Make mud pies for healthier living and fine art

I love when science legitimizes my tendency to play in the dirt. Research has proven that direct contact with soil is actually very beneficial for your health. Last month, a blog posting from the David Suzuki Foundation, reported on microbes, biodiversity and how getting dirty is actually good for you. Here’s a taste of that posting:

Researchers have even found digging in dirt, whether gardening or playing, can benefit our physical and mental health. A microbe common to mud and wet soils, Mycobacterium vaccae, has been shown to influence brain neurotransmitters to reduce anxiety and improve cognitive functioning.

If you’ve ever felt that sense of calm when walking through the woods, you’ve already felt some of the health benefits that are delivered directly from Mother Nature. The Japanese practice of forest bathing or Shinrin-yoku, can lower stress levels and maybe even fight cancer. Clearly, connecting with the natural environment to increase healthfulness is not a new discovery, but I find the research that surfaces about this fascinating. For anyone who loves to dig into the details, Oxford Journals has an article on how “Empirical, theoretical and anecdotal evidence demonstrates contact with nature positively impacts blood pressure, cholesterol, outlook on life and stress-reduction.”

And then there’s playing with dirt for fame as well as fun. Check out this segment from India’s Got Talent (Season 2) on the semi final Mud Art Performance Dance. It’s not what you think. But it is mind-blowing.


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