Science has now officially proved it, walking in the woods is good for your health!
No water necessary, "forest bathing" cleanses, balances and heals by taking in the forest atmosphere. Just mindful walking, unhurried quiet exploring. Breathing in the fragrance of the forest. Opening your senses to the sights, sounds and scents that surround you. A popular activity in Japan, they have been conducting studies for the past 30 years on forest bathing and have discovered many health benefits such as lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, decreased stress and depression. They found that during time spent in green spaces you breathe in phytoncides, compounds released by plants that reduce cortisol, activate your immune system and improve mental health. Trees are nature's filters, their roots clean the water, their leaves clean the air. Trees release clouds of beneficial substances that help regulate the climate and others that are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.
Coming from urban environments many guests are overwhelmed by the power of nature here at Costa Rica Jungle Retreats. Each morning begins with a walk to our forest pavilion for a simple qigong warm-up. Last year the guests themselves chose to be silent for that time. After qigong some did even more forest bathing and walked to the waterfall. What they found there, unplugged from their screens, was a chance to recharge themselves, a healthful welcome relief. According to SpaFinder, forest bathing is the #1 hot new spa trend in 2015. It seems that many recognize the benefits and seek the peace that a quiet walk surrounded by nature can provide.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that
quality of the air, that emanation from the old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” – Robert Louis Stevenson, Forest Notes, 1905