Shinrin-yoku is a japanese term meaning “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”. It was developed in Japan about 40 years ago and has become a fundamental part of healing of all sorts as well as preventive medicine. It’s easy to see the benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest. Nevertheless current research on this topic now is helping to establish shinrin-yoku and forest therapy throughout the world.
The basic idea: simply visiting nature (be it a forest, mountains, rivers etc), walking calmly and relaxed while taking in all of what nature has to offer restorative and rejuvenating benefits are achieved.
This is not exercise, or jogging, or hiking. It is connecting to nature through our senses, like smell, sight, taste, hearing and touch. We can imagine it like a bridge. By opening our senses we create a bridge between us and the natural world.
Maybe the most interesting fact is that a recent study shows that patients with known substance addiction and high depression all benefited more from forest bathing than patients with lower scores of substance abuse and depression. The ones over 40 years old and with strong depression showed the most significant betterment. With that researchers came to the conclusion that “forest therapy can considerably reduce or even eliminate the depression levels of addicts”. While in Asian countries Shinrin-yoku providers are accredited and monitored, this is not quite the case with Western countries. We do hope though that with higher implementation of this therapy method this becomes more regulated.
We adhere to the regulations of the eastern countries and implement it with high efficiency in our own treatment experience here at CRTC with especially trained staff for this type of therapy. Since it’s quite a new topic, you are welcome to contact us if you would like to hear more about it.