have yet to meet a genuine practitioner.  Which has meant teaching myself, and this is why my kind of forest garden only has herbs.  For advice I can definitely recommend THE RHS NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBS & THEIR USES by Deni Bown (ISBN 0-7513-3386-7), this is my personal favourite.  THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MEDICINAL PLANTS by Andrew Chevalier (0-7513-0314-3), and the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBAL MEDICINE by Thomas Bartram (ISBN-13  978-1-85487-586-0), plus any titles by Juliette de Baïracli Levy.  We started our education by growing herbs to use instead for tea, and at El Pocito had over fifty different types to pick from fresh each day.  If you are interested in this there is a downloadable plant-list (showing which herbs can be used for tea), click here.

To avoid disappointment I would suggest avoiding SUZI WALKER – Roadside Cottage, Hamnavoe, Shetland ZE2 9LA.


Is a con, avoid.

Bowen therapy

Another con.

Personally tried and tested eye remedies

These all take time to be effective, weeks if not months, so be patient.

Cataracts.  I was diagnosed with these in 2016, and could not see anything in low light conditions, read by artificial light at night, and everything was blurry.  As there was no way I wanted to go down the route of conventional  treatment, where in the long term my eyesight would be worse, I searched for another solution.

First with urine therapy: bathing each eye for 5 minutes, three times a day, for 15 days. 

Then herbalism: bathing using boiled (then cooled) water with one drop of (well shaken) tincture euphrasia (eyebright) added, once a day.  A 10ml bottle (in the UK, from Ainsworth’s on-line) being sufficient.

At the same time I also began to spend 15-30 minutes every day doing eye exercises, which I’ve continued, based on the ideas of Aldous Huxley/ Dr Bates/ Harry Benjamin/ & Meir Schneider.  Here is the synopsis of their teaching:

The idea is to restore muscle-tone to the eyes, cataracts form when the eye muscles have got lazy (wearing spectacles/ sunglasses, so try not using them).  At the heart of this is an eye chart, with gradually smaller and smaller print.  The one I got was on American-sized paper which couldn’t be photocopied, so I’ve re-set it for A4.  You can download this by clicking here then print it off and laminate.
This is the order I do the exercises, there is no limit to how many times a day, depends on your stamina, the more the better.  They should all be done outside in natural daylight/ sunlight.
1)  Eye chart.  Hold the eye chart at arm’s length with the left hand, and cover the right eye with the other hand.  Read from left to right.  It will get easier as the days/ weeks progress, but it will also vary each day, depending on how you feel and your health, so don’t worry.
2)  Varying focus.  Stand in a place where you can see far into the distance, and focus on a point for a few minutes until the image becomes clear and stable.  Then change to another point, this time ¾ of that distance.  Then ½.  Then ¼.
3)  Increase the healthiness of the eyes.  Using the tips of both hands massage the skin around both eyes simultaneously in a circular motion.  This is to stimulate blood flow.  Do 15 times.  Then widen the motion to massage the face/ scalp/ and neck.  Feel where there is any pain, and massage more.
4)  Slow blinking.  Very gently hold down the eyelid of one eye with a finger while focusing with the other on a point in the distance.  Then as slowly as you can, blink.  Do this 15 times.  Change eyes and do the same.  After that blink both eyes very slowly together.
5)  Peripheral vision.  Focusing on a point in the distance, raise both arms up and outwards in front of you, bringing them together so they curve like an arch and the fingers touch, stop at the point where the hands are still just in vision.  From this position you then make a flowing circular movement, with the hands moving outwards and downwards, so the hands are always at the furthest point you can still them while still looking ahead.  At the bottom stop, then reverse.  Do this 15 times.
6)  Sunning.  This is to get the maximum benefit from photosynthesis of sunlight and vitamins.  Stand outside and face the sun.  Close your eyes and move the head slowly from side to side.  Do this 15 times.  Without opening your eyes turn round and put your hands over your eyes.  Concentrate on the darkness and try to see it as black as possible.  Turn round and repeat.
7)  Repeat exercise 1, this time with the other eye.
8)  Balance.  This one can be done inside.  You will need a piece of stiff card 50mm x 250mm, in the middle of which you cut out a slot 55mm x 17mm.  Also, a tennis ball.  Place the card on your nose (yes), and while focussing on a point in front, juggle the ball from one hand to the other, hands as wide apart and throwing as high as you can without dropping it all the time.  Do this 15 times then close one eye, for 15, then the other, then both.

