What is Ecotherapy


Imagine the situation. You go to your family doctor and complain about this and that. The doctor, after listening carefully, writes out a prescription. In the hope of a cure for the disease, you leave the office and go straight to the pharmacy. The pharmacist reads the prescription and says: “This is not for us. This is in the park - in nature! Having carefully studied what is written, you understand that your salvation is not in pills - you are assigned to be in nature for at least two hours a day.

It is these prescription tickets for visiting national parks that have been allowed to be issued to Canadian doctors since the beginning of this year. What is so magical that happens to us in nature?

Those who research this problem have found that when a person admires the landscape, his eyes transmit information to the brain that causes the production of the hormone of happiness. Endorphins are added to the brain, which help our brain, or rather, its neurons.

It is known that if a neuron cell does not produce enough neurotransmitters , our brain activity, which is responsible for the transmission of information, decreases. The brain does not care if we love nature or not - it needs green space.

In 1984, biologist Edward Osborne Wilson described the reasons for the positive influence of nature on the human mental state in his book Biophilia. He suggested that humans have an innate drive to seek connections with plants and animals. An article published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica summarized data from 20 studies comparing urban and rural residents. It turned out that affective disorders are 40% more common in cities. Anxiety neuroses are also more typical for urban residents.

But why do green landscapes have such an impact on our health?

Gretchen Daley , a researcher at the Stanford Environmental Institute, conducted a survey of 38 people. On campus, participants' brains were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The participants also filled out questionnaires in which they described the presence of obsessive thoughts, in particular, about a negative attitude towards themselves and their actions.

The 19 participants then went on a 90-minute walk along the busy Main Street. The rest went for a walk among the hills, around the institute. The routes were chosen specifically to appreciate the practical benefits of a short rest, available to absolutely everyone and every day. Upon returning, the participants completed the questionnaires again. For those who walked in nature, the results were much better. And after a walk around the city, the sensations of the subjects did not change, in some cases they even worsened.

The work of the brain after communicating with nature has also changed. The area of the brain responsible for feelings of sadness and introspection showed less activity. There was no such effect for people walking along the highway.

In addition, walking trains our legs and body. It is quite clear that walking is useful not only for those who want to lose weight, but also to ensure immunity, reduces the likelihood of illness from viruses. Immunity against influenza is strengthened when walking in coniferous forests, especially in children. Therefore, sanatoriums are built in coniferous or pine forests.

Today there are new treatments for depression . But the most important of them is ecotherapy . She gives incredible results. A person's condition improves significantly when he hears the sound of the wind, the murmur of a stream, the rustle of grass, the singing of birds, looks at a waterfall or birds soaring in the sky. And how children love to watch animals! In many parks, corners with animals have been created especially for them, which you can stroke and feed.

After a walk, people can visit interesting thoughts and even ideas. Those. creative abilities develop. It is known that many writers, poets, artists spent most of the day in nature. So move away from your computer and go for a walk in the park. The whole family. It heals and unites.

But do not walk along the streets or shops! Walking in the park has a very different effect on a person than walking in the city. The city makes a person depressed, irritable, and nature, on the contrary, takes away this depression and irritability.

Today, cities are attacking nature, conquering more and more new territories. How to return this vital medicine to a person?

Yes, it's very simple! Some countries are already planning cities with access to natural islands, paying attention to the distance from future schools to parks: children should not spend much time on the road from school to green space. "Natural beams" are being designed, which will be built into the urban space in the form of parks and squares.

There are even experts who calculate how many trees should grow on one street in order to improve the psychological state of passers-by. Every square inch of greenery has to be fought for if we don't want to go crazy in our densely built-up neighborhoods. Moreover, it is easy to destroy a corner of nature, but returning it to the urban environment is much more difficult.

Let's not forget about it. Let's take care of our nature, because this is the womb from which we all came out!


  1. Living in the stone jungle, we, unfortunately, forget how beautiful nature is, in the daily bustle there is often no time to get into the forest or even into the park. It is a pity that people have reached such an edge that they are prescribed outdoor recreation.

  2. Nature really heals both soul and body, helps to relax, saves from the bustle of the city, inspires creative search. Thank you for the article!

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