Forest Bathing, or Shinrin-yoku, is a practice that is quite popular in Japan and is gaining popularity in the United States, where it is referred to as “forest therapy.” There are many benefits to forest bathing, some of which are outlined below. If you’re lucky enough to live near a forest or have the opportunity to travel to one, why not give it a go? You may be surprised at how much better you feel. If you’re not quite as close to the wilderness as you’d like to be, give Forest MONQ a try. The terpene-rich essential oils will give you the benefits of forest bathing anywhere through a personal aromatherapy diffuser.
Modern life is stressful, and being in the forest can be helpful for alleviating that stress. Being in the forests can help us to forget our troubles for a little while.
Forest bathing exposes individuals to terpenes, which have been found to be beneficial to human health in a range of ways, including being neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory1, according to a review of terpenes from Forests and Human Health published in April 2017.
There’s something about being in a forest that individuals to calm down, a claim supported by a 2017 study into the effects of forest bathing on autonomic nervous system activity and mood. The research focused on elderly and middle-aged individuals and used the profile of mood states.2 It was found that those who engaged in forest bathing scored lower for negative mood states, including tension-anxiety, and anger-hostility.
Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
Shinrin-Yoku has been practiced for a long time as a means of relaxation and stress reduction, both of which are effective means of reducing blood pressure. A 2017 study made up of 20 trials involving 732 participants found that those who engaged in forest bathing had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures than those who did not. 3
Maintain Heart Health
Patients with congestive heart failure require urgent treatment to improve cardiovascular health, but after that treatment, there is a window of time where they must focus on not only their physical but also their mental and emotional well-being.
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It’s important to make clear that forest bathing alone is not going to save the life of someone with congestive heart failure. Forest bathing, however, can be an important source of emotional support for individuals undergoing other treatments.
In a study which examined the impact of forest bathing on people with chronic neck pain, it was found that forest bathing proved beneficial in reducing trigger points in the posterior neck region.
Breathe Fresh Air
In cities, air quality is not too great, and even the suburbs are still exposed to pollution from vehicles and factories. Forest bathing offers the chance to get miles away from all of that pollution, which can prove beneficial for the body.
A study of the effects of forest bathing on middle aged-men showed that after an 80-minute trip into the forest, the men experienced a reduced pulse, and lower fatigue and anxiety. Their adrenaline—“fight or flight” hormone—levels were lower and their dopamine—”reward” hormone—levels were higher. 4
Any form of time outside, exposed to sunlight, can help boost your energy levels In the winter when it’s dull, dark and cold, it is easy to feel tired and drained. Forest bathing means exposure to clean, fresh air and sunlight, and can offer significant boosts to your energy levels.
Reconnect with Nature
Forest bathing is the ultimate opportunity to reconnect with nature. These days we don’t get enough chances to enjoy the environment around us. Though the constructed environment around us offers the opportunities for progress, it is not natural. Forest bathing offers a chance to reconnect with nature and reap the physical and mental benefits that come with it. And, if you’re not able to specifically connect with nature, maybe just using a Forest essential oil diffuser will make you feel like it anyway!