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Article: Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

Waldbaden - mehr Zeit im Wald stärkt Körper, Geist und Seele

Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

Breathe deeply and feel good!

A walk in the forest is relaxing, pleasantly refreshing and a wonderful moment to switch off from the stress of everyday life and let your thoughts calm down. This is well known and was recommended by our grandparents. But a regular trip to the forest can also be a lot more. For some time now, so-called forest bathing has also been discussed in medical circles. Of course, this interested me a lot, as everything to do with trees and their leaves is simply fascinating to me.
Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul


Here I have compiled what I found out about the new trend of forest bathing.

Forest bathing: who invented it?

Like so many findings from natural medicine, forest bathing also comes from Asia, more specifically from Japan. There it is called "Shinrin-Yoku" and is actually used by doctors as a form of therapy! Japanese doctors have found out through many studies that a conscious stay in the forest has a positive effect on the immune system: the lungs expand, the blood absorbs more oxygen, and the pulse and heartbeat calm down. The essential oils, which are particularly found in the needles of spruce and fir, give off their scent and ensure a calm mind - similar to lemon balm, for example.
Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul
In fact, it has been measured in Japan that the number of so-called "natural killer cells", or NK cells, increases when we bathe in the forest regularly. NK cells are white blood cells that each of us has. They are extremely important for our immune system: NK cells recognize other cells that are infected by a virus or a tumor, for example, and kill them. So, according to the Japanese view, if you bathe in the forest regularly, you can prevent serious illnesses or help your body fight them. Simply by being in the forest! Isn't that fascinating?
Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

Essential oils and their healing effects

What may sound a little exotic to us is actually rooted in our own culture: We Austrians and our German neighbors, for example, have always loved the forest, we live in and with it, and not without reason! There are old traditions such as fumigating the home or putting scented sachets in the wardrobe, which not only have pleasant effects, but are also proven to be useful.
Essential oils keep pests and disease carriers away and their pleasant scent ensures inner peace and positive thoughts. Our European scientists are also on the trail of the health-promoting aspects of the forest and have already discovered a few things: Essential oils support our body in healing processes, at least in the case of colds or burns, this has already been proven. Fighting cancer with essential oils is a major topic in medical research and at least some studies report soothing effects.
Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

The problem is the complexity of the plants:
Every plant and its oils consist of hundreds of substances. Researching them all simply takes an incredibly long time. Therefore, essential oils still lead a "sideline" existence in alternative medicine and cannot and may not (yet) be prescribed by conventional medicine as recognized remedies.

What else can we do but become test subjects ourselves?
Let's try it: on your next walk in the woods, take a good handful of oak leaves and stick your nose deep into them. I can tell you: this scent is wonderful! An oak leaf smells at least as good as a stalk of lavender or lemon balm! The bitter smell is particularly intense in autumn and is simply unbelievably good.
This is aromatherapy at its cheapest!
Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

How does forest bathing work?

This small field experiment has now led us to the question: How does bathing in the forest work? Don't I just have to go for a walk in the forest and my immune system will be back on track and my head will be clear and relaxed?

The answer is: yes and no!
Basically, a forest bath is “just” a walk through the forest.
However, you have to know that "real" forest bathing only works if you fully immerse yourself in the forest and all its beneficial properties. If you run through a forest and talk non-stop into your cell phone or answer WhatsApp messages, you will hardly feel any better afterwards. Or if you take a friend into the forest with you and you discuss your worries and problems while running, that may also be a little healing for your emotional world, but the good results of forest bathing will not come about that way.
Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

A forest bath is a conscious stay in the forest with all your senses:
As you walk under the trees, first try to empty your head. Leave all thoughts of problems and difficulties at the edge of the forest and try to concentrate only on yourself and your surroundings. Use your eyes, ears, nose and skin:
Breathe deeply in the scent that surrounds you. Perhaps you stop for a moment, pick up a linden leaf, oak leaf or beech leaf from the forest floor and close your eyes for a moment. Hold the leaf in your hand and smell it. Try to concentrate only on this scent and think of nothing else.
Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

Do the same with your eyes:
As you wander between the trees, you see their large trunks, the mighty treetops, the fine, small leaves on the wafer-thin branches. Don't they look fantastic? Each leaf is different, none looks like its neighbor. An oak leaf is notched, the maple leaf resembles a star and the linden leaf resembles a heart. And even the needles of the conifers are different: pine needles are up to 12 centimeters long, while fir and spruce get by with small, two to three centimeter long needles. Young needles feel very soft, by the way! You can find them on the tips of the branches in spring and summer.

And every tree has a different bark that you can touch and feel:
The oak is strongly grooved and rough, the birch is smooth but porous in places, and the linden bark feels almost as smooth and soft as a silk scarf. Feel the forest with your fingers, stroke a cool, smooth oak leaf or carefully trace the veins of the heart-shaped linden leaf.
Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

If the temperatures allow it, be brave and walk barefoot! You can also experience the forest this way, and it is not nearly as arduous and unpleasant as some people might think: pine needles or moss are wonderfully soft to walk on, and dry summer grass also feels pleasant under the soles of your feet.

And when you stand under the trees, listen! Listen to the mysterious rustling of the leaves in the summer wind or the mighty roar of the fir trees as the strong autumn wind blows through their branches. Put your ear to a tree trunk and listen to the pulse of life. Is it your own or the tree's? Or do your life rhythms merge for this tiny moment?
If you engage with the forest in this way, then after your walk you will feel: Life is beautiful, and I am in the middle of it and a part of it!
Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

Stress reduction through a forest bath

I have already taken a few forest baths myself and I can tell you from my experience: After every forest experience, no matter how short but intense, I feel relaxed. An inner peace settles over my soul and I feel happy and ready for new things. I can confirm 100 percent that a forest bath reduces stress! Whether I am just imagining it or whether scientists and doctors will one day actually prove that the forest slows down and grounds you is, to be honest, not that important to me. What counts for me is what the forest gives me: And that is satisfaction, happiness, well-being and inspiration.
Forest bathing - more time in the forest strengthens body, mind and soul

Take the forest home with you!

We can all probably do with less stress and a better attitude to life. But the time to go out into the forest every day to find relaxation and new strength is probably rare for most of us.
How about if we simply carried the positive forest feeling with us? With my leaf jewelry you can do this quickly and easily: whether oak leaf , maple , linden or beech , all of my pendants are taken directly from real tree leaves.

I wish each of us a simple and easy-to-achieve life goal:
More time in the forest . And for the time in between, you have my leaf jewelry , handmade and made with passion for you.

Your little piece of forest for everyday life!

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