What about the forest bathing? Actually have you ever heard about it? No, I’m not talking about searching for rivers or lakes, although I wouldn’t mind. The concept of “forest bath” is actually scientifically approved way for healing and concious time in the forest: walking, breathing and contact with the nature. If you didn’t hear about it, I think it’s something to watch out. It is a well-being trend which is growing.
The actual term shinrin-yoku comes from Japan and means forest bathing or taking in the forest atmosphere. Nice. Already the name and the idea make me relaxed. The concept created in 1982 by Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries nowadays has become recognized and proved stress management and relaxation activity in Japan. You may think it’s just relax. But medical science always favoured proved-evidence, so the forest bathing was taken under experiments (you can check some scientific facts here). It proved that “bathing” in the forest can influence positively our health, well-being and physiology of the body. It decreases anxiety and depression. It increases “Natural Killer” cells (NK), an important part of immune system responsible for example for fighting the cancer cells. Lots of good actually comes from the breathing in the wood essential oils, called phytoncides which has antimicrobial effect and are produced by trees as their own protection. So Japanese takes it quite serious and I think everybody should.
Take a bath today!
Well, after 4 days I spent being surrounded just by forest, with no cars, no city lights, running, walking & practising yoga in the nature, I totally agree. It only proves that human and nature is one. I would go further. It is us humans who needs the nature to live balanced life. Nature will do well without us.
According to Japanese :
- If you want to achieve a healing effect and boosting your immune system with increasing the “Natural Killing” cells, choose spending 3-4 days in the forest (choose to stay overnight in the forest surrounding)
- Deeper relaxation can be achieved within 1 day
- Any time spent surrounded by the trees, even 2 hours walk, will increase your vigour and relaxation
I love the idea, as this healing way can be accessible to all of us! Isn’t beautiful?
You should definitely watch this well-being micro trend. Nowadays when the environmental stress is growing, especially in urban areas with depression as civilization problem, the interest in stress relieve, relaxation and well-being is even stronger. Trends like this will boom more in the following years. We are coming back to the roots. That’s for sure. I made a goal to visit forests as often as possible and reconnect with the nature. Balance is the key to life. And this will never change.