The Shinrin Yoku or Forest Baths is a technique originally from Japan with therapeutic benefits as helping to combat anxiety, stress and lowering blood pressure. The Shinrin Yoku not only proposes to soak in nature with the five senses, but to solve what is already known as a deficit of nature or landscape. Green, as we will discover, is a safe bet for health and well-being. The best medicine for body and mind.
Forest baths emerged in the 1980’s in Japan as a therapy for disease prevention. A technique that combines nature and health and has already spread to other countries such as South Korea, United States and other European country.
Benefits of Forest Baths
The heart is one of the main beneficiaries of the forest baths, a technique whose benefits have been endorsed by various scientific studies. How does it improve the health to soak up green? Take a walk for a couple of hours through the forest:
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces heart rate
- Activates the parasympathetic nervous system
- Reduces stress hormones
- Relieves anxiety, depression or distress
- Reduces fatigue
- Reduces blood glucose levels
- Help relaxation
- Improves lung capacity
- Reinforces concentration, reflection and memory
- Reduces prefrontal cerebral activity
- Favor a positive attitude
- Reduces homocysteine levels in blood, heart risk factor
- Reduces cytokines levels (atherosclerosis)
- Strengthens the immune system
- Improves the aches and pains of the fibromyalgia.
How to take a bath in the forest?
The idea of the forest bathing is to perform a therapeutic itinerary (no mobile phones, of course), in the middle of nature and if possible in a forest of long-lived trees; a quiet walk, with a distance of minimum gap, about 100 minutes of duration. A perfect activity to do in a group.
During the walk you have to open your five senses, focusing attention on the trees, picking up the smell of plants, the noise of the leaves, the textures of the bark, the murmur of the wind and, ultimately, fill your minds with the stillness of the forest.
Experts advise before the walk takes a cup of tea or an infusion to enjoy more relaxed the forest bath.