Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Being With Trees: the Japanese Concept of Forest Bathing

There is nothing new about knowing that being out in nature, and in particular, being amidst trees in a park, woods or forest, is rejuvenating on multiple levels. But maybe it is good to be reminded, anyway. Maybe in our rushed and time-starved, 24/7 techno-hooked-in culture, it’s too easy for us to forget this free medicine for our souls and bodies, and to neglect to access it.

What many of us may remember from childhood, or if we are lucky and have been paying attention what we may continue to experience in adult life, is being scientifically documented for us. A decades-old public health program in Japan has been cultivating a practice referred to as “forest bathing”. Basically just putting ourselves in the presence of trees. And medical researchers have been tracking and documenting the physiological and psychological benefits, which are many and real.

Improved immune system function, including cancer prevention, is bio-chemically brought about by inhaling the essential oils naturally emitted by trees and plants to protect themselves from insects and germs. Decreased stress levels, blood pressure, and heart rate have been measurable effects, as have reduced levels of hostility and depression. And you don’t need to schedule a two-week vacation in the wilderness to benefit: a little consistent exposure seems to go a long way with lasting effects.

I personally find the term itself to be inherently refreshing! Forest bathing depicts a visual of the therapeutic effortlessness of receiving what the trees so generously offer.

Just reading this article on the topic felt restorative to me! I invite you to read it for yourself, and be inspired to foster in your own life the consistent wellness habit of forest bathing. Give forest bathing its rightful place right up there with adequate rest, good nutrition, healthful exercise and daily brushing and flossing. Your world will be a better place for it. It’s a scientific fact! But then, we already knew that.

http://qz.com/804022/health-benefits- japanese-forest- bathing/

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