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Scientific Proof That Forest Bathing Works

bamboo toothbrush food forest forest bathing forest medicine forest therapy preventive medicine

forest bathing Forest bathing (shinrin-yoku Forest therapy), also called forest medicine now has scientific proof that it works for a number of ailments like: cancer, depression, heart disease, obesity and more.

Anecdotally you probably already knew that there must be something to being in nature, but now we have some numbers and data to prove it.

The best part of this kind of medicine is that it’s free, fun and multi-functional. From the video below:

"After you take a walk in a forest once a day for a month the hypothesis is that certain molecules on the leaves that you smell in the forest will decrease your risk of cancer because what it causes is the extra activity of these natural killer cells."

Natural Killer cells (NK cells) do sound a bit macabre and one can’t help but think of “Natural born killers”.  

"These Natural Killer cells, unlike the other cells that normally fight things in your body these natural killer cells don’t require any other molecules to activate and to fight off your tumor cells because that’s  what they normally do as their job."

Some may be thinking that just getting out and walking anywhere will increase your NK activity, but it doesn’t.  If you want to reduce stress and increase the activity in these cancer fighting NK cells you have to actually go to a forest (yes, urban ones count). 

This means that where you walk is as important as that you walk. A 5km walk at a leisurely pace is recommended and you can take a break. Take time and soak in the goodness of the forest. 

Forest bathing reduces anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue and mental confusion and actually increases your overall vigor. It appears that some essential oils can offer many of the same benefits of forest bathing. 

It’s up to you of course to buy your forest or be in the forest which is more effective. About 50% of the forest can be replicated by oils, but think how easy it is to get into a park, even an urban park. Make it part of your health plan to make time time to get into a real dense forest for some powerful medicine at least once a week.

When it comes to forest bathing, the more trees and the larger the space the better. Sounds like a great thing to bring up at town meetings. Let's extend our urban parks and plant more trees. Imagine how great it would be if we could focus on adding food producing ones in the mix so we have medicinal food forests all over the world.

food forest design

Diabetics and those with a risk of heart disease should be partaking in forest medicine too as it also has scientific proof that it helps. Forest bathing increases the hormone adiponectin. A low amount of this hormone  is associated with numerous health disorders like obesity and heart disease.  Therefore forest therapy could also possibly decrease your risk of heart disease and obesity.

It turns out that forest medicine also has the same effect as blood pressure medication. This is proof of what your body and mind tell you when you walk in the forest regularly. Remember how awesome you felt on those camping trips - where you were immersed in the forest for an extended period of time.

Gaia Guy is determined to grow more forests and offer more products that are based on renewable materials. With being mindful about what trees we plant there is no reason why we can't be regenerative in our parks, while even sourcing materials from the expanding tree canopy cover.

Bamboo toothbrushes look pretty good right about now as there is huge tracks of organically grown bamboo in China and other parts of the world. Let's not perfect be the enemy of the good.

By choosing a bamboo toothbrush each and every time over your lifetime makes a big impact. It also means more bamboo will be planted and that is still doing more good in the world. Ditch the plastic once and for all on the toothbrush use. This is a good start, but we need to increase the bio-diversity in all areas to be truly resilient. 

Action to take to feel better today though is just to get out into a forest. Get creative and break the studio or gym routine at least a few times a week. Take a snack in your organic cotton food storage bags or pack a full lunch and a drink in your stainless steel lunchbox and get in the woods for a dose of natural preventative medicine.

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