Forest Bathing has arrived in the UK
Although the Japanese term ‘Shinrin-yoku’ translates to ‘forest bathing’, the practice is probably not what you think.
Similar to other forms of mediation, the idea is to spend time walking through forests, soaking up the atmosphere.
The idea is simple, spend time in a forest and you’ll feel calm, rejuvenated and restored – well supposedly.
Guided groups and forest bathing leaders take people into the forest to walk, sit or meditate under the trees and, as a form, is now regarded as an important aspect of healthcare and healing.
It is even now recognised by health care professionals who prescribe this form of relaxation a remedy for stress and fatigue.
Further research into the practice has shown spending time in a wooded area has an overall positive effect.
Forest bathing has become an integral part of Japanese culture
Forest Bathing is a natural wellbeing therapy that utilises the healing power of the forest
Forest Therapy Guide at Forest Holidays, Charlie Houlder-Moat, goes on to add: “Forest Bathing is a natural wellbeing therapy that utilises the healing power of the forest. Just being in a forest can help to reduce anxiety and boost the immune system”.
Japan is home to a number of sacred forests, including the beautiful forest of Nagi on Mount Mikasa which was awarded World Heritage status in 1998.
However, forest bathing is no longer restricted to Japan. According to Forrest Holidays, the Google searches for the practice in the UK has risen by 247 per cent.
The Google searches for the forest bathing in the UK has risen by 247 per cent
Forest Holidays run guided tours in Hampshire and Norfolk and according to the National Trust, Horner Wood in Devon is a beautiful spot to be at one with the trees.
For the more adventurous, Canopy and Stars have highlighted forest camping spots in Cornwall and Wales, and the RSBP are looking to bring the practice to the Sandwell Valley reserve near Birmingham.
In a comment with the BBC, Samantha Lyster from the RSBP said: “It’s an urban reserve which is densely populated by trees, so it’d be an ideal place to trial it.”