While it was difficult to prove the benefits of nature 100 years ago, today the intervention is supported by compelling evidence. A psychologist at Western Michigan University, Roger S. Ulrich, spearheaded some of the earliest studies. He found that students who viewed nature photos after being exposed to a stressful and demanding task reported increased feelings of affection, playfulness, friendliness, and elation. The group that viewed urban scenes reported feeling sadness.
Some of the most ambitious studies of our reactions to nature come out of Japan. The Japanese Society of Forest Medicine’s Shinrin yoku plan, an effort to promote health through “forest bathing” (short visits to forests), has been fertile ground for scientific inquiry. Yoshifumi Miyazaki of Chiba University found lower cortisol levels in those who took forest walks when compared with those who walked the same distance in a lab. Qing Li and his colleagues from Nippon Medical School found that visits to the forest (compared with urban trips) can have a long-lasting influence on immune system markers, increasing the activity of antiviral cells and intracellular anti-cancer proteins—and these changes remained significant for a full week after the visit.
Even the scent of nature may be beneficial: Chemicals secreted by trees, known as phytoncides, have been linked with improved immune defense as well as a reduction in anxiety and increase in pain threshold." -
This shouldn’t replace other types of therapy, but getting outdoors can do a world of good. Also, this underlines the importance of maintaining quality green spaces in urban areas.
Summer days lay ahead. Soon, very soon. #ScoutForth folks! Brilliant photo by our friend @justinmichau
Citric Journal for July 17th
This never works does it?