Can we interest you in a bit of forest bathing? We promise you don’t need any special clothing or equipment, just your senses, trees and some time. Interested?
It started in Japan in the 1980s and is called shinrin-yoku, you can find out more in this short YouTube film (1min20seconds).
The practice is to visit forests like we have in The Glen and use all our senses to engage and spend time with nature. It might involve touching the trees, sitting by the burn, smelling the pines and blossoms while tasting the air and listening for the scurrying squirrels, bubbling burn and trees dancing with the wind.
When we feel completely safe, our body devotes resources to long-term investments that lead to good health outcomes – growing, reproducing and building the immune system…When we are in nature in that relaxed state, and our body knows that it’s safe, it invests resources toward the immune systemFrances Ming Kuo is a leading expert in the field of nature and health. Excerpt from Lucy Jones Losing Eden Book, p95
The science behind why this benefits us relates to an emission of phytoncides by the trees, especially beech, oaks, birch and hazel. Deep breathing of these chemicals along with connecting to the surrounding nature with mindful practice contributes to building the immune system and supporting the mind.
Illustration by Cara Shanley Art