11 Surprising Benefits of Forest Bathing and How It Can Impact Your Health

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Forest bathing helps to prevent cancer, cures sore muscles, lowers blood pressure, boosts mood, improves sleep, boosts energy, increases ability to focus, accelerates recovery from disease or surgery and prevents diabetes and obesity.

Forest bathing remarkably allows healing with nature. It benefits your overall health from increasing energy to lowering blood pressure. It absorbs all your stress and calms your body and mind. Below are the amazing benefits of forest bathing.

In this article:

What is Forest Bathing?
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Forest Bathing
How to Forest Bathe?
Why Forest Bathing is Good for Your Health?
What is Forest Therapy?

forest bathing

What is Forest Bathing?

The concept of forest bathing is derived from the term ‘Shinrin-yoku’ meaning “taking in the forest atmosphere”. It doesn’t mean bathing in the forest. It was developed from the practice of Japanese forest bathing during the 1980s. This became an essential aspect of Japanese medicine for preventive and curative healthcare.

11 Amazing Health Benefits of Forest Bathing

Helps Prevent Cancer

Forest bathing is proven to prevent or cut down the risks of cancer. It raises the effectiveness and count of the natural killer cells, in your body, that are essential for fighting cancer. Besides, forest bathing improves both mental and physical health which are vital to prevent any form of diseases. Forests are abundant in multiple anti-inflammatory terpenes that help protect important organs like your brain, liver and kidneys from inflammation. Terpene D-limonene can fight against tumours. It’s also proven by research to effectively address colon, intestine, pancreas and breast cancers.

Lowers Blood Pressure

If you take a long walk in a forest, trying to feel your surroundings the most, it can remarkably reduce your blood pressure. Although taking an urban walk requires an equal amount of physical energy as in forest bathing, the latter helps in lowering blood pressure.

Boosts Mood

Forest bathing can greatly promote mood. In a test, people with depression, anxiety and confusion issues went for forest bathing. Results revealed a significant improvement in their moods to cope better with their problems. Also, forest bathing can treat Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) in children. It lowers their stress by producing cortisol and dopamine hormones and, lets them bond with nature, promoting their mood.

Improves Sleep

In research, forest bathing of 37-55 aged walkers from Tokyo helped them sleep longer irrespective of their physical activities. The forest environment relaxes your mind and body. This peaceful experience promotes sleep.

Boosts Energy

Forest bathing rejuvenates your body by producing anti-stress hormones like dopamine and cortisol. Taking deep breaths in a forest can relieve stress and energise you. Nature refreshes you by increasing your vigour and fighting fatigue.

Increases Ability to Focus

Therapeutic research found that your power of focussing can increase merely by looking at pictures of forests. A walk through a forest has far better results. Forest bathing gives the forest walkers better attention and concentration, especially after consecutive tiring activities.

Accelerates Recovery from Disease or Surgery

Patients (like those having a gall bladder surgery) have recovered faster by viewing a forest through hospital windows and even the more by forest bathing. Their immunity became stronger and stress reduced a lot, quickening recovery and requiring fewer medications thereafter.

Prevents Diabetes and Obesity

Forest bathing includes plenty of physical activities which can help fight obesity. It helps reduce adiponectin associated with insulin resistance and obesity, as it controls glucose levels, weight gain and regulation of fat levels.

Healthier Skin

Forest bathing exposes you to the various helpful plant secretions which are highly beneficial for skin health. Conifers like pine, fir and cypress have anti-inflammatory properties and produce terpene to give a more comfortable and clearer skin. It also helps cure skin problems like Psoriasis and Eczema.

Decreases Inflammation

The forest air soothes inflammations by allowing an active exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Fresher air enters your lungs and contains beneficial compounds secreted by plants that heal inflammations. Such compounds like D-limonene relieve lung inflammation and breathing disorders like COPD and asthma.

Cures Sore Muscles

Terpene produced by conifers can impact your body positively in diverse ways. It helps cure muscle inflammation, joint pain, neck and back pain and, even Osteoarthritis. Medical research saw that forest bathing treated back pain, inflammation and joint pains as of tight neck joints.

How to Forest Bathe?

Wondering “how to experience forest bathing near me?” Follow these steps:

  • Set aside your camera, phone or other distractions and, your expectations and goals. Prepare to walk aimlessly for forest bathing.
  • Find out an appropriate location in nature. Research nearby forest areas so that you can easily access it again and again. Frequent forest bathing enhances the therapeutic effects of nature.
  • Entering a forest, stand still and try recognizing the body in space. You can pick up a leaf or branch and try feeling your interaction with it. Note the sounds you hear like the chirping of birds or rustling of leaves.
  • Find richly aromatic sites. Certain trees like birch and cedar produce important phytoncides that raise the count of disease-fighting WBCs in your body. Smell the air and feel it hitting your skin. Take slow deep breaths with closed eyes.
  • Reflect out loudly to share your experience with the forest.
  • Choose a comfortable location to sit and observe the surroundings for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  • Return to mindful walking. Interspersing this with sitting can maximise the forest bathing benefits.
  • Conclude by drinking tea or another juice beverage to get enough time to reflect outside of your mindful forest session.

Why Forest Bathing is Good for Your Health?

Forest bathing can lower stress, depression, anxiety and anger; boost immunity; promote cardiovascular and metabolic activities, improving overall health.

What is Forest Therapy?

Forest therapy refers to a research-based therapy to support one’s curing and wellness by immersing the self in forests or any other natural environment. This therapy is inspired by the Japanese therapeutic practice of forest bathing called ‘Shinrin-yoku’.

A forest bathing book can guide you about the art and science of the function of nature to improve overall well-being.

Conclusion

As you saw, forest bathing is an all-round therapy for your mind and body. Unlike complicated treatments, it helps you to cure with nature in a soothing and comforting way. Go for a forest bath right away and enjoy its remarkable benefits.

Reference

http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5580555/

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