The nakedness of the body has made man take care of and feed the sheep, because with the annual wool production he is replenishing the stocks that lack in nature.

(St. Gregory of Nyssa, 379 A.D, About the structure of Man)

Saint Gregory simply describes the human and timeless need of replenishing the nakedness of man with woolen garments. Man wore woolen garments in all seasons of the year, even in the summer months. Even today, in many parts of Greece, we come across older people, wearing mainly woolen vests, thus retaining this ancient habit. A habit that is starting to be abandoned, especially since the middle of the last century, and after that, when youthful movements supported the general liberation of man from every past trend and attracted new fashion and nudism as a modern attitude to life.

The generations that followed discarded the habit of woolen garments as outdated and 'old-fashioned', and adopted the cotton and synthetic garments imposed by the new trend as supposedly healthy and fashionable. Thus, the Modern Greek, who had for centuries programmed his genetic material (DNA) to protect the first layers of his body with a base layer of a woolen garment, basically found himself naked against the new challenges and dangers of cotton and synthetic garments. So, this universal human experiment, which is still in progress today, confronts us with facts and illnesses which we cannot ignore.

It cannot be denied that the problems and illnesses that sixty and seventy year olds presented during the past decades (such as strokes, advanced degenerative arthritis, cancers) now, two to three decades later their children present these conditions, in other words today’s fifty and even forty year olds On the other hand, however, the beginning of these conditions began to appear in the children of the seventy year olds children, in other words, today’s thirty or twenty year olds, many of whom will certainly find themselves in an orthopaedic or doctors surgery or even in a surgical bed for problems such as herniated discs, hernias of the abdominal wall, without in many cases having done a day’s work, become physically tired from manual labour or ever having taken part in sport. The most tragic thing is that children aged 10-15 years visiting doctor’s surgeries and physiotherapy centres for conditions such as back pain, neck pain etc living with them from the early years of their lives, many of them with inhalers of various types, or insulin users.

Something somewhere is not quite right

The practitioner Irini Iatridou, as a beacon of experience in the treatment of man as a whole, describing the state of the Thermo-Regulatory Mechanism disorder, said “look at people most are frozen, like they are dead”. And literally and metaphorically, we are frozen, like moving psychosomatic refrigerators. The chilling of a person is a term you meet in the theory of the Asia Minor Trapezounta Therapy, but also in our everyday conversation when we want to describe someone's exposure to the cold. It is the condition that leads to the blockage and destruction of the microcirculation of the capillaries that carry 80% of the arterial blood and transport oxygen to the cells, but also to the lymph and venous networks, leading to body fluid imbalance disorders, the so-called Eucharist according to Hippocrates. The result of that is the gradual disruption of the Temperature maintenance system (MTS) and the drop in temperature of the tissue or organ that leads to the appearance of the disease to the progressive stage of its necrosis.

To those who cease to live by extinguishing the heat that exists in nature, whatever dies then goes cold, so we attribute the cause of life also to heat, because when this disappears, necrosis follows.
(Saint Gregory of Nyssa, 379 AD., About the structure of man)

Today we can say that it was not just a simple habit, but a conscious choice in trying to protect the body from the weather conditions of each season, because according to Hippocrates “the change in weather conditions are the main cause of disease”.

Wool is possibly the only material that can maintain our internal body temperature, because even though it keeps us warm in the winter, it is cool and pleasant in the summer. The pores of its rich texture harmonize with the pores of the skin so that they do not prevent or at the same time facilitate their excretory and detoxifying potential during perspiration. It has the capacity to hold moisture so that the skin can breathe at all times. For exactly that reason we do not feel sweaty when wearing woolen vests, and we can keep working for hours uninterruptedly without running the risk of catching a cold or chill or feeling discomfort during the summer months.

From a hygienic point of view, sweat removal prevents body odour and particularly in the underarm area. The fact that it has a thick texture and absorbs a large amount of moisture does not make it difficult to dry, but just the opposite as it drives the moisture out. The flesh-like contact of the wool with the skin maintains but also enhances the transdermal circulation of the capillary vessels and prevents them from blocking from exposure to cold. Whilst maintaining body temperature, it strengthens lymphatic circulation, as its immune activity is mainly suppressed by exposure to cold.

