Scientist have discovered a miracle treatment that quickly lowers the levels of stress hormones, increases feelings of robustness, and boosts the immune system. This miracle treatment is affordable and has no adverse side effects. What is it? It is the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, or Forest Bathing, a cornerstone of preventative health care and healing derived from spending time in nature.
In controlled scientific studies, data supports the direct physiological benefits of spending half an hour walking in the woods in a relaxed way. There are calming, rejuvenating, and restorative benefits to be gained. The scientifically proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include reduced blood pressure, reduced stress, increased energy level, and boosted immune functions.
Over exposure to stress hormones can lead to weight gain, heart disease, and anxiety. Spending as little as 20 minutes just gazing at a forest scene can lower salivary cortical steroid levels. Some studies suggest that forest bathing lessened sleep irregularities and improved the outcomes of cancer treatments.
These amazing benefits can be achieved simply by taking advantage of your local forest, be it an urban grove or more rural tract. There are formal programs with trained guides that lead participants on walks that can last between 2-4 hours. Or the same benefits can be gained more informally simply by spending time in nature and slowing down long enough to notice the small, exquisite details that abound. Your troubles will melt away as you focus on being present to the natural beauty that surrounds you. Continued practice of Shinrin-yoku increases creativity and focus.
This amazing practice has led to increased research into the field of forest medicine, a powerful strategy for preventive medicine that is pill free, affordable, and accessible to just about everyone. Accessible to all provided the forest survives continued attacks on its habitat and more powerful weather events as climate disruption increases.
What can you do to protect the forest and enjoy the benefits of Shinrin-yoku? Support the 2019 Louisville Earth Walk. Register as a walker or start a team with your friends. Ask family and friends to financially support you as a walker. Funds raised support the environmental work of the organizing partners.
Register and donate today! Then come join us for a community Forest Bath on April 20, 2019!
You’ll feel great!