Get Back To Nature For Better Health

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it." -Alice Walker

What if there was proof of intelligent life in the universe? And what if this intelligence was not human, yet far exceeded the limits of the human brain? And what if we discovered this life existed right here on earth for thousands and thousands of years?

Scientists are marveling at the discovery of a higher form of life existing right in your backyard. That's right... nature is full of intelligent life and brilliant technologies that are far more advanced than anything humans could possibly imagine. Examples include:

--DRAGLINE SILK

The material used by spiders to spin their webs, dragline silk, is five times stronger than steel, and "compared to Kevlar found in bulletproof vests, it's much tougher and able to absorb five times the impact without breaking." Not only is dragline silk tough and strong, it's also elastic, "can stretch 40% its original length and bounce back good as new." Said metallurgist Christopher Viney, "None of our metals or high-strength fibers can come even close to this combination of strength and energy-absorbing elasticity." *

--PHOTOSYNTHESIS

The process known as photosynthesis, where plants convert light to energy, is mostly a mystery to scientists. Said Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry, "Our strongest electron microscopes can go only so far, showing us where photosynthesis occurs, but not how." If we could better understand this naturally occurring process, we would significantly enhance our understanding of solar power turning vastly greater amounts of light energy into electricity. *

--NATURE'S PHARMACY

Scientists observed a wild chimpanzee struggling with symptoms of roundworm. The chimp was lethargic and constipated yet knew to venture into the forest where it found the Vermonia amygdalina shrub. The chimp carefully removed some branches, chewed into the bark and sucked out the liquidy "pith." In 24 hours, the chimp was cured. There are countless examples of wild animals knowing exactly where to look for cures to their ailments. Now scientists are studying how Vermonia pith can be applied to human ailments. *

What can we learn from the brilliance of nature? My brother said to me the other day, "I think we should take a trip into nature this summer... because I'm not sure how much longer it'll exist." This really caught my attention. I know that I, for one, take nature for granted often thinking of the trees as inanimate objects. The truth is that nature is teeming with life... brilliant, "high tech" life that can cure so much of what ails us. Yet it takes a softening of the ego and a more relaxed approach to sense nature's secrets.

Here are a few tips on how exposure to nature can improve your health:

1. Nature Sparks Activity

Contact with nature encourages greater interest in exercise and physical activity. Even if it's not your first inclination, give yourself a chance to walk in the woods or even play on the grass at a local park. There's a term, biophilia, which describes a subconscious longing in the human biology to connect with the plants, skies and seas. Rachel Carson said, "Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life." **

2. Nature Helps Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

A child's exposure to nature can help with ADD, obesity, depression and stress... according to Richard Louv and his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. When asked what parents should do if they don't have access to nature, another expert in the benefits of exposure to nature, Dr. Tedd Mitchell, responded, "Kids will find fascinating things to explore anywhere. My sister, who lives in Brooklyn, takes her scout den on hikes across a bridge and lets them discover which side of the bridge the moss is growing on. If you can't get to a pond or lake, then find a puddle." ***

3. Nature Reduces Pain

Indoor gardens in hospitals are proving to reduce stress and improve pain in patients, visitors, and staff. Said W.H. Auden, "Healing is not a science but rather the intuitive art of wooing nature."****

* Biomimicry by Janine Benyus

** RSPB.com

*** USA Weekend

**** Science Blog

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