Craniosacral Therapy: escaping the cycle of stress and insomnia

Craniosacral Therapy: escaping the cycle of stress and insomnia

Insomnia affects so many of us. At its root lies a simple problem: the inability to let go and relax at night. Yet the results of this lead to many complex problems in the lives of those who experience it.

The spiralling cycle of stress and sleep

Does this sound familiar to you? Here’s a typical pattern you may recognise:

• All the stresses of the day – from work and home, friends and family – refuse to stop spinning around in your head, so you just can’t switch off or wind down.
• The result is another night of interrupted sleep that leaves you feeling exhausted before the next day has even begun.
• Because of this you are unable to face the day’s challenges.
• And these continue to spin round in your head when you try to wind down at night.
• The cycle continues and further deepens.

Sleep can quickly become a stress in itself: as an unattainable goal the pressure of trying to reach it only feeds the negative cycle. You feel powerless, you feel lost, you feel trapped and you feel anxious.

The masking effect of sleeping pills

Perhaps, as a last resort, you even visit your GP and receive prescription sleeping pills in the hope of gaining that rest your body, mind and soul so desperately crave. The truth is, however, that sleeping pills only serve to mask the underlying issues. They cannot address the fact that your body is out of balance, and they may actually leave you experiencing a deeper sense of dislocation and disconnection.

There has to be a better way

This is where Craniosacral Therapy (CST) can make a profound difference. The most powerful, immediate affect that most people experience with craniosacral work is the ability to shut off the stress response that has kept them prisoner to issues like insomnia and anxiety.

CST works immediately on the nervous system, and it is this that has been affected by our reaction to the stress that has caused our insomnia.

Every time we experience stress our bodies operate through our sympathetic nervous system, producing the anxious reaction of fight or flight. If we do not allow ourselves sufficient down time, our bodies get used to existing in this heightened state of stress. It becomes second nature to us, but it is never long before we become depleted. Our endocrine system spirals into defence mode, sparking a chain reaction that leaves us drained of vital energy. In this state we are vulnerable to illness, depression and anxiety.

CST restores our natural state of balance

This natural state of balance is known as homeostasis. Your body naturally wants to seek an optimal balance between responding to stress and allowing itself time for relaxation, rejuvenation and healing to occur.

By tuning directly into your central nervous system, a craniosacral therapist can induce a state of calm and relaxation that allows you to find the escape your body needs to recover. This means you can gain relief from the effects of stress, such as sleeplessness, incessant thoughts, feeling on edge, anxiety and more.

The beauty of CST

The beauty of CST, in my experience, is that it can take just a couple of sessions for people to experience that longed-for full night’s sleep and attain a desperately needed sense of calm.

And this is only the beginning of their journey.

After five sessions many are able to calibrate their stress response effectively to cope once more with their day-to-day situation more easily. They are able to make lasting changes in their life and experience a liberating transformation as they escape the cycle that has held them prisoner to its relentless rhythms.

This escape from helplessness, negative thoughts and sleeplessness can feel like a veil being lifted as they feel able to see the world clearly for the first time in many years.

And so to bed.

By Alfredo Hunter

Social Capital online Quiz

Our social connections are integral to our health and happiness, but connections come in many different forms. A lifelong friendship usually feels different than a casual acquaintance you make at a networking event or a friend you acquire on Facebook.Yet according to research, we need both weak ties and strong ties in order to build “social capital,” which researchers define as the web of relationships in our life and the tangible and intangible benefits we derive from them.

So how much social capital do you have? Does your capital come from strong bonds to those closest and most obviously similar to you, or from connections to people spanning different backgrounds and circumstances? And in our increasingly wired world, how do your online relationships compare to your offline ones?

The following quiz will help you answer those questions. Based on a scale developed by Dmitri Williams, a professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, it measures the amount—and the sources—of social capital in your life, zeroing in on online vs. offline capital.

