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Forest Bathing Explained

Updated: Sep 19, 2022

forest bathing explained

The practise of forest bathing was developed in Japan in the 1980s to deal with overworking and the stress that comes with it (and death). This practise doesn't have any water in it; instead, it's just about gently moving through a forest. The idea is to slow down and connect with nature by using your senses.

Forest bathing and therapy (also known as shinrin-yoku) requires fully inhaling the forest atmosphere. It's more than just a stroll in the woods; it's a deliberate and meditative practise of immersing oneself in the forest's sights, sounds, and scents. It was developed in Japan during the 1980s, and the Japanese government incorporated it in its national health programme in 1982, as a sort of mobile meditation under the canopy of living woods. Researchers, mostly from Japan and South Korea, have gathered a large body of evidence on the numerous health advantages.

forest bathing

The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy has eagerly adopted forest bathing abroad, despite its origins in the high-stress environment of 1980s corporate Japan.

"Death by overwork," or karoshi, was a typical occurrence of ill health that frequently resulted in deadly heart attacks and strokes, demanding quick care, according to the Association.

The Japanese government-funded research was motivated by the Shinto love of environment and focused on the health benefits of taking a walk in the woods. Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to "forest bathing," is a formal therapy developed as a result of the research.

Forest bathing has been shown to help the heart and lungs while also lowering blood pressure and stress levels.

Forest bathing has a number of benefits, including:
  • The chance of a heart attack is lowered.

  • Obesity and diabetes can both be avoided.

  • Two advantages include more energy and a better night's sleep.

  • Effects that aid in the improvement of one's mood.

  • The amount of inflammation in the body is lowered.

  • Clearer and more pleasurable skin.

  • This substance helps to ease muscle pain.

  • Properties that are anti-inflammatory.

How to practice forest bathing

Forest bathing is about slowing down in order to connect with the forest and oneself.

Lying on the ground, meditating, selecting forest delicacies, and studying the vegetation are all examples of forest bathing.

How often should you take a walk in the woods?

People who went on forest bathing visits every one to four weeks benefited, according to the bulk of the studies. It's ideal if you can visit as frequently as possible. Positive results were seen as early as seven days after a woodland bathing vacation and as late as 30 days.

Bathing spots in the woods

Please pick a location with a lot of conifer trees, but any densely forested area will suffice. If the forest is filled with biting insects in the summer, don't forget the all-natural mosquito repellent!

If you're sweating, swiping at bugs, or noisy kids are running about, you can't relax. Choose an area with a comfortable temperature and a low level of noise and distractions. Similarly, if you are terrified of animals or feel lonely and alone, forest bathing will not help you relax and reap the benefits.

how to practice forest bathing

Because the purpose is to connect with the Earth and raise your awareness of your surroundings, earthing shoes can aid improve the experience. Depending on the environment and circumstances, you can even remove your shoes and go barefoot. Electromagnetic radiation from wireless devices, cell phone towers, and other modern technologies inundates our environment. We may re-center our bodies and reset our natural electromagnetic fields through earthing and forest bathing.

Even if you don't have access to a whole forest, standing beneath a single tree and inhaling deeply can help your health. Place yourself on a lush green lawn. Pay a visit to a nature preserve. There's also evidence that staring at a picture of a forest might improve your health, particularly if you inhale a woody essential oil like cedarwood.


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