Forest Bathing... or the therapeutic effect of trees and forest.

By Cornelia Tosch
(translated from German)


Take a deep breath, especially in the forest, and you'll immediately notice how the stress falls off and you'll become calmer overall. This is not only due to the deep breathing and various breathing techniques, but above all to the forest, the healing effect of the forest!

Most adults and unfortunately far too many children spend most of their lives in closed rooms: apartments, cars and buses, offices or even classrooms in the middle of the city. Whereas it has even been scientifically proven how beneficial a stay outdoors can be!
Time out in nature, especially in the forest, relaxes the mind and strengthens the immune system. This can be a short stay in an area of trees or also a planned, longer one. If this is more than just a walk, but is characterized by a conscious immersion in the forest, then we also speak of Forest Bathing or Shinrin-Yoku.
"Shinrin-yoku" is a term that means "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing." It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine."

What does the forest, nature, do to us that it has such a positive effect?

1) Strengthening the immune system:
If you walk through a forest, you quickly notice that the air there is purer, that it smells different and that the colors have a calming effect. The 
green color has a calming effect on body and soul.
In addition, nature is filled with thousands of substances produced by plants, trees, shrubs and fungi. Especially interesting for the researchers are so-called terpenoids, which occur especially in conifers. These substances have been proven to lower blood pressure, have a positive effect on heart rate and concentration and lower the stress hormones in the blood.
This was measured by researchers before and after forest walks on test persons. This was also the case in an artificial experiment in which volunteers either slept in a room that was treated with terpenoids or not. The volunteers in the treated rooms had considerably more immune cells in their blood, which recognize pathologically altered body cells and then destroy them in a targeted manner.

2) Improving our mood:
daylight is not only important for our natural sleep-wake rhythm (ok, there may be exceptions among children every now and then...), but is also an important trigger for numerous processes that strengthen the immune system or promote well-being. Not only is the release of melanin inhibited (melanin makes you tired, less active, dull), but it also increases the release of serotonin.
Both noticeably improve our mood!

So go outside in the nature, into the forest - for a short walk, a "recreation", a hike, a music lesson in the forest.... 
Nature not only promises a wonderful sensory experience, but also supports your health!
Take a little break - with or without your children!
With children, immersion in nature is often particularly easy and simple: children don't want to get from A to B very quickly. They stop at a tree and smell, explore the tree stump two meters further and enjoy the fire bugs while they are peeing on the bark.... For an adult after 5 minutes often boring; ok, after 2 minutes
J but get involved, explore nature with your children. Or just sit under a tree, dive into the light waves of the treetops, feel the moss and feel the wind on your cheek....

And should you see us - with or without your children - sitting quietly under a tree in the future, then we might do a meditation, an intensive exploration of the forest with all our senses - a Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing.
And where is this easier than on our campus or in the forest directly behind it?