Forest bathing for stress relief

The Times reports on moves to get the NHS prescribing forest bathing for stress.

We should all walk in quiet wonder through the woods, from time to time. I posted about the healing power of woodland before, here and here, and The Times’ article offers some background and guidance:

Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, was devised 40 years ago as part of a Japanese government initiative to improve the wellbeing of stressed salarymen. It requires walkers to breathe deeply and open their senses to the environment. An estimated five million Japanese take part, spending time in the dappled sunshine, birdsong and woodland smells to revive body and spirit.

Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? And, of course, it chimes with recent research which found that spending just 20-30 minutes in natural surroundings lowers the level of stress hormones by around 10%.

The Times article – Prescribe a walk in the woods to treat stress, doctors urged, by Rhys Blakely – is here. And there’s a Leading Article, here.

For clarity, we should add that forest bathing requires neither nudity nor bubbles.

Photo by Katerina Bartosova on Unsplash