Forest Bathing is not what the literal thought might be. This isn't "skinny dipping". It is in fact a natural immersion that has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve immunity, boost mood, and reduce stress all in the natural elements. Forest Bathing started in Japan in the 1980s. They coined the term Shinrin-yoku — which translates roughly as forest bathing. There is a growing body of evidence that is proving this is a powerful therapeutic tool.
How it works:
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. It has now become a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity in Japan.(wikipedia.com)
"It's not a big surprise that researchers were able to document a decrease in blood pressure among forest bathers. As people begin to relax, parasympathetic nerve activity increases — which can lead to a drop in blood pressure. There's another factor that might help explain the decline in blood pressure: Trees release compounds into the forest air that some researchers think could be beneficial for people. Some of the compounds are very distinctive, such as the scent of cedar. Back in 2009, Japanese scientists published a small study that found inhaling these tree-derived compounds — known as phytoncides — reduced concentrations of stress hormones in men and women and enhanced the activity of white-blood cells known as natural killer cells ."www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/17/536676954/forest-bathing-a-retreat-to-nature-can-boost-immunity-and-mood
The aim of forest bathing is to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment. To allow your senses to take over and allow your body to recover from stress. We live in a beautiful area. I hope you all get a chance to explore the PNW this summer. Here's to forests, cedar smells and fresh air!
Beyond the Gear is a informational place where firefighters and their families can read and take steps at living a healthier life. Healthy body starts with a healthy mind. I hope you enjoy.