I think if you regularly read my posts or blogs you are probably a biophile.
The term biophilia was used by German-born American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1973), which described biophilia as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.”
Biophilia, which literally translates to “love of life,” is the idea that this fascination and communion with nature stem from an innate, biologically-driven need to interact with other forms of life such as animals and plants.
During this last year of relentless Lockdowns, I believe more than ever people’s health, mental, emotional and physical, has been related to their ability to connect with animals and plants. The sales and rescue of both animals and plants has gone through the roof. One of the things most Governments got right was recognising the need for all ages of society to take their daily constitutional, be that a walk, a jog or a swim in nature. However, if for any reason you are unable to get outside and access nature, there is a way I found to re create some of those health enhancing properties we all innately need.
For me personally, essential oils became invaluable when I was unable to leave the hospital room for weeks on end, and is what led me to train as an Aromatherapist after the first 2 years of my sons cancer protocol. These plant oils and very essences were not only of therapeutic benefit but also deeply connected us through the chemicals emitted whilst diffusing essential oils to the natural world outside. I created our own “forest bathing” locked inside a hospital room and also over the years of isolation at home, when actual plants were not advised (as the fungus in soils could have harmed my son whilst neutropenic i.e. with no immune system). The chemical profiles that essential oils emit and the very scents themselves, gave us a rhythm to the day and I believe kept us free from air borne bacterias and viruses that can enter even sterilised rooms. Emotionally the oils have so many properties that can calm over-stressed systems of the mind and body too, and this is why I was compelled to train as an Aromatherapist even though I had been running a successful Pilates studio for over 20 years.
I say I created our own “forest bathing” as diffusing essential oils was as close to being in nature as my son could be and inhaling the plants very essences is truly a powerful healing tool to have access to. The true form of Forest bathing is the practice of immersing yourself in nature in a mindful way, using your senses to derive a whole range of benefits for your physical, mental, emotional, and social health. It is also known as Shinrin-yoku. ‘Shinrin’ means forest and ‘Yoku’ stands for bathing.
Japanese studies also found that trees releases chemicals called phytoncides, which have an anti-microbial effect on human bodies, boosting the immune system. As a result of this research, the Japanese government introduced ‘shinrin-yoku’ as a national health programme. Over the last few years forest bathing has begun to gain popularity in the UK and I know that our form of “forest bathing” through diffusing essential oil blends was vital in supporting my son´s immune system and my overall health.
Here are just some examples of the blends I would use:
Afternoon warm Forest
Wintergreen or Eucalyptus
Evening Sleepy Forest
In a 300ml diffuser you can use between 6 to 10 drops of essential oils in total. A helpful tip is to use more of the citrus top notes ( that are in general much more economical on a price point too) and less of your middle to base notes, but you will find your own special blends that really resonate with you.
Photo by Dmitry Gladkikh on Unsplash