Forest bathing

What is forest bathing?

The vacation area Val Casies - Monguelfo - Tesido consists to a large extent of forests. The variety of different tree species is great and tempts us to go into our local woods.

The forest is good for us, it is an ideal place to recharge one's energy and find relaxation. Between birdsong, the wonderful nature and forest atmosphere, we automatically become more mindful, negative thoughts disappear and the pulse and heartbeat become calmer.

In Japan, "forest bathing" has already established itself as a holistic state health care. The Japanese describe the positive effect of the forest as "Shinrin yoku".

Enjoying the peace and quiet in the forest and letting nature have its effect on you - in this fast-moving world and in times of constant accessibility, this is true luxury.


How does forest bathing work?


There are no rules or instructions when it comes to forest bathing, but here are some tips:

·        Forest bathing involves consciously perceiving with all your senses.

·        Be aware of the sounds, smells and colors of the forest.

·        Sufficient time should be planned for forest bathing. The walking pace should not be too fast.

·        Plan enough breaks and drink enough fluids, such as water and tea.

Why is forest bathing healthy?
Forest bathing as health care

 The atmosphere of the forest, the dim light, the silence, the presence of water, make you feel calm. You recover and improve your sleep. The forest has a decelerating effect, the fresh, cool air strengthens and vitalizes.

The positive effects for the body are considerable, the calm atmosphere in the forest increases the general well-being. Studies show that the general stress reduction resulting from regular visits to the forest has a positive effect on mental illnesses such as depression and burnout and can prevent them. In addition, according to scientific findings, the risk of cardiovascular disease can be reduced due to lowered blood pressure. Susceptibility to other illnesses also decreases, as the body's defenses are strengthened.

Forests have their own local climate. This means that the dense foliage reduces environmental influences such as solar radiation, heat and cold. There is higher humidity, which moistens the respiratory tract, making it less susceptible to bacteria and viruses. Trees also provide a high concentration of oxygen in the air.

In addition, trees serve as a noise barrier, and the canopy of leaves provides pleasant twilight, which is gentle on the eyes. Forest sounds and pleasant smells do the rest to make us feel good in the forest, because they ensure that the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system is increased.

This part of the autonomic nervous system is particularly active during rest phases and serves to regenerate the organism. When it is active, the pulse and blood pressure drop. The calm atmosphere relaxes the muscles.  

Healthy messengers

In addition, trees emit messenger substances. These so-called terpenes are used by trees to communicate with each other, for example, to more effectively ward off fungi or pests. They are secreted by leaves and needles and are found in the forest air.

These terpenes are absorbed through the skin or through breathing when walking in the forest and thus enter the bloodstream. Short clothing is therefore recommended in suitable weather conditions, as this not only allows more sunlight to be absorbed, but also more terpenes. In addition, evidence suggests that tree messengers strengthen the immune system by increasing the activity and number of killer cells in the blood. These natural killer cells are a subgroup of white blood cells and thus part of the immune system. Natural killer cells can, for example, recognize and kill cells infected with a virus.

In addition, they are said to increase the production of messenger substances in the brain that can regulate cortisol and blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure.

The great advantage of forest bathing is also that it is an activity that can be done all year round. The forest is a special place to be at any time of year, and outdoor exercise is good for the body and psyche at any time of year.

Whether in the form of forest bathing, a walk or sports, numerous studies show that spending time in the forest has a positive effect on physical well-being. The forest can therefore be an important health factor. That is why regular walks in the forest are also highly recommended from a scientific point of view.