What in the world is Forest Therapy (also called Forest Bathing)?
Many of you here in northeastern Kentucky have already experienced this popular activity. It’s basically taking a slow relaxing walk and using your senses to take in the sights, smells, sounds and touching things in the forest.
Health benefits of this activity were studied by doctors in Japan in the 1980’s. They discovered several health benefits to people of all ages, when exposed to time in the conifer forests.
According to a very interesting online article by mama natural (mamanatural,com/forest-bathing), health benefits can include:
“Creates killer Cells (Killer cells destroy cancer cells, bacterial infections and viral infections)
Decreases risk of heart attacks
Protects against obesity and diabetes.
More energy, better sleep
Mood boosting effects (Helps decrease anxiety and depression)
Soothes sore muscles
Some other related helps include: Increases immunity, decreases rick of cancer, helps recover from illness faster, reduces blood pressure, stress level and pulse rate. Also can help people with breathing problems like asthma and COPD. This is due to the work of trees producing fresh clean air.
What if you can’t get out tot the forest to sit and enjoy the trees and nature? You can try essential oils of cedar wood, fir, pine cypress and juniper in your oil diffuser right in your home. (Read directions for safe use of essential oils in a reference book or online.)
Another interesting study showed some positive effects by just looking at trees out your window or pictures of trees.
Medical doctors are even writing prescriptions to patients to get outside and walk in the park or nature areas to receive healing benefits.
There are several certified Forest Therapy Guides in America if you want to get a official guided experience.
Feeling a little stressed out? Take time to go for a short walk in the forest. Sit on a log, look at the trees, smell the leaves, listen to the creek flowing by and touch a pine cone. Let go of your worries and just enjoy the relaxing effects of Forest Bathing.
Story and Photos by MICHELLE BRAND