Forest Bathing sounds a bit like a new bath salt but it’s actually the practice of spending time in nature for relief of the stresses of modern living. In Japan, where it is a recognised therapeutic practice called Shinrin-yoku, Forest Bathing has over 30 official sites designated by Japan’s Forest Agency and you can even have a free medical check-up amidst the towering trees!
Of course we feel the effects instinctively when we take a walk in nature - it makes us feel good, and living in Scotland we are fortunate to have access to incredible countryside. And not that we need convincing but science has confirmed this through numerous studies that show being in nature lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels (stress hormones), and has many other benefits to health and wellbeing.
One researcher on forest bathing, Yoshifumi Miyazaki, from Chiba University says, “We were made to fit a natural environment. So we feel stress in an urban area. When we are exposed to nature, our bodies go back to how they should be.”
However if you can’t head for the woods an alternative is close at hand - you can experience similar benefits to wellbeing and health at the Healthy Life Centre in Edinburgh – home to restorative massage, reflexology, acupuncture, shiatsu, yoga, pilates, tai chi, reiki, chi gung and much more.
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