Power of the ocean and the lure of the sun

As Australians, we are acutely aware of the exquisite beaches and resplendant ocean that trims the rocky shoreline of our island home. While some of our citizens shy away from the crowded beaches of bronzed bikini clad goddess and pumped up tattooed gym junkies, preferring to find quieter spots, natural swimming holes, local pools or their own backyards, most of us have spent some of our childhoods at the beach.

Our culture of sun, sand, and surf, permeates the history of our country, dominates our summer fashion houses, is reflected in our footwear, in the produce offered in relaxed beach cafe menus and high end seafood restaurants and is iconically linked us to the panel van, sunburn and jelly fish. We are a nation whose citizens are divided about culling the ocean’s predator, the great white shark, while at the same time, happy to eat it’s cousins from the local fish and chip shop.

Australians love the ocean. The ocean holds value healing minerals of sea salts, algae and seaweed are well documented. According to the Daily Mail, the healing qualities of the ocean, detoxify, feed the nervous system, relieve muscular tension, and have effective antiseptic and anti-imflammatory properties.

( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-18851/Discover-healing-power-oceans.html#ixzz3PLuloEC4)

If you can’t wade in the water, try some Epsom salts, either in your bath or as a foot spa. Epsom salts is magnesium sulphate heptahydrate and in the act of soaking your tired feet, the absorption through the skin, assist to heal the liver and to relieve muscular tension.

Australians are southern Aztecs, who worship the sun. We have shunned the pale pearly skin of our convict past, and embraced baking our bodies into various shades of bronze. We have dabbled around the edges of artificial tans, sprayed professionally or streaked on in the comfort of  our lounge rooms.

Our ardour, has awarded us with one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and we have only have just banned the ‘sun bed’.

From January 1, 2015 in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and in the Australian Capital Territory, follow Brazil in banning the bed. “Solariums expose users to extremely highly levels of UV (ultraviolet) radiation, greatly increasing their risk of melanoma and other skin cancers”, commented Cancer Council Australia representative, Paul Grogan.

The hot and humid Northern Territory has no commercial solariums which will come as no surprise, nor will it that Western Australian’s Liberal Government has agreed to implement a ban but has no fixed date to commence. This government is concerned with the economic disadvantage that business owners of solariums will face as their livelihoods are under threat. You think it was a given that promotion of goods and services deemed to promote death, would be treated will swift recourse?

The most regular use of sun beds were by 18 to 39 year olds who in doing so increased their risk of developing melanoma, the most common form of cancer, among young Australians, by an average of 41 percent. Ten years ago, 2.2 percent of adults and 1.2 percent of young people used sun beds on a regular basis.

It is true that vitamin D deficiency increases with age and many of us have low levels due to over application of ‘slip, slop & slap’ and our sedentary office and indoor entertainment existence. Low levels are linked to a range of chronic illness and specific types of cancer.

Now prolonged ‘sitting’ is the new smoking. How long will it take for businesses to promote standing desks and working platforms and workplaces to schedule in regular sun breaks or sun rooms?  It may be quicker than the time it takes for the current West Australian government to rise to the occasion and put ‘humanity’ first?

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