A bath in the woods

A ,,bath” in the woods?

The term “shinrin yoku” comes from Japan and is freely translated as “forestbathing”. Forest bathing is a technique that relaxes your body and calms your mind. It means spending some time in the woods and taking a break from the flood of stimuli of everyday life, far away from noise, bright artificial lighting and the stress of appointments.

Forest bathing is more than just a temporary trend. People all over the wold use the technique, and in Japan doctors will even prescribe it. The positive effect of forest bathing on our minds is quite clear. Just closing your eyes and briefly imagining taking a walk in the freshness of the woods – think of a green roof over your head, small twigs and leaves brushing gently against each other – is a way of achieving a state of deep relaxation. If you are looking for inspiration and a new source of energy, you are sure to find it in the forest.

There are physical benefits too. More and more scientific studies carried out in different countries investigate the influence of forest bathing on health, and the effects are more widespread than you might expect. Forest air is particularly pure – leaves and needles canfilter out tiny particles from the air and the trees also release special “messenger substances”, so that the air in the forest is low in allergens and germs. As well as beneficialeffects on blood pressure and lung capacity, the level of stress hormones is also reduced, and forest bathing is even supposed to result in a better functioning immune system.

One thing is sure: time spent in the woods is good for the eyes. There is a higher level ofoxygen in the air during the day and it’s an ideal opportunity to let your gaze wanderalternately between near and far points. It’s a pleasant contrast to staring at a screen, as so many of us do for hours every day, whether at work or in our spare time. From a wide view of the forest scenery back to a close look at individual leaves, a piece of bark or perhaps a busy little beetle: that’s good eye training!

Forest bathing is fun for young and old, can be tried out alone, as a family or in a group of friends. Books and websites provide lots of information. If you want, you can even attend a seminar. Or you can simply try it out for yourself. Go into the forest, slow down and let your five senses take over. Walk slowly or stand still (or sit or lie still if you prefer) – and concentrate on taking in all your impressions: See. Listen. Smell. Feel. And – but only if youreally know what you’re doing! – even taste the forest.

The flora and fauna of the woods seem to radiate contentment. Your mind is refreshed, and you can focus on the moment. We hope you enjoy your sojourn in the forest – every visit offers you something special and unique.