- Posted by Majella Farrell
- On October 28, 2019
- 0 Comments
- ageing skin, Alkalise, Anxiety, Banbridge, detox, Detoxification, detoxify, Halloween, healing, health, Holidays, homeopathy, Hot flushes, Inflammation, Live Well Clinic, Majella Farrell, Northern Ireland, nutritionist, pain, PRM, Reflexology, samhain, saunas, sweat houses, Winter
Samhain is one of the original festivals behind the holiday we know as Halloween.
Samhain is pronounced “sah-win” or “sow-in.”
It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals along with Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh.
Rituals surrounding Samhain include bonfires, healing, dancing, thanksgiving, and honouring of the dead. It is celebrated from sunset on October 31 to sunset on November 1, almost halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice
It was believed that faeries, witches, and demons roamed the earth on Samhain, food and drink were customarily set out to placate them. In recent history, people began dressing up as these creatures and claiming the goodies for themselves, sometimes performing antics or tricks in exchange for food and drink. This practice evolved into trick-or-treating.
Some of Halloween’s most common traditions are rooted in Samhain’s harvest festival roots, such as the carving of pumpkins and bobbing for apples.
Traditionally it is a time of year for us to honour our loved ones who have passed from this life. As death is understood to be rebirth so in this transition the old year is honoured and the new greeted with hope for new beginnings, it is celebrated in the Christian tradition as All Souls day and All Saints.
One of the ancient ways of Ireland was to use sweat houses especially at this time of year. We usually associate these with the American Indian Culture, but we can find historic sweat houses around many sites in Ireland.
These sweat houses are often tucked away in fields in overgrown areas and look like small tombs. They are usually situated away from dwellings and near a stream. A fire was built in the house put out and ashes raked, then plants or rushes strewn on the floor to give moisture. The person /people entered, and a stone blocked the entrance but a small hole for smoke escape was built in.
The people would stay in and sweat profusely and it was believed that this could induce a mind altering experience which was revered by the community and as it was at this time of year it is believed the spirit world and this world communicated as the veil that separates was drawn back many hurts could be healed. It was and is still believed in places that the loved ones who passed may still have had pain and hurt and they could leave this behind, hence the talk of haunting or bad feelings in a place or as we know it today inherited trauma (you learn what you live). This sweating was a healing way for these hurts.
On leaving the sweat house the person would plunge into the stream nearby.
This method was also used throughout the year to help many ailments and was followed by intentional rest.
Due to the famine and the loss of written history for various historical reasons there is little written evidence around sweat houses. However, they can still be found scattered throughout Ireland.
Our modern equivalent are saunas-who knew our ancestors had the wisdom of cleansing and detoxing and revered it for personal and spiritual healing journeys!
Join in the tradition of cleansing, detoxing and renewing by using what is called the ‘poor mans sauna’ right in your own home.
• Two cups of Epsom salts dissolved in warm bath water.
• Make your own special detox bath blend by adding six drops of the essential oils of your choice.
• Just fill your bath with hot water – ideally water that’s warm enough to make you sweat a little, which releases more toxins. Add your Epsom salt detox bath and swish the water around with your hand until the salts dissolve. You can add a cup of baking soda, to remove any additional toxins from the water
• Once you’ve prepared your bath, soak in it with the water up to your chin for about twenty minutes. This is long enough to release toxins but not dry your skin. Best not to use any soap or shampoo in the bath. When you get out of the water, apply a moisturizer all over your body and drink a full glass of water to re-hydrate.
• Warp up in your bathrobe and relax.
Make this a weekly ritual and reap lots of health benefits.
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Majella Farrell RMN, MBRCP. is a mother of four and grandmother of three. She is involved in the care of the parents.
An experienced tutor of therapies and healthcare science.
She practices Natural Health Care at Live Well Clinic. With over 40 years of experience in healthcare first as a nurse and then as a Natural Health Care Consultant.