This quiz contains a total of 26 questions. The first 20 will measure how much social capital you have, while the last six will help our researchers understand how social capital differs between people. Once you have answered all your questions, you will receive your social capital score along with some more detailed feedback. We’ll report next month on what the scores suggest about the Greater Goodcommunity.



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Happiness, the Hard Way

By Darrin M. McMahon

This essay originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

I think it is probably fair to assume that most Americans today consider happiness not only something that would be nice to have, but something that we really ought to have—and, moreover, something that’s within our power to bring about, if only we set our minds to it. We can be happy, we tell ourselves, teeth gritted. We should be happy. We will be happy.

That is a modern article of faith. But it is also a relatively recent idea in the West which dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, a time that ushered in a dramatic shift in what human beings could legitimately hope to expect in and from their lives. People prior to the late 17th century thought happiness was a matter of luck or virtue or divine favor. Today we think of happiness as a right and a skill that can be developed. This has been liberating, in some respects, because it asks us to strive to improve our lots in life, individually and collectively. But there have been downsides as well. It seems that when we want to be happy all of the time, we can forget that the pursuit of happiness can entail struggle, sacrifice, even pain.

Roots of happiness

Language reveals ancient definitions of happiness. It is a striking fact that in every Indo-European language, without exception, going all the way back to ancient Greek, the word for happiness is a cognate with the word for luck. Hap is the Old Norse and Old English root of happiness, and it just means luck or chance, as did the Old French heur, giving us bonheur, good fortune or happiness. German gives us the word Gluck, which to this day means both happiness and chance.

What does this linguistic pattern suggest? For a good many ancient peoples—and for many others long after that—happiness was not something you could control. It was in the hands of the gods, dictated by Fate or Fortune, controlled by the stars, not something that you or I could really count upon or make for ourselves. Happiness, literally, was what happened to us, and that was ultimately out of our hands. As the monk in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales declares:

And thus does Fortune’s wheel turn treacherously. And out of happiness bring men to sorrow. In other words, the wheel of fortune controls our happenstance, and hence our happiness.

There were, of course, other ways of thinking about happiness. Those who have studied Greek or Roman philosophy will know that happiness—what the Greeks called, in one of several words, eudaimonia—was the goal of all Classical philosophy, beginning with Socrates and Plato, then taken up even more centrally by Aristotle, then featured prominently in all the major “schools” of Classical thought, including that of the Epicureans, Stoics, and so forth. In their view, happiness could be earned, a perspective that anticipates our modern one.

But there is a crucial difference between their ideas of happiness and ours. For most of these Classical philosophers, happiness is never simply a function of good feeling—of what puts a smile on our face—but rather of living good lives, lives that will almost certainly include a good deal of pain. The most dramatic illustration of this is the Roman statesman and philosopher Cicero’s claim that the happy man will be happy even on the torture wrack.

That sounds ludicrous to us today—and perhaps it is—but it very nicely captures the way the ancients thought of happiness, not as an emotional state but as an outcome of moral comportment. “Happiness is a life lived according to virtue,” Aristotle famously says. It is measured in lifetimes, not moments. And it has far more to do with how we order ourselves and our lives as a whole than anything that might happen individually to any one of us.

Given these presuppositions, the ancients tended to agree that very few would ever succeed in being happy, because happiness takes an incredible amount of work, discipline and devotion, and most people, in the end, are simply not up to the task. The happy are what Aristotle calls “happy few.” They are, if you like, the ethical elite. This is not a democratic conception of happiness.

After the Greek and Roman traditions, we have Jewish and Christian ideas about happiness. In the prevailing Christian understanding, happiness can occur in one of three circumstances. It can be found in the past in a lost Golden Age, in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were perfectly content. It can be revealed in the future—the millennium when Christ will return and the Kingdom of God will genuinely be at hand. Or we can find happiness in heaven, when the saints shall know the “perfect felicity,” as Thomas Aquinas puts it, the pure bliss of union with God. Strictly speaking, this is the happiness of death.

