Japanese Shinrin-yoku (森林浴), also well-known as Forest /Nature Bathing or Forest/Nature Therapy is a special practice whose most important requirement is staying near nature for a particular amount of time. It was discovered in Japan in 1982 and since then has been attracting attention of all people around the world. Forest therapy is one of the best outdoor activity which is not only healthy but also relaxing and easy to do. However, it still has its disadvantages, so let’s look at both of them.
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What is so special about it?
Unlike working out in gym, jogging in the morning or even doing yoga in your free time, shinrin-yoku can be done in two very simple ways such as:
- Strolling in a slow pace along the forest;
- Finding a tree you like and ‘connecting’ to it (hugging it or just pressing your arms to it, as if it is an antenna);
Improving your health while ‘bathing’
Forest bathing is exactly ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’, although you shouldn’t think it is not effective just because of the easiness of the ‘exercises’ you do.
Taking away all difficult terms, we can assure you that such therapy not only reduces blood pressure, lowers heart and stress (due to the breathtaking surroundings and nature’s sounds) or improves your mood but increases your ability to focus, improves sleep and reduces hormones and risks for a number of chronic illnesses as well. Moreover, shinrin-yoku is totally good for reducing depression while boosting energy. To know more about scientifically-proven benefits of it, check out the following article.
Main benefits and disadvantages
For people who spend most of their time indoors (office work, university, school, holidays etc), it may sometimes be hard to decide what to do outdoors to not only have fun but also rest and become more healthy, whether they seek for all of these demands or just one of them. Thus, forest bathing can offer such people to make their way to spending more time outside by taking their time and slowly making step by step every day. Moreover, if you are struggling to lose some weight, shinrin-yoku can be a very effective way to do it.
Many people claim you should spend at least forty minutes or more 3-5 times a week outdoors. However, those who practice shinrin-yoku think people don’t have to force themselves so badly. Otherwise, it will only cause damage to one’s physical and psychological health. Thus, you can spend 15 or even 10 minutes simply strolling in your relaxed pace observing plants or animals that surround you. What is more, you can do it while taking a walk in a park near your house! If you want to know more about the process of forest bathing, take a look at CNN’s article about it.
On the other side, if you prefer doing this activity in forests, you should be aware of the probable injuries your little ‘travel therapy’ may cause If you act not careful enough. Thus, we highly recommend you to read about at least several of them. For example, the benefits and disadvantages of the sunlight.
Science behind shinrin-yoku
If you prefer going deeply into the question and finding out as much information and facts about particular issue as you can, then this 20-minute video is for you. Take a quick look at it and find out more interesting facts about nature bathing which you definitely didn’t know before!
To sum up, as you can see, world-known shinrin-yoku doesn’t require flexibility, much time or even special equipment or place to be done. It depends on you where, when and how you want to do it. Despite which place, time or way to do it you choose, you will get the same result which includes both healthy and mental benefits. Thus, we highly recommend you to try this activity out whenever, wherever and however you want and tell us about your own experience in the comments down below!
Is Forest Therapy For Real? – Drweil.com
Why Forest Therapy Can Be Good for Your Body and Mind – Clevelandclinic.org