Are You Calling Me a Tree Hugger?!

Occasionally, you’ll find me in Central Park (NYC) with my arms wrapped around a tree.

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

There’s a wonderful symbiotic relationship between trees and humans. We simply cannot live healthfully in the world without each other.

Humans (and other life forms) exhale carbon dioxide. Trees absorb that gas and magically transform it into our 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 under the shade of a large Oak, Maple or Evergreen tree, and you’ll see just how cool the area beneath its canopy can be.

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

Trees are friggin’ awesome!

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

I encourage clients and students to get outside and take a walk around the trees. Especially, if they are suffering from any type of respiratory illness, or heart disease, depression, feelings of un-groundedness… actually, just about any condition you can think of.

I believe the majority of people today are suffering mostly from diseases associated with nature deprivation.

One of the keys to healing our ailments is to get out into nature and connect with the environment and trees as often as possible.

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

“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, hike in the woods or go to your local park, and HUG a tree. It’s good medicine!