Updated: Sep 19
What is the definition of forest bathing?
It was created in Japan in the 1980s to address overworking and related stress (and death). There's no water in this game; instead, it's entirely about travelling slowly through a forest. The goal is to use your senses to slow down and connect with nature.
Forest bathing and therapy (also known as shinrin-yoku) entails inhaling the forest atmosphere with all senses. It's more than just a walk in the woods; it's an intentional and meditative practice of being immersed in the forest's sights, sounds, and fragrances. It was created in Japan during the 1980s, and in 1982, the Japanese government included this form of mobile meditation under the canopy of living forests in its national health programme. Researchers, mainly from Japan and South Korea, have compiled a significant corpus of scientific research on the various health benefits.
While recognising its origins in the high-stress atmosphere of 1980s corporate Japan, the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy has enthusiastically adopted forest bathing abroad.
According to the Association, "death by overwork," or karoshi, was a common occurrence of ill health that frequently resulted in deadly heart attacks and strokes, necessitating immediate action.
The government-funded study was inspired by the Shinto love for nature and focused on the measurable health advantages of a walk in the woods. The research resulted in developing a formal therapy known as Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to "forest bathing."
Forest bathing has been demonstrated to lower blood pressure and stress levels and benefit the heart and lungs.
Forest bathing has several advantages, including:
Heart attack risk is reduced.
Obesity and diabetes are prevented.
More energy and a better night's sleep are two benefits.
Effects that helps improve one's mood.
Inflammation is reduced.
Skin that is clearer and more pleasant.
Muscle soreness is relieved using this product.
What is the process of forest bathing?
Slowing down to connect with the forest and oneself is the goal of forest bathing. Forest bathing guides who have been qualified by the organisation of nature and forest therapy are available.
The goal of forest therapy, according to this group, is to "slow down and become immersed in the natural environment."
Forest bathing can take several forms, including lying on the ground, meditating, picking forest foods, and observing the vegetation.
How often should you go forest bathing?
The majority of the research found that people who went on forest bathing visits every one to four weeks benefited. It's best if you can go as often as possible. Positive effects were observed even in just seven days following a forest bathing trip and up to 30 days later.
Places for forest bathing
Please choose a place with a lot of conifer trees, but any thickly wooded region would suffice. Don't forget the all-natural mosquito repellent in summer if the forest is teeming with biting insects!
You can't relax if you're sweating, swiping at mosquitoes, or noisy youngsters are running around. Select a location with a pleasant temperature and minimum noise and distractions. Likewise, if you are afraid of animals or feel isolated and remote, this will not help you relax and soak up the benefits of forest bathing.
Earthing shoes can help improve the experience because the goal is to connect with the Earth and improve your surroundings' awareness. You can also remove your shoes and go barefoot, depending on the environment and circumstances. Wireless devices, cell phone towers, and other modern-day technologies overwhelm our surroundings with electromagnetic radiation. Earthing and forest bathing allow us to re-centre our bodies and reset our natural electromagnetic fields.
If you don't have access to an entire forest, even standing beneath a single tree and deeply inhaling will improve your health to some extent. Place yourself on a healthy plot of grass. Visit a natural reserve. There's even some proof that gazing at a picture of a forest can be beneficial to your health, especially if you breathe in a woody essential oil, such as cedarwood.