Whispers from the Well -Summer 2013

Blessings of Light as we Welcome the 

Summer Solstice…
     
 

The summer solstice occurs twice each year, at which time the earth tilts on its axis towards the sun and the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole. The Sun is directly overhead at its most northern point at “high-noon” on the summer solstice, creating more sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere on this day then any other.
Solstice is derived from Latin Sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), as it appears to do at this time. The summer solstice occurs during a hemisphere’s summer. This is northern solstice in the northern hemisphere and the southern solstice in the southern hemisphere. At the summer solstice, the days are longest and the nights are shortest, with day-length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice. The date of the beginning of summer varies according to climate, culture, and tradition, but when it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa.
Though the summer solstice is an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like midsummer to refer to the day on which it occurs. The summer solstice occurs on the day that has the longest period of daylight, except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice. Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied among cultures, but most have recognition of sign of the fertility, involving holidays, festivals, and rituals around that time.
In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer. People take advantage of the warmer temperatures by spending more time outdoors during the summer. Activities such as traveling to the beach and picnics occur during summer months. Water sports including water skiing, wake boarding, swimming, surfing, and tubing are popular in the warm summer sun too.

Everyone loves summer!
 Filled with trips to the beach, sunny skies, and lazy days, summer is the time of year when the weather gets its warmest. As the temperatures rise, the water levels in ponds, lakes, and rivers drop. Nature’s efforts in the spring to fully bloom prove fruitful as the green leaves of various trees shake and rattle in the cool summer breezes and flowers grace our gardens.

The Brilliance of the Summer Sun

Nothing is more important to us on this Earth than the Sun. The existence of nearly all life on Earth is fueled by light from the sun. Without the Sun’s heat and light, the Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock. The Sun warms our seas, stirs our atmosphere, generates our weather patterns, and gives energy to the growing green plants that provide the food and oxygen for life on Earth.

solar radiation

The Sun is the main source of energy for earth. It gives us heat and light and helps us to remove darkness and bring light all around the world. The Sun rises in the east and sets in the west. In olden days people use to worship Sun as God because it was the only visible powerful thing. In the early morning, birds welcome the Sun with a lovely and chirping song and this gives an indication to the mankind about the arrival of the new day. In the early morning, the sunrays help us by providing Vitamin D which is essential for our skin. Some people are seen basking in the sunshine to get useful Vitamin D and get tanned as well. Most of us are aware that overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is potentially dangerous, and that a gradual tanning routine, as the summer season progresses, is the only commonsense approach to sunbathing.
Sunlight is the major source of vitamin D-producing Ultraviolet-B radiation, which has a wide range of positive health effects, including possibly inhibiting the growth of some cancers. On the other hand, long-term sunlight exposure is known to be associated with the development of skin cancer, skin aging, immune suppression and eye diseases such as cataracts. Sun exposure has also been associated with the timing of melatonin synthesis and reduced risk of seasonal affective disorder. A number of public health organizations state that there needs to be a balance between the risks of having too much and the risks of having too little sunlight. There is a general consensus that sunburn should always be avoided.
The healing benefits of sunlight are well known. Most of us know that the sun produces vitamin D can be made in your body after careful exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It’s less well known, however, that you can augment your body’s natural sun protection systems if you increase your consumption of C and B vitamins, all of which are depleted when your body is regularly exposed to solar rays. Summer’s delicious harvests of fresh fruits and vegetables provide us with excellent sources of vitamins.
There is some evidence that bright light exposure reduces seasonal affective disorder and it is a standard treatment for certain circadian rhythm sleep disorders. There is a research on the possibility of sun exposure reducing hypertension and the incidence of cardiac disease.
It is important to get adequate natural sunlight exposure for optimum health, but be wise and use natural, chemical-free sunscreens to protect your skin.

Our Locally-made Sunscreens & Lip Protection from  BurnOut Suncare…

BurnOut Zinc Oxide Sunscreens are chemical-free — petroleum-free — paraben-free — phthalate-free —  paba-free — gluten-free — non-comedogenic — hypoallergenic — fragrance-free. BurnOut is a mineral sunscreen that is effective immediately upon application and is perfect for sensitive skin.
 Physical sunscreen means that the sunscreen is a mineral sunscreen (like zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide), as opposed to a chemical sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens, like the zinc oxide in BurnOut, work by reflecting the UVA and UVB rays, as opposed to a chemical sunscreen, which is a chemical UV absorber. 
The value of sun protection during summertime is clear. Everyone needs sunscreen, and it is wise to use sunscreens every day. For adults, incidental exposure from simple things like driving your car or gardening account for a majority percentage of daily sun exposure.
Even on cloudy days the majority of the sun’s rays penetrate light clouds, mist and fog. The cloudiest day in winter can still have up to 80% of the UV light as the hottest day in summer. Why is it so important for kids to wear sunscreen? On average, children get three times more sun exposure than adults. And for most of us, about 80% of our lifetime exposure occurs before the age of 18. Using high SPF 15+ products during the first 18 years of life can dramatically lower the risk of certain types of skin cancer.

Well Within Spotlight

Our Japanese Gardener & Designer,  Toru Kawamura is the creator of our beautiful serene Japanese gardens with koi pond and waterfall at Well Within Spa. He remembers when the ground was being broken and the first large stone put in place, for what is now the naturally peaceful and delightfully balanced Zen Garden that we all enjoy. Toru appreciates being in nature for inspiration and the physical challenge of manifesting his creative spirit in the vast details of our gardens. His father was a stone mason in Japan and you see that influence in our equisite stone work at Well Within. It took many months to complete his design and he still carefully tends to the living things he created semi-annually. Toru works in the greater Bay area, designing, landscaping and maintaining gardens in his artful yet traditional way. We are grateful he does!