After three months the change was dramatic.

My vision was a lot clearer, I could see in the dark, read in artificial light, and most unbelievable of all discovered I no longer need prescription glasses.  I had been dependent them on for 40 years (to accommodate an astigmatism).  Later I was able to reduce the magnification of my reading glasses too.

I also found steam inhalation works too.  500ml of water, with a dessert spoon of salt added, heated in a small pan (with lid on) to boiling.  Place a blanket over the pan and inhale the steam, adding a drop of Tea Tree oil occasionally (careful, it is very strong), with your eyes open the whole time.  Continue until it cools.  Do this once a day.

Feel free to get in touch with any questions and I will endeavour to help.  I hope it helps, it certainly won’t do any harm.     

Haemorrhoids.  Have had these for 30 years, progressively getting worse.  So started drinking a tea made from sage (salvia officinalis), one teaspoon infused for at least five minutes, once a day, and even after a month the change was very noticeable.


a simpler life el pocito tincture cistus

Making these were our next foray into herbalism, as they were also a good way to store plants that were only available for a short flowering time.  Easier to take as a dose too.  So far we’ve used cistus ladanifer (which is my soul plant, a form of rock rose), salvia officinalis (sage), and symphytum uplandicum (comfrey).  Couldn’t be easier.  All you need is to collect enough of the fresh herb (newest top growth) to fill a clear glass jar (one litre size is enough, with an airtight lid).  Cut into small pieces, pack into the jar until it is full, then pour in enough apple cider vinegar (or better still vodka, increases the shelf life) to fill, and seal.  Store in a warm darkened room and shake every day for 2 weeks.  Then strain off the liquid and bottle in dark glass containers.

Cold infused oils

Just as easy to make, but this method needs plenty of sunshine over a long period.  Prepare as before, this time using virgin olive oil instead of vinegar.  Then place the jar in full sunlight for at least six weeks (the longer the better), inverting each day (having made sure the lid is on really tight or it will leak) to mix thoroughly.  Strain (or use a press) and bottle in dark glass containers.

Urine therapy

This has to be one of the most weird and wonderful things I have ever encountered.  We first heard about this when a friend sent a copy of THE WATER OF LIFE, by J W Armstrong (ISBN 0-85032-052-6), and it seemed so appropriate (Maureen was very ill at the time) we decided to adopt the idea entirely.  The book describes the subject but isn’t very useful in terms of treating yourself, so you’ll need to search the internet (try http://universal-tao.com/article/urine.therapy.html), or read the THE GOLDEN FOUNTAIN by Coen van der kroon (click here to download).  Very briefly it’s about using your own urine as a medicine, in the same way homeopathy works.  By drinking it mainly, but also applying to an infected area.  Sounds truly nasty (dangerous even), but is actually perfectly safe and with time even becomes totally normal, honest.  The benefits being:

Homeopathic – helps kick-start a lethargic self-repair system into action.

Recycling all the precious nutrients our body discards, because we don’t eat properly.

As a complete medicine both for self-treatment (first aid/ minor ailments), or in the hands of an experienced practitioner to cure anything (even on animals).

