The chirping birds, the wet grass, the towering cathedral of trees, and the hills and dales bring everything to a still. A person’s connection to the world has no place here. It is a paradise on earth, a luxury for many and a way of life for a lucky few. Nature is an answer to the prayers of the weary, overworked and dog-tired.
It is no surprise that Oscar Wilde, Robert Frost, Hendry David Thoreau, Hermann Hesse, Isaac Newton and Buddha, all found bliss in the wilderness. Trees have long been a source of inspiration, introspection, even enlightenment for the greats. And now, we have found they do more: Trees are also nature’s healers.
We rarely question the psychological and physiological wellbeing that is associated with walking in nature. Interestingly, it is now a therapeutic practice. In 1982, The Forest Agency of Japan proposed the idea of ‘forest bathing’, also known as Shinrin-yoku. Supported by studies about benefits of forest bathing, the healthy practice soon became a therapy.
So, what is forest bathing? According to Dr Qing Li of Tokyo-based Nippon Medical School, a pioneer in forest medicine, Shinrin-yoku is simply a walk in the forest, for better health.