Skip to content

You are using an outdated browser

Internet Explorer is not supported by this site and Microsfot has stopped releasing updates, therefore you may encounter issues whilst visiting this site and we strongly recommend that you upgrade your browser for modern web functionality, a better user experience and improved security.

Upgrade my browser

What if trees could actually improve our health?

What if trees could actually improve our health?
Source: Pixabay/MartinVickery

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.

What if trees could actually improve our health? The concept is straightforward: if a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way, there are calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits to be had. Source: Facebook/BrutNature

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.

Source: Shinrin-yoku.org

Photographer Tali Kimelman experienced this first hand while immersing herself in Arboretum Lussich, a lush, 470-acre nature reserve on the southeast coast of her native Uruguay. And through her series Open Forest, she brings this soothing, sensory experience to us. Click source for more.
Photographer Tali Kimelman’s forest bathing series invites the viewer on a sensory journey Photographer Tali Kimelman experienced this first hand while immersing herself in Arboretum Lussich, a lush, 470-acre nature reserve on the southeast coast of her native Uruguay. And through her series Open Forest, she brings this soothing, sensory experience to us. Click source for more. Source: TaliKimelman/NationalGeographic

Go to a Forest. Walk slowly. Breathe. Open all your senses…

‘Go to a Forest. Walk slowly. Breathe. Open all your senses. This is the healing way of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest.’ recommends Shinrin-Yoku.org — and the extensive research from multiple sources in different countries spanning a number of years seems to back up the sentiment.

Some of the scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include:

  • 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

Shinrin Yoku Forest Therapy is taught by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. It combines leisurely walks on gentle paths under forest canopy with guided activities to help you open your senses, hone your intuition, and experience the forest as you never have before. 

They say they draw upon ‘mindfulness meditation practices, and the techniques of deep nature connection mentoring, and use the Way of Council for group discussions at several points along the walk, which helps participants learn from and teach other they we discuss what they are experiencing together.’

Or you could go on your own. The health benefits are the same. You don’t even need a forest. Even time spent with a single tree has been shown to improve health.

To view the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy’s ‘A curated collection of journalism and research’ , the extensive research resources, CLICK HERE — it’s an information avalanche of scientific papers from numerous sources worldwide, spanning a number of years.


Forest bathing is something the whole family can do together.
Never too young or too old for a forest bath Forest bathing is something the whole family can do together. Source: Pezibear/Pixabay
Make an Impact

To find out more and to get you our free starter kit

Shinrin Yoku is Japanese for "Forest Bathing" - A gentle path to wellness accessible to almost everybody. Find out more.