How “Forest Bathing” Can Improve Your Health (Really!)

Now there’s scientific evidence supporting eco-therapy. The Japanese practice of forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing.

The quote is from an article (link below) about a concept called “Forest Bathing”, or just spending time around trees. I ran across this post from the World Econimic Forum on Facebook, and thought this was very interesting. It provides some empirical evidence behind my urging to spend time in the woods (or just unplugging and going outside) as a cornerstone activity of healthy living.  

Click the link below to go to the WEF website and read more!

The science behind Forest Bathing

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About Christina

Just a girl with about a million different passions trying to find my way through life.
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8 Responses to How “Forest Bathing” Can Improve Your Health (Really!)

  1. bgddyjim says:

    LOL! The other name for forest bathing is “having fun”. We don’t need a study to show that “having fun” is good for you, and you should therefore have some.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christina says:

      That’s true that having fun is good for you! But it’s not just “having fun” that makes you feel good. This is specifically about being in nature… around trees actually.

      If you read the article, it talks about how scientists in Japan have measured the impacts of the oils that trees produce, called phytoncides, which disperse through the air and are beneficial on your immune system. They found that, when this substance is inhaled, it literally boosts your immune system. And of course there are other benefits in the article such as lowered salivary cortisol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower heart rates measured in people who have spent time in the woods.

      The point is they’ve measured how trees and relaxing in the woods actually physically affects your body, which is interesting to some
      people, myself included. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • bgddyjim says:

        Oh, I read the article, of course I did. The question that first popped into my head is why do you get these benefits with no effort but you don’t if your going for a hike or mountain biking?

        I get agitated when I try to meditate (or flat-out fall asleep). I get my joy through activity. The idea that I wouldn’t get the same benefits because I ride a bike through those same woods seems a little silly, that’s all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bgddyjim says:

        Spell checker got me on you’re…

        Like

  2. Christina says:

    Ah gotcha. Well, I would imagine that you do get the same benefits, at least as far as the immune system response to the phytoncides, when being active in the woods as well. I don’t think they were excluding activity in that part, and just specifying that the act of “tree bathing” in general is a kind of meditative thing. It would be cool if they did tests on that effect accompanied with physical activity. I bet you would see a synergistic effect there. As far as the relaxation part, it’s been proven scientifically that being physically active reduces resting heart rate, blood pressure, and reduced stress among a host of other benefit (which I’m sure you know). So I assume they were just isolating the effects of being in nature alone without other stimuli, so they could determine why we feel better after being in the woods. If they included physical activity in the experiments, then they wouldn’t know whether it was that or the trees or something else that caused the positive benefits they measured.
    So my opinion is that, although they promote just the meditative side, doing essentially anything in the woods is good for you, and in apparently more ways than we were previously aware of!

    Like

  3. I’m a fan of any activity that takes place in nature. Personally it just calms me down, and I think that alone already reduces my stress levels a lot. I think we should all appreciate our natural surroundings a bit more so good on Japan for encouraging that. Luckily they have some beautiful forests!

    Would you be interested in sharing your thoughts and posts with our community of health, fitness and nutrition enthusiasts over at “The Active You”? We’d love to hear what you have to say. You can check us out over at https://www.facebook.com/groups/theactiveyou!

    Liked by 1 person

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