And an indicator of healthiness from the colour/ smell/ and taste when you pee you can tell how well your system is functioning.  Have a go.  Next time, catch some in a glass, ideally mid-stream, then hold it up to the light and sniff.  A healthy person’s should be transparent/ crystal clear/ and odourless.  If not, drink two glasses of water and check again next time you pee, repeating until there is a change.  If after 24 hours there hasn’t been any improvement, start discounting the reasons why, one at a time, by cutting things out,  like – meat/ coffee (limit is one espresso a day)/ all milk products/ anything with white flour in it/ alcohol (no more than a glass every now and then)/ smoking/ anything with sugar or artificial sweetener added (honey is fine), or salt (use flor de sal instead).  If after all that there is still no improvement then see a practitioner as soon as possible.

Earlier I mentioned how important drinking (pure spring) water is.  Quantity is critical too, and we all have different needs.  The best way to find out how much yours is, is by checking your pee, and after a few days you’ll know.  Also get into the habit of starting the day off by drinking two glasses as soon as you wake (before anything else).

In the past urine was far more highly respected, revered even.  Crofters used it to clean the raw wool prior to spinning/ weaving.  Soap was made from it.  And the Romans even bathed in pee, which is something we tried while travelling.  There’s no doubt it is as effective as soap, takes nothing positive out, and in fact moisturises the skin.  It also stimulates and improves blood circulation (excellent for frostbite or chills).  The only reason we stopped washing like this was a slight lingering odour, which we later discovered could be avoided by simply rinsing with hot water (but we don’t have any).  Urine can also be used to wash clothes, even in a washing machine (which has a heated cycle), totally replacing the need for any detergent/ conditioner.  At the very least we should all be saving it to put back into the eco-system, either by peeing outside, or better still (avoiding any build-up of smell) in a bucket which is then added to the grey water or compost heap.

A good night’s sleep

This is the part of the day when the body is free to get on with repairing/ healing.  Make sure it can do that, uninterrupted.  Some ideas we have tried:

Our bed was deliberately constructed from wood.  No chemical treatment was applied, and no metal used that could hold an electrical charge.  Originally we had a futon mattress on top, but when that wore out couldn’t find an equal so now have natural latex instead.

Whenever we are in houses with AC mains electricity we switch it off at the fuse box at night.

Can’t get off to sleep?  Try toe therapy, it really does work and only takes about fifteen minutes.  Done by squeezing the appropriate acupressure points.  Instructions can be found at:



This is a way of removing the harmful electrical charge that builds up in each of us living in a man-made rather than natural environment.  You can do this in several ways.  The first we tried involved putting a conductive copper sheet on the bed, attached to a cable which led out to an earthing rod buried in the soil.  To buy they were super expensive, so we made our own, knitted from ultra thin strands of copper wire.  Great idea, but like the princess and the pea, impossible to lie on.

Next was something even more bizarre, sitting outside with your feet bare on the soil.  A friend suggested this, for eczema.  I had some on my back and given up ever finding a cure.  The first time session was for an hour (luckily it was warm enough, though a friend in Perthshire will sit outside in all weathers, including once in the snow!).  Not surprisingly didn’t feel a thing, but when Maureen had a look my back was on fire.  Two further sessions cleared it completely.  I have also found this works well for severe mood-swings.

Stress, back pain, and how everything in the body is interconnected

All alternative medicine is founded on the belief that illness is not directly caused by toxicity (otherwise everyone would be dying off), but by the body’s repair-system failing to deal with our exposure to it.  One of the reasons this happens is when the system also has to deal with stress.  This is why some people can smoke 40 Woodbines a day, drink like a fish, and still live forever without seeing a doctor, because they are happy with life.  While others, like Maureen, die far too young.

In her case I blame the stress caused by our nine year searching for the right/ healthy place to live, ironically.  Up ’til 2000, when we started travelling, neither of us had been to a doctor since we were children.  Six months later she started to have problems.  That developed a couple years later into becoming seriously ill and having to be rushed to hospital.  Then she ripped her sternum, followed by the cancer.  Four years into our trip I had a hernia of the spine, so bad I couldn’t walk or carry anything.  Two years later an inguinal hernia, which for lack of an alternative practitioner required conventional surgery.  Then Menieres.  All definitely stress-related.

