Being in nature is the ‘natural’ way to heal

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Doctors in Scotland prescribe Nature
By Jinny Throup
In what is believed to be the first programme of its kind in the UK, doctors in Shetland, Scotland can now prescribe a walk in nature to their patients. Launched in October 2018, the programme seeks to reduce blood pressure and anxiety, while increasing happiness for those with diabetes, heart disease, stress and more. As part of the therapy patients are given a comprehensive leaflet that contains uplifting and fun nature prescription suggestions. These include making beach art from natural materials, borrowing a dog to take for a walk, talking to a pony, feeding the birds and appreciating a cloud.

There are numerous studies proving that spending time in nature is hugely beneficial for mental and physical health. Not only does it cause a decrease of activity in the part of the brain associated with depression, but it also reduces blood pressure, anxiety, ADHD symptoms and aggression. In addition, it gives a huge boost to the immune system, helps to control pain and increases feelings of well-being.


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