29 Oct Nature and Forest Therapy: Shinrin Yoku
Don’t suffer from burn-out, do Shinrin-Yoku!!
It’s like taking medicine for stress and worry, and it basically means to bathe in the forest. It was developed in Japan in the 80’s when life was really starting to speed up for the human race. It is now medically recognised as a preventive health and healing modality in Japan and South Korea.
The benefits are surprising: everything from mood improvement, to chronic stroke, to accelerated recovery from surgery or illness. And one of the most amazing miracles that occurs when we languidly enjoy a Back to Nature Journey is that the forest unselfishly rains down phytoncides, which are literally nature’s life-giving vitamins. These molecules protect the tree, yet have a benefit to us humans- they increase our white blood cell count (natural killer cells [NK]), as we spend time in the forest. Our planet gives us so many incredible services, but these really will blow your mind once you are aware of them, and feel them. Intuitively, you know that being in the forest feels amazing, and is good for you. But these essential oils that trees produce to fight off germs and insects are literally little life-givers that fall from the trees. 2.
It is reported in a three days nature trip with two hours of forest bathing in a day resulted in 50% increase in NK-cell activity on the second day and the rise was already significant on the first day. When this same experiment was done in a hotel environment by vaporizing phytoncides to hotel room air for 12 hours’ time, the increase in NK-cell activity was only 30%. So, the real thing is more effective! (this was also tested without phytoncides and it did not affect NK activity.)
Forest bathing helps you to focus and lifts the fatigue associated with your ever-busy daily routine.
Konkuk University tested 80 students brain waves, short term memory and power of concentration while they were working on a task that demanded full attention. Then students inhaled phytoncides and did again a task that required high concentration. As a result, the alpha waves (helps us to calm down when necessary and relax) increased remarkably and beta waves (too much beta may lead us to experience stress or anxiety) decreased. Also, short term memory and concentration power tests showed a meaningful increase. 1.
A study at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan, shows that the beneficial effects of phytoncides on humans can last for more than 30days. So there you go, you only need one Back to Nature Journey a month, and you’re good to go! With the added benefit of some lovely human interaction, which also increases your immune function, you will be ready for anything life throws your way. So give yourself that needed break; book a daytrip with Back to Nature Journeys to enjoy a beautiful day basking in the fantastic P-cells while we wander, do nature yoga, and enjoy some delicious local food, organic chocolate and tea together!