According to Professor Larissa Tsernisova of Moscow University, who specialised in Bioresonance research, the use of woolen garments contributes to the preservation of electromagnetic energy in man. Especially today as modern man is permanently exposed to all kinds of radiation (mobile telephones, computers, etc.) that absorb a significant part of his energy by altering the electromagnetic frequencies of his cells, thus contributing to the occurrence of unknown causes of disease. While Professor Goranova Zoia of Sofia University, who works in Chinese traditional medicine, reports that woolen garments increase body temperature and prevent the entry of pathogenic micro-organisms into the body.

From our practical experience in the field of manual therapy the woolen vest is not only an ally for the restoration of any illness but also a prerequisite for maintaining the effects of our therapeutic intervention. Its dynamics are such that in many cases with regular use, it can reduce pain levels of up to 20% in both acute and chronic diseases.

Over the years we've seen patients admit that old experienced doctors urged them to wear a woolen vest to treat conditions such as back pain and pneumonia. A prime example of this is of a well-known paediatrician in Agia Sophia’s Children’s hospital where a mother's query about why her son kept having continuous lung infections, she said: “Madam, put a woolen vest on your child and walk out of here”. And indeed, the vast majority of children who received treatment and wore woolen vests at our request or their parents, have overcome chronic respiratory conditions, improved their health condition to a point that when their school friends were affected by infectious diseases, and even those that were ill, had much milder symptoms and a shorter recovery time.

A recent research at Harvard showed that the number one cause of uterine cancer is the exposure of the lower abdominal region imposed by the latest trend of fashion to wear low rise jeans and short T-shirts. Never in world history did women expose their abdomen to the cold, since the symbol of fertility was particularly protected by women wearing woolen vests. Gynaecologists now encourage women to change their swimsuit immediately after swimming because the swimsuit fabric in combination with the dampness which they hold can lead to various gynaecological conditions from vaginitis to menstrual disorders and infertility.

Apart from a few people who are allergic to wool, the itchy sensation that some patients may feel when first worn lasts for at least a few hours or until the first time the woolen vest is washed and should not be a reason not to wear it. In addition, there is a large variety of different designs and colours of woolen vests available to suit all tastes, especially for women.

There are different types of vests available according to the patient's tolerance associated with their state of health. There are 3 types of woolen vest:

  • Half-wool (50% wool, 50% cotton) which is worn when the patient is still “frozen” according to Asia Minor Trapezounta therapy and cannot tolerate anything on his body.
  • Finely woven woolen vest (100%) which is worn in the early stages of thawing a patient.
  • Densely woven woolen vest (“grandfather’s type”) which is worn when the homeostasis mechanism has been restored.

Long term use of the woolen vest balances the body's thermoregulatory mechanism, resulting in the use of an increasingly dense woolen vest.

Cotton vests - The myth busters

Most of us, from young children, are accustomed to wearing a cotton or synthetic t-shirt next to our skin, which although it is claimed by various health care providers to be healthy and body- friendly, in reality it is actually the opposite. The cotton vest in contrast to wool, acts as a sponge which absorbs and holds the body sweat. Leading from a point to the closing of the skins pores, making the elimination of toxic substances difficult. These toxins remain both on the surface of the skin and inside the body. They contribute to the swelling of the underlying organ fluid, e.g. Lungs, kidneys, facilitating the disease in combination mainly from draughts that cool the area. The feeling of wearing a perspiration - soaked vest makes us immobile in every job, requiring it to be changed immediately.

From a hygienic point of view, the non-excretion of toxins contributes to body odour and skin diseases such as fungal infections and eczema.

From a physiological point of view, by enhancing the “freezing” of the patient, it helps to block the microcirculation of the capillary and the lymphatic vessels by reducing tissue oxygenation, displaying inflammation and a weakening of the immune system.

Conclusively, the woolen vest is not only more evidence of the wisdom of our ancestors in terms of well-being, but also an ongoing challenge of awakening of our fellow humans in the effort to acquire and maintain good health.

Sotiris Antonopoulos
Osteopath/ Physiotherapist





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