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Nature’s Healing Power: Forest Therapy with Clemens Arvay (veg advocate), Part 2 of 4

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We now continue our interview with Clemens Arvay, as he examines the health effects of the forest on our bodies as well as our minds. “The bioactive substances of the trees, they have proven to be effective not only for our immune system, but also for our heart health. For example, they cause a substance called DHEA, dehydroepiandrosterone, to be increasingly produced in the adrenal cortex. And this is a protective substance for the heart that has been proven to keep our blood vessels elastic and can thus protect against coronary heart disease and heart attacks.”

He now shares with us some exercises that we can do in the forest to benefit from its health-enhancing powers. “These exercises are full-body breathing exercises where the whole body opens up and closes again when you exhale. And all of this in combination with smooth, elegant movements, which then also activates our cardiovascular system, is the best way to come into contact with the stimuli of nature and make ourselves receptive to them. Basically, however, in order to enjoy the positive effects of the forest, one does not have to do any special exercises. You can also walk in the forest, relax, do sports in the forest, meditate in the forest, or do autogenic training and other relaxation exercises, etc. So there are numerous studies that show that just the sight of nature, the sight of the forest, of other landscapes, has an effect on our nervous system which improves our defenses and also our self-healing rate.”

Clemens tells how the forest is a perfect place for meditation. “You can meditate anywhere in the forest, of course. This, for example, is the perfect place for meditation. Atop this tree trunk, and there is the sky, the treetops, with open eyes, or with your eyes closed. The interesting thing is that meditation in the forest with open eyes works especially well, easier than in a room, because, as has been proven, the impressions of nature increase alpha wave activity. So I would recommend to everyone to meditate according to their own mood and desire, or to do a walking meditation, where you concentrate on the forest path, in the fashion of the flow experience.”
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