Tree Hugging | Nature Therapy with Trees

Published: Feb 7, 2022 | Revised: Jan 24, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Tree Hugging | Nature Therapy with Trees

Tree Hugging is a type of Nature Therapy or Ecotherapy. It’s thought that hugging trees is an activity that yields physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health benefits for the hugger, described in terms such as relaxing, calming, rejuvenating, and energizing.

In many cultures, old and new, trees have been and still are considered sacred, deserving reverence, often being part of a variety of religious and spiritual practices. It’s widely thought that trees have certain energy vibrations, which can affect human energies and function. Moreover, some think that trees can absorb our negative energies and turn them into positive ones, while cultivating properties of calmness, presence, and vitality in ourselves.

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Each distinct tree feels and smells differently; some are hard, others smooth or spongy, some petite and others very large, some trees have a very strong, aromatic odor, and others smell more like mold (fungus). The idea is that you should always choose the type of tree that appeals to you i.e. to which you are attracted.

In any case, different types of trees have different characteristics, and one can deliberately choose a specific type of tree for its distinct energies; think of, for instance, oak trees, cypresses, cedars, willows, banyans, cinnamon trees, or figs, well, and so on. Their different properties are well documented, but it’s also something you can learn to distinguish by yourself.

Experienced tree huggers have all kinds of advice of how and when to embrace a tree. For instance, some huggers prefer encircling a tree entirely (the trunk shouldn’t be too wide then, of course), for others the size of the trunk doesn’t matter as long as you make maximum contact.

Some hug with the cheek against the tree and hold very tight or lean into it, and other people say that tree hugging should always be done with the eyes closed.

Then again, small trees are considered to have less power i.e. efficacy, so it’s advised to choose a medium-sized or large tree. Another idea is that the tree shouldn’t be hugged recently by someone else; this might “radiate” the wrong energy into your body. The tree should be given a chance to have purified itself a while before being hugged again.

Apart from tree hugging, there are also other ways to commune with trees — without needing to touch or embrace them — such as sitting and facing a tree, meditating near a tree, or standing and facing a tree.

At any rate, tree hugging seems all well if you’re into it, but my personal advice would be to first check the tree before doing so. I mean, check it for active secretions, ants, scorpions, spiders, bees, wasps, and so on. I suppose that the idea is to have a pleasant experience, and not to hug a bunch of red ants that go wild on you. Unless you’re into ant-hugging, of course.

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