TMT Professional Shinrin Yoku Guide Level 1
Forest bathing, referred to as “Shinrin-yoku” in Japanese or nature bathing, involves spending time in a natural environment or specifically in a forest environment to improve one’s health and well-being. Forest bathing, through exposure to natural stimuli such as ground blowing wind, flowing river-water in a forest environment, is regarded as a health promotion strategy [1-2]
1. Ideno Y, Hayashi K, Abe Y, Ueda K, Iso H, Noda M, et al. Blood pressure-lowering effect of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing): a systematic review andmeta-analysis. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017;17(1):409.
2. Lee I, Choi H, Bang KS, Kim S, Song M, Lee B. Effects of forest therapy on depressive symptoms among adults: a systematic review. Int J Environ ResPublic Health. 2017;14(3):321.
Forest bathing leads to achieving a state of relaxation, resulting in a decreased heart rate and blood pressure, a release of stress, and a boost to the immune system, all of which facilitate recovery from trauma or illness [3-6].
3. Dzhambov AM, Markevych I, Lercher P. Greenspace seems protective of both high and low blood pressure among residents of an Alpine valley.Environ Int. 2018;121(Pt 1):443–52.20.
4. Hansen MM, Jones R, Tocchini K. Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing) and nature therapy: a state-of-the-art review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14(8):851
5. Song C, Ikei H, Miyazaki Y. Physiological effects of nature therapy: a reviewof the research in Japan. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016;13(8):781.
6. Furuyashiki A, Tabuchi K, Norikoshi K, Kobayashi T, Oriyama S. A comparative study of the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku) on working age people with and without depressive tendencies. Environ Health Prev Med. 2019 Jun 22;24(1):46.
During forest bathing, individuals are guided to slow down their pace and are soothed through connecting with a forest environment, using their five senses: 1) listening to the sounds of nature i.e. birds chirping, streams flowing, and wind blowing, 2) looking at trees and seeing sunlight penetrating through tree branches, 3) breathing in natural aromas and smelling trees’ bark, 4) tasting the freshness of the air and wild gifts of nature, and 5) touching leaves and trees, and lying on the ground.