And so in the dominant Christian worldview, happiness is not something we can obtain in this life. It is not our natural state. On the contrary, it is an exalted condition, reserved for the elect in a time outside of time, at the end of history. This is the opposite of today’s egalitarian, feel-good-now conception of happiness.

Happiness revolution

Enter the 17th and 18th centuries, when a revolution in human expectations overthrew these old ideas of happiness. It is in this time that the French Encyclopédie, the Bible of the European Enlightenment, declares in its article on happiness that everyone has a right to be happy. It is in this time that Thomas Jefferson declares the pursuit of happiness to be a self-evident truth, while his colleague George Mason, in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, speaks of pursuing and obtaining happiness as a natural endowment and right. And it is in this time that the French revolutionary leader St. Just can stand up during the height of the Jacobin revolution in France in 1794 and declare: “Happiness is a new idea in Europe.” In many ways it was.

When the English philosopher and revolutionary John Locke declared at the end of the 17th century that the “business of man is to be happy,” he meant that we shouldn’t assume that suffering is our natural lot, and that we shouldn’t have to apologize for our pleasures here on earth. On the contrary, we should work to increase them. It wasn’t a sin to enjoy our bodies, his contemporaries began to argue. It wasn’t gluttony and greed to work to improve our standards of living. It wasn’t a sign of luxury and depravity to pursue pleasures of the flesh, and whatever other kind as well. Pleasure was good. Pain was bad. We should maximize the one and minimize the other, yielding the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

This was a liberating perspective. Starting in Locke’s time, men and women in the West dared to think of happiness as something more than a divine gift, less fortuitous than fortune, less exalted than a millenarian dream. For the first time in human history, comparatively large numbers of people were exposed to the novel prospect that they might not have to suffer as an unfailing law of the universe, that they could—and should—expect happiness in the form of good feeling, and pleasure as a right of existence. This is a prospect that has gradually spread from the originally rather narrow universe of white men to include women, people of color, children—indeed, humanity as a whole.

This new orientation towards happiness was, as I say, liberating in many respects. I would argue that it continues to lie behind some of our most noble humanitarian sentiments—the belief that suffering is inherently wrong, and that all people, in all places, should have the opportunity, the right, to be happy.

Unnatural happiness

But there is a dark side to this vision of happiness as well, one that may help explain why so many of us are snapping up books about happiness and coming to happiness conferences, searching for an emotion that we worry is absent from our lives.

For all its pleasures and benefits, this new perspective on happiness as a given right, tends to imagine happiness not as something won through moral cultivation, carried out over the course of a well-lived life, but as something “out there” that could be pursued, caught, and consumed. Happiness has increasingly been thought to be more about getting little infusions of pleasure, about feeling good rather than being good, less about living the well-lived life than about experiencing the well-felt moment.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about feeling good. But I would suggest that something of value may have been lost or forgotten in our transition to modern ideas of happiness. We can’t feel good all the time; nor, I think, should we want to. Nor should we assume that happiness can be had (maybe a better word?) without a certain degree of effort, and possibly even sacrifice and pain. These are things that the older traditions knew—in the West and the East alike—and that we have forgotten.

Today, science is rediscovering the validity of ancient perspectives on happiness—that there are important connections between hope and happiness, for example, or between gratitude and forgiving and happiness, altruism and happiness. Science is often painted as being opposed to matters of the spirit, but new discoveries by researchers like Michael McCullough, Robert Emmons, and many others remind us how important non-materialistic, spiritual cultivation is to our happiness and well-being. It is all the more important to revive and cultivate this older wisdom today, given that so many of us assume that we ought to be happy as a matter of course, that this is our natural state.

