Why you should try ‘forest bathing’
It’s undeniable that getting out and enjoying nature has an amazing effect – it’s simply hard not to feel great when you’re walking amongst beautiful scenery, away from the rush of the city, and in the presence of chirruping birds and rustling leaves.
But did you know that the Japanese have a name for it? And not only that, it became part of their national public health program in the 80s.
It’s called ‘forest bathing’, and it’s simply the act of being in the presence of trees.
There has even been a number of scientific studies to determine the effect of being amongst trees and nature. In one Japanese study from the Chiba University, researchers looked at a number of physiological factors from study participants who spent time amongst trees.
They found that forest environments lowered blood pressure, the pulse rate, concentrations of cortisol and more. Basically, those who participated in the study were less stressed and more relaxed.
As well as being less stressed, it appears that being amongst trees can actually improve your immune system. This is thanks to the essential oils, known as phytoncide, emitted by trees and other plants to protect themselves from insects and harmful germs.
Although, we hardly needed science to convince us that being amongst the beautiful kauri trees, lancewoods, and beech trees simply feels incredible. It’s not just that you’re getting away from the city, it’s also the stillness and freshness of the forest that makes it so special.
Tristan Cullen - Passionate Conservationist