SEATTLE - Before they were to find a "sit spot" in the forest, resisting the urge to check their phones and just pay attention to the nature around them, before they played games under soaring western red cedars like "blindfolded ninja" to sharpen their senses, a group of stressed-out, high-tech workers who spend most of their days inside, tethered to their devices, faced the toughest challenge of the day.
Studies show shinrin-yoku, also known as forest bathing or time spent in green spaces, can reduce the stress hormone cortisol and increase your immune defense system. By Eva Selhub and Alan Logan January 8, 2013 Cover Courtesy Wiley Slideshow It's no surprise that fresh air is good for your health, but that doesn't always make it easier to get a balance of healthy immersion in nature.
Move over, yoga. The new mind-body trend sweeping the nation is the practice of Shinrin-yoku, or simply soaking up the sights, smells, and sounds of nature with the goal of enhancing physiological and psychological health. The term Shinrin-yoku (literally "forest bathing") comes from Japanese culture, which has a long tradition of living harmoniously with nature.
A forest bathing trip involves visiting a forest for relaxation and recreation while breathing in volatile substances, called phytoncides ( wood essential oils), which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derived from trees, such as α-Pinene and limonene. Incorporating forest bathing trips into a good lifestyle was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan.
SANTA CRUZ, Argentina - When we arrive at Aguas Arriba Lodge, a cozy hideaway in the heart of the Patagonian Andes, we don't waste any time. Our cheerful guide, Julie, spreads out a map of the surrounding land - packed with glaciers, thick forests and aquamarine rivers - and talks about the dozens of hiking trails.
The tonic of the wilderness was Henry David Thoreau's classic prescription for civilization and its discontents, offered in the 1854 essay Walden: Or, Life in the Woods. Now there's scientific evidence supporting eco-therapy. The Japanese practice of forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall...
Over thousands of years of human history, we have effectively become an indoor species. Particularly for those of us trapped in the cubicle life, often the only times we regularly step foot outside is for our daily work commute or to run errands. In 2001, a survey sponsored by the U.S.