I recently wrote about the health benefits of taking a simple walk in the woods. Trees release phytoncides, an airborne chemical that protects against various molds and bacteria. Coniferous trees emit phytoncides more Phytoncides than broad-leaved trees, which protect their foliage from microbes, but the chemical can also help to stimulate our own immune systems and reduce stress.
Recent medical studies have shown that a walk in the woods can have a measurable positive effect on human health and well-being. It can boost an individual's immune system. Even the sight of green trees have an affect.
Researchers in Pennsylvania have discovered that patients made faster recoveries after surgery, with less need for painkillers, when they could see grass and trees from their hospital bed. In contrast, patients who could only see a brick wall from their windows made slower recoveries, and needed more help with pain.
While this all sounds rather new age, like the psychic surgeons of Sedona, Arizona, it is not. Naturalistic medicines are a field of therapy as old as the earth. For eons, native peoples have utilized natural cures for their health and well being. They understood the benefits if not the science. When the Iroquois brewed spearmint tea to combat pain and fever, they didn't know that the leaves released the same chemical found in modern day aspirin. But they knew it worked.
The use of balsam pillows was an elemental form of modern aromatherapy. The practice was still being implemented as part of the cure for tuberculosis as recently as the 1950's. Science is finally getting around to verifying what many people have long known, that natural cures can work wonders.
Now comes even better news about the positive benefits of water. Water is a most unique medium, it can transform from liquid to hard ice, soft snow or cool fog to hot steam. It can move with unrelenting power or a gentle flow. And, it can move us physically and mentally.