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Japanese Forest Bathing: Have you heard of it?

stress-relief-techniquesOutdoors

Forest Bathing: Stress Relief Techniques from Japan

Have you heard of forest bathing? It’s considered to be one of the best stress relief techniques to hit the United States. Developed in Japan in the eighties, the folks in Japan feel forest bathing is essential for preventive health care and natural healing. Forest bathing today is what yoga was three decades ago. So just what is it? Forest bathing, the practice of shinrin yoku, is simply spending time in nature to reduce stress and promote well-being. It lets nature enter the body through all five senses. My son, Jason, attested to this after a business trip to Japan. “There were pockets of serenity even in the cities,” he told me. For me, forest bathing is a serene walk in the woods, meandering off the beaten path to explore.

A walk in a shaded forest or footpath with trees provides shade that acts as nature’s sunscreen. Trees also reduce harmful effects of UV rays. When you walk in a tree-lined landscape, you’ll experience “soundscape.” The rustling leaves and the chortling of birds decrease stress levels and put you in tune with nature.

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