Have you ever taken a bath in the forest?
In the midst of leaf peeping season in New England, I chanced upon an article about the practice of forest bathing in Japan. I am often in the woods and it certainly makes me feel better, a sentiment with which all nature lovers would surely agree. Turns out scientific studies in recent years demonstrate that spending time in the forest reduces stress by lowering heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels.
Opening the senses, we breathe in aromatic essences of trees, which contain phytoncides - airborne chemicals which protect trees against insects and decay. Breathing phytoncides has been shown to trigger the production of "natural killer" cells which fight directly against cancer in the body.
Having evolved as a species in relation to forests, it makes sense that we are "hard-wired" with nature. I like the Japanese approach to forests for health, backed by science. Now we know why we feel better in nature! Don't let another day go by without spending time among the trees! Autumn is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the woods! Make it part of your personal prescription for better health!