As most people know, I worked in the health research industry for 17 years examining pathogenesis (the origins of disease), studying treatment protocols for new products, cellular mechanisms of action, analyising treatment effectiveness, and any adverse reactions to such treatment in all sorts of therapeutic areas such as cancer, rare diseases, cardiology, mental health.
However due to personal experiences, I began to become more and more fascinated with ‘salutogenesis’ or the origins of good health. I became engrossed in research on compassion based meditation and the changes that this practice had upon the telomere length of our chromosomes (an indicator of cellular health and overall life-expectancy). I immersed myself in science journal articles examining how frequency impacted DNA replication processes due to changes in mitochondrial DNA, leading to inflammation and pseudo-differentiated cells when this process wasn’t working as it should. And later during my psychology degree, I was so intrigued with how auditory inputs from the sounds of nature seemed to be a key influence in reducing our heart rate/breathing rate/overall allostatic load. Later reading of key neural networks between the auditory cortex and our hypothalamus, influencing the overall response of our nervous system. I encountered rapid eye movement therapy to help process difficult relationship experiences, the eye movements encouraging circulation of the cerebral spinal fluid within the brain. I then examined how the fractal complexity of the natural world, especially in woodland environments, seemed to illicit similar effects allowing improved processing of emotions.
And of course, the phenomenon of entrainment, where our physiological processes, brain wave and neural network patterns begin to synchronise with others we spend time with, especially helpful when we’re with a group of inspiring, uplifting, positive and kind individuals. And therein lies more of my motivation for organising retreats and The Summit, where we can enjoy all of these inputs that underpin the origins of good health. As they say in France, ‘to your good health’ or ‘Salut!’
Book at www.heathergwenbird.com/thesummit or contact me for further info.