The Case For Keeping A Pine-Scented Item In Your Office
Aromatherapists rejoice: There's now hard evidence showing that being exposed to the scent of nature -- specifically trees and plants -- is almost as good for the body as being outside.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
In studies on tree and plant essential oils -- also known as phytoncides -- scientists at Tokyo-based Nippon Medical School discovered that when they put test subjects in hotel rooms with and without cypress aromatherapy, those exposed to the aroma experienced the same positive physical effects as subjects documented in prior studies who walked through wooded areas. Their results led to the creation of the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine, which held its first international symposium last year.
What's the Big Idea?
It's long been known that walks in nature work to reduce stress levels and improve immune functions, but the idea that forest therapy administered in a non-forest setting could achieve similar results was not made credible until recently. Evidence is also building around the health benefits of simply looking at photos of nature. Now, in addition to Japan, other countries are launching ambitious health projects around forest therapy: "[T]he Finnish Forest Research Institute is conducting a multi-year research program on forests and human well-being [and South Korea is] opening a new $140 million National Forest Therapy Center in 2014."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.
- Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
- These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
- The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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