What is the Evidence-Based Medical Science That Supports Nature as Medicine?
The data for the health benefits of nature is in no one place! Though this ParkRx succinct summaryhelps, as do summaries for exercising in nature, treating dementia with nature, and rehabbing from PTSD with nature. Proposed mechanisms ranging from behavioral activation, to cortisol, vitamin D and serotonin level change, to phytoncide inhalation and immune system desensitization.
A systematic review of PubMed and other databases show that specific environments (blue or green, garden or meadow, VR or forest) and practices in those environments can be therapeutic for common medical conditions.
Medications for arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, ADHD and asthma are costly, have adverse effects, lower quality of life and often do not improve healthy longevity. Studying and then prescribing specific nature therapies is reasonable, smart and innovative. We need to look beyond the traditional medical office for solutions. The scientific data are beginning to show that nature can provide them–and how it works.
A Video Primer
Excerpt and Examples from my MDVIP 2016 Keynote
Simply Natural Living
Produce from my Certified Organic Backyard Farm
What is the Connection between Culinary Medicine and Nature Therapy?
Just this: Connecting to your food: where it comes from, how it is raised, how it gets and provides nutrition, how your body uses it to prevent and treat disease.
Selected Important Nature Prescription Resource Books!
Claire Cooper Marcus, Naomi Sachs
- Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces 1st Edition
- Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life,
- The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age
- Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do
- Go Wild: Eat Fat, Run Free, Be Social, and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-being
Eva Selhub, Alan Logan
Daniel Winterbottom, Amy Wagenfield
Basic, Free Online Selected Resources
Animal Assisted Therapy
- Animal Assisted Therapy: is it undervalued as an alternative treatment (Medical News Today)
- Animal-Assisted Therapy Linked to Psychological Benefits (Psychiatry Advisor)
- The Blue Mind Rx Wild Waters Can Be Lifelong Medicine for All People (Google Docs)
- It’s time to move to the beach…for your mental health (Washington Post)
- CareFarming UK (Care Farming UK)
- Current Status and Potential for Care Farms (NJAS – Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences)
- What is Culinary Medicine (TEDMED)
- What is Culinary Medicine and What Does It Do? (Population Health Management)
- How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain (NY Times)
- Rx: Exercise Daily in Nature: Doctor’s Orders (Medscape)
Forest Walking/ Shinrin-Yoku
- This is Your Brain on Nature: The Power of Parks (National Geographic)
- The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is scientifically proven to improve your health (Quartz)
Nature Deficit Disorder
- Children and Nature: Academic Reference Library (Children and Nature Network)
- Connecting With Nature Boosts Creativity and Health (National Geographic)
- NDD: Resources for Treatment (Last Child in the Woods)