Indeed, if you think about it, this idea of happiness as a natural state creates a curious problem. What if I’m not happy? Does that mean that I’m unnatural? Am I ill, or bad, or deficient? Is there something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with the society in which I live? These are all symptoms of a condition that I call the unhappiness of not being happy, and it is a peculiarly modern condition.

To cure this condition, we might focus less on our own personal happiness and instead on the happiness of those around us, for relentless focus on one’s own happiness has the potential to be self-defeating. The 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill once said, “Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.” Whether that is really true or not, I don’t know. But given that we live in a world that asks this question of us every day, it is a paradox worth pondering.

Darrin M. McMahon, Ph.D., is a professor of history at Florida State University and the author of Happiness, A History.


Craniosacral Therapy: a wonderful resource during pregnancy and after birth


Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is renowned for its gentle approach to healing and its deep, moving effects. What a great tool to have at your disposal throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond! The same light touch used on adults can be also be used on babies.


Many times pregnant mums come for CST after the first trimester presenting with lower back pain, achey legs and feet and a sense of discomfort. Other complaints often include water retention, constipation and the odd headache or dizziness. These physical ailments can be addressed using CST while the therapist gently tunes in and listens to the whole body-system of the client while paying attention to what is happening at that moment.


The holistic approach of CST can be extremely powerful in connecting with the body’s innate ability to relieve imbalances, tensions, compressions and patterns of stress.

During a session mums feel their bodies relaxing and letting go sinking into a deeper and more fluidic sense of being. This is a place where they can feel safe and “let go”, starting their journey within. Many times this experience is so deep and moving that a mum will spontaneously start connecting with the baby within her belly and a new awareness of connection and relation between mother and baby begins. Usually they start having an understanding of what the therapist is feeling and having a clearer understanding of what is happening within them.


Craniosacral therapists are skilled at tuning into the connective tissue of the body which can relax intrauterine pressures, making more space for the growing baby to get into an optimal position for birth. This can also help to release tensions on the spine while supporting the Central Nervous System (CNS) and letting the very important cranial nerves flow at ease. This is of great significance as soft muscle and tissue tone is essential for a smooth pregnancy and easy birth. A soft and connected CNS will help mum and baby to feel spacious, connected, nourished and essentially relaxed.

Once the CNS reaches its crucial state of ease, connection and flow, homeostasis (an optimal balanced and constant internal environment) can be aimed for. Here is where a balance of hormones, PH, temperature and other vital body systems can begin to be reached starting from within each cell and integrating all the major organs and systems of the body.


After a course of CST sessions mums to be often feel more in tune with their bodies and better prepared for the process of giving birth. The healing experience of CST sets them on the path for a calm, centred and relaxed approach to the birthing process. In this centred state of mind, the body is relaxed and in optimum health full of energy and vitality.


Once the baby is born, follow up sessions are highly recommended as the gentle approach of CST is ideal during this specially sensitive and emotional time.


After a difficult birth babies can present signs of stress which of course will translate onto their mum’s sense of ease and wellness. In these cases the healing journey during sessions would be a three person process, mum baby and therapist; where healing takes place at a soft and nurturing pace, letting mums and babies come back to a state of ease, stillness, and the original nurturing healthy relationship between the baby and its mum.



Alfredo Hunter


Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember “RAIN”

 Four steps to stop being so hard on ourselves.

Illustrations by Michael Woloschinow

By Tara Brach

When I was in college, I went off to the mountains for a weekend of hiking with an older, wiser friend of twenty-two. After setting up our tent, we sat by a stream, watching the water swirl around rocks, talking about our lives. At one point she described how she was learning to be “her own best friend.” A wave of sadness came over me, and I broke down sobbing. I was the furthest thing from my own best friend. I was continually harassed by an inner judge who was merciless, nit-picking, demanding, always on the job. My guiding assumption was, “Something is fundamentally wrong with me,” as I struggled to control and fix what felt like a basically flawed self.

Over the last several decades, through my work with tens of thousands of clients and meditation students, I’ve come to see the pain of perceived deficiency as epidemic. It’s like we’re in a trance that causes us to see ourselves as unworthy. Yet, I have seen in my own life, and with countless others, that we can awaken from this trance through practicing mindfulness and self-compassion. We can come to trust the goodness and purity of our hearts.

In order to flower, self-compassion depends on honest, direct contact with our own vulnerability. Compassion fully blossoms when we actively offer care to ourselves. To help people address feelings of insecurity and unworthiness, I often introduce mindfulness and compassion through a meditation I call the RAIN of Self-Compassion. The acronym RAIN, first coined about 20 years ago by Michele McDonald, is an easy-to-remember tool for practicing mindfulness. It has four steps:

Recognize what is going on;
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
Investigate with kindness;
Natural awareness, which comes from not identifying
with the experience.

You can take your time and explore RAIN as a stand-alone meditation or move through the steps in a more abbreviated way whenever challenging feelings arise.

RAIN practice from Tara Brach

RRecognize What’s Going On

Recognizing means consciously acknowledging, in any given moment, the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are affecting us. Like awakening from a dream, the first step out of the trance of unworthiness is simply to recognize that we are stuck, subject to painfully constricting beliefs, emotions, and physical sensations. Common signs of the trance include a critical inner voice, feelings of shame or fear, the squeeze of anxiety or the weight of depression in the body.

Self-compassion flowers with honest, direct contact with our own vulnerability.

In order to flower, self-compassion depends on honest, direct contact with our own vulnerability. Compassion fully blossoms when we actively offer care to ourselves.

Different people respond to the sense of unworthiness in different ways. Some might stay busy, trying to prove themselves valuable; others, fearful of failure, may become discouraged or even paralyzed. Still others may resort to addictive behaviors to avoid facing their shame and fear. Any of these strategies can lead to either defensive or aggressive behavior with others, or unhealthy attachment.

Some of us are at war with ourselves for decades, never realizing how our self-judgment and self-aversion keep us from finding genuine intimacy with others or enjoying our lives. One palliative caregiver reports that a key regret of the dying is not having been true to themselves. Rather than listening to and trusting our inner life, most of us try to live according to the expectations of others, which we internalize. When we inevitably fall short of the mark, we condemn ourselves.

Though it may sound depressing or overwhelming, learning to recognize that we are at war with ourselves is quite empowering. One meditation student described the trance of unworthiness as “…the invisible and toxic gas I am always breathing.” As he became increasingly mindful of his incessant self-judgment and feelings of inadequacy, his aspiration to free himself from his painful inner prison grew.

AAllowing: Taking a Life-Giving Pause

Allowing means letting the thoughts, emotions, feelings, or sensations we have recognized simply be there. Typically when we have an unpleasant experience, we react in one of three ways: by piling on the judgment; by numbing ourselves to our feelings; or by focusing our attention elsewhere. For example, we might have the sinking, shameful feeling of having been too harsh in correcting our child. But rather than allowing that feeling, we might blame our partner for not doing his or her part, worry about something completely different, or decide it’s time for a nap. We’re resisting the rawness and unpleasantness of the feeling by withdrawing from the present moment.

We allow by simply pausing with the intention to relax our resistance and let the experience be just as it is. Allowing our thoughts, emotions, or bodily sensations simply to be doesn’t mean we agree with our conviction that we’re unworthy. Rather, we honestly acknowledge the presence of our judgment, as well as the painful feelings underneath. Many students I work with support their resolve to let it be by silently offering an encouraging word or phrase to themselves. For instance, you might feel the grip of fear and mentally whisper yes in order to acknowledge and accept the reality of your experience in this moment.

