Why hugging trees can heal you?

Have you ever hugged a tree? Does it sounds too hippy let me tell you what you’re missing 😉 and how it works.

One week ago me Héctor and I went out like we do almost every single weekend. A lovely early Spring day, a field full of blooms and there a glorious Evergreen tree all lush green already. It stood out as “King of the Hill” and so I hugged it…

A manificent Evergreen Oak

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The Holm Oak (Evergreen or Holly Oak)

Quercus ilex is also known as “Evergreen Oak” Holly oak or Holm (ancient for “Holy”) Oak. They grow typically in the Mediterranean and are quite large in size. This particular one stood in the middle of a field, all crowned in green while the oak trees around it were barely budding their new leaves. That green has endured Winter and it almost felt like a “flash forward” into Summer.

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Above me by the Holm tree so you can see its size for comparison

I am a tree-hugger…What are the benefits?

This term is mostly used as a slang for environmentalists, sometimes to mock those “hippy Nature Worshippers” a group I kind of include myself in 😉 so proudly.

But I do hug trees and believe me, it works….

I have covered in previous posts the benefits of “Forest Bathing” ( original Japanese term “Shinrin-yoku” ). This is a practise that help you soothe your stress, relax, awaken your awareness and your senses. The essential oils (Phytoncids) are
antimicrobial volatile organic compounds) emanated by plants and trees also act as a calming balm helping to decrease stress, tension, anxiety and anger. And it’s been proved to be a healing therapy for very stressed workers in Japan that then spread as common preventive practice throughout the world. I go to the forest every single weekend and sometimes even during the week. They also absorb radiation (not only by filtering the amount of the light that reaches the surface but also in fact trees cannot block EMF (Electronic Magnetic Field) radiation almost completely.

I also go to the woods to let my “burdens” go… trees are good listeners, they don’t judge, you can whisper your secrets, and it will rustle back to you… It is a stress relief experience that boost your self confidence and ease the burden of unspoken words. That is why I go so often, get barefoot and laugh, and cry and sing… I LET GO

In my local forests leaves are starting to unfold.

Why hugging a tree does work? The answer is in the hormones

Ok, Ok, Pris… this is all too Fairy New Age for me…
And it’s true, I love fantasy and I am very spiritual, but also very down to Earth so let me tell you scientific hugging a tree will increase your levels of oxytocin hormone which is responsible for making you feel calm and at peace as it counteracts the effects of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide normally produced in the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary. It also provides a sense of “connection and bonding” and it has been proved to affect social behaviour in humans. It really makes you want to “cuddle” literally. Scientists first found it in mothers during childbirth and breastfeeding. It also makes our “love” loyal and our behaviour cooperative in groups.
That is why it is also called the “love hormone” and yes hugging a tree (or a pet) can trigger the release of this brain chemical that helps make you feel happy. 🙂

If you don’t believe me, just try it…
And the more you do, the easier it becomes to “connect”

So mystically or scientifically there is a “feeling” a “vibe”, an invigorating Energy when you hug a tree…

All in all, and even devoid of the beautiful mysticism (which for me enhances it even more) hugging a tree is really good for you and maybe not such a crazy thing to do ;-).

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Above: me hugging an Oak a fellow Oak awakening from Winter some weeks ago

A note to my friends here and what’s to come! 🙂

And remember trees don’t judge!


Here a Sneak Peak! New Single and Video is on the way!

FLAME is an old song but new recording will be officially released on ITUNES / SPOTIFY next 17th

Videoclip will premiere also on my youtube


Above: Definite cover of my single FLAME that will be released officially 19th of April. Do you use SPOTIFY? I’ll be grateful if you add the song to your playlists once released, not all my music is there, but there is great part of it 🙂

Priscilla Hernandez MUSIC on SPOTIFY

But meanwhile I thought you could do with a shorter and simpler post about a moment that made me happy :). And take my word for it… if you are stressed, go out, HUG A TREE! 🙂

Priscilla Hernandez
singer-songwriter & illustrator

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