Nature as Therapy

This group is for those interested in or using nature to heal or transform body or mind, either for themselves or for others. Everyone is welcome to share ideas, techniques, inspiration and challenges.

Members: 94
Latest Activity: Aug 2, 2017

Discussion Forum

Chilsren's and Teen Health Summit

Our very own Cheryl Charles will be presenting at the ONLINE Chiildren and Teen Health Summit that begins Monday, November 3rd! The event is online, and  you can listen whenever you want during that…Continue

Started by Carla Atherton Oct 31, 2014.

Sense of Place Ecotherapy Ideas

Hi there,this is my first time posting but glad to see this group. I'm creating a sense of place workshop that includes cultural nature healing practices of connecting with our human ancestors as…Continue

Tags:, ecotherapy, place, of, sense

Started by Phoenix Smith Oct 2, 2012.

Healing area available to groups 1 Reply

I have 75 acres in the middle of Tioga State Forest called Camp Eaglebear. The land is surrounded by thousands of acres of woods and mountains near the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. My goal has always…Continue

Started by Paula Martin. Last reply by Yeshi Sep 20, 2012.

Nature as Healer

Greetings! I'm currently doing research for a book about burnout syndrome. It is my understanding (and my own experience) that nature has many healing properties. What I'm specifically looking for…Continue

Tags: therapy, nature, of, properties, healing

Started by Christine Louise Hohlbaum May 7, 2012.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Jan Hummer on November 7, 2011 at 8:19pm


Thanks for your speedy response.  I will be copying your comment and pasting on my wall to remind of my next steps in this process.  I will try to keep you posted on what may develop in the near future.

Hopefully a nature based library program for families with disabilties will be popping up in the spring in this area.  This will be good practice I think.

Many Thanks. - Jan


Comment by Randy Eady on November 7, 2011 at 5:16am

Hi Jan, Great work!   And welcome! 

Typically the state you're in has a unified annual meeting to provide assistance to the families you speak of across a diverse range.  They will have done a lot of the ground work to help you compose the wording of a proposal (that will link the outcomes you will achieve with your summer camp program) and typically have a ready-made list of organizations.  

For example, The Family Café in Florida is an annual state-wide event designed to serve persons with disabilities and their families from all areas of Florida, regardless of age, demographics or nature of disability. It offers a family-friendly environment where participants can connect with peers, commercial service providers, and public entities to find  out what goods and services are available to them, which best serve their needs, and how to go about securing those services.  I've presented there numerous times and there is always a specific section of the event devoted to camps.

Best, Randy

Comment by Jan Hummer on November 5, 2011 at 2:48pm

Hello all!  I am a new member to this group and I am so happy to partake!

I am creating a 2 week camp this summer in the Boulder, Colorado area that will be for families that are living with children with special needs.  The camp will teach families/caretakers to connect to nature with their children and teach them tools to feel comfortable with their child of all abilties.  I am going to be infusing Joseph Cornell's flow learning methods, contemplative nature based activities, and many other styles throughout these two weeks.  At this point I am wondering if anyone out there has done a camp like this?  Also I forgot to mention the camp will be 90 percent outdoors. 

I am currently trying to compile a list of organizations that work with families with special needs children, does anyone have any words of wisdom when approcahing these groups about a camp like this?



Comment by Jan Hummer on November 5, 2011 at 2:27pm



Wow, November 18th I wish I could go.  Joseph and Greg's work is amazing, flow learning is what I talked about in my thesis  connecting a child living with DS/autism to nature this past year and now thread this throughout all of my curriculum when working with people in nature.  


If something changes and I can go I will contact you for sure :)

Comment by Margie on October 25, 2011 at 8:44am
We are having a "Sharing Nature Worldwide" workshop for educators in Las Vegas Nov. 18, 2011.  This is Joseph Cornell's flow learning.  Can't wait!  If you're in the area and want to attend, contact me.  Cost is $40 and proceeds go to Nevada Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights campaign.
Comment by Suz Lipman on July 28, 2011 at 11:38am

Hi Everyone -

I thought you might be interested in this story:

Hospitals and clinics tap into the healing power of nature. 



Comment by Randy Eady on June 19, 2011 at 5:26am

Does a playground need to cost millions and come in a box with boundary lines and instructions?  


As an artistic medium, high performance training facility or form of re-creative therapy:  better if it doesn't.



The pitch (made of artificial turf) suggests the elements of serendipity and luck constantly present in play.


"Many live under the belief that life is a fair playing field, that both pitch halves are just as big and the goal always has at least one cross. But ultimately the ball never bounces exactly where you want it to and the pitch is both bumpy and uneven,” notes MogulBall designer and installation artist Johan Ferner Stroem.
Though very serious athletes (such as tennis player Rafael Nadal) find it incredibly useful (and humbling) to train with an absolute "0-2-B-4-Again unregulated playing-field” mentality (that you often find best expressed in nature settings).


Where Nadal truly sets himself apart from all the others is on the practice courts.  He’ll chase down balls his hitting partners have apparently sprayed wide or long – moving to and returning anything remotely in his vicinity.  How did he learn that there’s no such thing as OUT, in practice?  Or, rather how did he acquire the discipline to play everything?  By considering everything in play.  Easier to do when you remove restrictions you don’t particularly like anyway.  

Like those pesky lines for instance.  One of Nadal’s favorite practice courts naturally has no lines.

And for you and I, this practice model has real value. Too often we assume the ball might be going out and therefore don’t really run, or when the ball is slightly out we simply let it go, waiting presumably for something easier to return. Oh, doesn’t that show up in the lessons of life and the myriad of missed opportunity?   How often have we arbitrarily defined things as too risky, too hard, too much effort, too little in return. 
 And passed those notions down the line? 


When, put in action, the result of such practice ~~  in response to the natural world's unpredictability ~~ can be quite profound.

An Algorithm in the Chaos: Control through Counter-intuition

The unevenness of the field is intended to invite more imaginative ways to play, and to encourage an all-inclusive sport with limitless possibilities for play between girls and boys, old and young, skilled against unskilled, on equal footings, challenging the physical elitism inherent in most purposeful sporting activities.  

This natural, loping style of movement on the field of undulating play is something we practice in a restorative tai chi-based technique that combines unfocused eye movement with balance center integration.  It serves a population that also struggles with confidence and movement;  those subjected to a condition known as Parkinson’s.

Paradoxical Footwork Technique

  .   .   I have seen some Parkinson’s clients who use this footwork without knowing it.  That is, they discovered it without being taught.  Frequently ~~ they arrive at my facility from an athletic background (in a rambunctious, out-of-doors-nature- interactive childhood) that helped them hone a natural expression of body intelligence...


See Fullness in the Seed ~~Be Child-like Today in Nature.

Comment by Margie on June 3, 2011 at 1:55pm


Following the butterflies through their growth cycle, then releasing them is very fulfilling for the kids.  And they get to learn a life lesson, too.  See my blog:  Growing Butterflies.

Comment by Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC on June 3, 2011 at 1:43pm

This is a wonderful idea, a butterfly release at St. Louis Children's Hospital's Olson Family Garden (one of the best examples in the world of a a children's healing garden). Featured today on the Therapeutic Landscapes Network Blog. Has anyone else done this? I would love to see this done more, and with other ages, too! Imagine the joy at a senior center or intergenerational program...


Photo by Gary Wangler, courtesy of St. Louis Children's Hospital

Comment by Yeshi on May 17, 2011 at 3:30pm

Anyone have an image of a pie chart with how much time children are spending in front of technology and outdoors compared with a decade or two ago? 



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