FeaturedCompress Basics

Compresses are used for many and varied treatments over the chest, abdomen, kidneys, liver, limbs and throat. The following details the basic know how of applying a hot compress. Please take care and only use compresses when they have been prescribed. These notes accompany instructions provided in consultation or at a workshop; they do not stand alone. The woollen blankets and compress cloths are sold in sets from the clinic and workshops. Contact me to enquire.

Compress Kit

  • Medicinal substance
  • Thermos or a saucepan with lid – to steep the tea  
  • Tea strainer (not necessary in all compresses)
  • Bowl – to strain the tea into
  • 1 to 2 Hot water bottles with cover – fill it to no more than half, without air trapped inside
  • 3 cloths – made of raw silk, linen, baby muslin or old woollen thermals. The first is the compress cloth and must be large enough to be folded into a padded wad, to cover the abdomen. The second is the wringer cloth and the third is an extra wringer cloth. Tea towels and flannels work well.
  • Woollen scarf or long piece of woollen material to wrap around the abdomen and tuck in behind the back. A piece of an old blanket is ideal. The wool is insulating.
  • Scarf Liner – a piece of flannelette or cotton is ideal, the same size as the

FeaturedTwelve Senses Introduction

The foundations of sensory development are laid down in the first seven years of life and have a direct influence on the growing child’s ability to develop attention, attachment, and self- regulation: capacities essential for formal education. The senses inform us about the physical world. And at the same time, the senses inform us about ourself; we can learn what makes our body healthy and unhealthy. Through our sensory system we take in the world and learn what we need to do to be able to be a part of the world, to develop an ability to share parts of ourself and to experience another. 

Lemon Footbath

Equipment:

  • Juicy yellow lemon (preferably organic)
  • Bowl for the feet (eg 10 litre wash basin)
  • Warm Water
  • Serrated knife
  • 2 – 3 towels
  • Oil for massage
  • Long warm socks

A lemon footbath is a bowl of hot water into which a lemon is cut, and the feet placed in the lemon water for 10 – 20 mins with the legs covered over with a towel.

It encourages warmth distribution and harmony. A lemon footbath can be used daily as preventative healthcare or in some acute illnesses such a headache or over stimulation. It helps a person to ground and re-centre by harmonising warmth distribution and breathing. Use at times of change or transition in a day or in a life event. Children can greatly benefit from it when transferring between parent’s homes, returning from holidays, preparing for school or winding down.

Never use a lemon footbath when fever is present or during pregnancy. If you are unsure please consult your healthcare practitioner.

Cough

In my experience some of the triggers for coughing have included:

  • when the body is trying to release mucus or other obstacles in the throat;
  • when the airways is irritated and inflamed;
  • just prior to sleep because it can aid ‘letting go’ and help the transition to sleep;
  • when a change is occurring in our ‘inner life’. This may or may not have a conscious emotional connection. For example we may be anxious about a family member, or we may have something in the back of our mind but have not brought it consciously into action.
  • from strain on the adrenal system – such as over exertion or physical or emotional endurance

Anthroposophy sheds light on the cough’s attempt to establish equilibrium in the respiratory system. It is clear to me that suppressing a cough hinders or elongates this process. I therefore try to find a treatment that will assist the person through the process rather than removing the process.

Touch Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

When we touch something or something touches us, we discover where we end and where the something (or someone) begins. The touch sense makes us aware of what is outside of ourself and also what is inside of ourself. This subtle duality is the first recognition that we have an inner life within our physical being. It leads us to be able to refer to ourself as “I” which happens at about two to three years old. The touch sense conveys pressure against our skin, from the outer world. It is experienced by the fine mechano-receptors in the skin. Different receptors measure warmth and pain. The experiences of touch we receive builds an inner library that we use to understand boundaries. Through the experience of my boundary against another boundary I come back to myself and become aware of the other. Touch is both a uniting and a separating at the same time.

Life /Wellbeing Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

The life sense helps to keep us safe, well and in harmony. Through the sense of life, we perceive inwardly our vitality and life forces. For example it tells us when we need to go to the toilet, when something’s hot and when we need to drink. It  also tells us about our health and wellbeing.

Movement Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

The movement sense makes us aware of how our inner movement can change when we move a particular body part, and how we can abstain from movement despite feeling an inner movement or desire to move.

Balance Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

The sense of balance is the experience of being in harmony. The balance sense perceives our relation to the external spatial world. Based on our perception, we adjust our balance. When someone moves closer to us we inwardly and externally adjust ourselves to maintain a state of harmony. By experiencing equilibrium in our physical body, we have an inner experience in our feeling life. This helps the sense of balance to mature and grow a relationship to inner harmony in our whole being.

Smell Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

There are what is called four middle senses (of the twelve senses) and they are – smell, taste, sight and warmth. They all help us relate more deeply with the world. The first four senses (the lower senses) help us to relate to our own body. And the ‘higher senses’ relate us to other human beings.

The sense of smell is the first of the four middle senses and the first sense that takes us outside ourselves; we relate to the environment through this sense. With the sense of smell we come into contact with the external world. When we smell we are brought into close contact with matter through the gaseous or airy medium.

When the sense of smell is matured we are taking in the environment and learning about it without placing our opinions  or our feelings upon it.

Taste Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

The taste sense is a connection between the inner and outer world. Because of this maturing individual relationship to the smorgasbord life has to offer, the nine to eleven year old child can become more open to the world. In relationship to food they may open up to new flavours or even reject flavours they have enjoyed all their life.