So how do you deal with this?  Answer, not easily.  Firstly there’s the mental aspect, about not getting upset when things don’t go according to plan.  That has been the hardest to accept and work at changing.  Then there’s the physical effects, those have been easier to deal with.  Starting when I was crippled with back pain, and a wonderful friend (Shirley-Anne Hardy no less) sent me a copy of THE ART OF BACKSTRETCHING by Neil Summers (ISBN 0-9538123-0-8).  Don’t bother looking for it there are no second hand copies and most of the book turned out to be a waste of time.  What matters is it showed how I could to treat myself, and over the years I honed the exercises plus invented new ones, into a daily regime which I still follow .  No pain-killers, no doctors, and it works.

This is what I do:

You’ll need a carpet/ rug/ or yoga mat, enough room to lie down comfortably, and about 15-30 minutes undisturbed.

Exercise one.  Lie on your back, arms above your head, and concentrate on stretching every part of your body as far as it is possible.  Do this for as long as you can (at least 5 minutes), keeping your eyes closed.  Cat optional.

a simpler life el pocito back exercise 02

The stretch on your the feet should be with the heels, so pull your toes up towards you.  The hands work better if joined, like this:


During the exercise try to visualise how your body feels.  Where does it hurt?  Is it aligned, or is one side different?  Imagine a source of energy, like a river, travelling from your feet to your fingertips (or the other way), does it get stuck anywhere?  Keep the stretch and concentration on the bad bits going until you feel everything is relaxed.  Make sure the bottom of your spine arches away from the floor with a stretching feeling. 

Exercise two.  While still on your back, bring your knees up and grab them to your chest.  Rock gently, from side to side and up and down, massaging the base of your spine with the floor. 

Exercise three.  Lie back again and swing your legs up in the air, bringing them gradually down until over your head and the toes touch the floor.  Take your time with this one.

a simpler life el pocito back exercise 03

Exercise four.   Gently return to lying on your back, then turn over and sit on your feet, with your forehead touching the mat, arms lying back to the feet.  This one is a really good stretch and helps you relax the back totally (I often fall asleep doing this one), you can almost feel each disc in your spine pull apart.  Do this for at least 5 minutes, more if possible.  It is also a good emergency/ first-aid pose if you get sudden back spasm/ pain.

a simpler life el pocito back exercise 01

And that’s it.  Try for a couple of days and see for yourself.  I still have the hernia of my spine, but am able to live a normal pain-free life.

If you don’t enjoy the idea of doing exercises for the rest of your life, another incredibly good/ cheap therapy is horse riding.  Yes, I had no idea either, but was asked to go with a friend and the effect was astounding, I am actually stronger now than before the hernia, after only 2 hours.

De-stress.  Apart from the obvious, trying not to take anything too seriously, we discovered that feeling rooted to a place, nesting, helped dispel that constant need for instant gratification, having to go out, buy things, travel, anything to feel good.  Apart from the cost, which I don’t want, getting everything you need from home is far better.  Now we only go out once a fortnight, from necessity to shop, and that is more than enough to remind me I’m not missing anything. 

What haven’t stopped though are the panic attacks, which I’ve had all my life, especially with sudden bad news, or when in crowds.  There’s also the strange sadness which overwhelms me upon waking, and can last several hours.  To try and solve these I have tried several therapies.

Bach Flower Remedies

To be totally honest (and that is what this site is all about) I had no luck with these, although the RESCUE REMEDY has always worked with our cats.  I even bought the books, which Dr Edward Bach wrote specifically to enable anyone to treat themselves: THE TWELVE HEALERS (ISBN 0-85207-01-1) and HEAL THYSELF (ISBN 0-85207-301-1).

I guess in my case it would be better to be treated by a practitioner..

If you are interested in trying I would recommend THE BACH FLOWER REMEDIES – FORM & FUNCTION by Julian Barnard (ISBN 1-58420-024-3).

