SHINRIN-YOKU | FOREST BATHING
WHAT IS SHINRIN-YOKU?
The Japanese practice of "Shinrin yoku" aka Forest Bathing, is beneficial for both physical and mental wellbeing. It is proven to reduce stress hormone production, improve feelings of happiness & free up creativity, as well as lowering heart rate and blood pressure, boosting the immune system and accelerating recovery from illness. “Social prescribing” and "nature therapy" is a growing movement in the NHS.
Doctors in Scotland have even started to prescribe bird watching & hiking as a form of nature healing & therapy. It is scientifically proven that just staring at trees through a window can help to reduce stress and lower anxiety levels. So imagine the positive health benefits of being in a forest.
“Forest bathing is an opportunity for people to take time out, slow down and connect with nature. We believe it could be part of a mix of activities for social prescription,” Stuart Dainton of the Woodland Trust says.
“Evidence about its benefits is building.”
Shinrin-yoku was developed in the 1980s in Japan. Although people had been taking walks in the country’s forests for centuries, new studies showed that such activity could reduce blood pressure, lower cortisol levels and improve concentration and memory. A chemical released by trees and plants, called phytoncides, was found to boost the immune system. As more research highlighted the benefits of Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese government incorporated it into the country’s health programme.
Li - president of the Society for Forest Medicine in Japan, and the author of Shinrin-Yoku: The Art and Science of Forest Bathing – is a world expert and has conducted numerous studies. “It’s a preventative medicine, not a treatment,” states Li.
People spend their lives increasingly indoors. About 80% of Japan’s population lives in urban areas, and the average American now spends more than 90% of their time indoors. But we are designed to be connected to the natural world.
Woodland Escape: 15th -16th May 2021
Adults only. Overnight Survival camp. Bushcraft, forest bathing & Vinyasa yoga
Forest Healing Camp: 5th & 6th June 2021
Adults only. Overnight Survival Camp. Bushcraft with forest bathing, sound healing (Gong bath) breathe work & Qi Gong
FREE FOREST BATHING SESSIONS
Based in Buckinghamshire
Free Forest Bathing Sessions available during Mental Health Awareness Week 10th - 16th May 2021. Forest bathing practitioners around the UK are sharing free forest bathing immersion sessions, in association with Nature & Therapy UK & the Mental Health Foundation. The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is "Nature & the Environment" Encouraging nature connection for mental wellbeing.
Wildeye Adventures will be leading free forest bathing immersion sessions in Buckinghamshire.
12th May 2021 at Hodgemoor Woods (Forestry Commission) - Meet in the car park 11am - 1pm
14th May 2021 at Penn Wood (Woodland Trust) - Meet in the car park down Penn Street 11am - 1pm
Maximum 15 people per session. Booking required.
HEALTH BENENITS OF SHINRIN-YOKU
Boosts Immune System
Lower blood pressure
Relieves stress & anxiety
Increases the body's Natural Killer Cells (Cancer fighting)
Enhances your senses
Lowers blood sugar levels
Improves sleep (Insomnia)
Improves cognitive skills