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The remedy is in the forest

The remedy is in the forest

The return to natural landscapes is a must. And it has nothing to do with that idealization of the countryside that the locus amoenus of our Renaissance ancestors advocated. "With the arrival of modern society, the city represented security against the potential aggressions of nature", explains José Antonio Corraliza, professor of Environmental Psychology at the Autonomous University of Madrid. "Today this attitude is wrong for us, and we even allow ourselves to talk about the nature deficit disorder: increased obesity, respiratory diseases, lack of vitamin D, stress ... The city provides us with protection and comfort, but our nervous system has not been adapted and misses that natural stimulation that survival as a species has given us ”. As much as our genes retain that information, it is not easy for repeat urbanites to reconnect with nature. "We have fallen into a natural illiteracy, we have lost the memory of recognizing the stimuli that come from it," says Corraliza.

Lorca's "green that I love you green" could become today the slogan of that call to the stage that saw the birth of humanity and that heals body and mind. The health systems of some countries begin to prescribe it in medical consultations. In Japan, for example, it is common to prescribe shinrin-yoku (forest baths), because it is known that walking among trees reduces blood pressure, stress and glucose, strengthens the nervous system and causes lymphocytes to increase, preventing diseases and tumors. And the Japanese Government, through its Forestry Agency, brings citizens closer to the forests, putting at their disposal coaches who teach them, in situ, how to breathe, what step to take or how to live the experience in a conscious way.

Yes, turning a trip to the countryside or the mountains into something therapeutic is possible ... as long as we are willing to “go wild”. Those who take the folding seats out of the car and huddle among pine trees abstain! "It is about going with a walk attitude, paying attention, paying attention to sounds, colors, textures, smells ...", proposes Professor Corraliza. "You just have to be impressed by them and recover our atavistic memory." That the Spanish public health take the example of Japan does not seem very likely, at least in the short term. Therefore, if we need help to rediscover the green paradise, we can sign up for a tree therapy workshop like the ones taught by the Gestalt therapist Michel Abriel, whose Encounter with the Trees initiative allows us to know the plant world from different perspectives to show us what it contributes to our life. physical and emotional benefit.

And what to do if we cannot escape to the forest? "The city does not have to isolate you from nature: parks have an equally therapeutic function," says José Antonio Corraliza. And one last recommendation from Abriel: “We know that an affective bond is created between the pots we take care of and ourselves, so having plants nearby is highly positive. And let's bear in mind that aromatherapy, essential oils and even infusions are a way of relating to nature without leaving home ”. Pocket nature… no insects or shoelaces!

Photo: In Japan it is common for doctors to prescribe ‘shinrin-yoku’ (walking in the forest). Getty Images

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Video: Riding Rendlesham Forest BikeSkills Park: Trek Remedy 8 (September 2021).