Where the website name Earthoria came from…

The first thing you need when setting up a website is actually a name. Ideally, the name should cover the content of the website so that it gives the reader an idea what the website is all about. Thomas and I had the idea of starting a website focusing on a healthy lifestyle in a healthy world….in short about fair trade, healthy products, and healthy activities for the body and the mind.

This doesn’t mean that we never have a drink and always drive on a push bike. It means that the lifestyle that we live is somewhat alternative (off the beaten stressful life most people our age live), and we try to care and consider for people and animals in all our doings and for the earth.

So in inventing a website name we thought about a name including something about fair trade such as tradejustice.com or goodtrade.com but decided that in terms of shifts in the paradigms used globally it will be a bad idea to include the name “fair trade”.

As an example I can give “development”- it used to be a word with many positive connotations -namely a kind of saving the “3. world”. Today it is considered by many as a term covering the industralized countries attempt to colonize (once again) and control the developing countries. So much for picking a popular term – be aware of that.

So instead Thomas and I both searched for names containing the word “earth”, ecology, health, organic etc. Thomas came up with the name econate but when I proposed the name Earthoria he agreed to it. I like the name because it is earth and euphoria combined.

Podcast: Learning to Ride a Motorbike in Thailand

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Tina has been wanting to learn to ride a proper motorbike for a while now, so on a cloudy Saturday morning in Chiang Mai, I gave her some lessons in the road that we live in.

Earlier this year we spent some time trying to find an official driving school in Chiang Mai where we could both learn. In the end, having searched everywhere, we came to the conclusion that not only were there no driving schools geared towards foreigners here, but that there were no driving schools at all. This realisation fitted well with the general level of road chaos in Chiang Mai.

On the BBC website, there is a guide to ‘Driving Etiquette’ in Thailand. It states:

The first rule of driving in Thailand is: Don’t!

The second rule is: Don’t!

The most incredible thing about driving in Thailand is that a people who are so lovely, friendly and forgiving turn into complete monsters when sitting in a car or complete idiots when sitting on a motorbike. Actually driving in Thailand isn’t quite so bad as its reputation would have you believe, but it still is not to be undertaken by the faint of heart.

Tina learning to ride a bike in Chiang Mai

Despite know this, I ended up buying a bike to learn on, the bike in the photo – a Honda Phantom 200cc. I had already been driving mopeds around Chiang Mai for a year. After a quick lesson from a friend, and a few thousand kilometres in the surrounding countryside (including a mountainous trip to Pai) I decided it was worth trying to get my Thai Motorbike license. I drove on my moped to the test centre, and immediately got issued with a car license based on the fact I had a UK car license. Easy!

However, as I didn’t have a motorbike allowance on my license, I was told I would need to do a motorbike test. They sat me in a room and tested my reaction time and eyesight with various archaic-looking contraptions, before taking me to a room full of computers. I had 30 minutes to answer 30 multiple choice questions chosen randomly from 80 questions in the system. To cut a long, frustrating story short, the pass mark is 23 out of 30, and I got 21 the first time and 22 the second time I took the test. I therefore failed.

To compound my misery, I realised that some of the questions I had got correct had been marked as wrong – for example – a picture of a blue circle with ’30’ inside apparently means “You must go a minimum of 30km/hour” in Thailand. When I questioned the examiner on these surprising answers he replied “Haha! Computer in Bangkok wrong….you want to do test again?”

I left the test centre on my moped, promising myself I would never return. I could now legally drive a V8 Toyota Landcruiser out of the test centre, and park it illegally on a junction just like everyone else, but alas, not my 100cc moped.

For more information, check out the Golden Triangle Rider website for excellent maps and tips on some of the possible motorbike trips in Northern Thailand. Take it from us, don’t go on a ‘elephant trek’ in Chiang Mai – hire some bikes and head out into the mountains!

The Shift, movie trailer

A massive worldwide phenomenon is in progress, offering seeds of great hope for the future. The movie “The Shift” portraits this change in the world. Please take 5 minutes to watch the trailer for the movie and you will understand: http://theshiftmovie.com

Millions of individuals, organizations and corporations around the world are waking up and embracing a new outlook with an emphasis on their responsibility to contribute positively to our collective future.

We are in the middle of the biggest social transformation in human history, The SHIFT.

At this critical point, it is imperative we make the masses aware of this global movement quickly. This evolutionary phenomenon is broader and deeper than the most visible SHIFT, the environmental movement. It involves our very understanding of who we are as human beings, and our responsibility to the world and to life itself.

THE SHIFT movie raises awareness to the story of our roles in an evolutionary shift in our collective consciousness.

As it chronicles the faces, the stories and leaders assisting in this social transformation, the film reveals its emergence & meaning.

The movie is interesting because it also deals with the exact same things as Earthoria-namely the shift to having a healthy mind in a healthy body in a healthy world – all of which is connected and without one the others will never be complete 🙂

A day at Huay Tung Thao lake, Chiang Mai

Huay Tung Thao lake, Chiang MaiWe often head out to Huay Tung Thao lake, about 12km outside Chiang Mai, to escape the heat of the city, have a swim and relax in a hammock. The lake is set at the foot of a mountain, and has some beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

There are quite a few simple restaurants set around the lake, with huts on stilts in the water that you can sit in if you prefer some shade.

To get there, you head North along Canal road about 10KM, and take a left. After a further 2kms you will arrive at a ‘toll booth’ where you pay an entry fee of 20 Baht per person.

