No, it is isn't a New Age 'woo woo' fad! Forest bathing or Shinrin Yoku is scientifically proven to work. Here are 6 academic studies that show you how....
6 Ways Forest Bathing Can Help You
1. Reduces your stress
Since 2004 professor Yoshifumi Miyazaki, at Chiba University in Japan, has been researching the benefits of forest bathing. He has found that leisurely forest walks yield a 12.4% decrease in the stress hormone, cortisol, compared with urban walks. Those who took part in his studies have also anecdotally reported better moods and lower anxiety.
2. Improves your mood and mental health
At Derby University academics have conducted a meta study of existing research which concludes that our connection with nature can be linked to #happiness and mental wellbeing. Spending time in nature releases hormones that relate to the pursuit of joy, connecting to calm and avoiding threats.
3. Frees up your creativity for both professional and personal self improvement
David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, noted that participants saw a 50% improvement in creative problem solving after three days immersed in nature with no access to modern technology.
4. Boost your immune system and improve your health.
Trees and plants emit ‘phytoncides’ which we breathe in when we spend time in the forest. Qinq Li, a Japanese shinrin yoku researcher, proved these enhance the activity of specific cells that help our bodies to fight disease.
5. Reduces high blood pressure
An important factor in maintaining a healthy heart is to reduce blood pressure. A recent meta study in Japan reviewed 20 trials, involving 732 participants, which demonstrated that blood pressure levels in the forest environment were significantly lower than those in the non-forest environment.
6. Accelerates your recovery from illness
Nature can be a powerful catalyst in the recovery process. The most well-known study in this area by Dr Roger Ulrich, an architect specialising in #healthcare building design, showed that even a natural view from a window reduced convalescence time by a day, compared to an urban view. This is one of many reasons I founded Ancient and Sacred Trees. My members have made numerous reports on how being a part of the group has improved their sense of well being. For those not able to get outside my group offers, pictures and films to view. To find out more Ancient and Sacred Trees, it is FREE to join!
If you want a beginners guide to Shinrin Yoko known as Forest bathing or forest therapy see my Beginners Guide to Forest Bathing.
I run forest bathing sessions in Cheshire and Staffordshire as well as therapeutic art and other activities designed to improve your connection with nature and your health and well being.