Forest. Silence. Believe it or not these things are considered a type of natural therapy which use the power of nature to provide stress relief and deep relaxation.
In many countries the idea of forest bathing is a stress reducing practice. The idea is to slow down and appreciate the surroundings in a mindful way. Research by Daniel Brown at the University of Essex in the UK shows that the benefits of forest bathing include, in addition to stress reduction, improved mood, increased self esteem and a greater sense of well being.
It’s easy to forget, surrounded as we are by all the sounds of modern life, that noise is actually a health hazard. Scientists believe that noise is potentially dangerous because it raises the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Long term exposure to loud noises can interrupt sleep, raise blood pressure and increase the risks of heart attack and stroke.
The constant noise of traffic, trains, machinery or blaring TVs can take its toll. A periodic escape into quiet, even for a few minutes a day can not only provide relaxation but also improve focus and lessen the strain on the heart and nervous system. Silence is the basis of meditation, but even without formal meditation people can create makeshift silent retreat by finding a space to be alone and closing doors, turning off cell phones, and shutting down computers. No formal meditation necessary. Just sit down, unplug, and focus on your breath for several minutes.
Is it time for you to get back to nature, or remove yourself from the constant barrage of noises associated with everyday life? Give some natural therapy a try!
If you’re still looking for some stress relief afterwards, contact me to book a nice healing massage. Massage therapy has many proven benefits for both mind and body!
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