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Forestbathing, Shinrin-Yoku

Bathing in the forest is medicine. How it works is not sure, but how much it works is pretty clear. Forest-bathing or Shinrin Yoku is a Japanese concept meaning 'taking in the forest atmosphere.'

Cortisol, the stress hormone is significantly reduced in people who spend time in the forest. Stressful physiological state is known to make disease and suffering worse. When excess and debilitating stress is reduced, health improves naturally.

Among reduction in stress, forest bathing has a positive impact on hypertension, cardiac and pulmonary function, immune function, inflammation, oxidative stress, anxiety, depression and wellbeing.

So while it is still warm outside, make plans and go out in nature right away to reduce stress and improve health. Do not forget to grab your water bottle, sun screen and bug spray!

Byeongsang Oh, Kyung Ju Lee, Chris Zaslawski, Albert Yeung, David Rosenthal, Linda Larkey, Michael Back Environ Health Prev Med. 2017; 22: 71. Published online 2017 Oct 18. doi: 10.1186/s12199-017-0677-9

PMCID: PMC5664422

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