I was checking weather info on the Weather Channel, when I saw a segment about ecotherapy. To my surprise, medical doctors were interviewed about prescribing time in nature for their patients as an alternative to medication. Findings are being reported about the success of this type of therapy for helping depression, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even ADHD.

Although many of us know that time in nature is helpful. These doctors have taken it a step farther. They have surveyed and categorized local parks that provide the best surroundings for their patients’ needs. This program is known as Park Rx. In addition to the health benefits, the program is touted as a means to build community and social awareness. This reminds me of the establishment and use of parks in the early 1900s to provide services, as well as time in the outdoors to people living in tenements and other areas in the large US cities.

Within medical and academic circles there are many studies that positively correlate time spent in nature with an individual’s well-being. These benefits can be seen both physically and mentally. Psychologically, time spent exercising in nature has been reported to not only reduce stress, and improve attention, but also positively impact mental restoration and coping with attention deficits.

Moreover, it has also been reported that time spent in nature is not only linked to improved nearsightedness, but also increased physical resilience. In 1984 Ulrich (R. Ulrich 1984) found that recovering patients who were kept in rooms with views of trees and grass recovered faster and required overall less medication than those who were kept in rooms without access to trees and grass. Furthermore, outdoor exposure has also been associated with an increased intake of vitamin D. Regular instances of outdoor exposure has found to help children remain alert throughout the day, maintain elevated moods, and fall asleep easier in the evening.

There is a wide range of park and trails services that have been developed across the US. Some are more interactive for children and families, while others are identified for people with specific conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

This is one the more interesting health initiatives that I’ve seen in a while. Take a few minutes to browse the website – it is fascinating to see what others have done. The little menu icon in the upper right corner is the easiest way to move around the website.

http://www.parkrx.org/

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8 Comments on "Park Rx"

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Pod

This fits in with yours I feel Linda……………………

Brazil Is Giving Its Prisoners One of the World’s Most Powerful Psychedelics as Part of the Rehabilitation Process
https://www.alternet.org/drugs/brazil-offers-ayahuasca-healing-some-its-prisoners

Sinera

Even better if they told them while in Nature to walk barefoot and touch ('hug') some trees as often as possible. Especially Earthing (Grounding) has been shown to improve health.

Pod
Sinera

Especially Earthing (Grounding) has been shown to improve health.

Definitely. When I take off my shoes and walk round barefoot, I feel my foot etheric expand.

Pucksterguy

It's why I Love the wilderness. I can feel the forest and the lake.

Lila

Oooh, this gives me so many ideas… and the tingles all over

Anaeika

Yessss! Yet another example of a changing world Linda . I really feel that connection to Gaia when walking barefoot along the coast, sand squooshing between my toes, and the tide rushing around my ankles.
I think I may take a road trip this weekend to do this. Thank you for the inspiration to soar. Xo

Now where to find the doctors who embrace this and the jobs that will accept this change?

Hailstones Melt

IN THE GARDENS

Bones and muscles limp upon the lawn:
So pleasurable to feel the tap of feathered grass,
The gentle, soothing lapping wave on wave,
Such unaccustomed pleasure now is born
As wrinkles made of worries ease away.
So sweetly generous in their lullaby,
The winds have stroked the sea and sun as well,
Their jewelled cadence rises with a sigh,
To celebrate the peace that here does lie.

Those bodies strained and tense
Have sought a chapel so to purify
All aching nerves and fibres work-abused
And here extravagantly gained their recompense.

I’ll visit every lunch time
This outdoor palace shrine,
To whisper silent secrets
And share the earth’s good sense.

Note: This is a poem I wrote in 1979, on a lunch time occasion in Hyde Park, off Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

Lila

That's exactly how I feel about a beautiful garden, Hailstones Melt… like it's my favourite chapel with sacred beauties to be enjoyed within!o:)

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