Ecotherapy?!? Get Out…side!

Steve is an ardent practitioner of ecotherapy himself!

Do you remember mom unceremoniously turning off the TV on a perfectly good Saturday morning cartoon lineup, ordering you outside like a dog that messed on the living room rug? Well, it turns out that momma knows best (as if we had any doubt), since several recent studies have been published about the numerous health benefits received from time spent outdoors.

Ecotherapy, just a really fancy term for getting outside and moving, is quickly becoming a treatment of choice for modern medicine, with an increasing number of doctors handing their patients prescriptions for outdoor activity. Patients can find themselves getting outside to help reduce effects for a whole host of diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and obesity.

Nature’s healing properties has been known by humans for several centuries. The ancient martial art of Tai Chi utilizes natural energy as a source of strength for the body. Yoga, too, is meant to be practiced outdoors, taking advantage of the quietness and stillness as the body is prepared for long meditation sessions.

For those who are so inclined, there are a whole host of locations offering healing though natural spring waters, unpolluted mountain air, volcanic mud baths, etc. If your spiritual batteries are in need of a good recharge, simply pack up the Family Truckster and head out west to soak up the vigor of a vortex in Arizona or Colorado.

Sometimes it is simple as unplugging ourselves from the technological tangle of virtual worlds and reality shows and taking a walk in the woods to assist the body’s natural blood pressure lowering processes. For some, Ecotherapy requires SCUBA equipment or vast amounts of ice axes and crampons and exotic destinations to satisfy the body’s craving for adrenaline.

And the best part of Ecotherapy is that, if on a Dr’s recommendation for a certain condition, some insurance policies will cover the cost (or a portion) of exercise sessions!

The next time you find yourself sitting inside, transfixed by a Family Guy marathon, remember mom’s prodding in your head and step outside for a little fresh air. Your body will love the time in its natural environment, and will reward you with a healthier and happier life.


Shawn Staerker, CES


Check out more short articles on ecotherapy–

Canoed Sunbathing–fun and fitness on the Wekiva River

Biking in Seminole State Forest–SR 46 to Moccasin Springs