View this email in your browser

Issue 30: March/April 2019

Health for Health Professionals



         IN THIS ISSUE:
  • Editorial
  • Feature Blog: new approaches for health professionals
  • Events Update
  • Alan's article in Journal of Holistic Healthcare
  • Video Resource: try the Tree test
  • New initiative: Planet Progress Meditation
  • Deep Adaptation and climate change: an update
  • Bonus blog: Do Doctors have Emotions?
  • Book blog: Your Brain on Nature

Dear friend,

Whether you're a provider or recipient in our health services, the wellbeing of health professionals is vital for all of us. It's amazing that we get such generally excellent healthcare in the UK, because it risks systemically depleting the very committed people who deliver it. I'm delighted that Hazel Hill Wood and some of my expertise are now supporting the resilience of health professionals, as you'll see below.
Meanwhile the climate crisis continues: you'll find more on this below too.
Enjoy the Spring!


New approaches for healthcare professionals

What do you do when you want to address a problem that's huge in scope, and you have limited resources? I aim to pilot test creative solutions, using the assets and expertise I have, and linking with partners to provide what I lack. This approach has worked well in evolving the Woodland Resilience Immersion programmes at Hazel Hill Wood.

It's clear that years of overload are really taking their toll on health professionals: so much that it's now possible to talk about burnout and overt stress. However, it's also clear that health professionals have extremely limited time to explore new approaches, or to apply them at work. And any new initiative needs to build on their modes of assessment, and their frames of reference. So, in brief, here’s what a Woodland Resilience Immersion offers: 
  • A chance to de-stress and hence open to fresh insights: your own and others'
  • A range of simple, brief interventions which you can use in daily work, which only need a few minutes
  • Ways to use Nature connection to resource yourself at work
  • Methods and space to explore raising resilience for your team or organisation
This blog gives you a short overview of WRI's and what they offer to health professionals, read more here. For full details, see my article for the Spring 2019 Journal of Holistic Health. Learning Super-resilience from Nature: Systemic responses to systemic overload.

Deep Adaptation
and climate change: an Update

Recent months have seen rapid growth in awareness of the urgency of climate change, and more active moves to respond to it. The most visible and widespread of these responses in the UK is Extinction Rebellion. There has also been a rapid rise in the number of people involved in exploring the topic of Deep Adaptation, especially through participation in a range of Deep Adaptation Forums which Jem and his team have set up. You can see an updated version of my blog on Deep Adaption with relevant links here.

Book Blog:

Your Brain on Nature An ET view of earth

By Eva Selhub and Alan Logan

This is an important and exciting book in my view, as it gives extensive research validation for the natural happiness approach, and the aims of Hazel Hill Wood as a natural learning centre. This will be a longer blog than most, because I’d like to highlight the main insights from the book.  
This book was first published in 2012, and could not have been written even ten years earlier. It’s only very recently that research is emerging about the effects on our brains and bodies of the much longer time many people spend in screen world – smartphones, computers, televisions etc.  
Good research on the benefits of time in nature is also surprisingly recent. The authors are both doctors, who teach at Harvard Medical School, so their views have some authority. 
Your Brain on Nature offers extensive research support for the many benefits of time in nature, including stress reduction, physical health and creativity. Forests are a particularly positive natural setting, and the book quotes research from Japan on the benefits of Shinrin Yoku, or forest bathing. click here to read full blog

Try the Tree Test

Click below:


Events Update

Climate Change Consciousness 20-26th April, a major gathering at Findhorn Foundation.  

See more at   Alan will be leading a workshop: 

BEYOND RESILIENCE The future outlook calls for more than resilience - perhaps Deep Adaptation. We’ll explore how to help those most impacted (e.g. resource-poor nations and disadvantaged communities everywhere), through community building, spiritual resilience, and Nature. Alan will offer insights based on his project, Seeding our Future, which explores these issues for individuals, community groups and public services.  

Woodland Resilience Immersion for GP's JUNE 10-11
The impact on GP’s of prolonged overload, and the stress of facing ever-rising demands with shrinking resources, needs creative responses. This Woodland Resilience Immersion offers a different way to gain new insights and skills, to raise your resilience and nourish your wellbeing. See more here.

Seed Festival
, Hawkwood College, Stroud. July 20-21
Alan is leading two sessions at this years Seed Festival at Hawkwood.  See: 
Imagine cultivating your wellbeing as an organic gardener tends their land. This session in Hawkwood's magical market garden shows you practical ways to apply organic growth to yourself: for example, composting stress, nourishing your roots, valuing your wild margins. It draws on Alan's twenty years' experience creating an organic farm and the conservation woodland at Hazel Hill Wood. See
TOOLS FOR COMMUNITY RESILIENCE In the years ahead, strengthening local communities will be crucial. This is a chance to learn from many communities through Alan's research, and share your insights. We'll explore practical approaches drawing on Alan's Future Conversations project, which is running pilot programmes around the UK using facilitated conversations and skills training to help communities handle both local issues and climate change. See

Sept 6-8: The Odyssey of Manhood
Men are often trying to reach a goal, or figuring out what to aim for. Maybe as we get older, we see that the journey is significant too. This weekend is a chance to explore these themes in the fellowship of men, and supported by a magical 70-acre wood.
For flyer click here and see more at

Alan's Article

In the Journal of Holistic Healthcare

Learning super-resilience from nature: Systemic responses to systemic overload

Picture this scene: deep in a Wiltshire wood, a group of hospital doctors are sitting around a campfire. It’s dark, and there’s profound silence in the forest around them, broken by owls calling nearby. Slowly, the doctors take the risky step of opening up in front of colleagues: talking about feelings of overwhelm, exhaustion, the pressure to be superhuman that they put on themselves, and that they sense from patients. It’s tempting to be heroic, but where is the place for emotions and uncertainty? click here to read on...

NEW Initiative: 
Planet support meditation


Alan writes:
Avid readers of these newsletters will recall that issue 29 explored views of earth's troubles from beyond our planet. This has led me to start a new meditation group with fellow-author and pioneer Sue Brayne. It will involve a half hour mediation each Sunday evening, and potentially a monthly Zoom call. If you would like to know more contact me: 


 Bonus Blog: Do Doctors Have Emotions? 

What can they do with them? 
Powerful insights from a woodland intensive

You may think it’s obvious that doctors have feelings, like anyone else. What I’ve learned from leading resilience programmes with doctors is that it’s far trickier. Most doctors like to believe they’re superhuman, at least at work. And what’s worse, most of us as patients want them to be superhuman.

This blog is a debrief on a recent resilience intensive which I co-led at Hazel Hill Wood. This was a quite different group from the previous one, with 25-27 year old junior hospital doctors (click here for the blog). This time our participants were in middle to senior positions in large London hospitals, age 29 to 50, up to Consultant level.

We all know that the NHS is chronically overloaded, and this is impacting staff at all levels. The numbers of NHS staff leaving or burning out is well up on a few years ago. One crumb of comfort is that this issue is becoming a priority within the NHS, and I’m seeing a rising interest in our programmes. Click here to read on...


If you don't recieve this newsletter direct or want to
pass signup details to a friend:
here's the link.

For more info see

Copyright © 2019 Alan Heeks, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp