Heal Your Nature Deficiency
Do you suffer from a "nature deficiency?" If you’re like most people in modern society, you spend most of your 24 hours of the day indoors. You work under artificial fluorescent lights, you eat and sleep inside a house or apartment, you commute in the artificial environment of a car, bus or train. You rarely get outside and even when you do, it might only be an artificial park with concrete sidewalks and maintained lawns.
Probably much like you, I spent a lot of time outdoors as a child, but in my adult years, I found myself spending more and more hours indoors. It didn't take long to realize that breathing re-circulated indoor air and having little or no time in nature wasn't a good recipe for lifelong health.
Today, I'm a nature advocate. Time in nature is healing all by itself, and children are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of a nature deficiency. But few people in the field of conventional medicine embrace the idea that nature itself a healer, so the message of spending time in nature to improve your health doesn't get much attention.
I believe that not spending enough time in nature promotes depression, obesity and even cancer. In fact, I believe that nature is so important to lasting health that I took up permanent residency in a country where I have spring-like weather year-round, just so that I can be outside in nature every single day of the year! That's not possible to do in most places, but wherever you are, more time in nature can help you heal. Here’s how:
Sunlight — Sunlight supports all life on our planet. Without sunlight, we would simply have no life on Earth. Your body is designed to be exposed to sensible levels of sunlight, and that's why experiencing a reasonable amount of sunlight directly on your skin makes good sense for your health.
As you well know, sunlight also causes your skin to generate vitamin D — perhaps the most miraculous nutrient yet discovered in the modern world. Vitamin D prevents cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It boosts bone density and immune function, and it prevents infectious disease far better than vaccines could ever hope to. To get more vitamin D, simply spend more time in nature.
Natural Sounds — The natural sounds of nature are, in and of themselves, healing therapy. Surrounding yourself with the sounds of real nature causes a measurable reduction in stress levels and blood pressure. The most powerful healing sounds in nature seem to be those from water: waterfalls, water running down a creek or stream, rain and thunderstorms, etc. You can mimic these sounds with "sound conditioning" devices that broadcast sound loops of natural sounds. They're very effective machines, but still nothing equals the healing potential of real sounds experienced directly in the real world.
Colors — The colors of nature are, scientifically speaking, different wavelengths of light striking your retina and being interpreted as colors by your brain. These different wavelengths are, in essence, a form of energy medicine. Light is energy, and what your body needs to be healthy is exposure to a diverse assortment of those energy wavelengths. That's why looking at all the various colors of flowers, plants and animals is, by itself, a healing experience. It also stimulates the brain to become more active, increasing intelligence.
Spending time in nature allows your brain to explore a more diverse natural reality, causing it to function at a higher cognitive and creative level. In contrast, spending a lot of time indoors where the scenery never changes dulls the brain’s potential.
Movement — Being in nature makes physical movement almost mandatory. When you're in nature, you're often walking, running, biking or swimming. And yet because the scenery is so beautiful, it doesn't feel like exercise. It simply feels like fun! The health benefits of all this movement are tremendous: a boost in circulation, increased bone density and muscle strength, increased flexibility, lymph fluid circulation and much more.
Air — We innately desire fresh air. Every person on the planet intuitively knows that fresh air is better than indoor air. Indoor air is contaminated with chemicals that have been off-gassed from all the synthetic materials used in the construction of homes and buildings: carpets, furniture, paints, glues, dyes and so on. Often you find mold spores from indoor air ducts.
The air in a pine forest (or any forest) is refreshingly different. Some people simply attribute it to the negative ions in the air, but there's much more to it than that. There's something almost magical about fresh air in a natural environment that is teeming with life — it's sweet and energizing. The more time you spend in nature, the more fresh air you inhale; all this is a healing experience.
Microbes — Western medicine believes that sterility is safety. They want people to live in a sterile environment, where all the microbes in your environment or on your food are killed by antimicrobial soaps and pharmaceutical drugs. But certain microbes are very important for your health. Exposure to microbes in the real world is hugely important for the healthy balance and functioning of your immune system, and the best place to have exposure to these microbes is out in nature.
When I was a kid growing up, I played in the dirt. I swam in the pond. I camped out on the grass. Today, many parents would be horrified to allow their children to even touch dirt or swim in the non-sanitized water of a natural stream. This obsession with sterility is deeply misguided. Seek out nature and don't be afraid to experience the real world, even if it means getting your hands dirty.
Bio Energy — Beyond the light, the sounds, the air and all the other healing elements of nature, there's also something less tangible: the bio energy of living systems. In some way that scientists still don't understand, lush living ecosystems recharge the human body and mind. Spending time in nature rejuvenates your system, and when city life leaves you feeling depleted nature can bring your energy back.
Part of the magic of the bio-energy in nature depends on coming into physical contact with nature. Walk barefoot. Hug a tree. Touch a flower. Lie down on the grass. Touch nature as your body intended and you'll create a closed circuit with the planet itself. Some people say that being electrically grounded with earth through barefoot walking makes an important difference in reducing the electric "noise" that interferes with your health. There's merit to this thinking. Your ancient ancestors didn't walk around in Nike shoes. They walked barefoot, and they were healthier for it!
Kids Suffer From Nature Deficiency, Too
Most modern children live their lives indoors, banging away on gaming consoles and social networking websites. Few children are encouraged to spend any real time outdoors in nature. The idea of going to camp during the summer seems to have been lost on the current generation of children, most of whom spend their summers in air-conditioned environments, many of which are even detrimental to their health.
One of the greatest gifts you can offer any child is time in nature. The earlier you start teaching children about the joys of nature, the more success you'll have in sharing outdoor experiences with them. Plus, introducing your children or grandchildren to more time in nature means that you get more nature time, too.
One way to encourage outdoor time is to get rid of the TV. The more time children or adults spend in front of the TV, the less time they spend outdoors. Once children spend enough time in front of the TV, they won't even want to venture into nature at all. Their whole world becomes the virtual world broadcast into their brains from the television set. For teenage boys, time in nature has largely been replaced with time spent playing computer and console games. While there's nothing wrong with a little time spent gaming, when this act becomes the dominant focus of a child's life, it is hugely destructive.
Whether you have kids or not, spending more time in nature can only improve your health. Make it a point to get outside, soak up some sunshine, breathe in the fresh air and get all the nature you can.
Mike Adams is a natural health author and technology pioneer with a passion for teaching people how to improve their health. He has authored more than 1,500 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics. Known as the “Health Ranger,” Adams' personal health statistics and mission statements are located at http://www.HealthRanger.org. Sign up to receive the latest health news daily with a free newsletter subscription at http://www.naturalnews.com.