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Your Brain On Nature: The Science of Nature's Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality Paperback – April 16, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118106741
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118106747
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Think better. Think healthier. Think green.

The human brain is incredibly complex, but neuroscientists are discovering a key to optimal brain health that's ancient and remarkably simple: immersion in nature. In this surprising survey of the latest scientific research, Eva Selhub, MD, and Alan Logan, ND, detail how the human brain is inextricably linked to the natural world, and how we can benefit from enhancing that connection.

Offering an antidote for the technology-addicted, Your Brain on Nature offers scientifically proven, nature-based methods for reducing your stress, improving your cognitive powers, and boosting the efficiency of your exercise. Selhub and Logan persuasively demonstrate that the human bond with nature is vital, from where our children play, to the food we eat, to our faithful animal companions.

A fascinating look at the effects that both nature and technology have on the brain's functioning and one's overall well-being, Your Brain on Nature delivers an urgent message about restoring health and balance in an increasingly IT-dependent world.

About the Author

Eva M. Selhub, MD, is a Clinical Associate of the Benson Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is the author of The Love Response has been published in medical journals and featured in national publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Self, Shape, and Fitness.

Alan C. Logan, ND, is a naturopathic doctor, scientist, and independent researcher focusing on nutritional medicine and ecotherapy. He is currently invited faculty in the mind-body medicine courses in Harvard's School of Continuing Medical Education. He is the author of The Brain Diet.


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246 pages.

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Read, Learn, and Enjoy.

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Customer Reviews

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Nature nurtures us!
Amy woodbury
This is an excellent, well-thought out book that presents the science behind our need for nature without preaching or getting too technical.
Carol J. Michel
Now as I pull back on the oars i look up at the trees in my back garden and the sky beyond and the workout feels so much better.
I M WAITE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read about this book in Oprah magazine (June 2012 issue) and it did not disappoint. The author gets right into the research on the ways in which spending time in nature or watching nature scenes can impact our stress levels. Not just the way we "feel" but the actual physiology, hormones etc, even brain studies using MRI are discussed.

The first section is very positive, uplifting but it takes a negative turn in chapter 2 when "screen time" is discussed and the ways we are turning away from nature and remaining indoors or simply attracted to our gadgets. Chapter 2 was kind of depressing, discussions of drops in empathy and how this influences protection of nature. But at least that part of the book is short.

Selhub and Logan then write about nature and brain sharpness in academics (e.g. window views, walking in nature, or plants in a room) and mental performance. They discuss negative ions and aroma and something I had not heard of before called phytoncides that are released from trees. They cite Japanese research showing that phytoncides can alter mood and improve immunity - in fact, much of the book discusses Japanese studies - shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) and its effects on stress etc. there are also chapters on exercise outdoors vs. indoors, animals, gardening and being out in more remote areas like wilderness therapy and how these can improve mood etc.

No question the best chapter was the final one called ecotherapy, it sort of all comes together here when they talk about the research between nature "connectivity" and health but also our willingness to protect the planet. Contact with nature = awareness of nature = proenvironmental attitude. This is the "wake-up" call chapter for all of us and probably worth a second read.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jay Smith on May 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
After attending a seminar about eco-therapy and receiving this book I was empowered and dove right in. There is a chapter for everyone: whether you are an athlete or sports enthusiast looking to improve performance - working out in nature provides better performance; a gardener - reduced stress and anxiety; or like to walk in wooded paths or hike in the mountains - improved performance, reduced stress and anxiety, improved immune function; or to the urban dweller who looks out of their condo or office to some forms of nature - again improved mood, stress, and anxiety. There is a wealth of valuable information about the pros of connecting early with nature - our kids are losing this, and the cons of disconnecting with nature and connecting purely by technology - these people have higher stress and are less likely to be green and recycle.

It amazes me when people (Reviewer Unconquered) make it a point to go out of their way to bash a product or book when it doesn't deliver to their specific needs but in fact provides exactly what it was intended for. Your Brain on Nature is suitable for everyone. There is not a person out there that won't find something new and of value in this book. It is completely amazing. I have had the pleasure of attending lectures by Dr. Alan Logan and Dr. Eva Selhub in the past and they really know the topic and most importantly, care!

I would definitely recommend this book. I would also encourage all parents to get their children to read it or practice the information within this book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tom Weir on May 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Your Brain on Nature is a must read for those of us chained indoors to our computers, cars, televisions etc. As the other reviewers point out, it is an inspirational and helpful book that can change your life for the better through simply getting outside. What I loved about the book in particular was the connection to animals - in fact there is a whole chapter dedicated to the role animals play in our mental and physical health. Fido really is man's best friend for more than just companionship! The other point I would like to make about this book is that it is a fantastic read. The information is rock solid and referenced to the gills (I love that the references are on line vs. printing more paper to include them - another nod to nature), but it is also a pleasure to read. In fact the authors even have a wee touch of humour included...my favourite part of the book is the positive impact it has had on my life, but this quote has to be a close second " So instead of stroking the keyboard or rubbing the belly of your smartphone screen, you--and the world--will be better served by petting your dog (or your goldfish)."
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By I M WAITE on May 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
Took my rowing machine out of the basement and set it up outside. Now as I pull back on the oars i look up at the trees in my back garden and the sky beyond and the workout feels so much better. I am less distracted and feel my body more and my energy is both grounded and soaring.This is an inspirational book that should have you making many changes in your life. Try some new techniques for living and feel the changes they bring about in your energy. Plan Plant Planet.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Westrum on September 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I work in an office building without any windows, and after a couple of years of this I've started to feel run-down and physically not as motivated as I used to be. After reading this book, I've realized that such an unhealthy work enviroment affects multiple facets of my existence. Luckily this book gives some really helpful ways to combat too much screen-time, and to feel healthier in general. Loved this book and will recommend it to everyone!
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