Forest bathing

An old technique for improving health that is desperately needed in this modern world.

Tim Wells


Photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash

A lot of us, if not most of us, spend a large amount of our time at work in an office somewhere. We leave early in the morning for work and come home in the evening after work. We seem to rarely spend time outdoors and have become over time, increasingly distant from the natural world.

I know I spend most of my time like this, in the office or at home. For a long time I’ve considered my time spent hiking or walking in nature as a mental health break. I did it because I’d feel better after it. Less stressed and tired, more happy and energized. I never knew it was something that had been studied and researched and even had a name.

They say the practice was started during the 1980s in Japan and called Shinrin-yoku which translates (via Google Translate) to Forest — Well. I believe the practice is as old as humans, and it’s only since more modern times that we’ve actually considered it something more. I’ve practiced this for years without ever once knowing about it until I recently came across an online article about it. I knew it helped me, at least mentally.

However, the benefits are said to be numerous both mentally and physically. With many studies confirming them from reputable sources.

What is forest bathing?

It’s simple. Forest bathing is really just spending time in nature.

Benefits of Forest Bathing?

Decreased adrenaline.
Forest bathing is reported to decrease adrenaline in our bodies, thus helping us calm down and feel more relaxed.

Boosting our immune system.
One study found that after only 3 days of forest bathing, participants had a 50% increase in natural killer cells (important cells which keep you healthy). A natural oil called phytoncide, which trees and plants emit to ward off germs and insects, is attributed to the immune-boosting power of forest bathing.



Tim Wells

Self taught software developer and photographer.