What is it?

Have you heard of Shinrin-Yoku? It started in Japan in the early 1980’s and means ‘Forest Bathing’. Essentially, it is spending time in nature and was promoted to boost health and wellbeing. It is supposed to help people to slow down by encouraging people to let nature enter all 5 of the senses, and is inspired by ancient practises. So you spend time in nature only to enjoy the nature – you are not ‘going somewhere’ (it isn’t part of your commute), or hiking, or running, or learning about nature. You do not need to ‘achieve’ anything – just be with nature.

provide Why is it important?

In our modern lives, we spend a lot of time indoors and with technology. It is a very different existence to our ancestors (who had much lower cancer rates than us!). Spending more time outdoors makes sense – but it doesn’t just make you ‘feel good’. There are lots of studies to show that there are a number of benefits to spending time in nature including:

  • Reducing depression
  • Reducing stress
  • Lowering blood pressure, pulse rate and cortisol (stress) hormone levels
  • Grounding
  • Encouraging exercise (as you usually have to do at least some walking)
  • Improving mental health
  • Improving attention levels
  • Improving sleep
  • Boosting eye health
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Increasing your levels of vitamin D (which are often low in cancer patients)
  • Increasing immune function

Increasing immune function is very important when one has cancer (or any disease). Studies show that some trees produce a substance which when we breathe in, causes our immune system to fire up by literally creating more ‘natural killer’ blood cells (the ones that kill cancer cells!). consolidate How do I incorporate it?

Although Forest Bathing means taking in nature, I believe I can still reap many health benefits by increasing my exposure to nature in any way. Here are some ideas:

  • Take the dog for a walk in nature
  • Sit in the back garden and listen to the birds
  • Sit in a park and take off my socks and shoes (if the grass isn’t too wet)
  • Take a walk with friends (a long walk when I’m not on crutches / in pain)
  • Sit under a tree and enjoy the view
  • Photograph the landscape or some flowers
  • I haven’t tried this – but I also like the idea of practising yoga or tai chi or qi gong in the park (I might get a few stares but my health will thank me!)

revatio cost How much does it cost?

Nothing – it is free! So long as you have access to outdoor spaces – otherwise you may have to pay for transport.

duolin inhaler price How easy is it?

Very easy. You just need to make time for it. Think about how it can be incorporated into daily life (like having lunch outdoors or walking part way to work).


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