How Forests Heal People is the beginning of a worldwide movement to learn how to reconnect with Nature.
Nature is the Book of Wisdom. Nature is so much more than a “resource” or a backdrop for human lives. Forests and the natural world hold healing powers beyond what is extracted and transformed into medicine. When you walk in Nature approach her with open arms, open heart and open mind. We don’t eat, breathe, or have the ability to make anything without her. “Stop and smell the roses” is a cliche worth exploring.
Forest Medicine, Shinrin-yoku is considered a new medical science in Japan. Itis a facet of Human and Nature Reconnection. It is categorized as preventive medicine, environmental medicine and functional medicine.
It encompasses the effects of forest environments on human health. Beginning as an intuitive therapy Shinrin-yoku has evolved as an evidence-based-natural therapy confirmed by physiological data. This therapy results in improved immune function, lower blood pressure, improved heart rate variability and more.
In the last 15 years researchers with sophisticated tools to collect and analyze data have been studying the therapeutic benefits of specific forests and natural environments on humans. Research published in 2009 revealed that the olfactory, auditory, tactile, and visual sensations experienced in a natural environment generate positive physiological changes:
- Increasing the presence (NK) natural killer cell acticity.
- Lowering the presence of salivary cortisol.
- Improving heart rate variability.
- Lowering Blood Glucose.
- Lowering the self-perception of stress.
- Lowering blood pressure
Reconnecting with the forests and the natural world means that we begin to carry the forest and Nature within us wherever we go. That gives us an “at hand” capacity to feel ourselves as part of the miracle of life. That’s pretty cool. Imagine how different a stressful or hurtful situation will be when you connect to the beauty and harmony of someplace in the natural world that you love…and that loves you.