- In 1982, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries coined the term “Shinrin-yoku” which translates to “Forest Bathing.” This Japanese practice is a process of relaxation. The simple method of being calm and quiet amongst the trees, observing nature around you whilst breathing deeply can help de-stress and boost health and wellbeing in a natural way.
Where to Forest Bath
- Any park or wooded area is a good starting point.
- A great place is in the mountains of Vermont – the Taconic range and the Green Mountains offer more trails than can be traversed in one lifetime.
- We have a pamphlet compliments of “The Mountain Goat – Outdoor Clothing & Gear” that features 9 trails in or near Manchester. Here’s a sampling.
- The Equinox Preservation Trust trails offer several choices including a walk around Equinox pond, or a 2,800 foot elevation gain to the top of Mount Equinox.
- Lye Brook Falls leads to one of the highest waterfalls in Vermont.
- The Long Trail – visit the Green Mountain Club website https://www.greenmountainclub.org/the-long-trail/ for more information.
Some tips on Forest Bathing
- Turn off the phone and any other electronic devices – watches, etc.
- Breath long breaths – inhale deeply into the abdomen and exhale twice as long as the inhalation sending the message to your body to relax.
- Breath through your nose and smell the air and what’s around you.
- Nature’s greens and blues are soothing. Breath them in.
- Sit for a while – be mindful and enjoy the forest experience.
- Use your senses and take in the surrounding environment.
Benefits of Forest Bathing
As little as 10 to 20 minutes can provide many benefits. It is said that forest bathing can lower your blood pressure and heart rate and reduce harmful levels of certain hormones – leaving you in a calmer and more relaxed state.