Practicing the art of Shinrin-yoku / “Forest Bathing”
Being outdoors, in the bush and breathing the fresh air has far more benefits than you might think.
Researchers, primarily in Japan and South Korea have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest.
Developed in the 1980’s, it’s been proven that simply walking through a forest in a relaxed way and taking in the atmosphere, you will have a calming effect with rejuvenating and restorative benefits. Now, this practice has actually become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
Of course, we already know this to a degree… a good walk in nature always makes you feel pretty good, yet in the past several decades, studies are demonstrating the mechanisms behind the healing effects with highlighted benefits including;
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced stress
- Improved mood
- Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
- Accelerated recover from surgery or illness
- Increased energy level
- Improved sleep
- Deeper and clearer intuition
- Increased flow of energy
- Increased flow of CH’I (life force)
- Deepening of friendships
- Overall increase in sense of happiness
Overall, we learn to connect in new ways with the world around us, with a more open mind.
There is an organisation set-up called shinrin-yoku, with advice on how to incorporate this practice into your life, with relevant blogs about connecting with nature, even if you aren’t near a natural space to enjoy!
If you really want to go in-depth into the science of Shinrin-yoku, have a read of the scientific research with results from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan.
Happy Forest Bathing!
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