Medicine or tourism?
We "moderns" in the developed world see things in very rational terms – we have the impression that technology makes everything possible and that there is a technological solution for every problem. But due to this rationality, we have almost forgotten to ask ourselves more questions and find our own solutions. And we can find answers for a whole complex of half-forgotten questions in the forest, by the lake or in the mountains.
We notice that we feel good here – with a clear view over a landscape or under a shady tree. The question why remains unanswered but we are simply content with how we feel. And so we acknowledge the positive effects of nature, but doubt the factual medical benefits for the body and mind. Many of us mentally assign the outdoors to the tourism sector and in the process underestimate it benefits. An attitude that is not really rational.
Scientists are now investigation with these relationships, while it seems the perceived majority of us who are (halfway) healthy this issue plays a very minor role. A classic communication failure, which we as tourism operators wish to correct both now and in the future. The first results from scientific studies and analyses of the “Forest” are now available. For example, a pilot study on COPD patients was conducted in the Heringsdorf Healing Forest.
Knowledge of the effects of the forest on human health is nothing new: In the Siemens Convalescence Home in Heringsdorf, treatment was being offered for tuberculosis back in 1900. The home was located in the immediate vicinity of today’s curative and healing forest and was by no means the only example of such a facility, which made conscious use of sea and forest air to promote the convalescence of patients.