We have maybe all felt the calm in our body and mind after having a nice walk in the nature, so the question to ask is this proven scientifically that nature has a true healing power?
Photo: Gamle Bergen, Renate Skar Skulstad 2012
Did you know that there could be many health advantages from spending time in nature; one of them can be stress reduction that again is beneficial for your everyday health. Many Asian countries such as Japan, Korea and China among others have for many hundred years recognized the health benefits of spending time in the nature or going for walks in the nature. More and more studies conducted on the field support this argument that nature has a true healing power. I will argue for Natures true healing power with the evidence of studies conducted, there are many study’s done so I will only mention a few. After a quick search on the Internet I found this page Newhope that guided me towards two Asian studies on this field of natures healing power.
Example 1. In the study of “Shinrin-Yoku: 2010” there is support for that forest environment has an effect on lowering the concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity compared to city environments. The study had two groups of people one that was exposed to forest walks and one that was exposed for urban walks. There was a significant difference in the levels measured as mentioned above for the ones who was exposed to forest walks compared to the ones who did urban walks. To read more about this study follow this link.
Example 2. Another study investigated that the body’s NK Cells enhances with forest bathing, “NK-Cells are the type of white blood cells that help send self-destructive messages to tumors and virus-infected cells.” Twelve middle-aged Tokyo businessmen where chosen to go for a three-day/two night trip in the forest. And at the end of their trip a blood test proved that their NK Cells had increased by 40%, and even a month later their NK count was still 15% higher than when they started. To compare during city walks levels did not change. To read more about this study follow this link.
Since both of the above studies are conducted in Asia, I will try to build my argument on a European study as well as coming with my own experience as an example.
Example 3. Institute for European Environmental Policy did a literature study reviewing 200 academic studies on the field, arguing for the benefits of nature on mental and physical health issues, this was conducted for the European Commission. And you can read more about it here
Example 4. I can only talk for myself but I went down with a stress-related disease in 2013, and I can confirm that for me it has been very important to spend time in the nature for my healing process, before I was always out running to cope with getting by with everyday stress, now I was forced to turn it down a notch and go for walks and enjoy the nature in a different way, not only with the mission of getting from A to B. This has been very beneficial for my mental health.
Fjord& is here the help you experience nature off the beaten track in a sustainable way and we are sure that our day-tours or multi-day tours in the nature will give you some benefits when it comes to your health, in harmony with the natural healing power of spending time in the nature.
Written by Renate Skar Skulstad