Forest Therapy, also known as shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing,” is the art and practice of using a combination of the human senses to become fully and mindfully immersed in a natural setting, primarily a forest, so that participants are under a canopy of trees. However, any natural environment will do.
The practice began in Japan, who studied its healing effects in great detail in hopes of addressing the growing health concerns attributed to the stresses of Japanese work culture. It did not take long for western scientists to begin to take note of these studies and perform their own. Such studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition.
This rather intense, yet relaxed practice renews us in a way that allows our inner peace and health to radiate beyond the Forest Therapy walk and positively impact our day to day experiences.