Have you heard about “forest bathing” and its health benefits? Learn more about this easy, rejuvenating trend (even though it’s been around for 30 years) from The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids with Food Straight from Soil.
The concept of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, has become an integral aspect of preventive medicine in Japan over the last 30 years. There, doctors recommend deriving healing from spending time walking, meditating, and doing activities in the forest as part of a preventive care plan. The practice has been well studied, with measurable improvements in health that include:
• Stress: reduced “fight or flight” activation of the sympathetic nervous system, lowered adrenal stress hormones, lowered blood pressure
• Immunity: increased natural killer cells and anticancer proteins, decreased inflammatory markers
• Sleep: better sleep and better energy
• Cognition: improved focus (even in children with ADHD)
• Mood: happier and increased sense of well-being
• Resilience: faster recovery from illness or surgery
The forest can offer tremendous balance to children and help them to focus and function, optimally to be happier and healthier, and to be more resilient. Nothing man-made, pharmaceutical, or otherwise, comes even close to offering this array of benefits . . . for free!