Owing our health: Time for a little Ecotherapy

•© GLOW IMAGES

• © GLOW IMAGES

Owning our Health: Time for a little Ecotherapy?

Along with most of the country Maryland has experienced one of the coldest and harshest winters on record.  With the faint hints of spring on the horizon let’s wander outdoors mentality into the warmth of renewal.  Anna Bowness-Park shares her ideas of the physical and spiritual renewal that the great outdoors offers to us all.  Here is Anna…

The understanding that nature benefits our mental and physical health seems obvious. However, the outdoors is now being touted as a new therapy called “ecotherapy” – or restorative contact with nature. What scientists have been studying is what our mothers and grandmothers already knew – – that being outside is good for us. In fact, being out in nature, according to studies is as good for us an anti-depressants or some other medications.

And, there’s another new term coined by scientists who are studying the effect of a lack of nature in our lives. It’s called “nature deficit disorder”, which of course ecotherapy is called upon to correct.

What these new names do for me is to complicate and medicalize what should be a natural and simple activity.

For many people, being outdoors can be a restorative – even spiritual – experience, whether it is conscious or not.

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