Why Nature Therapy?
A Personal Story
Ten years ago, I had brain surgery to remove a tumour. After the operation, I lay in my hospital bed unable to move or speak.
Then I noticed that when I looked out of the hospital window at a tree outside, I felt a surge of energy. From zero to something; I felt better. I was intrigued and for as much time as I was able, I experimented with looking at the tree and then averting my gaze. The results were the same, when looking at the tree I experienced a soothing of the pain.
The seeds were sown…. the realisation that nature is healing for the body / mind. If looking at a single tree from inside a hospital ward could make an impact, how much greater benefit would we experience by being surrounded by nature, by being immersed in it?
Most of us are overworked, overstimulated and overloaded. I am offering the opportunity to take the therapy session into the beautiful Ashdown Forest, an area of outstanding beauty that I know well. The soothing, calming, rebalancing effects of nature will significantly enhance your reorientation towards wellness.
Full details about this process will be discussed in our initial sessions in the counselling room.
Scientific Research Into the Benefits of Nature for Mental Health
Research studies point to the replenishing effects of nature for those with depression. Ethan Kross PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan is one of many experts who has studied the nature-depression link. The findings were as follows:
- Adults with depression who took a 50-minute walk in a natural setting for one research session and then a 50-minute walk in an urban setting for another research session were less depressed and had better memory skills after they took the nature walk.
- Adults who moved to greener urban areas, compared to less green, had better mental health during follow-up three years after the move.
- Those who took group nature walks reported less depression, less stress, and a better sense of well-being than those who didn’t take nature walks, according to a study that looked at more than 1,500 people in a walking program.
- Being outdoors and in nature boosts vitality, which experts define as having physical and mental energy. Those with depression often report fatigue and decreased energy. Researchers found the energy-boosting effect of nature was independent of the physical activity or social interaction experienced while outdoors.
To read more about the study, click here