Forest Bathing

The Healing Power of Forest Bathing

A new study released in June 2019 determined that spending at least two hours a week in nature seems to be the crucial threshold for promoting health and wellbeing.

The research was led by the University of Exeter, published in Scientific Reports and funded by NIHR.

The study found that:

people who spend at least 120 minutes in nature a week are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who don’t visit nature at all during an average week

These findings play very well in to the established health benefits of a practice called Forest Bathing.

What is Forest Bathing?

Forest bathing is based on the Japanese practice of ‘Shinrin-yoku’.  This translates in to “taking in the forest atmosphere.”

It is most certainly an easy practice to follow and the benefits reaped are substantial.

Forest bathing simply involves taking contemplative walks through the woods. The intention is to connect with nature. You leave the hustle and bustle of your daily life behind taking your time to breathe deeply while paying great attention to the sights, sounds and smells around you.

This ‘taking in nature’ with our senses has been shown to lead to decreased stress, improved immunity and an overall sense of well-being.

forest bathingFurthering this, it has been shown that the natural chemicals secreted by evergreen trees, called phytoncides, have been associated with improvements in the activity of our immune system.  This is aromatherapy at its finest!

The very essence of integrative cancer care is the enhancement of the 3 basic notions of self; the body, the mind and the soul.

Forest bathing can offer a very effective method of supporting all 3 of these aspects of self and can be practiced all year round.

For those of us who are blessed with 4 very different seasons the beauty of nature is dynamic.

Forest bathing has become very popular. There are certified forest therapy guides popping up everywhere to help people connect with their practice.

Take advantage of the healing power that nature has to offer!