by Madeline Sadler
“I believe there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it will direct us aright.” Henry Thoreau wrote this quote, the famous author of Walden who discusses his connection to nature. Nature surrounds us in everything we do, whether it be us playing outside, looking out a window in a classroom, or even tending to a few house plants in our homes. There is indeed a vibration that we can feel that makes nature seem so natural to us. We are reconnecting to our roots, which is therapeutic and produces these deep sensory feelings we get every time we are around nature. This therapeutic feeling has a beneficial effect on the body and mind.
We are all connected to nature in more ways than we might realize.
“According to recent research, physically being in a natural environment promotes cognitive performance and offers higher resistance to stress, because of exposure to a bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae. In the brains of mice, and thus likely in humans, this bacterium leads to a higher release of the neurotransmitter serotonin” (Pennock). This bacterium is also commonly found in soil. Talk about a human to earth connection. The increase in serotonin is what makes us have a positive mood and gives it it’s therapeutic qualities. When looking at the mice in this study, “Treated mice given M. vaccae in their reward completed the maze twice as fast as controls, and with reduced anxiety-related behaviors.” (DM). This experiment is just one example of how soothing the properties of nature can be.
Nature is very therapeutic for the body and mind. A physician by the name of Robert Ulrich conducted a study regarding patients in hospitals rooms and the time it took them to recover. This study was conducted by examining patients who had just undergone gallbladder surgery in a hospital located in Pennsylvania. They were in the hospital for two weeks for recovery (Lopez). “According to the physician who conducted the study, the patients with the view of trees tolerated pain better, appeared to nurses to have fewer negative effects, and spent less time in a hospital. More recent studies have shown similar results with scenes from nature and plants in hospital rooms” (Larson). This experiment shows the effect of what just being able to see nature can do. It can help us heal not only mentally but also physically. We have this undeniable connection between ourselves and the world we live in. In studies where they use a method called fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging, scientists can see what parts of the brain are being stimulated during different experiences. In the article, it said, “When participants viewed nature scenes, the parts of the brain associated with empathy and love lit up, but when they viewed urban scenes, the parts of the brain associated with fear and anxiety were activated” (Larson). This shows us that even on a neurological level, nature is affecting us in our everyday life. It is healing and can help you form a better relationship with the people around you, and the significant relationship between you and yourself.
Some people even believe in Schumann frequency. This theory suggests that the earth is vibrating at the same frequency as humans. “If the Schumann frequency is resonating at a harmonic of 528 – the frequency scientists use to repair broken DNA – it would suggest would it not then, that our DNA may be repairing itself right now?” (TheEventChronicle) Meaning, we are truly connected to earth as all things on earth emit some vibrational frequency. “The human being is comprised of five bodies: the physical, the mental, the emotional, the spiritual, and the higher self. Any change in the earth’s energy field affects all five bodies, so all five have to be realigned – adjusted in increments according to the varying and ongoing energy fluctuations – and brought back into balance and harmony” (TheEventChronicle). These five bodies can also be related to the concept of the seven chakras. The seven chakras consist of the crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral, and root chakras. Each chakra represents a different point on the physical body that is supposed to coincide with the five bodies. The whole point of balanced chakras is to achieve a state of consciousness that is your higher self, just like the five bodies a human is comprised of. If one chakra or body isn’t aligned correctly, it knocks the other ones out of alignment. The vibrational frequency of the earth can raise the frequency in humans bringing them to this nirvana between their five bodies or chakras that some people are trying to achieve.
For me, when I was a little kid, I use to spend time outside all the time. Every moment that I could be outside I was either swinging in the hammock, running around, swimming, you name it. I always felt better in nature. It was always a place of stillness and relaxation when I just needed somewhere to go after having a bad day. I remember one spot, in particular, I would go to when I was feeling down when I was around the age of 10 or 11. This spot was located along a creek bed towards the back end of our property that in the spring would just be covered in flowers call bluebells. Everything would be so green and vibrant already, and to see this entire section of the creek bed completely covered in these small bright blue flowers felt so special to me. I would go there and lie in the flowers and look up at the sky. In those moments all my worries left me, and I was just peaceful and content, which was all that mattered to me. I could never describe it to some of my friends, as they thought I was talking crazy saying that nature made me feel so much better.
Nature is still a form of therapy for me today whether it be going on a walk, hike, gardening, you name it. Even once I began going to traditional therapy I was recommended this app on my phone called Calm. This app has different nature scenes with sounds that go along with it. It also has sleep stories to help you fall asleep, mediations for when you are walking or just sitting inside, and so much more. I have been so nature-oriented since I was a kid that my therapist recommended me to go outside as a form of therapy. While my personal experience might be different from other people, most people will agree to some extent that nature is therapeutic, which is why I decided to study environmental science in college. I want to be able to conserve and protect nature so that future generations in this digital world can have an escape and feel just how therapeutic nature can be.
DM, M. (2013). Ingestion of Mycobacterium vaccae decreases anxiety-related behavior and improves learning in mice. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23454729
Earth Ascending? Schumann Frequency Resonance of the Earth Has DOUBLED! » The Event Chronicle. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.theeventchronicle.com/metaphysics/metascience/earth-ascending-schumann-frequency-resonance-of-the-earth-has-doubled/
Larson, J. How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing? | Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing. Retrieved from https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/environment/nature-and-us/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing
Lopez, R. (2012). The Built Environment and Public Health (p. 213). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Pennock, S. (2014). The Positive Effects of Nature on Well Being: Evolutionary Biophilia. Retrieved from https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/why-nature-positively-affects-your-well-being-and-how-to-apply-it/
Why Nature Is Therapeutic | CRC Health Group. Retrieved from https://www.crchealth.com/find-a-treatment-center/struggling-youth-programs/help/nature-is-therapeutic/