This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme is ‘Connecting with Nature’, which aims to highlight the impact that nature can have on our mental health, as well as how nature has helped us reduce stress throughout the pandemic.
The practice of Forest Bathing or “shinrin-yoku”, encourages you to be more active, whilst preventing stress and reducing risk of chronic diseases just by visiting forests.
But it isn’t merely a walk in the forest, like the name would imply.
Shinrin in Japanese means ‘forest’, and yoku means ‘bath’. So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses. This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our sense of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.
As Dr. Li describes it; Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.
Dr. Li studies forest medicine to find out all the ways in which walking in the forest can improve our well-being. Since 2004, Dr. Qing Li has conducted many studies on the topic of shinrin-yoku and has found that the practice of forest bathing has many benefits on human health, such as:
- It boosts immune function
- It can reduce stress and stress hormones
- It improves sleep
- It can prevent depression
- It reduces blood pressure and heart rate
- Shinrin-Yoku in city parks also has benefits on human health
- Shinrin-Yoku has a preventive effect on lifestyle related diseases
- It has a preventive effect on COVID-19
Through studying Shinrin-yoku, Dr Li has established a new science, Forest Medicine.
What to expect in this 1 hour webinar:
Dr. Qing Li will be revealing some of the key insights in his book: Shinrin-yoku (The Art and Science of Forest Bathing – How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness), as well as studies related to its health benefits, and how to integrate this practice into your everyday life.