eeling stressed? Perhaps some forest bathing is just what you need. Shinrinyoku in Japanese literally translated means Forest Bathing, and has become a recognized relaxation and stress management activity in Japan. Studies show that walking amongst the trees in forests not only reduces stress, but there are other unseen benefits we receive from our plant friends of the forest.
I remember several years ago, while backpacking 75 km of rugged backcountry on the West Coast Trail of Vancouver island, we met a couple of German biologists on the trail, who were doing research at UBC. Sitting around a campfire at night in the wilderness, they talked about the studies they were doing regarding the pine beetle infestations that were of great concern at that time. I found their accounts of trees communicating with each other, highly intriguing. They found that when one tree was under siege of the pine beetles, trees in the vicinity began upping their defenses in readiness for the impending attack. I never forgot that conversation, being an avid nature enthusiast, and years later, stumbling across a short article in a yoga magazine regarding “Forest Bathing” prompted me to investigate further. The results of my investigation intrigued me once again.