„Forest Bathing“ or „Shinrin-Yoku“, using the official Japanese term, describes the conscious experience of the forest and its healing effects on body and mind.
“Bathing in the forest” and soaking up all its soothing properties like a sponge, is referred to as “Forest-Therapy”. It was developed in the 80s and has since become a cornerstone of Japan’s preventive health care and natural healing system. Nowadays many health practitioners suggest Forest Bathing. On a global level the “Association of Nature & Forest Therapy” (read more about this association here) has been established, creating therapy programs and training therapists based on scientific studies in that field.
Studies in this area have shown a variety of health benefits, particularly improvements in the cardiovascular system and the strengthening of one’s immune system. Emotional benefits such as inner peace, balance and an improved conscious perception, are only a few of the many proven benefits that humans could tap into through regular forest bathing.
Have you also experienced a calming, rejuvenating effect on your body and mind when spending time in the forest and absorbing its special energy?
Long walks through the forest and the conscious experience of nature have a calming and relaxing effect. We recharge with new energy, our natural energy centers in the body are being replenished, we feel happy, creative and vital. Our intentions are clear, decision making feels easier, we draw strength and inspiration for day to day life.
Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.Eddie Cantor
So if your body aches after a stressful day, you cannot structure your thoughts or certain emotions influence the mood in a negative way, then get dressed and make your way to the forest! The forest has much more to offer than just fresh air: Amazing colors, marvelous aromas and terrific sound effects. It welcomes you during any season and can be a “refueling station” at any time of the year.
The idea of forest bathing goes hand in hand with the theory of Zhineng Qigong,
in which we emphasize the special relationship between human beings and nature. During our natural, meditative exercises, we consciously absorb the precious energy from nature, allowing the powerful Qi to flow into our body and effectively nourish body and mind. We move in harmony with nature, accompanied by a constant exchange of Qi. We find that there is a deep, natural bond.