I've grown up with this tree in my parents garden, it is a real part of the family, so giving it a face and a character, all be it for fun, seemed only right! Little did I realise how this is not so far from reality....Trees are living things and although they cannot speak in words, their super powers are now scientifically proven...
Whilst walking through the woods recently, I noticed how my mood lifted almost instantly. I instinctively took a deep breath, a smile appeared on my face and forwards I went. Having always been an outdoor girl, feeling best when surrounded by nature and all the sights, sounds and smells it brings, I assumed it was personal preference and like many people never realised the amount of scientific evidence proving the healing effects nature provides. Having heard that just 10 minutes in natural surroundings could reduce stress levels I decided to find out why and how specifically and as it turns out...
TREES ARE AMAZING HEALERS!!
Apart from the fact that compounds for more than half of the most commonly prescribed drugs come from trees, just being around them and even LOOKING at them is a powerful medicine in itself.
As with all living things trees have an energy frequency, the vibrations of which are slow and steady. We connect with these, relaxing our brain waves and our biological system. The mind rests allowing it to function effectively. Just looking at trees and natural green spaces improves well being.
The Mount Sinai hospital in New York has been totally redesigned so that all recovery wards have a view of Central Park as studies showed patients recovered quicker with a 'green view' They discovered that just looking at a forest view (even on paper) for 20 minutes lowered the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol by 13%..
An even more interesting fact however is that in 2009, Qing Li from the Tokyo Medical School ran an experiment where he tested peoples blood and urine samples whilst 'forest bathing' (shinrinyoku; a Japanese therapy). The results proved that the level of NATURAL KILLER CELLS was significantly higher in people on forest bathing days. These white blood cells release anti cancer protein to attack tumours and cells infected by viruses. The levels stayed elevated for 30 days afterwards aswell! So a walk in the woods once a month helps maintain a higher level of killer cells. Easily achievable. Along with this, the levels of adrenaline in the urine were reduced greatly, proving forests lower stress.
The preventative medicinal powers therefore are also great.
Doctors in the UK too are beginning to recognise the advantages and in Doncaster and Camden (North London) amongst other places, Doctors have been sending patients with anxiety, depression and stress to 'Green Gyms' where they get involved in conservation projects.
The benefits are vast!
Increased Killer Cell Activity
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Improved Concentration (ADHD sufferers benefit hugely)
It's easy to become cut off from nature as our cities become more and more built up, people lead busier lives, technology keeps improving...It is essential however that we reconnect with nature as often as we can. As living beings it is apparent we need this for well being and good health.
Even in monetary value this has impact, improving peoples working ability, reducing health care costs etc.
So whats not to like? No special diet needed, no pills to be popped, just a good old walk in the woods...Spread the word !