Making Friends With Trees

Our brains and bodies talk to trees through energetic and chemical pathways established millions of years ago. Humans came from the forest. We are primates, relatives of great apes, and once upon a time we lived in trees.

When we spend enough time with trees, the ancient connection to them and the earth ignites inside us. Our bodies and brains are receptive to the elemental, chemical and energetic fields circulating throughout the living world. And when we stand with trees and begin to breathe, our body and brain heal themselves.

Nature Bathing

In the process of ‘ nature bathing’, or Shinrin – Yoku, humans can bond to trees when we breathe, and it’s more than the air we share that unites us.

Trees release particular chemical messages into the atmosphere to help them fight diseases. These natural chemical compounds, plant oils and aerosols are also helpful to humans.

 The antiviral and antifungal compounds plants release through their leaves and bark trigger our immune system to create special Killer Cells. KC cells kill viruses and tumours and boost our immunity.

–  Dr Qing Li, ‘Into The Forest’

Resources and Links

Into the Forest 
How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness

(Author: Dr Qing Li, Associate Professor at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo and President of the Japanese Society of Forest Therapy.)


Tree Huggers Were Onto Something

It is one thing to spend time in nature, and another to make friends with it. Tree huggers have had a bad wrap, but actually, they were and are onto something. I should know. I am one.

Touching the trunk of a tree or even touching something made from wood lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels and balances our hormones. People are calmer, happier and live longer when around trees regularly. Humans that live in houses made from trees and work from desks made of timber a more productive in their work, feel more creative, less distracted and sleep better.

Trees help us to heal, to grieve and to connect to nature, they are the gatekeepers to our elemental world.

Trees are social and emotional beings like we are. They have families, live in communities, communicate via a vast underground communication network, share information and grieve. There is much to be said on our relationship to nature and why we treat it so badly. Everything is perception. How we perceive the world, is how we live in it.

If trees were perceived as friends, family, relatives and mothers we would certainly do much more to hold onto them. I am sure.

I greet the eucalypts along the Yarra as friends. I have a particular bond with some of them that I established through touch, awareness, and presence. Each time I visit them I take the time to share energy by holding gently to their leafy branches and running my hands through theirs. I inhale the perfume and close my eyes. I talk to them like prayer, and I know something is between us, we are friends.



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