Can "Forest Bathing" help heal Tennis Elbow?
We had a wind storm last night! The lights were flickering. The chimney was howling and the trees were SWAYING!! Thankfully, the wifi and power stayed on for us - with 2 teens in the house, that could have been disastrous!
Today saw me start week 2 of my marathon training and I wasn't sure if I'd get out for my run this morning, as the forecast said the strong winds would continue into the afternoon! Well, when I woke up...silence! Woo hoo! Let's go!
I set out on my 5 mile trot, noticing my overturned plant pots and open mail box - thankfully that was it for us....except for ALL the leaves in the pool!!!!
But, the stop sign at the end of our street was down. Branches down all around the neighborhood - someone's unlucky car! I rounded one corner and was faced with a downed tree across the entire road - imagine an Olympic hurdler!! (No! I trotted around the roots over someone's lawn!)
Thankfully, there seemed to be very little damage to houses - a few roof tiles here and there, but that was it.
As, I'm writing this now, the wind is starting to pick up again. I am a massive fan of observing nature; the mountains, the trees blowing the wind, Nature's bounty!
You may know that I'm a big proponent of "Forest Bathing" - the practice of, essentially, immersing yourself in nature.
The research shows that this simple act can significantly decrease the stress hormone, cortisol, which is often blamed for weight gain, especially stubborn belly fat.
As the stress hormones decrease with forest bathing, the happy hormones and endorphins (your body's own natural painkillers!) are increased.
These powerful effects can decrease the effects of chronic pain.
Chronic pain, by definition "pain of 3 months or longer", creates biochemical and anatomic changes in the brain. These changes MUST be reversed to truly resolve tennis elbow.
This is why I taught the participants of this week's Tennis Elbow Relief challenge (in my Facebook group), to use forest bathing in conjunction with a daily 30 minute walk, to help to calm the hypersensitized nervous system that tennis elbow often triggers.
If you've had elbow pain for 3 months or longer, then forest bathing could be a highly effective strategy for you.
Give it a try and let me know how it makes you feel!
I'm off to scoop leaves out of the pool (not sure if that counts!),