To Regain Balance, Harness the Healing Power of Nature

12/01/2016 | 2 min. read

Dr. Drew Sinatra

Dr. Drew Sinatra

To Regain Balance, Harness the Healing Power of Nature

In medicine, the body is like nature—patterns can reveal imbalances. When multiple symptoms are present such as fatigue, headaches, indigestion, and insomnia, the body is trying to communicate that something is wrong.

So, how do we learn the language of the body so we can understand how to correct the imbalance? The answer is tapping into the healing power of nature. This is something I learned when after two intense years of medical school I took a one-year hiatus and attended Wilderness Awareness School in Washington State.

Going into this program, I knew I would learn survival skills like how to start a fire, or how to identify edible and poisonous plants. But I had no clue that spending time in nature would make me a better doctor.

One of the program’s daily exercises was known as the “sit spot meditation.”
The purpose was to simply observe and take note of my surroundings: the flow of animals in and out of the space, the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, the smell of fresh rain.

Long after the program ended, I continued to harness the healing power of nature. I continued to sit alone in the woods for 30 minutes or longer every day. I always chose to sit under a large cedar tree near my home, rain or shine, for almost an entire year. I can tell you with all honesty that this practice truly transformed my life.

How can you learn to connect with your natural surroundings and regain balance?

  1. Take a 20-minute walk in the morning or evening. Spending time in nature helped me fine-tune my senses and allowed me to see connections between seemingly unrelated things.
  2. Consider how nature touches you. Notice the sun on your face or the call of birds nearby. As your senses become awakened, a quieted mind is a pleasant side effect.
  3. Bring the kids. Take them out to the woods or to a park and see how they engage with the outdoors. My son always picks up rocks and sticks and tells me stories about them. I always wonder where that information comes from, but children are very attuned to their surroundings and can pick up on information that adults either ignore or don’t know how to interpret.
  4. Practice gratitude. Be thankful for all that nature provides us. She is incredibly giving and the more we recognize her generosity and beauty, the more connected we become.

These practices can help connect you with the calming effect of your natural environment and help you tap into the healing power of nature.

Dr. Drew Sinatra

Meet Dr. Drew Sinatra

Dr. Drew Sinatra is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and self-described “health detective” with a passion for promoting natural healing, wellness, and improving quality of life by addressing the root cause of illness in patients of all ages. His vibrant practice focuses on treating the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) and finding missed connections between symptoms and health issues that are often overlooked by conventional medicine.

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