Imagine a new branch of medicine that can teach you to be more active, more relaxed, to control stress, and to reduce the risk of diseases resulting from unhealthy lifestyles, all through being in the woods.
This new branch of medicine is called “forest medicine.” It incorporates the impact of forest stays on human health and is a science that encompasses elements of alternative medicine, environmental-based medicine, and preventive medicine.
Shinrin yoku (swimming in the forest air) is an element of the tradition of healthy lifestyles in Japan. In Korea, this procedure is called Sanlimyok; it is practiced in Finland, but does not have a traditional name; in Ireland, it is called Boladh on Sioga or bathing in the breath of a forest villa. The term "Forest Medicine" was introduced in Japan in 2006, the following year in England, and since 2009 a summer school of forest medicine has been held at Harvard University School of Medicine.
"Shinrin yoku trip" has been used in Japan since 1981 and is a standard health prevention procedure, and the first gathering dedicated to this method was held in Nagano Prefecture. Forests cover 67 percent of Japan's surface, so This method has easily gained great popularity, and from 1981 until today, swimming in the forest air has become a worldwide trend.
Swimming in the forest air, as the basic program of forest medicine, belongs to the field of complementary medicine, aromatherapy, and represents preventive and auxiliary therapeutic methods of exposure to aromatic molecules of forest trees with phytoncides that have multiple positive effects on human health and quality of life. People can enjoy during their stay in the forest through the stimulation of all five senses: the smell of the forest, the green color of the plants, the forest of waterfalls and the singing of birds, the consumption of forest fruits and the hugging of trees.
During 2004-2006. a major program of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Japan was implemented in 2006, which showed significant positive effects of forest stay on human health, using evidence-based methods. The effect on mental health and stress control has been established. Bathing in the forest air reduces the prefrontal activity of the brain, reduces blood pressure, and gives a relaxation effect. The activity of killer cells and the expression of anti-cancer proteins increase. These effects can last up to 30 days after a stay in the forest.
It is a medicine that studies the effects of staying in the forest on human health. Forest medicine, in addition to the health benefits offered by staying in the forest, also studies the possible side effects of the forest on health and the possibility of reducing the risks of these effects to a minimum. In 2007, the International Association for the Study of the Effects of Forests on Human Health (IUFRO) was established, and in 2011 the International Organization of Forest Medicine (INFOM), which unites the efforts of world experts to maximize the effects of forest stays on human health and quality of life. . The cradle of forest medicine programs is in Japan, and public health programs, through the use of the health effects of staying in the forest, are largely popular in China and South Korea. Among European countries, forest medicine has become a significant link in public health programs in Finland, Norway, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.
Scientifically proven benefits of forest medicine are:
Stimulating the immune system
Reduction of blood pressure
Reduced stress levels
Increased ability to concentrate, even in children with attention deficit disorder
Accelerated recovery after surgery or illness
Try to find a little time for walking in the forest. It will separate you from problems and stress and make you healthy, happy, and relaxed.