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Your Brain On Nature: The Science of Nature's Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality

ISBN: 978-1-118-10674-7
256 pages
May 2012
Your Brain On Nature: The Science of Nature


How to safely de-tox from IT overload—with the healing effects of nature

Scientific studies have shown that natural environments can have remarkable benefits for human health. Natural environments are more likely to promote positive emotions; and viewing and walking in nature have been associated with heightened physical and mental energy. Nature has also been found to have a positive impact on children who have been diagnosed with impulsivity, hyperactivity, and attention deficit disorder. A powerful wake-up call for our tech-immersed society, Your Brain on Nature examines the fascinating effects that exposure to nature can have on the brain.

In Your Brain on Nature, physician Eva Selhub and naturopath Alan Logan examine not only the effects of nature on the brain—but the ubiquitous influence of everyday technology on the brain, and how IT overload and its many distractions may even be changing it. Offering an antidote for the technology-addicted, the book outlines emerging nature-based therapies including ecotherapy, as well as practical strategies for improving your (and your children's) cognitive functioning, mental health, and physical well-being through ecotherapeutic, nutritional, and behavioural means.

  • Details the back to nature movement and the benefits of nature on the brain and body, from reducing the symptoms of ADHD to improving mood and physical energy
  • Explains the effects of air quality, aromas, light and sound on the brain, including SAD and sleep loss

A fascinating look at the effects that both nature and technology have on the brain's functioning and one's overall well-being, Your Brain on Nature is every tech-addict's guide to restoring health and balance in an increasingly IT-dependent world.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Nature on the Brain: From Ancient Intuition to Magnetic Resonance Imaging 7

Chapter 2: Backs to Nature, Sights on Screens: Are We Happy Yet? 35

Chapter 3: Nature and Cognition: What Can Green Do for You? 59

Chapter 4: Something in the Air : Specific Elements of Nature on the Brain 81

Chapter 5: Green Exercise Is Like Exercise Squared 105

Chapter 6: Kingdom Animalia: The Last Stronghold of Nature on the Brain 127

Chapter 7: Practical Nature Inter ventions: Hor ticultural and Wilderness Therapies 151

Chapter 8: The Brain on Nature's Nutrients: Nutri-Ecopsychology 175

Chapter 9: Vis Medicatrix Naturae: The Healing Power of Nature and Ecotherapy 205

Appendix 235

About the Authors 238

Index 240

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Author Information

Eva M. Selhub, MD, is a Clinical Associate of the Benson Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is the author of The Love Response has been published in medical journals and featured in national publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Self, Shape, and Fitness.

Alan C. Logan, ND, is a naturopathic doctor, scientist, and independent researcher focusing on nutritional medicine and ecotherapy. He is currently invited faculty in the mind-body medicine courses in Harvard's School of Continuing Medical Education. He is the author of The Brain Diet.

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