What is Shinrin Yoku?
Shinrin-yoku is Japanese for ‘forest-bathing’. This refers to a practise where you are bathing in the forest environment through your senses, without having to take your clothes off!
For almost 40 years, the Japanese have been discovering the powerful effects of being in the forest environment. ‘Forest-bathing’ is now a standard practice in Japan to relieve stress and as a natural solution to prevent disease. We instantly feel a sense of comfort when we are in nature and this is an instinctive and intuitive response. Nature is vital to our well- being just as regular exercise and a healthy diet. Our holistic health improves when we are in nature and it dis-improves when we are separated from it.
Shinrin-yoku bridges the gap between us and the natural world. When we open all of our senses to the forest atmosphere we are aligning our natural rhythms with the nature around us. This results in those wonderful feelings of peace, contentment and connection.
Benefits of Shinrin Yoku
2 hours in a forest environment can boost our immune system for up to 10 days and when we spend a whole day in the forest it can boost our immunity for up to 28 days.
There is now a wealth of data that proves that shinrin-yoku can:
- Reduce blood pressure
- Lower stress and stress hormones
- Improve cardiovascular and metabolic health
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Improve concentration and memory
- As the mind rests, it allows for creativity to be nurtured
- Boost mood and reduce the chemicals which cause depression
- Increase positive thoughts, gratitude and compassion
- Improve pain thresholds
- Improve energy
- Boost the immune system with increased production of natural killer cells which fight disease
- Increase anti-cancer protein production
- Help you to lose weight