Wherever there’s a tree, there’s also oxygen, so, there’s life. The researcher Matthew Silverston did a study about this topic and published a book called Blinded by Science. In it, he develops an interesting theory about the benefits of hugging and being in contact with trees.
“Tree therapy” is a trend that’s echoed these findings. But, for thousands of years Eastern cultures have talked about the physical and mental health benefits of hugging trees and being in contact with forests. Zen is one of the doctrines that gives the highest value to the cleansing power of nature.
Trees and Health
With a basis in both Eastern and Western studies, people have mapped out a whole inventory of the specific positive results of hugging every tree. Some trees have become more important because of their power to cleanse certain ailments. Here they are:
- Pine trees. They’re revered in Chinese and Japanese culture. They’re considered important trees there. According to Zen wisdom, they help strengthen the immune system and improve circulation.
- Cypress trees. Hugging them will help you reach greater peace, and reduce body heat and rage.
- Willow trees. They help regulate the body’s liquids. They influence the well-being of our urinary tract.
- Elm trees. They strengthen the stomach and calm down the emotions.
- Maple trees. They help wash away “bad energies” or negative thoughts, and can make any physical pain go down.
- Fir trees. They reduce swelling and help with the healing process for broken bones.
- Birtch trees. They bring about a detoxification of the body.
- Cinnamon trees. They improve the health of the heart and all the organs in the stomach.
- Plum trees. They help improve the functioning of the pancreas and stomach.
- Fig trees. They improve the digestive system and reduce body temperature.
- Acacia trees. They help bring down heart temperature.
They say that Galen, one of the fathers of medicine, advised all his patients to spend some time in laurel forests. Paul, another doctor of the time, said that people with epilepsy got better when they slept near blooming lime trees. And every doctor, in every day and age, has always recognized the cleansing value of contact with nature.
Therapies with Trees and Forests
Tree therapy is a field of alternative medicine that employs trees and forests as a source of cleansing. They say that all plants have a lot of negative ions within them. So, putting yourself in contact with them will clean out electromagnetic toxins and your state of mind will improve.
From this point of view, contact with electronic devices, and the stress they come with, fill our bodies up with positive ions. In these scenarios, it’s like the body’s turned into a walking transformer. This makes us feel fatigued, irritable, in low spirits, depressed, and lacking in energy. Just the fact of putting ourselves in contact with the forest neutralizes all that. And hugging a tree, that does even more.
Walking barefoot in a meadow and hugging trees are practices we recommend specifically for people who feel nervous and insecure. Also for all the people who experience too much fatigue or feel emotionally exhausted. Matthew Silverston says that its like “absorbing vitamins in the air.” This activates all the functions in our body, so it will even end up benefiting our brains.
One of the bad things about living in big cities is exactly how hard it is to come into frequent contact with true forests. Just the fact of looking at the green in the plants and breathing in the air they create around them is a beautiful experience in and of itself. We don’t have to know much to know that forests calm us down. Plus, it doesn’t cost anything. It doesn’t take any skill and, even better, it can have a lot of benefits. How about you start including visits to the forest into your routine of activities, too?