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: 96
Latest Activity: Mar 7, 2021

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 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 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? 


Comment by Jane Saunders on May 17, 2011 at 10:19am

There is no end to the benefits of family explorations in Nature.  Please read this article:

Comment by ConEddie on May 13, 2011 at 3:00pm

Here is another program that utilizes nature therapy by immersion in deep nature.

Sharing Nature Worldwide

There is also a great article by Joseph Cornell in the May/June 2011 issue of NAI's Legacy magazine.

Comment by Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC on January 22, 2011 at 2:05pm
This is a really good article, "School gardens improve health and academic performance, reduce discipline problems" from Citations and everything - a rare and precious gift! :)
Comment by Suz Lipman on January 12, 2011 at 2:53pm

Hi Stacey. I'm very glad you found us. I hope this group provides you with plenty of resources and discussion. Please keep us posted on your program - that's very exciting and I bet you'll find a lot of ideas here.


Katy, it's great to see you. Your program looks fantastic and very important. It's so wonderful that those children are getting out in nature to just have a good time. Your camp is probably one of the few low-stress areas of their lives. I'm very inspired by what you're doing. Please continue to let us know how it's going and what you're doing, in addition to challenges you may face. I bet many people here share them.

Comment by Katy Hoskins on January 12, 2011 at 5:48am
I work with a foundation that provides summer camp and school mentoring programs for children who have an incarcerated parent(s).  Our philosophy combines Health Rhythms drumming, nature therapy, art therapy and YogaKids.  My hope is to add equine therapy in the mix next summer.  Most of the children I work with are between the ages of 8 and 12, and have very diverse backgrounds. Promises for Families Foundation
Comment by Stacey S. Mallory on January 11, 2011 at 10:40pm
I too was excited to find your group! :) I am currently enrolled in a Master's program for Applied/Intergrated Ecophycology/therapy. I am also working on a nature based therapy program for a non-profit in NW Arkansas. I look forward to discussions and sharing ideas!  
Comment by Suz Lipman on January 11, 2011 at 3:58pm
You're all very welcome. I was inspired by the work you all have been doing and by the joy and healing that nature can bring to people who may not find those things in other parts of their lives. I love Tammy's example of the child doing a fox walk to calm himself. I look forward to continuing discussion and sharing of ideas.

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