31 Dec Tree Huggin
Trees are a living mass with different vibrational patterns and frequencies that can help to harmonize and balance the biological and psychological behaviour of us all.
I grew up on an island on the west coast of Canada that is known for a high population of “tree huggers”, a term used to describe environmentally conscious people. I think it’s just the kind of environment that breeds nature lovers. My parents instilled this in me from a very early age. Our weekends were spent hiking in rain forests with big trees towering over us. Some of the trees on Vancouver Island are as tall as 75 meters, with their trunks growing up to 9 meters in diameter – truly a natural wonderland and a presence that leaves a lasting effect. There is a felt sense of being held and supported and an invigorating rush of vitality that enters into me when I’m in the presence of trees.
There are many well known nourishing and healthy benefits to plants and trees. The most obvious is the support they offer by cleaning the air that we breathe. Plants devour the carbon dioxide that gets expelled into the air and transform it into the oxygenated air that we then inhale. Oxygen is essential for us in order to burn the fuel that we have in our cells so that we can produce energy and live. Basically, nothing in our bodies would function without the delivery of air, making it our most vital resource for life.
The oxygen we receive in plant rich environments also has a detoxifying and immune boosting power. Plants release chemicals called phytoncides into the air to fight off unhealthy bacteria and funguses. When we breathe in these chemicals our bodies respond with similar anti-bacterial and anti-fungal functions by triggering an increase in white blood cells that kill potential viruses and infections. If germs do cause us to get ill, plant extracts are used in both natural remedies and pharmaceutical medicines. Willow bark, for example, is known for its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory abilities. The active ingredient that aids in this healing is salicylic acid, which is the same active ingredient in aspirin. Although these ingredients are now often synthetically derived, Mother Nature continues to supply us with the remedies we need to keep our immune system healthy and fight disease.
Beyond the physical advantages, these natural wonders can affect psychological change as well by reducing stress, promoting concentration and improving our mood. Studies have shown that simply sitting and observing trees or even looking at pictures of them, can lower stress related hormones of cortisol and adrenaline reducing levels of anxiety, depression, confusion and mental fatigue. By taking time out to sit and be with nature we gain more clarity, giving our minds time to rest and renew, cultivating patience and an increase in our ability to focus. Urban communities have even planted trees to lower crime rates and cultivate healthy social behaviors. There appears to be lower crime rates in communities that are more abundant in trees. Researchers speculate that greener spaces encourage people to spend more time outside, connecting to their neighbours and building trust and respect.
The indigenous communities of Canada have been gathering and honouring nature in their traditional rituals for generations. They believe that trees are a manifestation and part of the “Great Spirit” and that everything in the Universe vibrates as the same source. Whenever any material is extracted from the forest a ceremonious acknowledgement honours this gift from a higher power. In many cultures and religions around the world, trees symbolize and represent the way that creation moves through our own bodies. By embodying the energy of trees we can touch and experience a direct sense of natural beauty, symmetry and balance.
Whether or not you are a tree hugger, trees are continuously hugging and supporting you. They are a living mass with different vibrational patterns and frequencies that can help to harmonize and balance the biological and psychological behaviour of us all. So how can we receive the gifts that are being offered to us? You don’t have to immerse yourself in a massive rainforest of big trees – although I highly recommend you put it on your bucket list. All you really need to do is be fully present in the natural vegetation that surrounds you. Begin by observing the tree or plant and then take a few deep breaths. Be open to what is being offered and notice the way that the plant makes you feel. Be with what is. And when you are finished, say thank you, and if you feel so inclined, go ahead and hug.