Forest Therapy – Hug Your Tree!
There is nothing more beautiful or romantic than going for a walk in the forest in the colourful autumn season, when leaves are falling and the winds are whispering. Our eyes feast on captivating landscapes, and our souls enjoy in peace and quiet. You may have thought that trees have healing powers, but you did not really know that they actually do.
Forest Therapy—Therapy of Trees
An ancient form of treatment practiced in folk medicine which uses trees to heal illnesses is called forest therapy. There is a substantial amount of data in old books about trees with healing properties, and modern science began to acknowledge the benefits of such medical folk wisdom that we thought was just a myth. Now we know that Japanese scientists have proved that the practice of “forest bathing” has the power to counter illnesses. They have found that we breathe in essential oils from trees, evaporating compounds called phytoncides, which lead to an increase in activity and in a type of white blood cell called NK cells, or natural killer cells—cells that protect humans from tumour formations and lower stress levels. They say that oak, birch and pine trees, but also acacia, field maple and plum trees heal best.
Going Back to Nature
As the old Latin saying goes, the physician treats, nature cures. The times we live in, sadly, have alienated people from nature completely, and this has taken a toll on their health. A new medical term has been added to a list of illnesses—a nature-deficit disorder. So, today more than ever before, people need to go back to nature and keep in touch with nature to relieve the stress and increase positive energy in their body. An outing in the woods to hug a tree and let go will do…
Hug Your Tree Today
Tree therapists advise choosing a tree that has a smooth bark and is slightly further away from other trees. It does not have to be a lone tree; it just should not be too close to other trees. Get up close to the tree in a friendly and trusting way. Greet (whether in thought or out loud) and hug the tree. If you feel sad, anxious or upset, press your back and hands against it, as if you are hiding. Close your eyes and relax. Start doing a breathing exercise to help you properly distribute energy all over your body. Breathing includes these four phases: breathing in, keeping the air in your lungs, breathing out, and taking a break before breathing in again, when lungs are empty. Hugging a tree should last no longer than five minutes.