About Forest Therapy
Diseases due to lifestyle choices as well as mental disorder have recently become a major problem in society. With the growing interest in physical and mental health, people have started to actively seek fact-based scientific information on the health benefits and stress relieving aspects of “Forest Bathing” rather than relying on simple empirical-based evidence.
Consequently, scientific studies on the physiological impact of “Forest Bathing” have been undertaken and a protocol for “Forest Therapy” was developed as well as looking into the possibility of further clinical applications.
A “Forest Therapy Base” and a “Therapy Road” are scientifically approved locations with forests and urban environments where experiments were conducted analyzing the healing and preventive medical benefits due to the environment. The certification program to register a “Forest Therapy Base” stared in 2006 and so far 65 sites have been registered across Japan. Some might feel a certain amount of apprehension when walking in an unfamiliar environment and being in a forest. They might be concerned about a path’s steepness or that it is too tiring; however, certified “Forest Therapy Bases” are bright and most “Therapy Roads” possess gentle slopes. “Therapy Roads” are also completely barrier -free environments and are fully wheelchair accessible.
How to enjoy “Forest Therapy”
It is the “five senses” that humans possess. Human beings originally inhabited in a natural environment. Today we live in a modern artificial environment which is different from the original living environment and this is very stressful on us. “Forest Therapy” has a great effect from the viewpoint of reducing stress from today’s environment, and is said to have a positive effect on the psychological state of mind.
The basic way is to let nature enter your body through all five senses. Through the ears, eyes, nose, hands, feet, taste, we can feel the trees and wind in the forest. We advise individuals to find the most relaxing method that is best for them. Although the trigger to what makes us feel relaxed varies, we will realize that we enjoy being in nature and that are made to fit in a natural environment.