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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Free Medicine Available to All

Oct 02, 2014 02:21PM

Petrichor, also known as the essence of rock, is the smell of earth after a rain. Who hasn’t taken a deep breath upon walking out in nature and immediately declared feelings of well-being? The latest in wellness science has provided us with ample research on forest therapy worldwide, with the idea being to let nature enter our body through all five senses. As the smell of plant oils, geosomes are inhaled, friendly soil microbes that affect the brain in a similar way to antidepressants by increasing the release of serotonin. 

In Japan, nature deficit disorder is a term coined for what happens to our cells and neurons as we become what John Muir described as “tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people.” As North Americans spend more than eight hours a day in front of electronic screens, they have become seriously ill via a theory called the hygiene hypothesis, along with decreased cognitive function, increased aggressiveness and more depression, plus fatter.

We are rediscovering our inherent biophilia, or affinity for nature, we are also defining a cultural moment called the slow-nature movement. When we go outside among the earth, grasses and trees, phytocides boost production of natural killer immune cells that fight tumors and viruses. The stress hormone cortisol is decreased and there is less fatigue, anxiety and more overall feelings of invigoration.

Who could resist taking advantage of the health benefits of sunlight, from increasing serotonin levels, vitamin D and blood-oxygen carrying capacity to decreasing blood cholesterol levels? Making contact with natural habitats is free medicine available to all of us.

Kathie Takach is a stylist with ProjekK. Contact her at 520-331-9006 or [email protected].

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