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In Canada, Now Doctors Can Prescribe Free Visits To National Parks

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Credit : Rebecca Bollwitt

Usually doctors prescribe medicines & tests for patients suffering from any physical or mental disorder. But in Canada, authorised health professionals can prescribe free visits to National Parks, in addition to usual drugs & tests.

For several years, Canadian Doctors. have been prescribing “Forest Baths” to some of their patients. Now they can prescribe a Free Entry Ticket to Canadian National Parks. The pilot project to prescribe free visits to National Parks is to last three years.

Health officials recommend passing “at least two hours a week”in  nature, specifies Radio Canada. A breath of fresh air helps the patients to feel calm, happy and connect to their community. They also encourage patients to practise regular physical activity, as there is sound mind in a sound body: Shareermadyam Khalu dharma sadhanam meaning our body is a real instrument to perform our duty, according to famous Sanskrit poet  Kalidas.

Prof Frederick Greuzet  of Psychology Department told the Canadian media, “The benefits are significant as we see it on the physical level, but also on the mental level. It creates more positive vibes.”

More than 1100Canadian Professionals are authorised  to prescribe walks in National Parks. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister has said that such facilities will be extended to all  the parts of the country in due course of time in view of the prevailing pandemic, but the people have to take usual precautions like putting on masks, he added.

According to the Toronto Star, the initial response to the PaRx I. e. Prescription to Parks is overwhelming as the patients, especially the elderly feel that a free visIt to a park generates  a sense of well – being as it lowers the level of anxiety factor and depression.

In nations with high populations like India or China, it will be advisable if the Doctors prescribe a visit to a park or a nearby garden to the people suffering from depression or acute anxiety, provided they follow Covid  rules & regulations.

Govind Tekale

A retired teacher at Sainik School Kazhakootam, besides his lifelong reading passion he is now an avid writer.

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