We know from numerous studies that exposure to the natural world around us eases discomfort, accelerates the healing processes, and promotes general well-being. Trees, flowers, gardens, animals, plants, scenery--all can make a difference in health and well-being. We encourage you to find ways to position your clients and constituents to spend time in or near nature as part of your ministry to them. In addition to administrators and care-givers, chaplains at your institution should find these resources very helpful.
Here are some resources that may assist you in initiating or developing further your commitment to integrate nature into the lives of those you serve.
Pastoral Care in Christian Perspective
· Ecotherapy: Healing Ourselves, Healing the Earth. By Howrd Clinebell (Augsburg Fortress, 1996). This excellent Christian guide by a premier leader in pastoral care shows how nature serves to heal and how patients are benefitted by doing actions that serve, in turn, to heal nature.
Secular Guidebooks for Relating with Nature:
· Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect our Lives, Our World by Joanna Macy (New Society Publishers, 1998)
· Sky Above, Earth Below: Spiritual Practices in Nature by John P. Milton (Sentient Publications, 2006)
· Reconnecting with Nature: Finding Wellness though Restoring Your Bond with Earth by Michael Cohen (Third Edition)
The Importance of Nature for Children
For further information and resources, do an online search under “nature as healing” or “the healing power of nature.”