Between December 2016 and April 2017 we took a camping trip each month, getting our nature fix at a range of off-grid camping spots in East Gippsland.
This year we haven’t had the chance to take as many trips because we were busy with the caravan hire business.
That ‘edgy’ feeling often crept in – like we needed a nature fix.
After the last trip to a favourite secret location in far East Gippsland, it became quite apparent that nature-therapy is a real phenomenon.
A couple of days before the trip, a slight-upper-back-niggle escalated to full-blown-medication-required-pain.
No chance to book an emergency chiropractic session. I pushed through and went camping knowing that a dose of nature-therapy would be good for the soul.
Arrived at camp, found a perfect spot, the van is set up in no time.
Marcus is off collecting firewood.
The kids are riding their bikes and enjoying time to themselves.
I’ve got a chance to spend five minutes alone in nature.
I spot a cluster of tree ferns on a sunny glade near the van.
It’s beckoning for me to lay down and watch the world go by.
I heed nature’s call.
With closed eyes, the echoing sounds of bellbirds soothe the soul.
As I relax into the comfort of the earth, the trickle of the stream close-by makes its presence known.
A meditative breeze passes through the Mountain Ash forest. The Autumn sun is heart-warming.
This nature-based experience reminds me of the gift of presence which is always by our side.
Eyes-wide-open, the clouds shape-shift with new forms evolving by the minute.
Miss Six now joins me on the glade and we bliss out on the sky-show together.
I gently stretch and relax into Child’s Pose before rising to make a cup of tea.
That medication-inducing back pain significantly diminished because of the benefits of five minutes of nature-therapy.
Isn’t it marvellous?
How many times have you spent time in a forest and immediately felt lighter?
Forest bathing, nature-therapy, eco-therapy – a nature-fix – are scientifically proven ways to counteract the stressors we encounter in modern life. The Japanese have used nature as a therapeutic technique since the 1980’s. So why is nature-therapy still an emerging health trend?
The next time you’re under pressure and need a nature-fix, listen to your body. Take time to immerse yourself in nature and then come back to what you’re doing. I’m sure you’ll immediately feel the benefits.
The Nature Fix by Florence Williams
Slow Your Home Podcast talk with Florence Williams & the March 2018 Great Outdoors Experiment
Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review by Margaret M. Hansen, Reo Jones, and Kirsten Tocchini
Being in Nature with Eckhart Tolle