The idea is simple: spending time in the forest can have calming, healing effects on our physical and physiological health and wellbeing.
Shinrin-Yoku or ‘Forest bathing’ was developed and introduced in Japan in 1982. It has since become hugely relevant in preventative healing and medicine in Japan. Over 8 years and $4million worth of research have resulted in scientifically proven studies demonstrating the calming and healing effects of simply being and spending time in the ambience of nature and wilderness. Here is a list of proven, researched benefits and reasons we should spend time amongst the trees:
- Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced stress
- Improved mood
- Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
- Accelerated recovery form surgery or illness
- Increased energy levels
Source: The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs
We have always know this intuitively. Now we have access to scientific research and evidence to support it. Taking just 15 minutes out of our fast paced, modern civilisation to spend time in a forest or park can entirely change and soothe your day.