In the distance you can hear birds singing, the sun tickles your face and if you take a deep breath you can smell the damp moss. Have you ever consciously gone into the forest and have you completely freed yourself from your everyday life and stress? We have the latest trend "forest bathing" for you here and how incredibly healing it can be.
What is forest bathing?
Forest bathing, a new trend from Japan called Shinrin Yoku or forest bathing, is not actually bathing or swimming. You will neither get wet nor do you have to think about a perfect swimming outfit. Forest bathing is about going for a swim in the forest. You dive down and enjoy pure nature and the fresh air. The soft tones of nature have a relaxing effect on you. You can completely let go of everyday life and let yourself fall into the green of the forests.
Where does this trend come from?
The “forest bathing” trend comes from Japan. There are numerous scientists who deal with the topic and are convinced of the positive effect. In Japan, forest bathing has also become a recognized stress management method and is promoted by the Japanese health service.
Forest bathing in Japan has been promoted by the Ministry of Forestry since the 1980s. Attention is drawn to the sounds of the forest, the earthy scent and how the breath flows. This should ensure that the participants arrive in the forest.
Since 2012, Japanese universities have had their own branch of research. City people are even ordered to stay in the forest, and some forest areas have been designated forest therapy centers.
How does forest bathing affect the body?
From the human point of view
People who enter a forest speak of an incredible feeling. They seem more relaxed and leave all their worries behind. Birds singing and the rustling of the trees has a calming effect. Nature is perceived more consciously through the smell of damp leaves and moss and, together with the sounds of the forest, creates a pleasant feeling.
That's what science says
Your immune system is strengthened by inhaling the essential oils that the trees release into the air. The forest air contains so-called terpenes. These help your body to produce more killer cells that work against cancer. Studies have also shown that being in the forest reduces anxiety, depression and anger, reduces stress hormones and increases vitality.
Trees produce phytoncides, which have a relaxing effect on humans and are also used in natural medicine. According to color psychology, the green of the trees should also calm the nerves and stimulate the immune system.
The entire atmosphere of the forest also activates the resting nerve, the so-called parasympathetic nervous system. It is responsible for recovery, metabolism and building up the body's own reserves. In the forest, it ensures that your stress hormones are reduced and your blood pressure drops.
Tips for "forest bathing" in Germany
"Forest bathing" is also becoming more and more of a trend here. We have a few tips for you here on how and where you can best go swimming in the forest and what you have to consider when doing so.
Courses and guided tours in and around Berlin
Diploma psychologist Birgit Cornelia Braun offers great courses in and around Berlin.The focus is on promoting well-being and health. With a range of light activities, Ms. Braun supports you in opening your senses. It helps you to playfully explore the beauty of the forest and to experience the elements in all their facets up close.
The guided walks in the group usually take place on Saturdays or Sundays and last about 2-3 hours depending on the weather and season. You can choose between a mixed group for adults or a group for women only. Ms. Braun takes an expense allowance of 20 euros/15 min.
Recommended equipment for your tour: robust, weatherproof clothing, sturdy shoes, rain poncho or large umbrella if necessary, water bottle, possibly a snack.
On your own: In the capital
The most important rule of "forest bathing" is: there are no rules! Free your senses, just let go and try to perceive as much as you can. Concentrate on your breath and try to be aware of every movement of your body. Take a break when you feel like it. Touch the trees and their bark. There is no check list to work through, what is important is that you feel comfortable and are not under any time pressure.
How about a nice walk in Grunewald. After you have escaped the crowds at the beginning of the paths, you can let your soul dangle in the large and beautiful Grunewald. You can take a short break at Lake Bars or Lake Pchsee and enjoy the snacks you brought with you.
The Düppeler Forst is also a very beautiful forest. It is located directly on the Wannsee and is even larger and more extensive than the Grunewald. Here you meet even fewer people and can become one with nature.
Tip: If you want to take your fur nose with you, that's no problem at all, the Düppeler Forst and the Grunewald offer a wonderful dog exercise area.
In summary, we can say that forest bathing is good for your health and can help you escape your everyday stress. Just try it out and let yourself be carried away by the scent of the forest.
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