If every time you feel a little down, you slink away to a favoured nook, dim the lights, don the duvet and delve into Dairy Milk dependency then, sorry, but you’ve been doing it all unbelievably wrong. What you really need when you’re feeling a little fragile, wretched or vulnerable is greater exposure to the elements. Preferably the more violent, destructive, high-volume ones – some thunder therapy, if you will.
In fact, according to research conducted by the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, what you actually need when all around you is gloom and despondency is a storm. A big thundery one with lashings of flashing lightning and a generous helping of torrential rain. Should any naysayer out there doubt this would suffice to set them up for the day, the medical school’s researchers claim to have a little bit of science on their side.
Apparently – and this is supposedly the basis for the suddenly voguish notion of Thunder Therapy – such a surfeit of natural sounds reboots the brain, unclogging your neural pathways and safely depositing you on a sunnier side of the street. Presumably amid one or two largish puddles.
It’s basically “going large” on the long-held belief that bubbling brooks, gentle bird calls and the distant rustle of alfalfa restore the troubled mind, allowing it to commune with nature and instilling the kind of tranquillity traditionally reserved for the recently lobotomised or the long-term lost-at-sea – states-of-mind we all surely covet.
A more plausible explanation for the depression-dispelling qualities of a sudden squall, however, comes courtesy of one online commentator who posited that “aside from the soothing aural properties of thunder, a storm carries with it the connotations of zero obligations”. Translated from Internet-ese, this roughly equates to: “If the weather’s really bad, you can stay in bed, take the day off and eat chocolate digestives in your underpants.” To be fair that might, at least, go some way towards ameliorating many people’s early morning melancholy, while also providing a welcome shot-in-the-arm for the global cocoa-derivative biscuit sector.
In the unlikely event that Thunder Therapy should somehow fail to deliver on the losing-the-blues front, there is – thankfully – an even more recently-endorsed alternative: Plank Therapy. Advocates of this believe that being struck repeatedly on the head with a weighty wooden block by a local artisan (or an irritable relative) will help dispel any notion of depression, over-self-consciousness or – if applied enthusiastically enough – consciousness. Its efficacy has probably been testified to by a recent academic study. Probably by the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. And, almost certainly, on the taxpayers’ shilling.
Text: Bailey Atkinson