Victor Frankel writes, “Between the stimulus and the response there is a space, and in this space lies our power and our freedom.” Allowing creates a space that enables us to see more deeply into our own being, which, in turn, awakens our caring and helps us make wiser choices in life. For one student, the space of allowing gave her more freedom in the face of urges to binge eat. In the past, whenever she felt restless or anxious at night, she’d start thinking of her favorite food—trail mix—then mindlessly consume a half pound of it before going to bed, disgusted with herself. Learning to recognize the cues and taking a pause interrupted the pattern. While pausing, she would allow herself to feel the tension in her body, her racing heart, the craving. Soon, she began to contact a poignant sense of loneliness buried beneath her anxiety. She found that if she could stay with the loneliness and be gentle with herself, the craving passed.

I—Investigating with Kindness

Investigating means calling on our natural curiosity—the desire to know truth—and directing a more focused attention to our present experience. Simply pausing to ask, what is happening inside me?, can initiate recognition, but investigation adds a more active and pointed kind of inquiry. You might ask yourself: What most wants attention? How am I experiencing this in my body? Or What am I believing? What does this feeling want from me? You might notice hollowness or shakiness, then discover a sense of unworthiness and shame masked by those feelings. Unless you bring them into awareness, your unconscious beliefs and emotions will control your experience and perpetuate your identification with a limited, deficient self.

Poet Dorothy Hunt says that we need a “…heartspace where everything that is, is welcome.” Without such an attitude of unconditional care, there isn’t enough safety and openness for real investigation to take place. About ten years ago I entered a period of chronic illness. During one particularly challenging period of pain and fatigue, I became discouraged and unhappy. In my view I was terrible to be around—impatient, self-absorbed, irritable, gloomy. I began working with RAINto recognize these feelings and judgments and to consciously allow the unpleasantness in my body and emotions to just be there. As I began to investigate, I heard an embittered voice: “I hate living like this.” And then a moment later, “I hate myself!” The full toxicity of self-aversion filled me.

Not only was I struggling with illness, I was at war with the self-centered, irritable person I believed I had become. Unknowingly, I had turned on myself and was held captive by the trance of unworthiness. But in that moment of recognizing and allowing the suffering of self-hatred, my heart began to soften with compassion.

Here’s a story that helps to describe the process I went through. Imagine while walking in the woods you see a small dog sitting by a tree. You bend down to pet it and it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared. Initially you might be frightened and angry. But then you notice one of its legs is caught in a trap, buried under some leaves. Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern. You see that the dog’s aggression sprang from vulnerability and pain.

This applies to all of us. When we behave in hurtful, reactive ways, it’s because we’re caught in some kind of painful trap. The more we investigate the source of our suffering, the more we cultivate a compassionate heart toward ourselves and others.

When I recognized how my leg was in a trap—sickness compounded with self aversion— my heart filled with sorrow and genuine self-care. The investigating deepened as I gently put my hand over my heart—a gesture of kindness— and invited whatever other feelings were there to surface. A swell of fear (uncertainty for my future) spread through my chest, followed by an upwelling of grief at losing my health. The sense of self-compassion unfurled fully as I mentally whispered, It’s all right, sweetheart, and consciously offered care to the depths of my vulnerability, just as I would to a dear friend.

Compassion arises naturally when we mindfully contact our suffering and respond with care. As you practice the RAIN of Self-Compassion, experiment and see which intentional gesture of kindness most helps to soften or open your heart. Many people find healing by gently placing a hand on the heart or cheek; others, in a whispered message of care, or by envisioning being bathed in warm, radiant light. What matters is that once you have investigated and connected with your suffering, respond by offering care to your own heart. When the intention to awaken self love and compassion is sincere, the smallest gesture—even if, initially, it feels awkward— will serve you well.

NNatural Loving Awareness

Natural loving awareness occurs when identification with the small self is loosened. This practice of non-identification means that our sense of who we are is not fused with any limiting emotions, sensations, or stories. We begin to intuit and live from the openness and love that express our natural awareness.