I would also suggest if you are buying remedies to use the HEALING HERBS (http://healingherbs.co.uk) product over the A. Nelson & Co Ltd ones.

What has had a positive effect was Valerian.  I’ve always loved this plant, as do our cats, especially its perfume.  It is also a well known treatment for depression.  But when I asked people how much to take they all wanted to dissuade me.  Finally I decided to try it anyway.  Bought a 125 ml bottle of the tincture, but instead of taking the full dose, limited myself to just one teaspoon (first thing in the morning), purely because it is not a habit we could afford.  A week later the difference was noticeable, I felt a lot calmer, less worried about stuff, however the price of buying enough to continue was well beyond our resources.

Sinusitis & Menieres.  All my life I’ve suffered with sinus problems.  As a child with earache and deafness, which as I grew older developed into blinding pain in the forehead and teeth.  Then six years ago the Menieres symptoms started (tinnitus, vertigo, sweating, deafness, vomiting).  It’s taken me almost that long to find any kind of relief, starting with an article about the link with dental root canal treatment.  Apparently in people with sinus problems they can get badly infected, enough to spread throughout the body.  Armed with this information I then asked the local GP to take a swab from the abscesses, to identify the infection, but she refused, as did the dentist.  So in the end I had the teeth removed.  That did the trick for the vomiting and vertigo, the rest I am currently tackling with a homeopath.

If you are suffering with Menieres and isn’t caused by poor dental work (an x-ray will show) it can be cured by acupuncture (even though the NHS prefer you take tablets for the rest of your life).

More on eyes

This is another area of the NHS which really pisses me off.  That they have hived off this to a totally unsupervised private sector, which of course exists only to make money.  And, as with dentistry, offer a really poor, if not dangerous, service.

Conventional optical medicine, be it prescription glasses/ surgery/ or medication, causes permanent damage to the eyes.  This is because it doesn’t take into account that seeing is not just the eyes, but how the brain interprets the information they send.  Which means you see the same things differently, depending on your mood and state of health.  Making glasses pointless.  Conventional optical medicine also fails to appreciate how the eye can heal itself (even cataracts).  I would suggest therefore:

Wearing glasses only when absolutely necessary

NEVER contact lenses (they are a cause of cataracts)

Only use lenses made from glass, NEVER plastic (it is vastly inferior optically and scratches).  Clean them by washing first, followed by drying on a soft cotton fabric, NEVER use paper tissue

NEVER wear sunglasses

Treat any injury or infection to the eye with neat honey first, it will sting like hell but does the trick.

And finally, how society turns you into an addict

I’ve already touched on this with regards to stress.  If you really want to become healthier and lead a happier life, then you have to appreciate what is normal/ conventional (ie man-made) is no more than an illusion.  A vast marketplace/ bazaar, where everyone in it is trying to sell you something so they can earn enough to stay alive.  You have to be able to switch off from that.  We first noticed this about 30 years ago when we stopped watching television.  A friend (an ex-cop in fact) told us about this loophole in the tv licensing act which allows you to have a set but not pay the licence if it is used solely for playing videos/ DVDs.  So we did that.  Not long after I began to realise I was losing my patience reading THE GUARDIAN and the INDEPENDENT.  Followed swiftly to Radio 4, then Radio 3.  It felt like there was this conspiracy to keep everyone fearful and stupid.  Cutting out those made us feel a lot happier.  It also had the knock-on effect of inspiring us with new ideas and views of our own.  Based on own experiences, as well as others we discovered, mainly in independent bookshops.  We began to realise that perceived knowledge/ wisdom, that body of information we all accept as true without needing it to be personally validated, what shapes and dictates our behaviour/ lives, is nothing of the sort.  Just another creed to get us to be compliant.  As the saying goes: believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you hear.  Follow our example, and live as far away from conventional people as possible, and I guarantee you’ll feel far a lot more positive, able to work out what it is you really want from the rest of your life, along with the zest/ energy to make it happen.

a simpler life el pocito sendero 02

a simpler life, el pocito

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