The markings of a great wellness trend are that it’s straightforward, effective, and most importantly, inexpensive – all of which forest bathing is.
The term ‘forest bathing’ was derived from ‘Shinrin-Yoku’, a Japanese form of gentle movement, meditation, and simple yogic breathing, each attuned to the time of day, season and weather.
Also known as nature therapy, the wellness trend is centred on removing yourself from urban environments and relaxing in the warm embrace of Mother Nature - and no, watching Discovery Channel doesn’t count. From physically interacting with nature, to breathing in fresh woodland smells, to listening to the sound of birds, forest bathing requires the use of all your senses.
Remember when your parents would tell you to ‘go outside and play’ if you were in a bad mood growing up? Well, it turns out that they were on to something. Forest bathing expert and Japanese author Dr. Qing Li’s research finds that being surrounded by trees allows us to expose ourselves to plant chemicals which naturally boost our immune system, enhance our mood, fight disease and lower stress levels. The benefits are so bountiful that Japan counts forest breathing as a preventive healthcare technique.
And if that’s no quite convincing enough, the wellness technique counts Kate Middleton and Justin Bieber as fans.
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