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forest bathing.” Known as shinrin-yoku, it literally means "taking in the forest atmosphere." Researchers, mostly from Japan and Korea, have shown that the practice can lead to impressive health benefits, not only lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, but also lowering blood pressure and boosting your immune system
Forest bathing seems to work on a variety of levels to calm, boost immune functioning, and improve several aspects of health, researchers say. Among their findings:
* Walking in a forest environment is linked with lower levels of blood pressure, the stress hormone cortisol, and a lower pulse rate than walking in a city environment, according to Japanese researchers.
They sent 280 men and women to both environments, then compared the responses. The forest environment won out. Lower cortisol, for instance, reflects less stress, which can play a role in a number of conditions, including headaches, high blood pressure, and heart problems.
* Forest bathing boosts so-called natural killer cells, which help stave off disease. In one study, men who took two-hour walks in the woods once a day for two days had a 50% increase in the activity of natural killer cells, a type of white blood cell that helps fight off infections and cancer.
* Forest bathing has a healthy effect on something known as heart rate variability, which looks at how healthy the balance is between the sympathetic nervous system ("fight or flight") and the parasympathetic system (the "recovery" system that lowers blood pressure and heart rate). These two systems need to be balanced so you're not constantly in a stressful fight-or-flight mode.
* Aromatic things that trees and other plants in the forest produce, such as phytoncides, have also been linked to anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and brain-protective benefits.
* Forest bathing is also linked with increased creativity, problem solving, and improved mood, other studies find.
So when you get a chance, take a leisurely walk in a forest, take in the smell and look of the trees, when you come out it might change your whole perception on life.
Also as you are taking all this in, you might come across some resin from trees that you can pull off and take home. Just take a little bit without totally disturbing or hurting the tree