#22 BeautifulPlanet: Healing Power of Nature

Access the transcript here.

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy”.

– Sylvia Plath

– Photo by Tim Swaan on Unsplash

Everything we consume, everything we utilise, everything we depend on for basic survival is of natural origin. Our food, clothes, fuels etc. are derived from natural sources, provisions that are essential for everyone. However, little value has been given to the importance of the healing properties of nature, whether of medicinal or mental wellbeing importance.

The direct and indirect benefits of immersion into nature and increasing contact with nature is very underrated, largely attributable to how much these “free services/products” have been taken for granted. Many believe that nature-based medicine (although more than half of current medicine are of natural origin) and practices are weak alternatives to conventional medicine, are short-term solutions and are “romanticised” versions of therapy.

This episode aims to challenge the notion that nature is not as powerful as conventional medical practices, through discussing the various benefits nature brings us, backed with case studies and science to prove that the healing power of nature is stronger than we understand it to be.

Episode Structure:

  • Medicinal benefits of nature:
  • Examples of common medicine from nature
  • Ability for natural medicine to cure emerging diseases
  • Exceptional medicinal opportunities within the world’s rainforests, with examples
  • Discussion of the practice of Ayurved (the Hindu system of science and living) and the benefits of Ayurvedic treatment
  • Importance of indigenous peoples in discovering new medicine for diseases such as cancers
  • Mental wellbeing:
  • Direct benefits to mental state
  • Discussion of concern for deprived areas suffering from environmental injustices i.e. poor access to nature, and its affect on mental health
  • Ability of better access to green/blue spaces to reduce crime rates
  • Significance of exposure to nature for early child development
  • Ecotherapy:
  • History of ecotherapy and the “forgotten” discipline of ecopsychology, with an emphasis on this form of therapy being a legitimate practice and many licensed ecotherapists available to guide patients
  • Forms and types of ecotherapy
  • Exploring “forest bathing”, through its history in Japan and where it currently stands, with scientific studies showing the long-term positive effects on immune system function
  • Tips to effectively forest bathe and various examples of areas to forest bathe across the world

*A strong emphasis has been made throughout the episode on the importance of protecting all natural environments, for the protection of patient lives and the health of ecosystems aka Earth*

Resources Mentioned:

Thanks for listening!

Thanks for joining me on Mind Full of Everything! If you enjoyed the episode, hit the subscribe button on your podcast app of choice to stay updated on episode releases, as well as subscribing to the newsletter to ensure you don’t miss anything! Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for extra content and be sure to write reviews on Apple Podcasts. Until the next episode, happy listening!