Being out in nature seems to bring a sort of comfort and calmness to our minds and body. Taking in the beautiful trees, breathing in the clean air and listening to the sounds of birds can instill positivity and happiness among us and there’s a name for that — forest bathing.
What Is Forest Bathing?
The Japenese practice something known as shinrin-yoku, which translates to forest bathing. Shinrin means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” This practice involves taking in nature and the forest that surrounds you through all your senses.
It’s common to feel disconnected from nature. With most of us leading lives that keep us glued to technology, we often don’t take the time to surround ourselves with the natural world.
Forest bathing encourages you to detach yourself from the busy, bustling world and switch off to slow down. It’s an excellent way to help you let go of your stress and induce relaxation to the mind and body.
The Art of Forest Bathing
Forest bathing needs you to forget about all your devices, including your camera. In order to perform this activity, you need to find a quiet spot and allow yourself to get a little lost.
Follow along any path that you’re drawn to and try to be aware of all the sights, sounds and smells you come across. The main aspect of this activity is to really touch, listen, smell and see everything that nature has to offer.
For example, what do all the flowers in your path smell like? How do the birds sound as they chirp to their own tune?
Forest bathing encourages one to bridge the gap with nature and helps you feel more connected to the Earth in order to promote happiness within.
Benefits of Forest Bathing
Spending time in nature can be extremely beneficial for our health, even if it’s just for a quick moment.
1. Reduces Risks of Heart Attacks
Some research shows that forest bathing can help with reducing blood pressure, stress levels and your pulse rate. Your body’s adiponectin levels, which plays a role with blood sugar, increases and has an anti-inflammatory effect on blood vessel cells, lowering the risk of heart attacks.
2. Fights Obesity and Diabetes
Adiponectin is also related to obesity and diabetes. This is because this protein acts as a messenger for how the body should use sugar or glucose and regulates our glucose levels, weight gain and metabolism. Forest bathing increases adiponectin levels, which helps lower blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
3. Improves the Mood
Spending time forest bathing can improve your mood and leave you with uplifted spirits. A group of 19 men was studied for anxiety, depression and confusion levels. These men showed results of improved levels after a forest bathing trip, compared to a group that walked through an urban area.
4. Heals Sore Muscles
Some studies have shown that forest bathing can help reduce joint pain, pain from osteoarthritis and inflammation. Back and neck pain are also some of the other health problems that one can find relief from after forest bathing.
5. Restores Energy and Promotes Better Sleep
Being out in nature stimulates the mind and increases vigor. Therefore, forest bathing is known to fight fatigue and help you feel energized. Additionally, forest bathing also triggers the hormones that promote sleep. It helps to manage our stress levels that induce relaxation and is effective in helping us go to sleep.
6. Fights Cancer and Boosts Immunity
Research has shown that forest bathing can help to fight cancer cells as it boosts immunity, helps to reduce the risk of cancer and enables quick recovery from other illnesses. One study even showed that having a window that allows you to look at trees could also promote a quicker recovery.
7. Improves Skin Health
Taking in the fresh air and the anti-inflammatory components expressed by trees known as terpenes can help to improve your skin health. Terpenes reduce inflammation and can treat skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.
Forest Bathing Thoughts
Forest bathing has been practiced for thousands of years due to the benefits it brings to the mind and body. It’s always a good idea to take a step back from your busy schedule and take some time to focus on yourself.
Take advantage of what mother nature has given us and allow the natural world to heal your mind and your body in a natural and peaceful way.
The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.
Li, Q. (2018, May 01). The Benefits of ‘Forest Bathing’. Retrieved from http://time.com/5259602/japanese-forest-bathing/
Covert, M., M., H., M., M., & Yancey, C. (2018, August 22). 9 Benefits of Forest Bathing & Why You Need to Try It. Retrieved from https://www.mamanatural.com/forest-bathing/