Along with the development of the taste buds the child may also become aware of new feeling life experiences. The matured taste sense allows us to have a refined individual experience of how we ‘taste’ the world.

Sight Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

The sight sense is connected to the movement sense; it helps to distinguish between what is being seen and where it is in space. A small child has an inner experience of everything they see. The impression is left within them. The distinction that happens at maturity is the ability to differentiate between the images that are on the outside and those on the inside. The ability to filter external sensory impressions and be able to discern that what we are looking at is outside of us, means we are not inundated by the images.

Through the sight sense our eyes stretch forth their vision like a pair of arms extending and grasping perception.

Warmth Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

The sense of warmth is concentrated in the heart of the human being. With warmth we are participating with what is within the object perceived. When we hold ice we come to know that it is cold through and through not only because of the boundaries of our skin but also because we experience the cold within.

Hearing Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

The hearing sense perceives the sounding element and reveals intimate knowledge of the nature of something. The nine year old starts to experience things more deeply and can take an interest in music, though this is most often connected to what is around them. It is from about fourteen years old we can crave a connection to hear the nature of something else, and we start to relate to particular genres of music or artists that have a similar resonance to our own, or that give a mood-altering resonance. It may be obvious from early in life when a person is ‘musically gifted’. Yet the capacity to hear the other without judgment or pain is part of the process of maturation that can vary greatly depending on how the person was influenced as a young child in their sensitivity to listen.

Word Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

The sense of word is to perceive the being of language as a vehicle formed by the thoughts of another human being. We perceive and make connections to words, differentiated from other sounds. The way we perceive words has a particular relationship to the development and sensitivity of the sight sense and the movement sense. Typically between sixteen and seventeen years old, we notice a greater ability to filter what is intended for ourself, and the relevance of things to ourself. This contributes to being able to recognise archetypes in communication and only connect with what is relevant to us, without being as affected by someone else’s direction or mood.

Thought Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

We understand the meaning behind what someone else is saying by using our thought sense. The thought sense starts to mature in the late teens, early twenties and helps us understand the essence of what we are studying and of those teaching us. When reading, listening or viewing something we use the thought sense to relate to the thought living behind the language. It follows on from what has been perceived through the sense of word. To be able to follow someone else’s thinking, we unite ourselves with the rhythm of the other, perceived through the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. The matured sense of thought allows us to perceive the thought of the other and keep our own thoughts.

‘I’ Sense

The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.

The ‘I’ sense is the sense of perceiving the individuality of another; to truly sense there is another human being present rather than only relating to their persona and conditioning. Despite a person’s race, sex, gender, religion, social status and culture there is an ‘I’ being that is not those things. Sensing the ‘I’ of the other is important for healthy relationships; in fact, we start to develop a sense about a new human being while they are in utero.

We can usually see this sense developing when we start standing up for our individuality in the late teens, early twenties. Whether or not it matures fully, depends significantly on the maturity of all the other senses which together develop the capacity to be in a place within ourselves that does not judge or have a preference, but can truly meet the other. Without effort, it may come and go and be more like a gifted moment of perception. 

Yarrow Liver Compress

Yarrow plant.

A yarrow liver compress is the application of yarrow tea (leaf and young stalk) in a hot, dry cloth, compressed over the liver with a narrow blanket. It is indicated to support liver function especially post antibiotic use, during aggressive medical treatments that are known to strain the liver, some cases of abdominal bloating as well as for depression (which can be linked to poor liver function).

Earache

Onion Ear Compress

Earaches that are caused by a swollen eardrum and fluid are often helped by an onion ear compress. Make a little parcel of diced onion (about 1/4 – 1/2 a large onion). The material used for the compress ‘bag’ could be a thin tubular bandage tying the ends once the onion is inserted, a little cotton bag or piece of fabric tied into a parcel. The compress should be at body temperature. Hold the compress over the ear including behind it. The fluid is encouraged to sweat out of the ear so rest the pained ear towards the pillow and a soft head band of sorts can help keep it in place and catch drips. This can remain in place for a half hour or so, repeated every one to two hours as required to bring relief.

Chamomile Ear Compress

Earaches that are caused by tension and too much noise may be soothed by the application of a little parcel of dry chamomile flowers that has been warmed through and become aromatic. To heat the bag and preserve the delicate oils in the flowers, place the compress bag between two plates and warm the plates over a saucepan of boiling water. When it is comfortably warm temperature place it against the ear and keep it warm with a small extra pad of wool to insulate but let the compress breathe. A little woollen sock or singlet can do the job well. Hold it in place with a headband or beanie and leave it in place as long as it is warm. I tend to suggest at least half an hour, with the possibility of leaving it on overnight. The compress can be re-used until the flowers have lost their aroma.

Schools Sores – Impetigo

School sores on the mend

School sores are a skin lesion caused by a staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria that can naturally occur on the skin and upper respiratory system, but can get out of control especially in the hotter months. Once the sores open they spread easily by contact. They are considered highly contagious and the Department Health states a need for “time out ” (exclusion) from school.

I have treated numerous cases where prior infections of the same bacteria have been treated with antibiotics and then it reoccurs within weeks or months.  The infection requires vigilant treatment and hygiene such as regular hand and nail washing, daily linen changing and avoiding spreading at bath time. Keeping them covered and staying off school is very important. Alongside prescribed anthroposophic remedies to strengthen the immune system, children and adults have been assisted to restore harmony and overcome the disease naturally.