What is Forest Bathing?

In Japanese it is called Shinrin-Yoku, which can literally be translated to: Forest Bathing. In Japan this is a preventative medicine that is being practiced by increasing numbers of the population. Forest Bathing is important for Health and Relaxation. It is used in a similar way to “sun bathing”. You don’t literally take a bath, but you do bathe in the environment of the forest[1].

It is quite simple: if a human being visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way there are calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits to be achieved. 

We have always known this intuitively. But in the past several decades there have been many scientific studies that are demonstrating the mechanisms behind the healing effects of simply being in wild and natural areas.

Reduce Stress in your life

Stress-related diseases have become a global problem. Human beings are over-stimulated and stressed by today’s man-made world. Shinrin-Yoku cannot treat disease, but it can help prevent it.

As science has moved on there are now multiple techniques to measure brain activity and autonomic nervous activity. Both of these are great indicators of the level of stress in our bodies. It is clear that our bodies still recognize nature as our home. This is important to keep in mind as more and more people live in cities and urban environments.

Stress-related diseases have become a burden to modern society and attention is turning to the forest. Nature therapies are a new concept that uses a preventative approach to lower stress levels and improve quality of life.

The scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku[2]:

  • Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells. Many trees give off organic compounds that support our “NK” (natural killer) cells that are part of our immune system’s way of fighting cancer.
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved mood
  • Increased ability to focus
  • Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
  • Increased energy level
  • Improved sleep

[1] Book: Shinrin-yoku

[2] www.shinrin-yoku.org