Can ‘forest bathing’reduce stress levels?

In recent years,particularly in Japan,spending time in forests become the wellness trend du jour.A recent meta-analysis investigates whether so-called forest bathing really can significantly reduce levels of stress. Forest bathing -a translation of the Japanese term shinrin yoku-is not a new idea,of course; rambles have enjoyed forest walks for generations.However,in 1982,the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture,Forestry,and Fisheries first coined the term shinrin yoku.The act goes beyond walking through nature,according to experts who explain that shinrin yoku”can be defined as making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest”.The primary benefit that proponents assign to forest bathing is a reduction in stress levels.However ,others go even futher.For instance ,the authors of 2017 review concluded that “forest therapy is an emerging and effective intervention for decreasing adults’depression’levels.Other researchers have investigated whether forest bathing might also help prevent lung and heart disease.

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