Forest Bathing On Prescription: Park Over pills
Getting in touch with Mother Nature might just be the right medicine for feelings of stress and anxiety. A walk in the woods or even just in the park is just what the doctor prescribes in Japan.
Japanese scientists have long studied the health benefits of going into nature and developed the practice of Shinrin Yoku, translated as ‘forest bathing’, in the 1980’s. Now the western world is taking notice of how just being in nature heals.
Ecotherapy as prescribed
An interesting article on Ecotherapy was written by NBC News. Lauren Huddle (31) was struggling with stress, anxiety and feelings of depression. The Huddle’s family physician prescribed five times a week a 30-minute walk in a park nearby.
Researchers at the University of Essex found that just a simple walk in the park helped 9 out of 10 patients suffering from depression feel more confident and a sense of a higher self-esteem after a walk through a park.
Focus on the birds, trees and stream
Key elements of ecotherapy are to focus on the sound of chirping birds, the visuals of trees and leaves and the sound of streams during a naturewalk. Lauren Huddle reported seeing the positive effects after just three weeks after her prescription.