Updated: Nov 17, 2020
All of us know from intuition that spending time in nature is of benefit to our health. But only in the last years has science revealed how strong our healing bond with nature really is.
10 trees more around your apartment and living area equals a rejuvenation cure of 7 years!
Trees communicate through biochemical substances with each other.
Terpenes are bio-active substances in the air of the forest and its plants. This natural air bath has immense positive effects on your immune system. Psychologically we connect through our neurological structures with nature influencing our organ functions. We are part of nature. A new interactive and modern perspective versus a mechanical view in current medicine. The healing code of nature - the earth medicine - reveals an integrated part of modern medicine and towards life. Interwoven are our souls and energies and we affect each other - all living organisms. Look for activating your subtle senses, think less. When you think, think with clarity and consequently. Remember yourself, we are all creatures of nature. Eco-psycho-somatics is thinking beyond the surface of your skin. It is the connection of immaterial soul, material body and the living environment. Being near the process of life and growth - the wish to be close to life, the living organisms like plants and animals; may it be in a garden, park or seeing a grass growing through the asphalt - is innate to our species as human beings living with the earth and its beings. The driving force of nature is the desire to live.
Biophilia is the term for people’s love for nature. Love for life. For Erich Fromm Biophilia is the essence of humanitarian ethics, which is the central theme of every one of his books. He believes that a productive, creative, caring attitude toward life is crucial to our notion of the mental health of ourselves and mankind. If a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way there are calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits to be achieved. Opening our senses to nature also develops our intuition. We learn to contact in new ways the world around us.
Did you know that spending time in a forest activates the vagus nerve, which is responsible for inducing calm and regeneration?
Or that spending just one single day in a wooded area increases the number of natural killer cells in the blood by almost 40 percent on average?
We are deeply interwoven with the web of life and integrated into a functional circle with our natural habitats. When we enter a forest, we breathe beneficial substances from trees, that are biologically active in our organism. For example many terpenes in the forest air increase production of natural killer cells (NK cells) in our spinal cord, that are then released into our blood stream. Those important immune cells are responsible for the elimination of harmful viruses and bacteria from our organism. They also destroy dangerous cells that may become cancerous, as well as destroy any existing tumor cells.
The visual stimulation of a grassland with solitary trees activates the vagus nerve that is responsible for creating calm feelings and helping in regeneration.
Being in nature also increases the production of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) in our adrenal cortex. This substance naturally protects us from coronary heart disease and heart attacks. In addition, the experience of being in the wilderness has been proven to have an anti-depressive influence on us. These are just a few examples of how nature can drastically improve our health. Time spent in nature is a way to balance our organism and its functions on a cellular level as well as on the mental level.
Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest.
Researchers primarily in Japan and South Korea have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest.
The scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include
Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body's Natural Killer (NK) cells
Reduced blood pressure
Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
Increased energy level
Deeper and clearer intuition
Increased flow of energy
Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
Increased flow of eros/life force
Deepening of friendships
Overall increase in sense of happiness
Why Does It Matter? Connection, consciousness, big perspective, purpose, awe, and reverence are part of being human and are essential for having a sense of fulfillment in human being.
When we pause the habit of doing, we create the space to notice what truly nourishes us and what we really care about. We know these things because we feel more at ease, more truly ourselves. We can remember the aspects of living that truly matter. We can remember to tend to our hearts, as well as our minds.
Connection: We are made of the very elements of nature itself - earth, air, fire and water. We sense that we are part of a web of life. We shift into consciousness of relational being, finding ourselves talking with nature rather than about nature.
Consciousness: We realise that we have the capacity to engage and interact through the senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell, as well as other ways of receiving information and energy. Then, we begin to wake-up to the real miracle – of being aware of the awareness of sensing, feeling, thinking … and simply being.
Big Perspective: We gain a much larger view of the world – one that is beyond our immediate circumstances and known territory. When we see beyond our personal sphere, compassion arises for all beings as we realise we are all sharing the experience of life and living.
Meaning: We recognise that, in this larger view, everything and everyone has a purpose and a role to play, including our own unique self. We begin to realise that every thing and everybody matters.
Sense of Beauty and Awe: We connect with our ability to be astounded, surprised and humbled by something we did not expect or create. Coming face-to-face with mystery, we experience the expansion and transformation of what we thought possible.
Reverence: We recognise and appreciate the mystery of not-knowing, that there is something at play in the world around us that is far beyond our capacities. In this sacred space, we feel humbled and, perhaps, even a sense of comfort and relief.
Aspects of your deeper, wilder selves. Here, where the inner and outer worlds meet, we discover within: the silence and simplicity of deserts - the mystery of forests - the flow of oceans and rivers - the inspiration of mountains - the regenerative spirit of grasslands. Once awakened, these 'soulscapes' form a pathway of personal transformation aligned with the healing of the wild Earth.
Go to a Forest.
Breathe. Open all your senses.