Forest Bathing Goes Global

There are numerous studies that find going for a walk or sitting outside in nature, or just being able to see nature from your window, has measurable immediate health benefits.


Shinrin Yoku: The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing / Timber Press

One can argue that humans have purposefully immersed themselves in forests in order to revitalize their spiritual, mental, and physical health for thousands of years. But in 1982, Tomohide Akiyama, director of Japan’s forestry agency, put a name to this, coining the term shinrin yoku, which can be translated as forest bathing. Since then, interest in the practice has skyrocketed among both the public and scientific researchers. And last year, forest bathing may have hit a tipping point, with four books published on this natural therapeutic approach. Forest bathing seems poised to go global, as interest expands beyond Japan into the rest of Asia and throughout the West.

In Shinrin Yoku, The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing, Yoshifumi Miyazaki — who is a professor at the Chiba University center for environment, health, and field sciences; coiner of the…

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