Anyone who have walked at least once during his life in dense forest, know how it feels to enjoy in the beauties of nature. For some people, that experience was sufficient reason to move their homes in forest area.
Japanese scientists claim that half an hour stay in the deep forest contributes to strengthening immunity and protect our health for the following months. This practice, which is one from their traditions is called Shinrin-yoku or translated ”forest bathing” has very beneficial effects and is very healthy and the reasons are of biochemical nature.
Forest bathing involves leisurely walks in a forest or a treed setting completely peaceful and relaxed where forest environment bathes us with many healing influences. In 1982, forest bathing became part of a national public health program in Japan.
Long walks in nature relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, balances hormones and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and only half an hour in a forest strengthens the immune system and protects the health for the next two months, according to Japanese researchers and as we know, a strong immune system is very important in protecting against diseases.
The researchers concluded that the presence in forest will improve immunity, which is important in preventing serious and chronic diseases.
When the researchers tested people before and after a two-hour walk in the forest, they found out more than 50% of white blood cells in their results. People also had lower blood pressure and were feeling calm.
In addition that relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, while you have those long walks in the forest, there is something else going on also. Trees and other plants in the air discharged phytoncides which are antimicrobial allelochemical volatile organic compounds and those phytoncides are responsible for the destruction of fungi, bacteria and mold and while we are walking in woods we breathe in those compounds that contribute to our health.
Forest works well to hormones in the body, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, etc. Walking in woods also encourages creativity and evokes positive thoughts, which is also very important for physical health. Not so long time ago, when people use to live in harmony with nature, they wasnt so many diseases, both mental and physical .
Professor Qing Li of the Department of Hygiene and Public Health of the Medical School in Tokyo, presented this the story to the American author of scientific texts, Annie Lenny Phillips.