This weekend I re-experienced an incredibly potent therapeutic intervention firsthand.  We drove 40 minutes inland to vamp under the stars (that’s between camping and glamping and has nothing to do with vaping!) That was a good start. Breaking from the ‘norm’, looking at different scenery, digital detoxing, these are all important aspects of what helps us to distinguish time off from ‘time-on’… but the real therapy started when we lit a fire.

So we sat, just the 2 of us, in front of our little fire.

Talking for hours, being silent as well.  Warm and cosy against the brisk night air, both totally mesmerized by the flames and glowing embers.

And surprisingly quickly – I could feel all its goodness – letting me down, filling me up, expanding me out. The antidote to our ridiculously busy lives.

And it made me think of all the times my patients need to sit in front of the fire.  When the therapy, the remedy doesn’t come in a bottle or a powder but actually an act of reconnecting, of intentional slowing down, whatever you want to call that. I’ve prescribed some pretty funny and unusual things for my patients over 20 years and a lot of them, I guess, not dissimilar to this powerful charcoal remedy. Daily naps. A completely spontaneous trip away. Podcast Diets (aka health info abstinence periods). Long baths. Cups of tea with friends. Walks with a loved one after dinner. Candle-lit nights for one.

Funnily enough, my patients always desperately want me to write it up as part of my formal prescription, among the tablets and herbs, the diet etc,  and I do.  So it is on the fridge or wherever they choose to display my suggestions for improving their wellness – for their benefit and others 😉 

This can be some of our most powerful medicine.

For the last 24hrs I’ve reflected on just how substantial the therapeutic effect has and can be – all from a few hours in front of a fire and under the stars. Oh and the cost of the best form of charcoal?  The cost of your firewood 🙂 When was the last time you prescribed some charcoal? For your patients and more importantly, for yourself?