Tree Bathing is a cornerstone of preventative health in Japan, and so easy to do here in Colorado! Read on to learn more about the benefits of spending time in the forest in this article from John Douillard’s LifeSpa.
Some call it “Tree Therapy” and others call it “Forest Bathing.” The sad truth is there is a growing body of evidence that suggests we have lost our connection with nature.
Getting back in touch with nature is gaining much attention lately, perhaps with the encouragement of forest-bathing celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The practice was developed by the Japanese during the 1980s and is a cornerstone for preventative health, stress management and healing in Japan. The Japanese have spent millions of dollars promoting and researching the benefits of forest bathing. The term Shinrin-yoku translates as “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing” in English.
It doesn’t require lying down in the forest or bathing in a pile of leaves. It can be as simple as a calm stroll through a natural area – sans technology!
In Japan, many who regularly commune with nature trace this practice to their native Shinto religion. A Tokyo-based non-profit called The Forest Therapy Society has designated 62 forests and wooded trails as therapeutic.
One of the principles is that plants and trees in the wild put out numerous chemicals in the air to signal other plants and ward off enemy microbes. These chemicals, called phytoncides, are thought to lower stress levels and increase our focus when we spend time in nature breathing in these positive chemicals. Read more here.