- Article by Chtistina Sakellariou at Thrive Global Greece / thriveglobal.gr
Christina Sakellariou, Chemist - HR Manager Cosmetia
From the beginning of humanity, healing through nature was used in many cultures and tribes. In Japan, in the 1980ies, the practice of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) is introduced as part of the public health program.
Forest bathing does not involve a specific exercise or activity in nature, but the connection of our five senses with it. We all know that the sounds, scents of the forest and the clean, fresh air make us feel good. However, the beneficial effects are not limited to improving our mood.
How does it benefit our health?
According to scientific research, forest bathing offers multiple benefits for our health. It decreases the levels of the stress hormone cortisone, the blood pressure, the risk of having a heart attack, aggression and depression. It improves our concentration, memory, mood, skin inflammations, quality of sleep and boosts energy levels. It also has a relaxing effect on stiff, aching muscles. Finally, phytokines, the volatile substances released by trees, can provide an antibacterial effect by enhancing the immune system and helping decrease the occurrence of several diseases.
Forest bathing does not involve a specific exercise or activity in nature, but the connection of our five senses with it.
Try it out
If you want to feel refreshed, get rid of tension, exhaustion and stress and improve your health, take a walk in the forest or in a city park, as long as it has trees and is free of noise. Make sure to leave your phone and camera behind. Your goal is to connect with nature with all of your senses without any distraction. Take a relaxed walk without a destination, even barefoot if possible. Listen to the sounds of the forest, take in its scents, observe the colours and the sunlight as it shines through the leaves, touch the trunks of the trees, taste the fresh air. Find a place that you like with a temperature that makes you feel comfortable. Try lying down under the trees and even practice yoga or meditation.
Forest bathing is for everyone. It helps us disconnect from technology, slow down and improve our health. Two hours of forest bathing can relax and revitalize you for as long as a month. However, the more often you practice forest bathing, the more you familiarize with this technique and realize the benefits for your state of mind and health.
Link: Forest Bathing