How does working the land benefit the health and wellness of our veterans?

Did you know that almost a quarter of all veterans in the US return from active military careers to reside in rural communities? The opportunities from living and working in rural communities range from lower costs of living to the multiple health benefits of working in nature and having accessible means to outdoor recreation. 

Having access to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it also contributes to your physical wellbeing. Being in nature has proven to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. It has been scientifically proven that being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. 

Time in nature increases our ability to pay attention. As humans, we find nature inherently interesting, we can naturally focus on what we are experiencing out in nature. This also provides a respite for our overactive minds, refreshing us for new tasks. Having the privilege of working the land offers us an opportunity to reconnect with our ancestral way of life that predates 12,000 years of history and evolution. 

Nature helps us cope with pain. We are genetically programmed to find trees, plants, water, and other natural elements engrossing, we are absorbed by nature scenes and distracted from our pain and discomfort. 

Holistic farming is a perfect therapeutic and professional alternative for veterans to find peace and a meaningful occupation. Studies have shown that healthy soil is home to billions of probiotic bacteria that can regulate mood and mitigate the symptoms of PTSD through the release of serotonin via the gut (or lung) to brain pathway. Not only that, soil can act as a tactile therapy which can help relieve the symptoms of TBI.

The symbiotic connection between veterans and the lands for which they fought for can be a valuable part of nature-based therapeutic programs, made possible through partnerships like the ones offered through DVF

Check out our Programs to learn more about how DVF brings veterans from the field to the farm.