How Nature Supports Our Wellness
Spring is an amazing time to reconnect with the natural world. Did you know that being in and around nature actually improves our physical, mental, and emotional health?
It's true! If you haven't considered it, maybe it’s time to commit to immersing yourself more regularly and deeply in nature for your health and there are some easy ways to do so.
Bring some nature indoors.
Did you know that adding houseplants to your space can actually make you healthier and happier?
Research shows that having plants indoors supports our health and wellness both physically and emotionally/mentally. They can improve mood, reduce stress levels, enhance memory and cognitive function, and developing research even shows that they improve indoor air quality.
Physically, houseplants have been shown to reduce blood pressure, fatigue, and headaches and other types of pain. Nowadays, thanks to this research, hospitals often put houseplants into patients’ rooms after surgery to help reduce pain and speed up physical healing.
Look out the window at some greenery.
It’s that simple! During the day, when you’re stuck inside, just gazing out a window at nature helps reduce stress, increase focus, and improve eye health. Studies show that not only is gazing at far-distance objects helpful, but also that the color green is particularly soothing for our eyes and brain.
It’s essential for eye and brain health to look at a variety of distances throughout our day, but our modern lives have us gazing at close-range objects almost all day! And the fact that these close-range objects are electronic screens makes for even worse eye/brain health.
Throughout your day, set an alarm for once every hour, and take 2-3 minutes to gaze out the window at trees or even grass. Soften your gaze and let your eyes relax.
Try forest bathing.
Forest Bathing or shinrin-yoku is the Japanese practice of taking walks surrounded by and fully immersed in nature. It does wonders for our nervous system.
The nervous system benefits of being in nature are immense. Even low-impact exercise like a walk or mellow hike releases endorphins that increase happiness and help soothe depression and stress. Physically, immersing ourselves in nature can reduce cancer risk, improve heart health, and so much more.
Schedule some time for Forest Bathing. Be sure to unplug from technology—either leave your phone at home or turn it on airplane mode. Try to find a location that is free from car noise and fumes. Move slowly, observe your surroundings with all your senses, and breath deeply. Forest Bathing is meant to be quiet, slow, and meditative.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nature
Traditional Chinese Medicine and all of its branches, including acupuncture, are deeply related to the natural world. This medicine, after all, was developed in ancient times, before modern technology and industrial lifestyles that divided humans from nature and all its healing properties.
TCM’s goal is to create harmony and balance in the body by enhancing our natural defences. Ready to use natural methods and boost your body’s own defense systems to help get and stay healthy? Call me today to schedule a visit!
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.