Monday, February 19, 2018

Shinrin-Yoku [Forest Bathing]

So how many of you have heard of this?  I read an article about it a little over a year ago and purchased a little booklet on how to go about it...I've found that I really didn't need the booklet, nature was my teacher, all along!  My last post was about not being able to find any good blogs or articles geared towards us [insert throat clearing] maturing ladies!  I mean, how many of us are going to start doing CrossFit or Kick-Boxing?  Really?  Not me!  But, I do know the benefits of some type of daily exercise --- how good it is for well as Vitamin D!  So, "forest bathing" --- what the Japanese call "Shinrin-Yoku" is not's been around forever!  It's basically just the daily practice, or at least weekly, or how ever often you can get into the woods, of "bathing" in nature...letting the sights and sounds of the forest take over and you just sit and listen and take it in.  And I just read this article today about "How Being In The Forest Actually Boosts Immunity, According to Science" --- I mean, SCIENCE!!  Who argues with Science!
When you breathe in the woods, you are inhaling a cocktail of bioactive substances released by plants. One of these groups of substances is called terpenes. They're usually emitted from leaves, pine needles, tree trunks, and the thick bark of some trees. We absorb these gaseous terpenes partially through our skin, but especially through the lungs. Terpenes also flow out of bushes, herbs, and shrubs among the understory, along with mushrooms, mosses, and ferns, too. Even thin layers of foliage on the forest floor emit them. So, safe to say, if you're outside and can see any sort of tree material, you're getting a dose of terpenes."
--- and it's so true!  The above photo was me today, sitting in the forest, next to my little pond, having my coffee and soaking up the sunshine.  It's hard to stay mad, sad, or disgruntled, when you can listen to the birds singing and the breeze blowing and watch the squirrels foraging for acorns, or whatever else they are looking for this time of year.  
"Forest bathing has also been found to enhance something called natural killer cells, another defense against diseases like cancer. Those who spend merely one day in the forest will have more natural killer cells in their blood for seven days thereafter. Those who are in the woods for two or three days have elevated levels for another 30 days. It's incredible to think that we get these long-lasting health benefits simply by existing in the woods. We don't have to go on a trail run or rigorous hike (though those things are great too); just breathing and being in communion with trees is enough."
And, if you're lucky, you might even find a little pond full of frog mine is, right now!
And this time of year, you are bound to find some wildflowers popping up
So get out there!  Take in some nature, breath in some fresh air and listen to the birds singing!  You'll be glad you did!  And please, share your experience with me!  I would love to hear about it!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~ Proverb

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