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Traditional medicine and the pharmaceutical industry has been getting a lot of negative press lately. Many families are choosing not to vaccinate their children or give them pharmacy medication when they are sick. Instead, people are turning to essential oils found in nature and other natural remedies to cure their ailments. While it seems like these methods are a blast from the past, research has determined there may be some benefit to spending time in nature.

Outdoors Increases Health

As children, we did not understand the importance of playing outside. We just knew it was where we wanted to be. However, numerous studies have shown that spending time outdoors on a regular basis can increase health. There are actually “11 scientific reasons you should be spending more time outside” according to Lauren F. Friedman and Kevin Loria. Reasons for taking a walk through the forest include increased mental clarity, reduced inflammation, better vision, stress relief and improved concentration.  With so many benefits just from taking a hike, why not give it a try?

Saltwater baths

If you have ever had a cold, one of the natural remedies you may have come across is a saltwater nasal flush. Likewise, people often take baths in Epsom salt as a way to relax the muscles and draw tension from the body. It should come as no surprise then that the ocean is a great big salt water bath with similar healing properties. If you have ever felt the pull to visit the sea, there is a scientific reason for this explored in the article “The power of negative ions-The ocean and bodies of water.” The ocean and other large bodies of water have negative ions which are healing properties for the body. So the next time you start to feel the effects of sinusitis, you may want to head to the beach.

Japanese forest bathing

As discussed previously, the outdoors and nature have natural healing properties for the body. Since walking among trees and swimming in the ocean both have healing properties, why not combine them? That’s what a group of natural healers decided to do in Japan.   Forest bathing has become popular in Japan for people who would like to get away from traditional medicine and allow nature to heal their bodies. The only downside, as a reporter from Al Jazeera lamented, is that insurance companies will not pay for the treatment.

Even if you are not situated close to the ocean, a walk around your local, national park will do you some good. Time spent walking among trees is more beneficial than merely going outside. The next time you feel mentally fatigued and in need of a break, opt out and let nature heal you.  Feel the sunlight on your face, the breeze on your skin, the grass beneath your toes.  Observe the beautiful flowers and the way the light shines through the trees.  Nature is observant dependant.  We are after all extensions of the natural world, and this is why it makes a feel better.  Give it a try! OPTOFF.

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