Shinrin-Yoku: The Art of Forest Bathing
While reading my Autumn 2021 issue of "Adventures Northwest", I was struck by the article about forest bathing or shinrin-yoku in Japanese. The psychological fallout from isolation, unemployment and disease is its own pandemic causing many of us to have reevaluated our lives how we define
happiness and success. Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors, according to the EPA, on high speed, attached to our phones and devices. We were stressed out even before the pandemic.
We can counter stress and the ill effects of the pandemic by spending as few as ten minutes outside in the woods, connecting to nature. These excursions to the forest should be quality trips, not a quick dash through the trees. Amazingly, breathing in the phytoncides trees give off increases our bodies' natural killer cells that fight inflammation, cancer and viruses. Shinrin-yoku increases cerebral blood flow, which improves cognition and flushes out toxins.
Head to any quiet green space, but a forest is ideal. Leave your phone and electronics at home or in the car. Take a moment and be still. Listen to your breath and tune into your senses. Pay attention to details large and small. Time spent in nature will decrease aggression, reduce our stress and anxiety, improve our cognition and increase compassion. We could all use these benefits in our daily life.
I'm Dr. Neal of Dental Care of Canby and I encourage you to take advantage of this free and effective stress reducing practice.
Dental Care of Canby
333 N.W. 3rd Avenue
Canby, OR 97013