The popular Japanese practice of ‘Shinrin-yoku’ — or ‘Forest Bathing’ — has been scientifically proven to improve health in many surprising ways.
Take a forest bath and cleanse away a multitude of ills
Practitioners of ‘Shinrin-Yoku’ describe forest baths as ‘gentle walks that support well-being through sensory immersion in forests and other naturally healing environments,’ — and extensive scientific research seems to agree with them. Forest Bathing has been taken very seriously in Japan for some time, and is now gaining popularity worldwide.
Research is helping to establish shinrin-yoku and forest therapy throughout the world
“Shinrin-yoku” is a term that means "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing." Developed in Japan during the 1980s, it has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. — explains the website Shinrin-Yoku.org
Researchers (primarily in Japan and South Korea, but more recently in the US and other countries), have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest. Now their research is helping to establish shinrin-yoku and forest therapy throughout the world.
The idea is a simple one: if a person simply 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.
See below some of scientifically proven health benefits of forest bathing.
Go to a Forest. Walk slowly. Breathe. Open all your senses…
- Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced stress
- Improved mood
- Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
- Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
- Increased energy level
- Improved sleep