June 2014


An acquaintance approached me the other day in the supermarket to invite me to a talk she is giving soon. This cheery and enthusiastic person is a qualified naturopath originally from the U.K. Her study thesis was on the benefits of raw cacao (chocolate) in the treatment of depression. Not too surprising when so many reach for chocolate as a ‘feel good’ food. While we were conversing, another woman walked over and shared this surprising fact: when she was depressed she couldn’t see rainbows. She couldn’t see the colour. This is fascinating, don’t you think, when one considers that at least from the biblical times of Noah the rainbow has been a symbol of hope. To be depressed is to some extent to lose hope, to forget that the sun is still shining despite the temporary dark clouds around us.imagesZAST5BVI

Our family spent the summer of ’98 in a bach at Whatuwhiwhi. It was a hot, dry summer and we swam and walked virtually every day. I would hang a simple portable rope swing from a pohutukawa branch each time we took the girls to the beach. They would play for hours on the swing, in the sand, swimming . . . .P1010002

The bach suited us perfectly. It was small and low maintenance and so was the garden. But there were no flowers. And by the end of the summer I was craving the colour that flowers bring.

I spent some informal study time decades ago with an amazing elderly colour healer in Canada. She instilled in me the awareness of the importance of colour in our lives. The very simple suggestion she gave was to consider carefully each morning which colour you would like to wear that day. This will be the colour that best harmonizes with you at the time. Each colour has a specific frequency that will, if chosen mindfully, best resonate with our energy field that day. Try it.

spring-colorsNear the end of my years of backpacking in the late 1980s I found myself on a train travelling from Germany to the Netherlands. I was fascinated to see the more gregarious nature of the passengers when I crossed the border near Groningen in the north of the Netherlands. Not only were the people more openly expressive and outwardly happy they were wearing brighter colours than the more soberly attired and less expressive Germans who had been my train-mates to that point.

Consider the importance of colour in your home, in your garden and in the clothes you wear. Choose carefully and create a harmonious environment around you. Shine brightly. Dare to be different. After all, are we not each a flower in God’s garden?

And if you wish to purchase raw cacao beans they can be found at Putiputi Ra Organic Traders in Whangarei or online from http://www.purewellbeing.com (based in Raumati South).

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com



41lY9QQGpIL__SL500_AA300_My father suffered silently with arthritis for the last decade of his life. Aspirin gave him some pain relief but, frankly, what worked best for him was movement. He walked a lot. He and my mother first joined and then led a hiking group based in their winter home of Tucson, Arizona. I suppose I’ve inherited this love of hiking, or rather ‘tramping’, from my parents. What I would not like to inherit from them is arthritis.

Arthritis is New Zealand’s leading cause of disability, according to Sandra Kirby, chief executive of Arthritis New Zealand.

For a long time I have been a health researcher and educator. I am not a doctor. We are blessed to have a group of truly caring GPs in the Far North. Please see your doctor about your health concerns. But please do whatever you can to improve your health in an allopathic or complementary way. I’m sure our many good doctors would agree that it is important for each individual to take responsibility for their own health.

9780861889730Our tramping group is seasonally joined by people visiting from other countries. One such person was describing to me how he had recently been diagnosed with diabetes and arthritis. Initially he took medication for his arthritis but he stopped after a short time because of unpleasant side effects. With the help of his wife he is now managing both ailments through changes in diet, specific stretching exercises, walking and swimming. He is pleased with the results of the changes he has made.

I have beside me three books on arthritis: Say No to Arthritis : The Proven Drug-free Guide to Preventing and Relieving Arthritis,  Arthritis : Reverse Underlying Causes of Arthritis with Clinically Proven Alternative Therapies and Athritis Relief at Your Fingertips : How to Use Acupressure Massage to Ease Your Aches and Pains.

9781587612589_p0_v1_s260x420Each of these books states emphatically that one need not be a victim of arthritis, that each sufferer can make changes right now to alleviate pain and immobility. Changes in diet, use of herbs and self-massage are only a few of the options available for anyone dealing with arthritis. There is even evidence that adding the mineral boron to your daily supplements can help greatly. Israel has one of the lowest per-capita incidences of arthritis and it has one of the highest natural concentrations of boron in its soils. Boron is obtainable from your chemist. It is a necessary trace mineral.

Don’t lose hope and help yourself and your physician to help you attain better health. Even rubbing the web between your thumb and index finger can provide pain relief. Don’t take my word for it. Do some independent research and put into practice some of the myriad harmless means to improve your health and wellbeing.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

11-6_pj_tree_seedlingsWhen he was an old man in the years after the First World War, Louis Hubert Lyautey, Maréchal de France, was given a retirement job as Resident General of Morocco under the French Protectorate. Someone told him that the Moroccan Atlas mountain range, which stretches from Agadir to the Mediterranean, had once been covered by cedar forest.

He ordered it replanted at once. His civil servants objected that such old growth forests took millennia to establish. Lyautey replied briskly, ‘That, gentlemen, is why we will start immediately.’

One Tuesday afternoon I missed my bus. I began walking through town, knowing there was very little point in hitch-hiking until I reached the outer edge of Kaitaia. It was drizzling a little but I had a jacket. I received a ride from a man who went out of his way to take me home. One of those acts of kindness that buoys one’s impression of humanity.

That very evening, as we were driving through the grey, soggy rural landscape together, a meeting was taking place at Te Ahu to discuss possibilities to improve the lot of youth in our community. The driver explained that this was his first time back in Kaitaia in ten years. He was shocked at how much the vitality of the town appeared to have diminished in the decade since he had last visited. The project he was involved with brought him into contact with youth. They divulged to him that many of them used ‘P’. He asked why and they replied that they were bored. He had hardly slept the night before, concerned for these young people and angry that someone was benefiting monetarily by selling substances to them that could ruin their minds and their bodies.

He and I spoke about the causes of what he called ‘the lost generation’: the lowering of the drinking age, asset sales, generational unemployment . . . . We spoke of the outcomes for youth: crime, lack of work opportunities, a sense of hopelessness . . . .  We spoke of the some of the solutions which would need to be implemented to solve this problem: job creation, education that gave youth ‘work-ready’ skills, the need to truly listen to the concerns of young people, the need for many different members of the community and for central government to have the will to take on this long term project. It wouldn’t be fixed in a year or even ten. This could easily take a generation.

I reflected afterwards that our entire society needs to acknowledge that until every young person feels he or she has a future and is prepared to work for it we will all suffer. That the mountains of Morocco would not be transformed into old growth forests overnight did not in any way diminish the need to begin planting. That the ‘lost generation’ will not be retrieved without the efforts of each of us does not diminish the need to begin immediately.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com