Park NatolińskiEverybody has felt the positive impact of being out in nature: we feel the calming effect of sitting in a meadow or by the ocean. We feel energized by climbing a mountain or swimming in a lake.

It doesn’t take rocket science to know how good it is for us to get in touch with nature. But this is what is happening in Japan where a “new” form of therapy is on the rise: Shinrin-Yoku, which means forest bathing.

Scientists have discovered the therapeutic effects of walking in the woods. Before and after they embark on their stroll, they measure the blood pressure and cortisol levels in the blood of their test subjects, which indicate how stressed they are.

After half an hour of slow walking, there is a clear decrease in the measurable signs of stress. Even the body’s natural killer cells, which fight disease in us, are positively impacted. In Japan, forest bathing is becoming a part of preventive medicine, since so many of our modern day illnesses are stress based.

The trick is to walk in the woods slowly. Engage all your senses. Take in the cool air, smell the scents of the forest. Pay attention to the colors and sounds.

This way a walk becomes a form of meditation. We become mindful of our environment. The slower pace makes us more perceptive of subtle details. The over stimulation of the city environment is lacking and everything slows down.

This is when relaxation sets in.

 

photo credit: x-oph

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 3 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

Trackbacks

No trackbacks yet to this post.






    Last reviewed: 17 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Schoen, G. (2012). Affordable Therapy: A Walk In The Woods. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 30, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/gentle-self/2012/06/affordable-therapy-a-walk-in-the-woods/

 

The Gentle Self Buddha Betrayed
Gerti Schoen is the author of The Gentle Self
and her latest book, Buddha Betrayed. Check them
out on Amazon.com today!

Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Recent Comments
  • Crocolisk Dundee: I agree with the main message this post. A couple of months ago I dated a girl with diagnosed...
  • The Peak Oil Poet: ick sounds like the stuff in this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T he_Celestine_Prophecy and other...
  • Gerti Schoen: If your spouse isn’t ready to be sexual, it may be worth exploring what the reservations are...
  • January: Yes, it’s all well and good to say do the things that spice things up in the bedroom, but when you...
  • Brassyhub: I’m struggling with trying to create that ‘aliveness’ in a sexless marriage. My...
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!