Nature and Health
About 10 years ago I undertook postgraduate study in sustainable development. My reason for studying sustainability was to understand the impact that we are having on the planet and to be part of the solution to combat the looming environmental disaster that is climate change.
Throughout this period of study I kept asking myself: 'why it is so hard to look after this amazing planet that we have?' 'Why do so many people care about the earth and yet continue to over consume?' 'Why is it so hard for us to see how our everyday actions impact on the world around us?'
The answer to this question, for me, is: in order to heal the planet, we have to heal ourselves. And that is why I am now working to redefine the nature of health care, by teaching people how their health can be improved using natural means.
Isolation from nature = illness
It's no surprise that diseases of modern civilisation, such as metabolic syndrome, obesity, cancers, chronic fatigue and autoimmune conditions are rising as we become more and more isolated from nature.
In my mind, there is no separation between nature and health, they are dependant upon each other. I believe we can never be truly healthy without spending time in nature and caring for the environment.
The more time I spend in and around nature, the more I am in awe of the health benefits that are gifted to us, free of charge.
Just a simple stroll on an isolated stretch of beach or a energetic hike along a mossy bush track distracts us from the busy-ness of our lives and promotes feels of wellbeing. These feelings come from many of the aspects of nature that we are sensing.
We sense nature through our feet, our skin, with our hearing and sight and the incredible smell of 'fresh'.
When we spend time in nature we can experience many emotions and sensations such as awe, exhilaration, relaxation and curiosity.
When we look to nature as medicine we find sunshine, food, plant medicine, shade. Nature is a classroom and the teacher.