For those of you into more adventurous activities than swinging in a hammock or swimming, around the other side of the lake is a small painballing (that was not a deliberate spelling error but it seemed appropriate so I left it) range (why anyone would want to go paintballing in the Thai heat utterly escapes me), and some Kayaks for hire. There are also ‘cute’ little pedalo (pedal-powered) boats that look like swans if you like that kind of thing…

Mike, Huay Tung Thao lake, Chiang MaiIt is rumoured that there is some off-road back route up to Doi Suthep from here, but we haven’t explored this rumour further at this time!



Google Map of how to get there


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Colonic Irrigation: detox at the Chiang Mai Ayurvedic Center

I decided to write a small blog on colonic irrigation/ hydrotherapy. For years I have suffered from constipation and have been drinking herb teas, drinking lots of water and eating fiber and I still feel constipated from time to time. So after having been recommended to try colonic irrigation by an acquaintance of mine (who has done it 10 times and was very happy with the result) and reading lots about the topic on the internet I decided to try it out.

Colonic Irrigation

For those of you who are not aware what exactly the term covers – here goes: Colonic irrigation is the process of flushing large amounts of warm water into the intestinal tract, reaching the upper portions of the bowel. Basically you are cleansing the colon by passing several gallons of water through it with the use of special equipment. It is similar to an enema but treats the whole colon, not just the lower bowel. This has the effect of flushing out impacted fecal matter, toxins, mucous, and even parasites that often build up over the passage of time.

As you have probably already guessed the procedure it done by inserting a speculum the size of about 1 centimeter in diameter and 15 cm long in the bum much bigger than I had expected. Now I have often done coffee enemas myself at home in the bathtub but believe me – a coffee enema involves a thin tube whereas the colonic irrigation involves a much bigger instrument inserted in your rectum.

At first I entered the room which was serviced by two Thai women working at The Chiang Mai Ayurvedic Center (http://www.detox-chiangmai.com/). They asked me to go to the bathroom and take off all my clothes and wrap a piece of material around me. After this I was instructed to lie on a bed in the middle of the room on my side. The end of the bed was standing up against the colonic irrigation machine. During colonic irrigation, a speculum is passed into the bowel through the rectum. This is attached to a tube, which leads to the colonic machine that pumps temperature-controlled water into the colon at a controlled rate (they basically asked me when it was uncomfortable for me). It is important that the right amount of water is used, as too much will cause discomfort and too little will be ineffective. The temperature should ideally be body temperature but I think it was a bit warmer than that.

The amount of water in the intestine will wary from person to person. Most people can hold between two and six liters at any one time. The amount you can hold is also determined by your psychological state so to speak. Getting lots of water sprayed into your intestines makes you feel like going to the toilet and you may not like lying on a bed surrounded by strangers feeling like you are going to empty your bowel all over the place . The girls at the clinic told me that many people only like to have a little water sprayed in every time. This means that the process will be repeated many more times.

Filling the intestines with water generates peristaltic movement and you begin to expel the water along with fecal matter back through the tube and into the machine. The fecal matter is flushed out through a viewing tube, so that what is eliminated may be monitored. Quite often, unsuspected parasites are expelled, along with very old fecal material, very dark in color, which may have been in the colon for years.

During the treatment, one girl was holding the speculum in its place in my rectum and monitoring whatever was coming out with comments like "ohhh I think you have eaten mushroom" and "that must be passion fruit seeds" and the other girl was massaging my stomach to help dislodge impacted fecal matter. Unfortunately for me hardly anything came out and the girl who was first holding the speculum seemed to be assuming that the other one massaging me was not doing a proper job- so she took over. They were both giving me what can only be characterized as a hard massage and I didn’t feel comfortable at all to be honest.

After one hour of having water pumped in and water massaged out I was allowed to go and use the washroom. I went to the toilet and washed myself. After that I went back to the bed to have oil injected into the rectum. They told me that the oil would kill any worms etc. But as you can imagine it is not possible to retain oil inside of you- so it all went into the toilet.

Once I had dressed they served me a green drink and another hot drink with was suppose to generate healthy bacteria. I paid 1200 Baht (the equivalent of 38 $) and left.

On websites and at clinics advocating for colonic irrigation it is emphasized that Anyone suffering from gas, bloating, cramping pains, acne and other skin complaints, arthritis, and a list of bowel complaints such as irritable bowel etc., may benefit from colonic irrigation. Removing toxic matter is suppose to relieve you and can lead to the alleviation of symptoms such as arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, candidacies, and a host of other illnesses.

Some allopathic practitioners claim that colonic irrigation flushes out essential electrolytes and friendly bacteria from the bowel and that it can be dangerous. Practitioners counter that this can easily be remedied with the use of probiotics and that in any case, these possible disadvantages are easily offset by the benefits of having large amounts of putrefying matter, harmful organisms, and parasites removed from the system.

Now I had expected to feel immense relief but instead I had pain in my stomach and the pain continued the next day and I was constipated and had no bowel movement at all. But I had already paid for 3 treatments in advance and therefore I wrote to the clinic and asked them for advice. They responded very kindly and told me that I could get the money back that I had paid in advance or try to see if I felt better after another session. I chose the first option. I try as much as possible to listen to my body and due to the fact that my body reacted with pain, I decided not to do it again (for now).

I might try colonic irrigation later in life but momentarily I think I will stick to self-administered coffee enemas and raw food which so far has kept me happy.

Video: Spending a day on the beach in Denmark

Today was an amazing day in Copenhagen. The sky and sea were blue, the people smiling and the weather hot…32 degrees! I spent the day on the beach with my wonderful sister Gitte and thousands of other Danish people who had gotten the same idea.

This video was filmed on Amager strand (Amager beach) in Copenhagen and it shows you Sweden in the background and lovely Danish beach life.

Enjoy…we did 🙂