The Science Behind Huts For Vets
By Stephen Otero
As a human who is consistently humbled by the power of our environment, I believe in the healing properties of life which exist all around us. Sometimes all we must do is stop, look, be present, and we can experience the education our planet has to offer us.
All humans should have access to clean water, food, and medicine. As a military veteran who participated in humanitarian relief efforts at home and abroad, my hope is for peace and the opportunity for humankind to excel and thrive together. In our collective quest for health equity, I believe we can work more efficiently to identify the contributing factors to humans accessing health benefits of green or natural spaces.
By promoting a common understanding of health benefits gained from time in green spaces, we may discover additional methods for assisting in promoting positive health outcomes for both rural and urban dwelling persons. Time spent in nature does not have to be heart-pounding cardiovascular exercise to gain physiological health benefits. Rather, humans may gain health benefits from immersion in natural spaces, and potentially enhance effects by communing with others while in those spaces. We may help ourselves even more by spending a minimum of three days in these natural spaces, and research shows that there are measurable physiological marker changes, all for the good.
In my role as an undergraduate psychology student, I was tasked with taking a position on a review of two peer reviewed journal articles within the field of biopsychology. What follows here is my review of the latest literature related to the physiological mechanisms of action taking place during the practice of Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. This practice has assisted me with management of many of my own life’s challenges and I hope that, in the future, many additional discoveries are made related to the prescription of time outside for healing many of life’s wounds.