Nature As Medicine: Mind, Body, and Soil
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
David Victorson, Christina Luberto, and Karen Koffler. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 21 July 2021.
Osher Collaborative Forum: Outlooks, Opinions and Opportunities
This is the eigth column of the JACM/Osher Collaborative partnership.
Karen Koffler, MD, University of Miami
David Victorson, PhD, Northwestern University
Christina Luberto, PhD, Harvard University
“Over the past several decades, increasing attention across multiple disciplines has focused on the positive relationship between connecting with nature and improvements in human health. A common focus has been evaluating phenomena most people “naturally” understand to be true by way of being human: purposefully spending time in nature can be inherently good for us—mind, body, and soil. Nature contact confers a host of health benefits spanning cognitive, emotional, social, physical, and biophysiologic domains. It may even foster certain “ecologic sensibilities” that prompt us to safeguard the well-being of Mother Earth herself. Given the intersection between conventional health outcomes and the purported therapeutic basis of nature contact, what role, if any, does the field of complementary and integrative health (CIH) have in studying and promoting nature as medicine?”