Sylvotherapy is a therapeutic method of treatment and prevention of diseases through trees. In short: embracing a tree to feel better.
The sylvotherapy requires us both to embrace the trees and squeeze on their trunk and to sit by their side, resting our back on the trunk and placing our right hand in the solar plexus chakra, while our left hand will go behind our back, in between our body and the tree, at kidney level.
Sylvotherapy is not only the practice of hugging a tree, but also walking or running in a forest.
Breathing the forest air is a very beneficial remedy, as it activates the blood circulation, increases the number of red blood cells, facilitates breathing in chronic lung diseases, promotes sleep and helps to delay ageing. Oh Yeah! The forest air contains significant amounts of negative oxygen ions, which help to stimulate and balance vital processes on the mental and emotional spheres.
Besides, spending time in contact with trees and Nature is a source of vital energy. Some trees can provide positive energy indeed.
Hugging a tree is not so odd, it’s a primal instinct. How many times as children have you done it? As adults, the social etiquette, or the inability to dream and let go, or the impossibility of living in contact with Nature choked this instinct of ours.
In Japan people regularly practice sylvotherapy through the “forest bath”, a practice that consists of spending time in the woods absorbing the wisdom of ancient forests, taking long walks through the trees to stimulate the immune system.
In Taoism, students are encouraged to meditate among the trees because they believe that trees absorb negative energies and replace them with healthy ones. Trees are a source of emotional and physical healing, absorbing and conserving all the energy of the cosmos.
Trees can relieve our depression and anxiety and lower our stress because they can communicate with our body.
How do the plants heal us?
Through vibration. Everything in the world vibrates, everything around us is literally “vibrations”. Various vibrations affect our biological behaviour. When we touch a tree or walk into a forest or we are close to a plant, their vibrations come into contact with our vibrations.
By vibrating, plants emit molecules (called terpenes) that allow them to exchange information. For example, if a plant is attacked by a parasite, it emits a particular terpene, and thus warns the others that it is under attack. The terpene also attracts those insects that are predators of that parasite. Perfumes are also messages that plants use to exchange complex information.
Walking through a forest, we absorb these molecules, with our breath and through the skin. The molecules then communicate with the immune system and produce positive effects. The most important one is that the body increases the so-called killer cells, the ones that are responsible for releasing our organism from toxins and cancer cells.
According to the Evolutionary studies, we know that the human being has evolved for thousands of years in an exclusively natural environment and in fact, life in the city produces new ailments and diseases. So even just the sight of a forest, or being exposed to greenery, or being in a garden has a positive effect on our psyche.
Today, our challenge is to return to Nature, recover the relationship of trust and love that binds us to it, and stop seeing it only as a source of resources to plunder!
It is also possible to carry out specific sylvotherapy exercises.
5 easy exercises
- Bring some plants to your office or to the place where you spend most of your day.
- Bring your children or friends more often to walk in green, tree-covered areas.
- Start growing small vegetable in the garden or on the balcony of your home, giving them some of your time every day.
- Plant a plant in your backyard or the forest closest to your home.
- Get into the habit of hugging a tree from time to time. Don’t be afraid, treat it like a friend!
Surely you have already experienced how beneficial a walk in a forest or park can be. So, whenever you can, walk in the green, even better in a wood, and embrace your favourite tree to feel all the energy it can give you!
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“Blinded By Science”, by Matthew Silverstone
“Der Spiegel”, by Wilhelm Boland, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Karlsruhe and the Max Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology.