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Go the Nature's way-Tree hugging for Autism/ADHD/ASD


One of the things that we have learnt is that when children are separated from nature, they end up fostering an innate microbiome that is not sufficiently diverse and that does not include enough old friends, which refers to- long-standing species that humans have co-evolved with for millennia over our evolution. Today, as we live in cities with more concrete and more metal, less dirt, less plants, fewer spores, fewer animals, fewer diversity of ecology in general, we don't get as much exposure to our old friends that we've been evolving with, and our microbiome looks quite different. So it's very important for us who live in urban environments to have a healthy foundation of getting out in nature on a regular basis in order to keep that connection to the natural world.


Nature deficit disorder

Nature-deficit disorder refers to the negative consequences of a separation from nature has been termed. It basically implies that our disconnect from nature leads to negative consequences both in terms of mental and physical health. Various studies show a wide range of positive effects on our health from the presence of trees and green spaces around us.


Hugging trees for healing

Research shows numerous positive health benefits for the human physiological and psychological systems associated with a practice of immersing oneself in nature. Hugging a tree is an amazing technique of immersing yourself with nature. Hugging trees means exchange of energies with trees. Benevolent trees take all negative energies from us and charge us positive ones. All negative vibrations are taken away and fill us with a lot of enthusiasm, life giving energy and much more. Just like with human relationships, there are many ways that we can have a relationship with nature. There is growing recognition of the many benefits of being in forests and woodlands for human wellness and health. Trees and green spaces offer multiple health benefits from allergy reductions to good mental and physical health, for all ages.


Why Hug a Tree?

  • Trees have an energy frequency or vibration that has the power to heal us. It also has a grounding effect on us. Being in the roach of trees can have dramatic improvement in many health issues such as ADHD, depression, headaches, and various mental illnesses. Walk in a forest and experience its relaxing effects. It has shown lowering of blood pressure and heart rates, inducing a positive mood, and reducing anxiety levels.

  • Trees naturally emit phytoncides that we can absorb through our skin or inhale into our bloodstream. Some of these can trigger endorphin release, some can activate enzymes and bodily systems to prompt or rebalance health perception and physical wellbeing. Some of these phytoncides have been shown to increase the activity of “natural killer” cells — the true warriors of our immune system.

  • Tree hugging could improve better social behavior. Humans by nature crave physical touch. Hugging releases oxytocin which relaxes us and makes us feel warm. Hugging a tree increases oxytocin levels. Oxytocin Is responsible for feeling calm and emotional bonding. So, when you hug a tree, the hormones serotonin and dopamine make you feel happier. It soothes and strengthens the body and mind.

  • Grounding with Tree hugging. A tree’s vibrational patterns have a healing, revitalizing effect, which can help us feel more grounded. Grounding helps in neutralizing the side effects of non native electromagnetic fields of cellular network, electrical appliances, wifi etc which have become an inevitable part of our lives today.


How to do Tree hugging?

  1. Step outside into nature and look around at the trees available to you.

  2. Select a tree that appeals to you.

  3. Wrap your arms around the tree.

  4. Feel it with your hands and arms.

  5. Take in deep breaths to get settled and feel present. Breathe in through the nose, hold for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth.

  6. Close your eyes to feel the tree through your other senses. How does it smell? What do you hear?

  7. When you feel like you have spent enough time with the tree, step back from it. Consider bowing to the tree to conclude your hugging meditation.


Being in direct contact with nature increases mental health, psychological development, and strengthens spirituality. So go and hug a tree, breathe in the fresh air that it filters for you, and notice how much calmer and stronger you feel.

Need Support for Your Child?


References

  1. Hansen, M. M., Jones, R., & Tocchini, K. (2017). Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(8), 851. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080851

  2. Taylor, A. F., Kuo, F. E., & Sullivan, W. C. (2001). Coping with add: The Surprising Connection to Green Play Settings. Environment and Behavior, 33(1), 54–77. https://doi.org/10.1177/00139160121972864

  3. Barakat, H., Bakr, A., & El-sayad, Z. (2018). Nature as a Healer for Autistic Children. International Journal of Environmental Science & Sustainable Development, 3(1), 42 - 62. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.21625/essd.v3iss1.277

  4. Moore, R. C. (1996). Compact Nature: The Role of Playing and Learning Gardens on Children’s Lives. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture, 8, 72–82. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44025358

  5. Li, Q., Morimoto, K., Kobayashi, M., Inagaki, H., Katsumata, M., Hirata, Y., Hirata, K., Suzuki, H., Li, Y. J., Wakayama, Y., Kawada, T., Park, B. J., Ohira, T., Matsui, N., Kagawa, T., Miyazaki, Y., & Krensky, A. M. (2008). Visiting a forest, but not a city, increases human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins. International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology, 21(1), 117–127. https://doi.org/10.1177/039463200802100113

  6. Ulrich R. S. (1984). View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science (New York, N.Y.), 224(4647), 420–421. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.6143402

  7. Atchley, R. A., Strayer, D. L., & Atchley, P. (2012). Creativity in the Wild:Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings. PLoS ONE, 7(12), e51474. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051474

  8. Li, Q., Kobayashi, M., Wakayama, Y., Inagaki, H., Katsumata, M., Hirata, Y., Hirata, K., Shimizu, T., Kawada, T., Park, B. J., Ohira, T., Kagawa, T., & Miyazaki, Y. (2009). Effect of phytoncide from trees on human natural killer cell function. International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology, 22(4), 951–959. https://doi.org/10.1177/039463200902200410

  9. Silverstone, M. (2011). Blinded by Science. Lloyd’s World Publishing.

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