The Free Remedy
Humans and nature have a symbiotic relationship. Man breathes in oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide. Plants mirror our needs. The nutrients our bodies need is all provided by plants, animals and the sun. Our pineal gland releases melatonin in response to darkness to help us sleep. When we start to examine it, it becomes clear nature is imperative to man's survival and wellbeing. The East has long respected this interconnection.
Tia Chi and Qigong practices arising from one's observation of nature. Hence some of the posture's names hugging the tree, white crane spreads its wings. Current research is now showing the benefits of these practices with increasing flexibility, standing balance, lung capacity and stimulating the relaxation response that in turn helps immune function. In Japan a practice called Shinrin Yoko is practiced. This is what we in the west call forest bathing. It is slowly mindfully walking through the woods. Hearing the bird's songs, smelling the pine trees and observing the tranquil atmosphere. Research on the practice is being done in Japan and other countries. The research measured brain activity, Cortisol (stress hormone) in the saliva and the autonomic nervous system activity. The studies show the bodies response to nature is decreased blood pressure and cortisol levels; it assists us with activating our parasympathetic nervous system that helps immune function. This is why we are now seeing forest walking the West.
Stress related ailments are responsible for 75%-90% of doctors' visits. We are looking for ways to calm our overtaxed nervous systems.
Let's return to our roots and return to nature fully present. Go hikes, walks outside, notice beautiful sunrises (if you're an early riser), sunsets, buy yourself some fresh flowers or bring in some evergreens and look up at the stars and clouds. It will help you reboot and connect to something deeper. Albert Eistein said: Look into nature and then you will understand everything better, "