The Healing Power of Trees

Iíve had the good fortune to live in a wide range of places: in the city, in the rainforest, in the desert, in a canyon, in the mountains, beside the ocean, and numerous other places. I learned a lot about myself from being in such diverse environments. One of the main things I learned is that I love living near trees. If I canít live in the middle of the forest, youíll probably find massive cedar hedges or an old-growth pine somewhere on the land surrounding my home. And, new research shows that Iím not the only one who is happiest near trees.

A new study conducted by the University of Exeter, in Exeter, UK and the University of Trnava, Trnava, Slovakia found that people who live in more densely forested areas are less likely to be taking anti-depressant medications. Because a growing body of evidence has shown an association between access to urban greenspace and wellbeing, the scientists wanted to find out how tree density might affect mental health.

The researchers explored the number of trees per kilometer throughout London, England boroughs along with the rates of antidepressant prescribing. After adjusting for other potential factors, the scientists found that there was a decrease of 1.18 antidepressant prescriptions for every additional tree per kilometer of street. They concluded that an increased number of trees may reduce the incidence of depression. The study will be published in the April 2015 edition of the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.

Obviously, most people who love nature donít need a study to tell them what they already know. But, itís nice when science confirms what we feel. It seems we humans are meant to be ďtree-huggersĒ or at least live among the trees.

Even if we donít live in a densely-forested area, we can contribute to the number of trees in our communities. We can plant more trees in our yard, propose the planting of more trees in public spaces, plant and care for potted trees on our balconies if we donít have land in which to plant them. We can get involved with tree-planting efforts in our communities, or start them if they donít already exist in our town or city. Iíd love to hear how trees enhance your life and the efforts you may be making to add more trees to your neighborhood.

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Check out my new books Weekend Wonder Detox,60 Seconds to Slim, andThe Probiotic Promise.Subscribe to my free e-magazine Worldís Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow my blog on my sites HealthySurvivalist.com and DrMichelleCook.com, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook. Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD. Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you.

269 comments

Jan S
Jan Sabout a month ago

Thanks for posting

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Paulo R
Paulo R1 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo R1 months ago

ty

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Paulo Reeson
Paulo R4 months ago

ty

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Paulo Reeson
Paulo R4 months ago

ty

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Sonia M
Sonia Mabout a year ago

Love trees,plants and gardening.Thanks for sharing.

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William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thanks.

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W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

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Kai J.
Past Member 3 years ago

:)

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Tiffany Schreiner

thx!

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