Have you ever heard of forest bathing?

Well, we first came across this concept several months ago. Yet when we think about it now, we may have been practicing forest bathing without identifying it as so.

With its origin in Japan, forest bathing or you can also call it Shrinkin Yoku, nature therapy or eco-therapy, simply means immersing oneself in nature. This self-care practice involves letting your senses guide you in your walk in the woods. And as you do this, pay attention to your physical and mental needs. What do you hope to achieve?

Photo courtesy of Caroline Abok

Some of the forest bathing activities can include jogging, reading, walking a dog, bike riding, walking barefoot (also known as grounding), skipping a rope, doing yoga, meditating, journaling, touching the trees and even doing nothing.

Just being surrounded by nature has many benefits. Plants and trees release phyntocides. When inhale the forest’s fresh air, we breathe in these chemicals which end up increasing a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells that prevent diseases and help speed up recovery of illnesses.

The smell of the forest and paying to attention to its surrounding reduces fatigue, blood pressure and production of the stress hormone, cortisol. It improves clarity, focus and sleep. Who wouldn’t want any of these?

Here are some of the places you can visit for a forest bathing experience.

Forests

Karura Forest /photo by Nafsi

The density of trees creates a calming effect. The good thing about forests such as Karura Forest is that it gives us a chance to explore different paths, spots and activities when visiting due to its expansiveness. Therefore if you decide to make this as part of your routine, and studies do show that regular forest bathing has a longer term effect.

Parks

Parks are quiet. You will only hear natural sounds like birds chirping or leaves rustling.

We are therefore excited that parks in Nairobi are being restored. Kenya Forest Service renovated Michuki Park which is going to be opened to the public soon while City Park is currently renovated.

Animal parks are ideal places too.

At home

Photo by GRÆS Magazine on Unsplash

Definitely in our homes too.

You can invite the forest into your home by growing indoor plants. Hanging paintings or photos of trees on your walls can also create that same effect. You can watch videos about forests too.

Discover groves in your neighbourhood too. This makes the natural form of forest bathing more accessible. It can support your visits to the forest or parks.

Have you ever tried forest bathing? Where do you go? Do let us know in the comments below.

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1 Comment

  1. I appreciate the universe for creating amazing possibilities like forest bathing. It makes you connect with nature, enjoy and taste the pure calmness of your ambiance. Im glad to have tried all the types of forest bathing my favourite being inviting forest into my home which comes in handy during harsh winter periods.
    Thanks a bunch for the article it’s very educative.

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