Forest Bathing

Forest bathing is the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. The practice originated in Japan where it is called shinrin-yoku (森林浴) in Japanese (it is also called sēnlínyù (森林浴) in Mandarin and sanlimyok (산림욕) in Korean).

Studies in Japan have measured changes in immune markers and stress hormones in people who regularly walked in specific forests in Japan. In addition, people with diabetes but not taking insulin found substantial benefits by lowering blood glucose levels.

A forest bathing trip involves visiting a forest for relaxation and recreation while breathing in volatile substances, called phytoncides (wood essential oils), which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derived from trees, such as α-Pinene and limonene. Incorporating forest bathing trips into a good lifestyle was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan. It has now become a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity in Japan.

For 24 hours in the forest it confirmed the positive impact it brings to our system, which results in health and quality of life. Life in the forest solidify its experience and developed hundreds of field studies and research with practice Shinrin Yoku providing a mutual experiment called "Eating alive Forest". Discovered when combining these two preventive therapies related the importance of Shinrin-yoku. A set of balance and healthy habits along with the practice of Shinrin-yoku improves physical and mental health. The evidence and scientific studies that are being applied have been developed in children and their relationship with Shinrin-yoku.

There has been interest in forest bathing in the US

A 2010 research review found that forest environments promoted lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than city environments.

Forest environments have been found to be advantageous with respect to acute emotions, especially among those experiencing chronic stress.

Forest bathing fits in the more general finding of benefits from being outdoors in nature.


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