The Power of Forest Bathing
When we talk about the power of Forest Bathing, the typical response we usually get is, “Forest what? Bathing in the forest? Will I need swimwear?” Well actually Forest Bathing is a relatively new ‘therapy’ – in the UK anyway. It’s very standard in Japan where it originated
Being in nature can help us feel good – the sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh clean air. Trees help us to ease our stress and worry, help us to relax and think more clearly. Being in nature can also restore our mood, give us back our energy and vitality, refresh and rejuvenate us.
We explain how trees can help you find happiness and the positive impact Forest Bathing can have on your health.
What is Forest Bathing?
Shinrin-yoku – is Japanese, Shinrin means forest and Yoku means bath. So this means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses. It’s not a physical exercise, it is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our five senses.
You know, indoors we tend to only use two senses – our eyes and our ears. Outside is where we can smell the flowers, taste fresh air, look at the changing colours of the trees, hear the birds singing and feel the breeze on our skin. And when we open up our senses we begin to connect to the natural world.
We are part of the natural world. Our rhythms are the rhythms of nature. As we walk slowly through the forest using our five senses, we bring our rhythms into step with nature. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge – by opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world. And when we are in harmony with the natural world we can begin to heal. Our nervous system can reset itself, our bodies and minds can go back to how they ought to be. No longer out of kilter with nature but once again in tune with it – we are refreshed and restored.
Even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health. A two hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slowdown. It will bring us into the present moment and destress and relax us.
The Power of Forest Bathing
There is now a wealth of data that shows that Shinrin Yoku can:
*Reduce blood pressure
*Improve cardiovascular and metabolic health
*Lower blood-sugar levels
*Improve concentration and memory
*Improve pain thresholds
*Boost the immune system with an increase in the count of the body’s natural killer cells (NK)
*Increase anti-cancer protein production
*Help you to lose weight
So if we’ve always had a feeling
that we feel so much better in Nature there’s now Science
One of the books we refer to is ‘Forest Bathing’ by Dr Qing Li
, Chairman of the Japanese Society for Forest Medicine.
Further Benefits of Forest Bathing
Forests are an amazing resource. They give us everything we rely on in order to exist. They produce oxygen, cleanse the air we breathe and purify our water.
Forest Bathing can help us sleep – scientific studies prove this.
Also Forest Bathing can help to improve our mood – test reveals emotions like confusion, sadness, terror, guilt, vigour, exhaustion can all be improved with just two hours forest bathing.
Forest Bathing also boosts the immune system. This is tested by looking at the activity of our natural killer cells – a type of white blood cell and so-called because they can attack and kill unwanted cells, for example those infected with a virus or tumour cells.
We offer Forest Bathing as part of our core welllness programme. To find out more about a Wootton Park Self-Care Sunday, Wellness Weekend or a mid-week Corporate Retreat, please contact us here, call 01564 793151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.