Benefits of the Natural Environment
The benefits of spending time in nature have been recognized for hundreds of years. Even Egyptian physicians recommended soothing walks in a garden for their patients. Now called by a variety of names - ecotherapy, green therapy, nature therapy, earth-centered therapy - more and more physicians and therapists are recommending people head outdoors. The natural environment has been found to improve a wide variety of physical and mental health issues.
A study made at the University of Illinois found that children with ADHD were better able to concentrate, complete tasks and follow directions after playing in natural settings. View this and other research items on our "Learn More" page under "Resources."
Nature also provides thereapists with an almost bottomless toolbox of therapy aides that can seem like part of a fun adventure and barely recognized as therapy. Consider the texture of a gravel or mulch path and the crunching sound they make underfoot. Try tracking the path of a butterfly, touching smooth or fuzzy leaves, closing your eyes and feeling the breeze or hearing the sounds of a garden. How many more tools of nature can you imagine?