Cow hugging, a new Dutch way of boosting mental health
From yoga and breathing exercises to sound baths and journaling therapy, the world is full of wellness tools designed to soothe and calm both body and mind. Now, a self-care practice hailing from the Netherlands is promising practitioners serenity and upbeat mood.
Koe knuffelen, translated from Dutch as ‘cow hugging’, is the practice centered on the healing properties of human-to-animal contact. The cow’s warmer body temperature, slower heartbeat and mammoth size can make hugging them an incredibly soothing experience.
Cow cuddling is believed to promote positivity and reduce stress by boosting oxytocin in humans, the hormone released in social bonding.
Growing “food medicine” in organic farm on a roof of a hospital
High above the Boston Medical Center grows a bountiful organic vegetable garden that feeds patients, staff and the poor. Recognizing that food is medicine, the Boston hospital built an organic farm on its roof that provides 6000 pounds of vegetables a year.
More than a 400 volunteers tend the garden, which includes kale, collard greens, bok choy, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, beans, squash and a wide variety of herbs. The crops are grown in organic soil in recycled milk crates and are pollinated by two onsite beehives that provide honey as well.
Greener play areas found to boost children’s immune system
Finland conducted a study and analyzed how planting trees and creating greener play areas can benefit children’s immune systems.
Researchers transformed four children’s playgrounds from gravel yards into mini forests to see how this affected their immune systems. Blood samples reportedly showed positive changes to cells and proteins related to the immune system.
It’s been proven that nature can strengthen immune system, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase happiness. Next time you spend some time outside with kids, make sure you spend it in a park, forest or any other green area at your disposal.
Ikea launches new sustainable initiative, 'Buy Back'
Ikea, the world’s largest furniture brand, announced that it will buy used goods from customers as part of their commitment to become more sustainable and give its furniture a second life and minimising the contribution to landfill.
Ikea’s ‘Buy Back’ scheme will launch on Black Friday (27 November) and is intended to take a stand against the excessive consumption that usually happens on this day. This initiative will offer customers up to 50 per cent of the original value of their unwanted items in the form of vouchers. The move follows last month’s announcement that the company will open its first secondhand shop in Stockholm this year.