The sound of water

September 27, 2016

Jacob Schor ND




I chanced upon a beaver dam in my urban wandering a few weeks ago.  I don’t think it was there two months ago when I last meandered up that way.  Yet though it’s new, it is already showing signs of neglect.  I suspect some animal control sorts may have ‘removed’ the builders.  The newly felled trees in the dam’s vicinity may not have been appreciated.


I find myself drawn to the dam nevertheless; the sound of water trickling through the dam, of a thousand tiny rivulets leaking water out of the pond,  does something in my mind that is pleasing to hear.  Perhaps it is because the sound is so quiet, a whisper of moving water and it forces me to ignore the city noises in the distance.  To listen to the water one must be quiet as it’s easy to miss.  Whatever the reason, I find the experience of visiting this spot enchanting;  I’ve returned three times in the last two week, just for a few minutes each time to listen.  Something about the experience is filling, yet afterwards I find myself wanting to return.  It’s like a drink of cool water on a hot day.  It’s not too long until you would like another sip.


I ponder what the world is like to those constantly wearing things in their ears that provide a soundtrack to the world?  Do they miss out hearing these little sounds?  Perhaps it’s my role as a naturopathic physician that has me wonder about this.  To me it seems a basic tenet that we need to experience nature regularly to maintain health.


This train of thought brings me to mentioning our dear colleague Kurt Beil, ND who for the last year or so has been a regular contributor to the Natural Medicine Journal.  Dr. Beil is our go to writer when we want to review interesting articles on the healing effects exposure to nature has.  It’s impressive how many of these sorts of articles get published in the medical journals and how impressive the results are. 


Let me provide links to a few of them:


April 2015:

Plant a Tree, Ditch the Antidepressants?

Study shows inverse association between density of London street trees and rates of antidepressant prescription

Neighborhood Green Space Can Predict Mental Health Status

Wisconsin health survey data suggest a correlation between mental wellness and green space exposure.

Nature Walks Boost Mental Health

Brain scans after walking in nature show decreased mental rumination as a mechanism for addressing mental health

Exposure to Residential Green Space Improves Mental Health Study finds impressive and immediate mental health improvements as a result of green space exposure.

Green space affects children’s quality of life and BMI