Can Nature Heal PTSD?

Can Nature Heal PTSD?“Keep close to nature’s heart,” the infamous naturist John Muir once wrote, “and break clear away once in awhile.” “Climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods,” he prescribed, “Wash your spirit clean.” John Muir said that “when one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

Finding connectivity and universality in nature is certainly a spiritual experience for anyone who is lucky enough to be part of it. Nature helps us to see our right size in the world. For some, being in remote nature is isolating and terrifying. For most others, being in nature is a chance to finally not feel so alone in the world. The vastness of nature is without the heavy, concrete and mundane happenings of everyday modern life. Part of that everyday life can include the presence of a mental health issue like post traumatic stress disorder.

Post traumatic stress disorder affects tens of millions of people around the world. Though a vast majority of the world’s people, about 70%, will experience trauma in their lifetimes, only a small portion of them will develop PTSD as a result. In a sense, PTSD is the brain’s inability to process a traumatic event. Feeling enduringly stuck in violent memories of the past, PTSD can leave someone feeling helpless over their own minds.

Research is being conducted to find out if spending time in wild nature, specifically green areas, can help alleviate the intensity of symptoms that can come with PTSD. Describing the initiative, Dr. Frederick Foote proposes “if we’re able to show that the whole body is undoubtedly influenced by exposure to nature in a positive way, that kind of proves it all, doesn’t it? I mean, that’s a game-changer for environmentalism as well as medicine.” Foote explains that current research has provided data “that nature is good for stress and for people under stress.” PTSD is a holistic stress, debilitating mind and body. In extreme cases, PTSD can cause recurring flashbacks or hallucinations which can result in a paralysis. Reexperiencing trauma releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Nature might help alleviate the extreme and particular stress which comes with PTSD.

Aurora Recovery Centre sits on the tranquil shoreline of beautiful Lake Manitoba in a private a luxury style resort-like setting. A licensed dual diagnosis facility, Aurora is able to offer treatment for post traumatic stress disorder and co-occurring substance abuse. Your path to lifelong recovery begins here. Call us today for more information at 1-844-515-STOP.

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