The Healing Power of Nature

When you’ve felt depressed or stressed out, have you ever decided to go for a walk among the trees or visit a beach to watch the waves roll in? How did you feel after you spent time in nature? Experience has shown us that nature is one of the best natural healers we have available to us. Now science is giving us proof of what we’ve already felt to be true.

In this paper from Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D., Dr. Mazer explores the use of nature in providing therapeutic benefits to patients in a hospital environment. She tells us that even Florence Nightingale herself said that patients needed fresh air and natural sunlight to facilitate their recovery and healing. But it’s not only in a hospital setting that nature can be used to heal. In this recent article from Huffington Post, we learn that new scientific research shows exposure to nature increases our overall well-being and may even be able to prevent us from getting sick. Going on a long walk and taking time to experience the awe of nature has shown that it can lower levels of cytokines; according to the article, “chronically high levels of cytokines have been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression and autoimmune conditions.”

Moving Art is fighting to increase awareness of both the mental and physical health benefits of nature. We hope to end Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) and hope you’ll join us by spreading the word about the importance of nature. Together we can encourage everyone to take advantage of our most free and accessible medicine — our natural world.

One thought on “The Healing Power of Nature”

  1. Dear Louie Schwartzberg&movingartteam I am now 64yrs old and disabled by many many spinal diseases and injuries but not excluding even more physical problems. Causing an inordinate amount of chronic pain and chronic nerve disorder, and even more labels I don’t remember because there are so many I need to keep them written down. I say this because I had a genius of a Doctor, that is not to say there aren’t quite a few geniuses who are doctors or like yourself Mr. Schwartzberg who doesn’t happen to be a Dr. I’ve been told since I was a child that since my IQ was 171 I was a genius. If I was why did they beat me so? Now in this late stage of my life I am reaping the negatives of my youth which turn out to be the irreparable damages caused by those beatings plus just the ravages, physically, of aging. I can’t count out what I did to myself by the way I lived my life and how I caused damage to my body that didn’t show itself until just a few short years ago. It has taken me all these words to finally get to the fact that “The Healing Power of Nature” is so true I wish more MD’s could see past their sterile training and myopic thought processes to just see what nature has made available to them to help heal their patients. The orders of bedrest but not thinking ahead to putting that bed near a window is the simple thought I’m having. The more complex thought, is for people to take a very close look at how they are withholding the immense pleasures (mentally and physically) from children today by insisting they all, and by all I mean everywhere, must learn by computer about the world and not go outside and experience it. There is almost a warehouse mentality attendant to teaching children today, by taking them from home by car only to go to an almost windowless fortress with completely artificial air recycled by computers and they are rarely if ever even allowed an outdoor recess. I really believe an entire generation of children are being denied the natural vaccine to depression. Of course you have to exclude from this grandiose statement the percentage of children genetically predisposed to depression and physically caused to think less of themselves therefore causing a level of anxiety and depression even different from the genetical. The problematic thinking I am having is that finally Dr. Mazer and her like minded thinkers are not going to be listened to so as to help a large enough amount of this generation. They are preoccupied by learning by computer and they have so panicked society about the almost imperceivable percentage of children that may be killed enmasse. Society is in their thoughtless reaction to these rarified occurrences thinking up even more ways to protect this specific generation from connection with nature and other humans even, ‘lest they be from their own ‘school.’ I won’t be here to see it, unless I live another 25yrs which I guess is thinkable, but I’m afraid that when it comes time to actually tell these children “Ok you’ve now learned enough to go out and earn a living.” A large percentage will be so ‘computer literate’ but not life ‘literate’ they will be sad, angry, maybe even destructive enough through lack of exposure to natural things like, flowers, trees, the ocean etc. that they will, in large numbers, be prone to malicious use of what they learned by computer. I’m so sorry for going on so long about my theories and observations. In doing so I neglected to tell you what the genius Doctor in my life taught me. He taught me, over 30yrs ago exactly what “The Healing Power of Nature” is. He told me to, on my ‘off’ time to take a walk, go to the beach, run with my dog, plant flowering trees, (you should see what my wife and me have created in our little yard) anything to get out and enjoy the environment. I’m going to end my diatribe on a sour note however, my “genius Doctor” witnessed the first atomic bomb test in the desert of course back then without very much protection of any kind and we lost him to a very quick onset to death type of Leukemia. I am physically disabled but not a whit depressed anymore because of what that Doctor (I always capitalize his title) who made me promise not to mention his name because he wanted to die ‘knowing’ what his legacy was, had taught me to do, very simply, in my THIRTIES! Thank-you for being loud about it. Please keep it up, these little impressionable children need it but their parent(s) need it even MORE! >

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