We All Need a Little Forest Bathing
Note from Jennifer: I’m excited to introduce you to our newest contributor at 20 something allergies. Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer who will stop by once a month to share some great new therapy ideas like this one…
While you may not have heard of the term shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, the Forest Agency of Japan has prescribed ‘activities in the woods’ as a way to increase wellness and alleviate stress among their people.
If you’re like most people, a walk in the woods leaves you feeling peaceful, calm, and refreshed.
Researchers have also scientifically measured benefits from shinrin-yoku, making it one of the most perfect and inexpensive natural remedies in the world.
Most people intuitively perceive the benefits that come from spending time surrounded by nature.
Introduced in 1982, Dr. Qing Li, the foremost researcher in this field, quantified people’s perceptions in scientific studies that have been replicated and verified by other researchers all over the world.
The most obvious health benefit from forest bathing is a decrease in the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, when enveloped in the tranquility of rustling leaves, birdsong, babbling brooks, and fresh air.
Most exciting is Dr. Li’s recent discovery that inhaling the chemicals phytoncide, a-pinene, and limonene released by evergreens, stimulate the activity of Natural Killer (NK) cells produced by the immune system to destroy cancer cells.