Happy New Year!
Let’s start the year off with an unscheduled book review
Published By: Sounds True Publishing
Publication Date: 1st February 2018
Discover why being in nature may be the best thing you can do for your health. Did you know that spending time in a forest activates the vagus nerve, which is responsible for inducing calm and regeneration? Or that spending just one single day in a wooded area increases the number of natural killer cells in the blood by almost 40 percent on average? Most of us have experienced an intuitive sense of the healing power of nature. Clemens G. Arvay’s new book brings us the science to verify this power, sharing fascinating research along with teachings and tools for accessing the therapeutic properties of the forest and natural world. Already a bestseller in Germany, The Biophilia Effect is a book that transforms our understanding of our interconnection with nature — and shows us how to engage the natural world wherever we live for greater health, inspiration, rejuvenation, and spiritual sustenance.
This is one I got from Netgalley,co.uk; considering I have another 68 books from there that I need to read, something must have caught my attention about this book for me to pick it from my TBR list.
I don’t know what it is though, because, while the central facts of this book – trees produce terpenes and Japanese researchers have found a connection between spending time in the woods and a decrease in some blood hormone levels -, there’s an awful lot of wishful thinking thrown in. Correlation does not equal causation, so further research needs doing on this connection. A mechanism for the process would be good, for a start.
The writing is easy to read, and the author’s conviction comes through in the writing, and I’m sure some of the exercises provided will be of use to some readers. The author’s gardening recommendations, for a forest garden, aren’t to be sniffed at either, as they encourage diversity and home-growing some food, although his referring to it as a ‘cancer-curing’ garden is rather far-fetched.
This is actually an area I have some experience and education in; I’ve studied horticulture in the past, and have gardened and rambled for at least twenty-five years. I like being outdoors, even if I can’t the do heavy work or walk long distances any more. It’s pleasant and the exertion feels good, and can bring some relaxation and peace. I can get behind Clemens exhortations to get out in the garden or woods more, and the exercise is good for you. I’d need more evidence than his explanation of the Japanese ‘forest bathing’ experiments for any phytogenic physiological effect. If you’ve got them, send me the peer-reviewed papers to read.
This is probably a 2.5 or 3/5 because Clemens does provide references for some of his claims and it’s fairly easy to read. I’d call it a pop-science book shading into spirituality. I know people who would probably enjoy this book, but my sceptical self won’t let his claims pass too easily.