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Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”- John Muir

I’ve always felt that a hike through the forest was rejuvenating however I just discovered that In Japan a restorative walk in the forest is known as “forest bathing’ and is actually prescribed by some doctors for preventative health care and healing.

The Japanese call it “Shinrin-Yoku”, coined by a Japanese forester with reference to the benefits of being in lush forests.  Scientifically there is more to it than merely experiencing the fresh air and exercise. Yoshifumi Miyazaki of Chiba University has carried out studies that show forest bathing can significantly lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Trees, in particular conifers such as red cedar and fir, release chemicals known as phytoncides and exposure to these ‘tree emissions’ lower blood pressure, heart rates and stress hormones and  research points out that walking in the woods can boost the body’s immune system by increasing anti-cancer proteins and enhancing the so-called natural killer activity of certain cells.

In this case, it’s believed humans benefit from breathing in phytoncides, the chemicals plants emit to protect themselves from rotting and insects.IMG_0175

 

 

So, If you want to feel rejuvenated in both body and soul go on a hike and while you are enjoying a lovely trek in the forest the trees are actually providing you with a shot of “Timber Tonic”

Note:  Phytoncides are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derived from plants. The word, which means “exterminated by the plant”, was coined in 1928 by Dr. Boris P. Tokin, a Russian biochemist from Leningrad University.

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Posted by on February 7, 2016 in Bits & Bites

 

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