Forest bathing

"From 2004 to 2012, Japanese officials spent about $4 million dollars studying the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing, designating 48 therapy trails based on the results."

Physiologically, forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments, one study concluded.

Psychologically, the subjects showed significantly reduced hostility and depression scores, coupled with increased liveliness, after exposure to trees.

As a result, researchers in Japan concluded forest environments can be viewed as therapeutic landscapes.

It is understood that brief exposure to greenery in urban environments can relieve stress levels, and experts have recommended “doses of nature” as part of treatment of attention disorders in children. It seems we don't need a lot of exposure to gain from nature, but regular contact appears to improve our immune system function and our wellbeing.

What are you waiting for? Get some green in your day.

Melissa Shadforth