Healthy by Nature: What is it about nature that is healing for humans?

Self, Meet Nature
Nature therapy, the application of the principals of Ecopsychology, includes direct encounters with nature as a therapeutic process.  Nature is whole and complete in itself.  Nature is creative and restorative; for many people, time spent in nature helps them feel connected spiritually to life.  Nature confronts them with the profound mysteries of life, with the awe and wonder that takes us beyond the limited confines of our own individual existence. Nature teaches us that we are not alone and cannot survive alone; it teaches us about relationship and inter-relatedness. It brings us into direct contact with the knowledge that we are part of a larger world community.  Nature brings us into contact with deep time, i.e., with the eternal, with our connection to the ongoing relationship with the past and future, with the cycles of life, with death and re-birth, with the ebbs, flows and ongoing evolution of life itself.
Healing is a function of connection.  Direct encounters with nature helps people deepen their connection to their own bodies, because direct experience with nature begins with the body and with appreciating, understand and expanding the use of the senses. Yes, there are more than 5.  Read how Guy Murchy in "The Seven Mysteries of Life" (Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1978) lists 32. Or, not satisfied with 32?  Eco-psychologist Michael J Cohen places the number of senses at our disposal at 53.  His definition of a sense goes beyond the physiological phenomenon/nerve sensor definition. He delineates the senses into four categories in his Reconnecting with Nature: Finding Wellness Through Restoring Your Bond with the Earth, (EcoPress, 2007).
Nature therapy exercises and rituals use conscious intention to shift awareness to the healing and transformation that can take place.

Three such exercises I apply are:


- Sense Yawn


- Randy's 3-Step


- Yin~Yang Walking

Re-Inspired by Nature
Ecopsychology shifts the identification of the person beyond the skin-encapsulated ego to an expanded sense of self, whose identity is grounded in the whole of life. Freeing the psyche; it  is inherently self-transcendent. It naturally connects people to their spiritual source, not by transcending life on earth, but by becoming more deeply connected with it. Ecopsychology and Nature Therapy offer an interconnected framework that benefits every part of the system of our world. Nature is therapeutic. We are nature -- not separate from it. The more deeply we experience that reality, the more healed and whole we become.


Randy Eady, M.Ed, (Wellness Contributor to is a board-certified rehab. specialist with 18+ years of experience in patient advocacy and clinical contact.  Randy is pursuing a doctorate in ecopsych-nature therapy from PNC/Akamia University.

Toes Knows Child-Inclusive Balance & Coordination Out-of-School Mobility Development

On a river of sound Thru the mirror go round, round I thought I could feel Music touching my soul Something warm, sudden cold The spirit dance was unfolding." — John Lennon, "#9 Dream"

Equine-Nature Therapy

Sense Yawning: An inter-generational therapeutic program that uses techniques such as dynamic, divergent, unfocused eye movement and acupressure stimulation to help pinpoint and reintegrate deficits in the body's three balance centers.

Randy Eady, a former Professor and Course Chair of Cultural Anthropology at the USAF Academy presenting on William D Evans II, Accessible sternwheel, watercraft, Bahia Resort Hotel, San Diego, CA, Nat'l Conf. on Inclusion


He'll present more on these themes at:


Changing Engagement in Outdoor Environment:  Creating Therapeutic Garden Landscapes


September 21, 2011 -  2:30

Creekside Community Recreation Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, BC




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Comment by Randy Eady on September 7, 2011 at 10:16am

Why the Equine Image?


To appreciate the "nature benefits" and natural attraction/af ~ filly ~ation aspects of Equine Rehab. Therapy see:


A program in New Zealand called Equine Rehabilitation System applies a technique called “Spontaneous Release by Positioning” that is highly foot-focused.   

This work has been developed into a simple system suitable for use in all aspects of structural imbalance.   In practice -- through Foot Whispering for example -- this has included people with arthritis, whiplash, sports injuries of every description, rheumatic ailments, foot pain and foot-toe, cranial-sacral mal-adaption, balance and movement challenges, headaches and migraines, chronic back, neck, joint and muscle problems or pain/stress syndromes. . .

For Empirical Nature-based Mind~Body Example see:  Horse have a sixth sense to pick up on anxiety: The Veterinary Journal

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