“What does a physician need to feel comfortable writing a prescription to someone to go spend time in nature?”
For those who have regular contact with nature likely harbour a knowing about the not-so-subtle benefits on their overall sense of well-being. The concept of Nature bathing as a prescription from a medical professional is perhaps a bit far fetched. Or is it?
After speaking to an acquaintance (that happens to produce a kava beverage) who was panicking on the telephone about having to do another production run before the Holiday Season because they were completely out of stock – an unexpected surprise, it struck me just how much of a pressure cooker we live in with no pressure relief valve.
I started my own search for a pressure relief valve several years ago and stumbled upon the concept of Shinrin-Yoku which has changed my life…from concrete walls to a farm.
The term Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) was coined by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 1982, and can be defined as making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest.
A study (one of many on this subject) published in the Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine Journal in January 2010 showed that being in nature had a significant effect on salivary cortisol levels, blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate variability which were used as physiological response indices before and after contact with nature.
The results showed that forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity (fight or flight) than do city environments.
Their results contributed to the development of a research field dedicated to forest medicine, which may be used as a strategy for preventive medicine.
Below is a very powerful and inspiring video about Shinrin-yoku and the significant role it plays in preventative medicine, self-care and over all quality of life.
Is Nature Bathing on Your Vision Board for 2018?
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