Well, not the colour of the paper its printed on, nor is it a green pill or indeed the kind of green one might roll up and smoke…
Put simply, a Green Prescription is a healthy dose of the great outdoors… and research suggests it can be more effective than drugs.
Mounting evidence points to the health benefits of being out and about in nature – less tension, stress, depression, lower blood pressure, improved immune system, lower levels of obesity, milder ADHD symptoms in children.
Green prescriptions can make you feel more confident, happy, relaxed and have more energy, improve cholesterol levels and sleeping habits, keep your bones strong, cope better with asthma and breathing problems, increase flexibility, mobility and reduce the pain of arthritis and even reduce the risk of some types of cancer. (source www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/food-activity-and-sleep/green-prescriptions)
These green prescriptions are nothing new to New Zealanders whose Ministry of Health rolled out a scheme known as the GRx back in 1998.
Today (20 years later I grant you) a handful of forward thinking and open minded doctors in the UK are handing out these delightful prescriptions to patients presenting with a whole host of issues and ailments.
This is all well and good I hear you cry, but what if you don’t live, work or go anywhere near green pastures?
The answer? Hypnosis.
Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep. It involves the induction of an induced state of deep relaxation whereby you are in an enhanced state of awareness, concentration and focus. In this state, the conscious mind is quietened down and the subconscious mind is more responsive to positive suggestions, ideas, concepts and lifestyle adaptations.
It is widely accepted that every thought has a physiological response and so with guided visualisation techniques, a trained hypnotherapist is able to guide a client on a creative mental journey through, in and around nature or in fact, any place. By utilising the creativity of the subconscious mind, we can travel to any destination, any corner of the planet and indeed the universe just by closing our eyes.
Guided visualisation works because the neurons in our brains interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action. So when we visualise something, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to “perform” the movement. This creates a new neural pathway that primes our body to act in a way consistent to what we have or are imagining. All of this occurs without actually performing the physical activity, yet it achieves a similar result.
Here follows a classic example of how your mind has a direct effect on your body’s chemical response…
Take a deep breath in and out…. allow yourself to relax
Now imagine in the palm of your hand sits a plump, fresh, juicy lemon … in your imagination, hold the lemon, feel its weight, the texture, the temperature of the lemon, hold it close to your nose and breathe in the zesty fragrance…… now place the lemon on a chopping board … carefully cut it in half with a knife…… Feel the resistance to the knife and how it gives way as the lemon splits open … notice the vibrant colour, the pale yellow of the pulp, the whiteness of the inner peel, notice if you’ve cut through a seed or two … now carefully cut one of the halves in two…Notice where a drop or two of juice has pearled on the surface of one of the quarters… Now imagine lifting this lemon wedge to your mouth, smelling the sharp fresh scent…now bite into the sour, juicy pulp…now notice how your tongue feels… how your taste buds have been stimulated, perhaps you are even salivating slightly…
There are many examples of this phenomena – perhaps closing your eyes and thinking of the first time you laid eyes on the love of your life, your new born baby, your first kiss, your most memorable holiday, a bungee jump, skiing down a mountain, the excitement of passing an exam or getting a promotion, feel what you feel… see what you see… hear what you hear…
Our minds are utterly amazing, boundless and limitless, and used wisely… can lead not only to better health, but to a better life.
Gail Marra D.Hyp MNCH (Acc) LAPHP is a GHR registered Clinical Hypnotherapist accredited by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, National Register of Psychotherapists and Counsellors and the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council
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