"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Can forest therapy enhance health and wellness?

The fantastic thing about the outside naturally inspires people to go outside, breathe within the fresh air, hearken to the birds, take a walk, or let the wind move the branches of sturdy neighboring trees. The pull to the natural world is present even in strange times. Now, as we’re confined indoors attributable to the coronavirus pandemic, often spending hours in front of inanimate screens, the urge to be outside is stronger than ever. One option to fulfill these desires while improving our health and well-being is thru forest therapy, which is growing in popularity worldwide.

What is Forest Therapy?

Inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” forest therapy is a guided outdoor healing practice. Unlike mountaineering or guided nature walks to discover trees or birds, forest therapy relies on trained guides, who deliberately set a slow pace and permit people to experience the pleasures of nature through all their senses. We invite you to experiment. It encourages people to be present within the body, benefit from the feeling of being alive and derive profound advantages from the connection between themselves and the remaining of the natural world.

Shinrin-yoku began in Japan within the Eighties in response to a national health crisis. Leaders in Japan see a rise in stress-related illnesses, attributed to people spending more time in technology and other industrial jobs. Certified trails were created to guide people in outdoor experiences. Decades of research show that forest bathing can assist reduce stress, improve focus, boost immunity, and elevate mood.

How does forest therapy affect the body?

Stress increases levels of the hormone cortisol. Long-term stress and chronic elevations in cortisol contribute to hypertension, heart disease, headaches, and plenty of other ailments. In the examination subjects, Cortisol levels decreased After a walk within the forest, in comparison with people walking in a laboratory setting.

Leave the trees. Volatile essential oils called phytoncides. which have antimicrobial properties and may affect the immune system. A Japanese study showed a rise within the number and activity of immune cells called natural killer cells, which fight viruses and cancer, in individuals who spent three days and two nights within the forest in comparison with those that traveled in cities. are This profit lasted for over a month after the jungle trip!

If you don't have three days to spend within the woods, don't worry. This has been revealed in a recent study of nearly 20,000 people within the UK. Spend at least 120 minutes a week in nature. Better self-reported health and well-being. It doesn't matter if the 120 minutes represents one long trip, or several short trips to nature. So, although we’re respecting physical distance, we are able to step outside for 20 minutes every single day and increase our fitness.

Some research Exposure to natural tree oils has been shown to assist reduce depression, lower blood pressure, and will even reduce anxiety. The tree oil also incorporates 3-carinine. Animal studies show that this substance can assist reduce inflammation, protect against infection, reduce anxiety, and even improve sleep quality.

Even people confined to a hospital bed can profit from seeing nature. Oh A short study A study published a long time ago compared individuals who recovered from gallbladder surgery in a windowed room with a natural outdoor view to those that recovered from the identical surgery in a hospital room with a view of a brick wall. were recovered. People who could see nature recovered more quickly and needed less powerful pain medication than those that couldn’t see nature.

And an interesting one the study Benefits present in green roofs. Participants were asked to take a look at nature on a green roof or concrete for 40 seconds while the researchers measured attention. According to this study, green spaces are restorative and promote concentration, while taking a look at concrete impairs concentration during tasks.

Finding the Jungle Therapy Guide

gave Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Trains and certifies forest therapy guides worldwide. Guides help people establish a partnership with nature through a series of invitations that invite participants to concentrate to the wilderness, deepen their relationship with nature, and use the natural world to advertise healing and well-being. allow

Ultimately, guides support what forests should offer us, inviting participants into practices that deepen physical presence, joy, and partnership with nature. When we connect with nature in this fashion, we connect with ourselves.