Why is contact with nature an excellent medicine?

It is undoubtedly the greatest natural anti-inflammatory remedy you can take advantage of, and it is at your fingertips: walking in a park, immersing yourself in a forest, walking there regularly offers valuable natural medicine for health. Find out what these beneficial effects are.

Why is contact with nature our best medicine?
Why is contact with nature our best medicine? © Getty / Erik Isakson

In his book, neuroscientist and research leader at INSERM Michel Le Van Quyen demonstrates how the simple act of connecting to nature has extraordinary effects on our general and especially mental health. At Ali Rebeihi’s microphone, he and Christophe André listed some of the main reasons why it’s good for your health to be close to nature and how the benefits it provides can naturally strengthen our biological mechanisms and cognitive. It is even enough to remember how much those who did not have the opportunity to access nature, during imprisonment, suffered terribly mentally.

We often forget that nature is the earth, the most important source of well-being that affects our daily lives, to the point that we are more than ever a significant variable in the very definition of our modern well-being, because according to Christophe André, ” today, the realities of our society mean that we tend to increasingly define well-being as a harmonious link to oneself and to one’s environment “.

It is because we feel satisfied with the environment we live in that we feel good in our body as well as in our head.

We feel good where we live, and often when we sit in nature, under a tree, on the grass, where the chances of feeling well are greater, because like Michel Le Van Quyen, a bath in nature has such an effect on bodily and mental health that it is a constant source of joy. Nature recharges our batteries, suspends our worries, our inner conflicts. 50% of our time is thinking, chewing gum “.

Nature has the gift of connecting us to it, as to ourselves, and to capturing our full attention.

Hiking in the forest, the fact of reconnecting with the natural environment makes it possible to maintain better life hygiene and to regenerate our cerebral functions.

Just through the window, nature does us good

Several scientific works have shown that enjoying a green view from home has a huge impact on physical health and our well-being. The neuroscientist cites in particular the study published in 1984 by the researcher and pioneer in the field, Robert Ulrichin the journal Science under the title “Looking out the window improves our recovery after surgery”. Having experienced it for himself, he demonstrated that the simple sight of a tree or a corner of nature, from the window of his home or his hospital room, optimizes recovery. , reduces the need for painkillers during a convalescence period – which is not the case for people who have been deprived of them. The effect of nature is so powerful that just looking out the window already has an effect on your good health.

The need for nature is part of our biological constitution

This need to get in touch with nature goes beyond a simple cultural practice that we would have learned to cultivate because the neuroscientist at the organism level teaches us that this need for the benefits of nature has an evolutionary explanation. We have a kind of innate ability to connect with nature, with the living: “Whether we like it or not, we have nature within us, and it is a biological heritage. As our microbiota proves. Itself colonized by billions of bacteria that are one with the external nature of ourselves.

Nature is a basic need, constituting from our biological roots

When we look at our brains, we modern men, it’s exactly the same as a Cro-Magnon man who lived in the beautiful valley of the Dordogne 30,000 years ago. In terms of building human life around the city, it is really only about 200 years of life since the industrial revolution. Admittedly, 50% of the world’s population lives in cities, but this newer phenomenon will never erase the entire history of mankind, which for 300,000 years has constantly lived next to nature. “This is how it affects our well-being, watering down our psychology from the beginning, even though the urban environment today has imposed itself.”

The impact on our nervous and immune system

If it is so great a lasting source of happiness, it is because the forest, the green nature in general, offers “a multisensory experience”. In addition to the beauty of the landscape, the smells, the forest atmospheres penetrate into us and target very specific areas of our body. Michel Le Van Quyen explains how these benefits are biologically translated in our body: “They act via certain organic compounds, molecules released into the air by trees to defend against pathogenic microorganisms, and which emit a lemon odor. Which in itself works directly on our immune system These molecules have the ability to kill diseased cells in our body by penetrating our white blood cells “.

After a good walk in the forest, the benefits of the forest have a positive effect on your immune system for about a month!

Contact with nature relieves stress

During a walk in the woods, our body has the power to calm down, to slow down our breathingof rebalance our cardiovascular systemand of course, our immune system. Above all, nature soothes the chronic stress that we tend to internalize on a daily basis, and the first to carry the bulk of it is our body … The neuroscientist teaches us that “every time our body encounters a calm, pleasant environment in nature activates the parasympathetic nervous system and soothes the perverse effects generated in the body by stress (great deterioration of our heart, brain and intestinal health), by secreting neurotransmitters associated with the state of well-being. the balance in our body. the immunological disorders caused by stress on our health “.

So if relaxation in nature does not cure diseases, it provides a significant anti-inflammatory effect, which allows our nervous system to regain a natural balance. All you have to do is answer the call of the forest – or nature, whatever it is!

🎧 LISTEN AGAIN – Good for you : How does nature benefit our brain?

📖 READ – Michel Le Van Quyen : “Brain and Nature – Why We Need the Beauty of the World” (Flammarion Editions, February 2022).

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