The Healing Power of Nature
It's time to rē•connect with Mother Earth.
Now as ever, it’s important for our wellness to rē•connect with Mother Earth. “Interacting with nature is proven to support our physiological and psychological health, specifically reducing anxiety and stress,” says Jules Miller, CEO, and Founder of The Nue Co. “The average American was reported to spend over 90% of their time indoors, and by 2050, it’s estimated that close to 75% of the global population will live in cities.”
This alarming trend towards an increasingly disconnected lifestyle does not bode well for wellness. However, after a year like 2020, during which intermittent lockdowns impeded our former lifestyles and socialization, time spent outdoors became a renewed pastime. As you will see, nature serves as much more than simply a form of recreation, offering health benefits to boot.
Humans Are Nature:
Miller describes an inherent human desire to reconnect with nature. Dubbed the Biophilia Hypothesis, it proposes an inherent human predisposition to be drawn towards other living things. She shares that this is an adaptive feature that developed over millions of years. But why?
“We forget that we have minerals and crystals within our teeth, bones, and inner ears,” says Mariah K. Lyons, founder of ASTARA. “We literally are nature. There is no separation.” Noting that indigenous cultures have known and taught this holistic world view preceding written history itself, Lyons’ insights shed light on the symbolic synastry between human life and nature: between our bodies and the earth, our blood and water, and our breath and the air. “There is a web woven between all of life and all of creation. We, as humans, are part of that web,” she says.
Grounding and The Schumann Resonance:
Research supports beneficial phenomena experienced by connecting with the earth’s frequency of 7.83hz, also known as the Schumann Resonance. “This frequency has been called the heartbeat of the earth, and research has shown that connection with [it] promotes harmony and balance within the body—decreasing inflammation, lowering the stress response, supporting the immune system, and helping to regulate circadian rhythms,” Lyons says.
The practice of earthing, the process by which the body transfers electrons with the ground’s surface for vitality, is done outdoors; but grounding ourselves via resonance therapy can be practiced wherever you are. ASTARA does exactly this via their line of luxury, grounding footwear. “Each ASTARA shoe has a proprietary component embedded within [the] sole that resonates [at] 7.83hz,” Lyons says. Customers have noted improved recovery from jet lag, improved sleeping schedules, and less depletion following long workdays in front of the screen.
Each pair is also embellished with ethically-sourced crystals for subtle-level benefits—a topic Lyons explains in her book, Crystal Therapy for Women. “Minerals of the earth have an individual vibration that can attune and balance our own body’s electrical frequency,” she says. “These help to align our bodily centers to bring flow and natural life force.”
Phytoncides and Forest Bathing:
The Nue Co. has harnessed yet another way to reconnect with nature indoors through the power of phytoncides, a chemical compound from trees that science has linked to improved immune system response and parasympathetic activity (i.e., the body’s relaxation response).
“Phytoncides are the molecular compounds emitted from all parts of trees [that] are believed to play an important role in plant immunity,” says Miller. Because we do not all have easy access to trees and forests, The Nue Co. created a functional fragrance called Forest Lungs, $95, using an essential oil-derived scent accord that is identical to the structure of terpenoids, the main volatile compound within phytoncides.
“FOREST LUNGS was inspired by the concept of medicalizing nature or the idea of getting a ‘prescription’ for spending time in nature,” Miller explains. “Informed by research conducted by The University of Geneva’s Brain & Behavior Laboratory, we know that scent is one of the fastest ways to impact or influence your emotional state.” Hence, the clean fragrance likened to “forest bathing in a bottle” was born. The Nue Co.’s consumer research has been promising, with 96% of respondents feeling less stressed within thirty minutes of using FOREST LUNGS, and 91% experiencing a reduction in their anxiety levels after 30 days of use.
Honoring Our Mother Earth:
The fact is that there will never be a replacement for actual nature—nor do we want one. Miller points out that doctors across the globe have been advocating for their patients to spend more time outdoors in the interest of improved mental and physical health. “Nothing will be able to rival the experience of uninterrupted time in nature,” Miller laments. However, the demands of modern life have made it necessary that we find ways to bring elements of nature to us; The Nue Co. and ASTARA are just two examples of brands doing exactly that.