Forest Bathing is an impactful antidote which neutralizes the pressure of the modern world. The concept has proven its significance as it benefits you inside out with a powerful connection to nature. During Forest Bathing experience, one will witness a series of activities that will heal your mind and body.
The practice originated in Japan, called shinrin yoku – Forest Bathing is an approved and acknowledged part of Japanese preventative health care because of the mental, physical and spiritual health benefits it carries. Also known as Forest Therapy, it’s based on thousands of years of intuitive knowledge.
You don’t have to spend much to take part in the latest therapeutic travel trend just put on your walking shoes and head to a forest.
Credit: Happy Body Formula
How Does It Work?
In Japan, Since the early 1980s, Forest Bathing has been around as a concept now it’s catching on around the world. The idea is simple – Explore a forest mindfully.
Scientists in Japan continue to conduct a bulk of research into its benefits, concluding that it should have its place in the Japanese health-care system.
Take in your surroundings, listen to the rustle of leaves in the wind and feel the bark on the trees. You can go forest bathing alone take part in a dedicated event or even hire a certified guide.
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We all know mindfulness, physical activity and time outdoors can positively impact moods but there is science behind the practice.
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Studies have tested forest bathers before and after their walks and recorded positive physical improvements. It’s the perfect activity for health-conscious travelers on a budget. Just find a forest and explore.
In a Nutshell, here are the top six benefits of Forest Bathing
The Japanese method of shinrin yoku or Forest Bathing has superb cons for both physical and mental health. The practice is proven to reduce stress hormone production. It improves the feelings of happiness, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, boosts the immune system, and speeds up the recovery from illness.
1. Stress Buster
Yoshifumi Miyazaki, a professor at Japan’s Chiba University, is researching the benefits of forest bathing since 2004 and found that a calm and relaxing walk in the forest results in 12.4 percent decrease in the stress hormone, cortisol, compared with urban walks. In the study, the participants unscientifically noticed better moods and signs of lower anxiety.
2. Improves your state of mind
Academicians from Derby University have conducted a meta-study of current research, which concludes that connecting with nature can be linked to happiness and mental well-being. Leisure time spent in nature releases hormones that are related to the pursuit of happiness, connecting to calm, and avoiding hazards.
3. Gives a freebie to your creativity
In a study by psychology professor, David Strayer of Utah University, participants observed 50% improvement in creative problem solving after they had their time indulged in the middle of nature with all access to modern technology eliminated.
4. Lifts up your immune system
Trees and plants releases ‘phytoncides’ which we inhale when we spend time in the forest. To increase the activity of Natural Killer cells, a Japanese Shinrin Yoku researcher, Qing Li has proved in studies done by him that help our body fight against the disease.
5. Reduces high blood pressure
Forest bath has been proven to reduce blood pressure, an important factor in maintaining a healthy heart. In the recently conducted meta-study in Japan, 20 tests were reviewed which involved 732 participants. The study demonstrated that B.P levels in the surroundings of the forest were naturally lower than those in the on-forest environment.
6. Accelerates your recovery from illness
Nature can be a powerful reactant in the recovery process. One of the best studies in this field by Dr. Roger Ulrich, an architect specializing in healthcare building design, demonstrated that even a natural view from a window reduces the convalescence time by a day, compared to an urban view.
So, think once to try forest bathing to have a wonderful experience!