IMG_1226 Occasionally, you may find me in Central Park with my arms wrapped as far around a tree as they can possibly go. Mostly, I’ll just simply sit beside one and chill out under its magnificent presence.

It’s highly therapeutic for the both of us: the tree and me.

There’s a beautiful symbiotic relationship between trees and humans. We can’t live without each other. Or more appropriately, we can’t live without the trees. Humans (and other life forms) exhale carbon dioxide. The trees absorb that gas and magically transform it into oxygen.

According to scientific studies the trees are our life support system. “A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 lbs. per year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings.”[1]

Trees act as a natural filter cleaning pollutants from the air. They also naturally cool the air. On a hot summer day, take the opportunity to sit in the shade of a large Oak or Maple tree, and you’ll see just how cool the area underneath it is.

Trees not only benefit us humans, they also provide free housing for the birds, squirrels, and many other creatures.

Trees are friggin’ awesome!

Scientific evidence shows that exposure to the natural environment, especially trees, can improve human health. And, without trees an interesting thing happens: mortality rates from heart disease and respiratory ailments increase significantly.[2]

I always encourage clients and students to get out and take a daily walk around the trees, or go to a local park. Especially, if they are suffering from any type of respiratory illness, heart disease, depression, feelings of un-groundedness (like vertigo), or just about any condition you can think of.

I believe the majority of people are suffering from diseases associated with nature deprivation.  One of the keys to healing this condition is to get out into nature and connect with the environment and the trees.

American Poet, Alfred Joyce Kilmer, sums it all up nicely:

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“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear a nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.“

So…what are you waiting for? Get out into nature, HUG a tree, and have a healthy and happy summer!


[1] http://chemistry.about.com/od/environmentalchemistry/f/oxygen-produced-by-trees.htm