We all know that nature has healing powers but do we know this idea is backed by scientific research and experiments? According to research, spending time around nature can help improve your health and immune system. A simple walk in a forest can control your blood pressure and heart rate, and also reduces anxiety and stress levels. A prolonged stay around nature might as well help you fight some serious health problems too.
“Shinrin Yoku” A tradition from Japan
This whole concept originated in Japan where it’s called “Shinrin Yoku” meaning forest bathing. As the major religions in Japan are “Buddhism” and “Shintoism”, the forests are considered sacred and mystical. People are encouraged to leave cities for some time, spend time in forests, and connect with Mother Nature from where they actually belong to. So basically forest bathing is just being around in nature and immensely absorbing the surroundings.
A medically proven method
In the old times, this was just a myth and a religious belief but now medical science also proves that spending time in nature can have a positive impact on human health. The modern name of this process is now called forest therapy or forest bathing. This process was officially considered a medical treatment in 2004 when Japanese scientists and researchers conducted experiments by themselves.
Activate all your senses
Forest bathing is a therapy to calm your nerves and leave you relaxed and peaceful. Although a simple walk in the forest has therapeutic effects as well, you need to activate all your senses to wholly absorb the wilderness around you. The therapy includes the following basic steps:
See: Look and absorb the beauty around you. And when we say ‘look’ it means an effortless yet long gaze at the trees, grass, birds, and anything you can see around you that is attracting you. This little exercise helps you to have a soothing effect on your eyes and mind.
Hear: Try listening to the sounds of the forest carefully. There is so much to listen to; Listen to the birds chirping, the wind blowing, the sound of fallen leaves when you walk on them, the gurgling water streams, and much more. Close your eyes and hear more keenly to have a therapeutic effect.
Smell: The forest has a specific aroma. The trees release some natural oils that have healing power, and they smell good too. If you breathe deeply and smell the aroma of forests you will feel more energized and stress-free instantly. A simple breathing exercise can be a meditation therapy to fight depression and some other illnesses as well.
Touch: The touch of nature is a touch you didn’t know you needed. While taking a walk in nature touch some of the things in your surroundings – lean on a tree, take some soil in your hands, remove your shoes and feel the leaves under your feet, touch the water in the streams, or anything you can to feel a deeper connection with nature.
Taste: There are a lot of things that you can taste in the forest as long as you can differentiate the poisonous and the ones that aren’t. Pick some berries from the trees, eat mushrooms, or collect some herbs and tree bark to use for your tea. Eating the foods in the forest has also positive effects on your health.
Although you can try being as close to nature as you can by just going to parks or growing some plants at home, you will need to be in a forest to have a massive effect on your health. Experience the mystic forest bathing to connect with nature on a deeper level. Once you have experienced it, you will know for yourself how it actually feels and how it helps your mental and physical health.
It’s important once in a while to disconnect from routine life and spend some quality time with nature. Plan your vacations accordingly at a place where you can try these small therapeutic exercises. A holiday lodge surrounded by the majestic forest of Dean will be a perfect place for it, right? For information & bookings, visit https://www.danbylodge.co.uk/booking/