Ecotherapy – Healing in nature 

July 2023

In the fast-paced world we live in today, it is very easy to forget the importance of connecting with nature. Ecotherapy, also called nature therapy or green therapy, is the practice of being in nature to improve both psychological and physical health.


This new wellness trend acknowledges the vital role of nature as a healing power and involves a number of techniques, from mindfulness to gardening to working with animals. Ecotherapy is a powerful tool which allows you to reconnect with the natural world and improve your overall well-being. It can be done with a licensed practitioner individually or in a group, and at its root is the idea that humans and nature are intrinsically linked. 

Ecotherapy can take many different forms, but all activities have one thing in common – spending time in nature.

Ecotherapy can include:

Animal-assisted therapy: Petting, playing, or working with animals like horses, dogs, and birds outdoors can offer another way to manage stress.

Outdoor meditation or yoga: Meditation and yoga offer well-established benefits, but they can prove even more rewarding when performed outside.

Wilderness therapy: This approach to mental health treatments teaches coping techniques and therapeutic skills as you camp and hike in the wilderness.

Adventure therapy: This type of therapy involves doing adventurous physical activities in a group, such as rafting, rock climbing, hiking or kayaking.

Horticultural therapy: This involves gardening, so you might grow food in community gardens which can be incredibly therapeutic and helps to reduce loneliness, anxiety, and isolation.

Green exercise therapy: Forest bathing: This practice encourages the mindful use of your five senses as you ramble through forests.

This involves doing exercise in green spaces; for example, walking, running or cycling.

Arts and crafts in nature: This type of therapy can include creating art in green spaces, using nature as inspiration for art or using natural materials such as wood, grass or clay for arts and crafts projects.

Spending time in nature can have a positive impact on our health and psychological well-being. Research on ecotherapy shows that nature helps to alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, can even improve cognitive function and memory, and guard against physical ill health, among other benefits. It can also be used to treat conditions such as PTSD and substance use disorders.

Some of the many benefits of ecotherapy include:

  • Boosting mood and reducing stress
  • A reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Improved well-being and greater life satisfaction
  • A reduction in ADHD symptoms in children
  • Reduced pain and pain perception in those undergoing medical procedures and during recovery.

According to research, as little as 20 minutes of nature exposure can have an impact on both your mental and physical well-being when consistently practiced. So whether it’s a woodland walk or starting a community garden, dust off your wellies and let nature nurture your mental well-being. 

At Allianz Partners, our mission is to keep you well. Whether you need help, advice or support, our Helpline is here for you 24/7. Contact us today.