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Feeling Down? Go Hug a Tree

January 17, 2016

 

People sometimes make fun of tree huggers and nature lovers, but science is now giving us the last laugh. Being in nature can boost our health in a number of ways.

 

Research shows that hugging trees can have an effect on the brain. Matthew Silverstone’s book Blinded by Science refers to countless studies that indicate that touching and being near trees has a positive impact on ADHD, depression, reaction levels, behavioral issues, and concentration.

 

While some researchers have come to the conclusion that getting fresh air and exercise are what causes this, Silverstone takes it a big step further. He believes, and cites numerous studies to back his idea up, that the vibrational properties of living plants and trees are the primary reason for their health benefits.

 

Other researchers came to the conclusion that viewing nature is what does the trick. According to Scientific American, multiple reports show that looking at greenery calms stress, which might be the reason for the positive impact that trees have on health.

 

Hugging anything is also scientifically proven to be beneficial for your health. It causes a number of different “feel good” chemicals like serotonin and dopamine to release into the bloodstream.

 

Being around trees is good for your immune system. According to womenshealth.com, Japanese researchers did a big study on what they call “forest bathing,” which is a common health practice there. They found that when women spend time in nature for a few hours, there is a spike in their natural killer cells by 37%.

 

Natural killer cells are critical to the immune system and protect the body from infections and cancer. It is believed that this is due to trees emitting certain essential wood oils called phytoncides.

 

Barbara Buck is a Foundational Reconnective Healing Practitioner, writer, and teacher. For more information about her, please visit her website at www.theomancollective.com. Check her out on the Happy Empaths Twitter feed @the_empath.

 

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