Though the first three steps of RAIN require some intentional activity, the N is the treasure: A liberating homecoming to our true nature. There’s nothing to do for this last part of RAIN; we simply rest in natural awareness.

The RAIN of Self-Compassion is not a one-shot meditation, nor is the realization of our natural awareness necessarily full, stable, or enduring. Rather, as you practice you may experience a sense of warmth and openness, a shift in perspective. You can trust this! RAIN is a practice for life—meeting our doubts and fears with a healing presence. Each time you are willing to slow down and recognize, oh, this is the trance of unworthiness… this is fear… this is hurt…this is judgment…, you are poised to de-condition the old habits and limiting self-beliefs that imprison your heart. Gradually, you’ll experience natural loving awareness as the truth of who you are, more than any story you ever told yourself about being “not good enough” or “basically flawed.”

A friend of mine was sitting with her dying mother while she was in a coma. At one point the mother opened her eyes, looked at her daughter with great lucidity, and said “You know, all my life I thought something was wrong with me.” She closed her eyes, sank back into a coma and died shortly thereafter. For my friend, her mother’s words were a parting gift. They inspired her to dedicate herself to the mindfulness and self-compassion that frees us.

We each have the conditioning to live for long stretches of time imprisoned by a sense of deficiency, cut off from realizing our intrinsic intelligence, aliveness, and love. The greatest blessing we can give ourselves is to recognize the pain of this trance, and regularly offer a cleansing rain of self-compassion to our awakening hearts.


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Tree Hugging Is Good for Health… I Am Not Alone!

After having friends walk away with embarrassment, cars stopping to laugh and van drivers taking pictures of me, my dear friend Katherine sent me this article to support my habit of tree hugging!  ;0)

Science Proves Hugging Trees Is Good for Health

It has now been confirmed by science that hugging trees can beneficially affect human health by altering vibrational frequency.

tree hug

Hugging a tree may have gained popularity as a maligned hippy practice, but it has now been validated by science to be incredibly beneficial for both people and the planet. Contrary to popular belief, hugging – or even just being in the vicinity of – a tree can boost one’s health in several ways.

In a recently published book by author Matthew Silverstone, Blinded by Science, evidence confirming trees and their healthful benefits includes their effect on mental illnesses, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), concentration levels, reaction times, depression, and the ability to alleviate headaches.

According to countless studies cited within the book, children show extreme psychological and physiological effects in term of improved health and well-being when they interact with plants. It was recorded that children function better cognitively and emotionally in green environments and have more creative play in green areas.

A large public health report studying the association between green spaces and mental health also noted that “access to nature can significantly contribute to our mental capability and well being.”

What is it about nature that can cause significant alleviation of symptoms? Many might think it’s open green spaces that contribute to this effect, but Silverstone shows that it’s more than this theory; instead, he explains how it’s the vibrational properties of trees and plants that offer the health benefits – not just open spaces.

Because everything vibrates, different vibrations undoubtedly affect biological behaviors. According to Natural News, it has been proven that that if one were to drink a glass of water that has been treated with a 10Hz vibration, one’s blood coagulation rates will change immediately upon ingesting the treated water.

Similarly, trees affect human beings (and all other creatures) in the same way. When one touches a tree, its different vibrational pattern will affect various biological behaviors within the body.

Within Blinded by Science, such theory is backed up by hundreds of scientifically validated studies, providing overwhelming proof that tree hugging is not just for hippies, it’s for everyone.

Not only is clutching a giant, sturdy oak therapeutic and free, it could offer a plethora of benefits and save the populace a large amount in healthcare costs.

A similar report documenting the effects of nature and improving health reported that “safe, green spaces may be as effective as prescription drugs in treating some forms of mental illnesses.”

Human beings can only live outside of the laws of nature for so long before symptoms of disconnect be made manifest. With the increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases, it’s clear more attention deserves to be given to holistic practices such as this one, so that the cause of imbalance be alleviated and lifestyle-related illnesses dissipate.

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