Nature Therapy

Dominical Costa Rica is historically most famous for its surfing. The interesting thing is that surfing is not the main attraction here, and I believe the numbers bear this out.

So what is it? What is the number one draw that explains the press of tourism here in the Dominical area? In a word:

Nature!

Well duh! you  may say. Or maybe: “really??!!”. Yes, it is a scientifically proven fact that spending time in nature is akin to a good therapy session.

There is a strong body of research confirming that direct contact with nature increases mental health and psychological and spiritual development. Benefits include stress reduction, a sense of coherence and belonging, improved self-confidence and self-discipline, and a broader sense of community.
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This one from Psychology Today:

In recent years, researchers have become aware of a powerful new kind of therapy, which is just as effective against depression as traditional psychotherapy or medication. And the amazing thing is that you don’t have to pay for this therapy. It’s free, and completely accessible to anyone at anytime. It’s not even a new therapy either – in fact, it’s even older than the human race.

This is ecotherapy – contact with nature.
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A little less scientific, but telling nonetheless is a comment by a long time resident here in the area who moved his family of 6 here in 1999. Regarding the 3 week family vacation they took prior to moving here:

My wife & I were moved by the amount of time that we spent together talking as a family. Such events were getting a bit rare back home. One of our children was approaching teens and the other was in the thick of it at 15. We found ourselves sitting around talking, just talking. We sold out of “back home” and were living here 6 months later.

And then there is our own testimony that we see on a daily basis here around the Hacienda Baru preserve.  We see the faces when they arrive, and note the difference when they leave that underscores what science is now finding.

Come on over to Costa Rica for a session!
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