Forest – like a medicine

I don’t know about you, but my blood pressure is lower when I’m in the forest. I don’t feel as busy there or better said that I’m not in a hurry when I’m spending time in nature. I have spent my childhood in the countryside, but since moving on my own I have lived in the city. I still feel very connected with nature and I regularly need some time there.

There are studies that prove that it’s like medicine when you spend some time in the nature – your heart rate and blood pressure is getting lower and muscle tension relaxes. It varies how it effects to you, but it can be proven that after fifteen minutes spent in nature these effects appear. In those studies it has been shown that the bigger and calmer the forest is, and the cleaner the air is the bigger are the effects to people. There are still studies going on, where they are looking what illnesses can be treated with nature. At this point there have been experiences with treating depression and type II diabetes.

It seems that here in Finland we have amazing surroundings for this. It is surprising that these health forest tryouts are very new here in Finland. In Japan it is already pretty common to use forest as a treatment. Maybe we don’t always remember that this opportunity is available to us. Or maybe we don’t have time to put effort to our own well-being and stop to see the basics. Those little things that maybe we have grown with or that which have been the essential things to our parents growing up.

World today is so technical, efficient and you always have to be achieving things. I recognize the yearning to peace and back to basics. My friend visited this art exhibition this spring where she saw a photograph that represented cows mouth and a hand touching it. There was a text saying; “When was the last time you touched something real?”. That really got me and how right that was. We touch mostly the screen of our phones, computers or something plastic. Maybe our need for nature is implemented by looking information and pictures about nature, animals or activities. But there might be one thing standing between the real thing, the Internet. It is a huge difference when you are actually sitting in the nature, touching moss or the branch of a tree with your own hands. When was the last time you touched something real?