Everyone knows fresh air is good for you. But did you know that exercising outside or in view of outside is more effective than exercising inside? Or that dementia gardens can improve memory? Or that PTSD and ADHD can improve with nature guidance?
Nature therapy describes the idea of healing our physical and mental illnesses by immersing ourselves in nature. We often find excuses to spend time outdoors due to our hectic schedules, but we can use nature to make ourselves healthier people.
How does nature work? Behavioral activation? Cortisol, vitamin D and serotonin level change?
Phytoncide inhalation? Immune system desensitization? All of the above?
The science of specific environments (blue or green, garden or meadow, VR or forest) is just being revealed. But studying and then prescribing specific nature therapies is reasonable, smart and innovative. Here’s a primer I wrote about Culinary Medicine and Nature: Foods That Work Together: it’s one of the most popular pieces published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.