Shinrin-yoku, also called forest bathing, is a practice that comes from Japan. This forest therapy invites us to get closer to nature in order to reconnect with it. The art of forest bathing consists in connecting with trees, plants and embracing nature to strengthen our immune system.
We propose to discover together all the benefits of forest bathing.
Shinrin yoku: a new experience
The principle of Shinrin-Yoku could not be simpler to implement: prescribe a walk to recharge your batteries and meditate in the middle of nature. Paying attention to what surrounds you and stimulating your senses allows a real moment of peace in the forest.
During this immersion in nature, we disconnect. We turn off our phone, we avoid taking a camera, we avoid sources of distraction. We forget the urban environment, the noise, air and visual pollution that keep us on alert. We put aside an oppressive daily life filled with stress and invaded by an omnipresent technology.
But in fact, where does this practice of forest bathing come from?
The origin of forest bathing
Forest bathing is a recent practice that appeared in the 80’s with the arrival of technology. The Japanese government began to notice the harmful effects of technology on the population: depression, addiction and development of certain pains. As time went on, the use of technology became more and more widespread and the negative effects only got worse.
Forest baths, sometimes called Sylvotherapy, appeared to fight against this by offering a moment of peace to the Japanese inhabitants.
To learn more about the history of forest baths, click here!
The advantages of forest baths
You want to know more about this practice? Discover the list of advantages of forest bathing that we have made especially for you!
The real advantage of this practice is its accessibility. All you have to do is find a forest near you and you can go for a relaxing dip.
To find a forest near you, here is the map of public forests in France: click here!
Reconnecting to the essential
Sometimes you need to take a mental break, to come back to the moment. Take a break from modern life with smartphones, internet … Forest baths reconnect you, here and now, with the essential. This will allow you to release tensions and to focus on what really matters in your life.
A strengthening of the immune system
Trees are known to emit protective molecules into the air against harmful micro-organisms, called phytoncides, which boost our own immune system, reducing the risk of diseases such as cancer in the long run.
To learn more about phytoncides, click here!
Reduction of stress and depression symptoms
Nature has benefits that help reduce stress and anxiety. A simple walk in the woods can reduce our stress, worry and anxiety levels. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that the blood level of cortizol, which is the stress hormone, decreases after the first few minutes spent in the forest. This explains why we feel more relaxed when we are in nature.
To learn more about the effects of nature on our health, click here!
Effects similar to meditation
The practice of forest bathing has similar effects to meditation: better concentration, less stress, improved sleep and reduced risk of depression.
To learn more about the benefits of meditation, click here!
Develop your 5 senses
Think it’s hard to switch off, take a mental break and stop constantly thinking? Here are some tips to easily awaken your senses during a forest bath:
In the forest there are many elements to look at, many information to capture! Simply observe what nature offers us. Look at the shades of green of the trees, the sun rays passing through the branches or the bees foraging. It’s a permanent spectacle!
For touch, there are many opportunities, you can place your hands on the trunk of a tree, dip your fingers or toes in a stream, walk barefoot in the grass … but especially analyze the sensations you feel. In a word: enjoy!
Distinguish one after the other the songs of the different birds, and listen to the rustle of the breeze in the leaves of the trees. Spring is the ideal time to do this experiment, as this is when the songs are most present.
The sense of smell
A walk in the forest is inevitably accompanied by smells. The scent of the forest, the natural aromatherapeutic substances of the phytoncides, the different plants … A forest bath allows you to breathe”, taking both a breath of oxygen and feeling a sense of relief by perceiving the different smells that evoke sensations or pleasant memories.
Taste the freshness of the air by taking a deep breath or drink water from the river! Without being adventurous, it is not uncommon to come across delicious raspberries, wild strawberries, blackberries… enjoy!
To learn more about picking in the forest, click here!
Where to go to practice ?
Renaud Maurin is a certified ANFT (Association of Nature & Forest Therapy) forest bathing guide in the surroundings of Montpellier. He will accompany you throughout this nature therapy through different workshops: tea ceremony, talking circle … with an introspective dimension, we take care of ourselves and we spend time alone with nature. But also with a collective dimension where we share our feelings. There are often very strong and interesting words between the participants.
This therapy is ideal for people who have a crazy and hectic life in the city to spend a few hours each week in contact with nature.
For more information on forest bathing with Renaud Maurin, click here!
Going for a forest bath is an activity that needs to be prepared! You have to know how to take the right measures, take the essential equipment.
In particular, the head is a sensitive part of the human body. Generally for a nature outing outside we opt for a hat. It can be a cap, a beanie, a terrycloth headband, a scarf, a hat or a balaclava…
But all these accessories represent some disadvantages: feeling of confinement, poor protection for your glasses under the rain, lack of ventilation, low resistance to gusts of wind… etc.
Overcap is an alternative solution for your forest baths, it protects your head while remaining comfortable. The therapy by nature can be practiced under different weather. Overcap resists as well to the wind as to the rain or to the sun. With it, you stay well sheltered! Wider than a hood, your head remains ventilated and free to move. Move your head as much as you want, Overcap is discreet and non-obtrusive: listen in peace to all the sounds of nature!
Overcap is the ideal accessory to accompany you in this natural therapy.
To learn more about Overcap, click here.
We hope that the practice of forest bathing is clearer for you. It is the moment to disconnect yourself to better reconnect to the essential: to yourself and to nature. You will see that this therapy by nature will bring you many benefits and especially soothe you. And it is the opportunity to practice a new outdoor activity!