‘I feel part of a movement that is bigger than myself’; exploring the experiences of the fire spinning community and their connections to nature.
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Modern living has bought with it greater pressures and stresses than perhaps ever before. Poor mental health and well-being is the result of such a style of living. Green care interventions have in the past highlighted the therapeutic and healing qualities of the natural environment on mental health. Past research has focused on the effects of embedding natural interventions alongside one’s life. The fire spinning community are a collective of people who have stepped outside mainstream living to pursue a life that embraces intimate connection with the natural world, living and working with nature as a lifestyle. It would be valuable and interesting to explore what has been gained from their alternative lifestyle, where an activity that intimately connects them to the natural world is held at the centre of their lives. The aim of this study was to explore experiences of members of the fire spinning community. This study was of a qualitative design which used a semi-structured interview to explore four participant’s experiences of fire spinning. A semi- structured interview schedule was developed and interviews recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006) was used to analyse the data, of which three overarching aims were identified: The importance of community, therapeutic/healing nature of fire spinning and the paradoxical nature of fire spinning. The subthemes within these were explored in depth. The most salient finding was the idea that fire spinning provides reconnection to the self, to others and the natural world, indicative of a spiritual realisation. The implications of these findings were that if movement arts that inspire fundamental unity became more involved within our way of life, they could act as a preventative measure against poor mental well-being which could change the way we live our lives, where a more conscious and connected society could emerge. Flaws of the study and future research are also discussed.
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