The BBC has an article on its website entitled “Does outdoor play help keep the doctor away?” It looks at whether spending more time in Nature is good for our health. I think the answer is obvious – the more time we spend in nature, the more physical activity we will be doing and the healthier we will be. The human body also needs a certain amount of Vitamin D which we can only get from spending time out in the sun. There is also a lot of evidence to suggest that there are psychological benefits to being out in nature and I have certainly found that to be true myself. Perhaps not spending time in nature can have detrimental effects on our health and give us a kind of Nature Deficit Disorder as the article suggests. As Druids, it should seem obvious that this is true and we have long believed in the benefits of an existence lived close to nature, but its also nice to see science backing us up.
When we spend time in nature we are refreshed, we develop a love for nature and begin to become more attuned to the cycles of the natural world. We develop a relationship with the other beings around us and we are taught the secrets and the ways of nature.
The Japanese have a term “Shinrinyoku.” This literally mean “forest-bathing” and means that spending time in forests has health benefits for us. What a wonderful thought! Perhaps we should try an experiment – one hour forest bathing every day for a month and see if it makes any difference?