Research is revealing an emerging picture that plants live in a world we can barely imagine, perfumed by clouds of chemicals rich in information. Evidence continues to emerge regarding the stupendous plant healing energies and messages available to us. Could these same biochemical messengers also help you heal, accomplish your goals, achieve your dreams and pursue the possible you? Could immersion in the biophoton field of nature nourish the human mind and body in unimaginable ways and waves?
Research conducted on a group of hikers revealed that “four days of immersion in nature, and the corresponding disconnection from multimedia and technology, increases performance on a creativity, problem-solving task by a full 50 percent.”
Maybe these hikers become primarily more human, more whole, in touch with their personal possibility.. improving functional performance is a but a small fraction of the benefits.
There is plenty of evidence that the quality of our attention directly influences our brain waves. According to research by Dr. Les Fehmi too much narrowly focused attention is associated with a beta brain (fight or flight) wave state. Without a shift in attention to a more open focus we experience restlessness or a feeling of being “wound up” or “on edge” being tired or exhausted, difficulty concentrating, irritability or sleeping difficulties.
Meditation, prayer, and relaxation practices are used to help us move into an open focus alpha wave state.
Immersion in Nature can accomplish the same state (unless you are fleeing from a wild animal!) Don’t worry you won’t need to spend 4 days in the wilderness. Studies show that an open focus leisurely walk in a park or natural setting for 30 minutes a day will help you build the skills that reduce anxiety and depression.
“Observation is a tense activity. To contemplate, on the other hand, to “look” in this sense, means to open one’s eye receptivity to whatever offers itself to one’s vision, and the things seen enter into us, so to speak, without calling for any effort or strain on our part to possess them.” -Josef Pieper”
We can them become sensorially aware of what we are seeing.
Stefano Mancuso, neurobiologist is working outside Florence Italy to enlighten us to the powerful presence of plants on Earth. Why do we relegate plants to a low-level in our lives? Mancuso thinks that the metaphors and stories we live with are the reason. One example is Noah’s Ark. Animals were taken on board while there is no mention of saving the plants even though everyone would have surely drowned without the plants they used to build the boat!
Plants have genius survival skills compared to humans and animals. Mancuso points out that the average grad student has a vocabulary of 750 words. A plant recognizes, responds to, and emits over 5,000 chemical messengers. We know that these messengers are interacting with us to lower our blood pressure, lower our blood sugar, and boost our immune response. What else is going on? We don’t have to wait for scientific proof before confidently turning to our natural world for inspiration, insight and guidance.
Scientists in Japan are compiling evidence on the physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku, which translates as: forest bathing or taking in the atmosphere of the forest.
The results of a 2012 controlled study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal showed that negative mood states and anxiety levels decreased significantly by forest walking compared with urban walking.
Walking in the forest environment may promote cardiovascular relaxation by facilitating the parasympathetic nervous system and by suppressing the sympathetic nervous system. In addition, forest therapy may be effective for reducing negative psychological symptoms.
Plant genius is globally available to explore, experience and learn from. The next time you are feeling stressed, irritable or anxious take a walk in Nature, let go and breathe in the mystery and healing messages that surround you.
Rhana Pytell Kozak is a passionate advocate for the role of Nature in health and healing. She is the ceo/founder of BRIGHTERSTEP. Contact her at Rhana@brighterstep.com