The Healing Benefits of Hugging a Tree

By Erica Sofrina

I am remembering my experience of childhood, climbing my favorite tree in our front yard. It was a huge pine tree and had wonderful branches close to each other like a perfect ladder to heaven. I would climb to the very top and swing† blowing in the wind for hours.

Often I would sing the only song I knew about a tree,† “I talk to the trees but they don’t listen to meÖ.” It seems ironic now because indeed the tree was listening to me and I knew it, but this was one of the few songs in my limited repertoire. I sang it with great melancholy and the tree, like a faithful dog was just there, present, holding me and my sadness.

My last article The Healing Benefits of Walking Barefoot got me thinking about how formative these experiences of nature are to us as children, if we were fortunate enough to be around it. I realize how blessed I was to have an actual forest to explore, and a choice of many fabulous trees to climb and a tree house that I had access to.

Shortly after writing my last article I decided to practice what I preached and found a park with† field to experience grass under my feet again.† I was instantly transported to my childhood where I went barefoot everywhere. I could literally walk on nails. So different from my wimpy feet now! I then† took time to lie on the grass and gaze at the clouds. It felt incredibly rejuvenating to connect† to that child like part that I haven’t let out in a very long time. It seemed to lighten my soul and I am still feeling the positive affects.

I observed my surroundings and saw a few pubescent girls contemplating climbing a tree, not sure if it was the cool thing to do. To encourage this behavior I sauntered over and asked† if they would indulge me and climb the tree so that I could get a picture.

I could see their minds spinning …the cool ‘fashionistas’ wrestling with the children who relished the prospect of having an adventure. To my joy the child- part won. They worked out how to shimmy each other up and before long† were laughing and playing letting out squeals of joy.† I silently slipped off, hoping they might continue† a little longer, celebrating† the child that had won out, perhaps for the last time. I pondered how fleeting this precious time is and what it would be like to know the last time you climbed a tree that it was indeed the last time you would ever climb a tree.

I was brought back to my own childhood. I was about their age, doing the dance between wanting desperately to be an adult and still wanting to hang out in my beloved tree, singing my melancholy tunes.

As an adult I have since had many amazing communications with trees. (But haven’t climbed one since I was a child… something I promise to do again soon!) I have always been convinced of their healing properties, and am happy to know that science has now caught up with what many of us have known all along.

In a recently published book, Blinded By Science, Matthew Silverstone reveals the† scientific data showing trees improve many health issues such as mental illness, ADHD, depression, the ability to alleviate headaches, reaction time and concentration levels. He lists countless studies of children who showed significant psychological and physiological improvements in their† health and well being when they interacted with plants and trees. Their cognitive and emotional abilities improved and they experienced more creative play in ‘green’ areas.

He explains that the reasons are† simply that everything vibrates and different vibrations affect biological behaviors.† When we touch† a tree its different vibrational pattern will affect the various biological behaviors within the human body bringing it into a healing alignment.

Plants and trees facilitate the cleansing and revitalizing of all of the stored up negativity and stress humans experience and give it a place to be absorbed. Being in their presence† realigns our vibrations to be more in alignment with their healing and grounding vibrations.

So tree hugging is not just for hippies or children. It is beneficial to all!

I encourage you to set aside 30 minutes to go out and climb, touch, hug or† just be near a tree and meditate on all of the richness they provide to the planet, not only visually, but in their healing medicinal properties, cleaning our air, providing a place for children to play and providing the† materials for our homes. The fact that trees give off oxygen just before dawn, which wakes up the birds and makes them sing! Put your hands on a tree and open to the teaching it has for you and send your gratitude back to her.

Experience the powerful healing properties of being among these incredible, free and natural resources that are still available to us, and work to protect, preserve and cherish them for all generations to come!

Please share with us your own healing experiences and appreciation of trees!


Other Inspirational Articles by Erica Sofrina:

The Healing Benefits of Walking Barefoot

Five Tips for An Enchanting Summer Garden

All Articles by Erica Sofrina

For Erica’s Inspirational Angel Stories:

The Man on the Street

The Kitten


Child Hugging a tree photo flickr foilman
Group Hugging a Tree top photo flickr citnai
Joshua Tree woman Hugging a Tree flickr snre




Jas Sharma
Jas Sharma2 years ago

I do it as often as I can,but do it like you would hug a person so not that long.How long you should hug a tree?Thanks.

Cynthia B.
cynthia l4 years ago

I am a tree hugger and planter.. It is a Spiritual experience to feel the universal love and heartbeat of their life's essence. As a child I spent hours up in Euclyuptus trees which were my protector and nuturer, soothing my tears and fears. Tree are the lungs of this Earth. The home/shelter for many creatures. a wealth of knowledge and just amazinly beautiful. Don't forget as food bearers also. THANK You trees and thanks to Erica for this wonderful warming article

Elisa F.
Elisa F4 years ago

I had a favorite tree as a child and wish it was still there to show my children. I love trees. I love planting trees on Care2 :)

B. M.
Bette M4 years ago

This is for Chris Y:

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant and protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Thank you Chris.......And feel free to share my words
all over creation.

Sandi C.
Sandi C4 years ago

I used to climb trees when younger.

Chris Y.

I am an ABSOLUTE tree hugger. I have been drawn to the BIG and ANCIENT ones here in Northern California, like Ave of the Giants, Seqouia National Park and other surrounding areas that have the big Tree Elders. They have been sharing so much knowledge, love and grounding for me. I touch them, send love to them, listen to them...I have new friends everywhere. I also feel as if I am becoming somewhat of a Lorax because these beings seem to be speaking through me on a consistent basis. I couldnt be more appreciative and HONORED that these ancient ones chose me. I happily shared this link with my many friends on facebook in hope that it will inspire many more to appreciate these amazing "lungs of the planet". :)

Sharlene K.
Sharlene R5 years ago

When I was little I use to climb trees all the time. There was this certain magnolia tree that was my favorite. Loved that tree.

Jessica J.
Jessica J6 years ago

I once climbed and hugged a tree for mother's day, for want of a 'hugable' was very soothing and a prtfrct match ;-)

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B6 years ago

I really love trees! I live in Stara Zagora - the greenest town in Bulgaria.

Betty L.
Betty L6 years ago

I used to live in the trees when I was little. I climb the tree in my back yard with my grand kids. My 6 yr old GS hugged a dead tree after it was cut down. Very moving.