Nature Prescriptions for Anxiety and Hypertension – The idea that recommending nature baths to patients may be helpful for their mental health as well as in preventing sedentary lifestyles and lowering high blood pressure is supported by a new meta-analysis by Australian researchers.
More and more medical professionals are encouraging their patients to spend time in nature. In certain nations, nature baths are even being given with a specific dosage, similar to how a doctor would prescribe a medication: for instance, 20 or 30 minutes each week.
This is particularly true in Japan, Scotland, the United States, and Canada, where the PaRx program was introduced in 2020.The British Columbia Parks Foundation came up with the concept, which was quickly adopted by other Canadian provinces. It involves giving patients free admission passes to the local national parks. This is a practical technique to encourage people to spend time outside in nature.
These natural remedies are based on the numerous scientifically supported advantages of regular contact with nature, whether on physical, mental, cardiovascular, or respiratory health. They were inspired by the well-known forest baths that first appeared in Japan in the 1980s.
And now, a study carried out by academics from the Universities of New South Wales and Wollongong examines this expandingly well-liked global trend.
In order to obtain proof of the efficacy of natural remedies and to identify the key elements contributing to their success, the authors examined approximately 100 papers on the topic.
The study indicated that this kind of medication decreased systolic blood pressure and raised daily steps in patients (900 more steps on average per day), in addition to treating anxiety disorders and depressive moods.Forests and nature reserves (35%) parks (28%), small community or family gardens (16%), and botanical gardens (11%) are the locations where nature baths are recommended the most frequently.
In addition to using health experts, “effective nature-prescription programmes can encompass a range of natural locations, and activities and can be administered via social and community channels,” the researchers said.
The study does, however, have certain drawbacks. For instance, more than 50% of the examined studies were from the US (11%), Japan (20%), or South Korea (20%).
The researchers concluded that “there was inadequate data to evaluate the influence of sex or gender on the health consequences of nature prescriptions.”So, additional research with larger participant samples and geographic expansion may be required to learn more specifically about the advantages of nature prescriptions and to persuade other nations to adopt them.