The ‘Forest Bath,’ or the Japanese medicine of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, can be an exercise in mindfulness and contribute to your well-being.
The “bathing” refers to a therapeutic immersion into a natural environment. It is rising in popularity as people are realising how disconnected
they have become from the natural world and wanting to rectify that. Over time, we have become more and more urbanised and intertwined with technology.
where are the best places in the UK to go and be able to do it?
You can essentially go forest bathing in any forest or wooded area, but
there are also organised trips to be able to go on and join.
Forest Holidays have team members who have undergone extensive training with The Association
of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and organise forest bathing at Blackwood Forest in Hampshire & Thorpe Forest in Thetford. The experience lasts for three hours and includes a guided walk through the forest, with invitations to open your senses
to the world around you.
So, what are the benefits to your health from having a good old Forest Bathe?
It will reduce your stress – a leisurely forest walks yield a 12.4% decrease in the stress hormone, cortisol, compared with urban walks. Participants have also reported better moods
and lower anxiety.
It will improve your mood - connecting to nature can be linked to both your happiness and mental wellbeing. Spending
time in nature releases hormones that relate to the pursuit of joy, connecting to calm and avoiding threats.
It frees up your creativity – there is
a massive improvement in creative problem solving after a short time immersed in nature with all access to modern technology removed.
It boosts your immune
system - Trees and plants emit ‘phytoncides’ which we breathe in when we spend time in the forest. These have been proven to enhance the activity of specific cells that help our bodies to fight disease.
It reduces high blood pressure- a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy heart.
your recovery from illness- Nature can be a powerful catalyst in the recovery process; even a natural view from a window reduced convalescence time by a day, compared to an urban view.