Have you heard of Forest Bathing? Or let us ask you a different way: Have you ever gone for a walk in nature and come back full of positive energy? Well, you’ve had a ‘forest bath’ perhaps without even realizing it.
Carry on reading to find out more …
‘Forest Bathing’ helps deal with stress and insomnia
What is forest bathing?
The term forest bathing refers to a Japanese form of nature therapy. More precisely, it means any activity consisting of visiting a forest, immersing yourself fully in it with all five senses, in order to obtain a better sense of well-being or for a health reason. It is a popular practice in Japan and the Far East, where it is known as shinrin-yoku (森林 浴) in Japanese and Mandarin, and Sanlimyok (산림욕) in Korean. In the West it has gained popularity in recent years, adding to other similar practices of contact with nature such as hiking and ecotherapy.
Practicing this therapeutic technique is prescribed in various parts of the world.
Green forest spaces decrease levels of stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression, while reduces obesity, diabetes and blood pressure. This is what the Forest Bathing study states from the Health and Environment Observatory of the DKV Institute of Healthy Living.
The advantages of breathing in nature, especially in forest spaces, are already prescribed in various parts of the world, such as in Nordic countries or in Japan, where, since the early 1980s, forest bathing -or shinrin-yoku- are highly encouraged as a health program, as they are known there – an ecotherapy.
Where to do a forest bath?
For healing or simply recreational purposes, you can have a forest bath in one of the most beautiful forest corners of the planet. From the High Black Forest in Germany to the cradle of this practice, Japan, through the breathtaking forests of Finland.
If you are looking for something a bit closer to home, simply escape to one of the natural parks closest to you or even a pretty local forest.
A healthy ecotherapy at no cost
Recognized since 1982 by the Japan Forest Agency as an ecotherapy, this practice encourages enjoying the benefits and natural stimuli offered by the forest and its natural environment. Forests have a much purer air than the one found in cities, together with the negative ions that abound in forested environments and phytoncides (substances emanating from trees that protect them from insects and external aggressions). All this strengthens the immune system and improves the respiratory system greatly.
You can read more about this topics in the book Shinrin-yoku: The Japanese Way of Forest Bathing for Health and Relaxation by Yoshifumi Miyazaki.
What do you think of the idea of forest bathing? We would love to hear from you in the Comments section below!
You may also be interested in reading about the Benefits of Earthing.
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