It’s happening … Lifestyle Prescriptions® are finding its way into doctors offices ( … even if they are as basic as prescribing a walk in “nature”).
Just recently doctors in Shetland (Scotland) have been authorized to prescribe nature to their patients.
It’s the first program in the United Kingdom (or worldwide for that matter) aiming to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and increase happiness for anyone dealing with stress, heart disease, diabetes, a mental illness, and more.
They even created a brochure with often very funny suggestions how to act on the nature prescription given:
- In February you can make a windsock from a hoop and material to “appreciate the speed of the wind”;
- In March you can make beach art from natural materials or “borrow a dog and take it for a walk”;
- In April you can “touch the sea” and “make a bug hotel”;
- In May you can “bury your face in the grass”;
- In July you can “pick two different kinds of grass and really look at them”;
- In August you can summon a worm out of the ground without digging or using water;
- In September you can help clean the beach and prepare a meal outdoors;
- In October you can “appreciate a cloud”; you can “talk to a pony”
- In November “feed the birds in your garden”
- In December and do so much more. All on doctor’s orders.*
The benefits of nature on mental and physical health are numerous. Just spending 90 minutes of our day outside in the forest will decrease the activity in the part of your brain typically associated with depression.
Spending time in nature not only reduces anxiety, aggression, ADHD, high blood pressure but it also increases happiness, pain control, the immune system, and many more benefits we haven’t even studied yet.
Just imagine the benefits of very specific lifestyle based prescriptions focused around the actual root-cause of a symptoms?
By Yuan Fisslinger PhD(C)