Forest Bathing

by johnandterri

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When I retired from Boeing and having spent the majority of my working career indoors, I wanted to spend more of my days in retirement outdoors. The first thing I did when I retired was to join a weekly hiking club as my first step in trying to make sure I spent more time outdoors. Then our decision to walk the Camino de Santiago and spend 5 weeks walking across Spain, was significant jump start to my goal getting outdoors more! It was a very deep immersion into nature. We were “bathing in nature” so to speak.

I am reading a book called “The Nature Fix“, that provides insights into why nature makes us happier, healthier and more creative. Although I have not finished reading the book, I have found the book to be very captivating and really speaking to me. Here is a great quote I picked up that I love:

” The woods, the trees and the rocks give man the resonance he needs”

Resonance, that is what I feel when I am outside in the woods. The value of spending time in a forest as means of healing stress is something the government of Japan has been investing in since 2003. It is called “shinrin yoku” or “forest bathing“. The book goes into the some interesting research that has been done on how “forest therapy” works in reducing stress.

When I read this chapter of the book, it made so much sense to me. Sometimes things makes sense even when the science has not yet caught up with what your feeling. I guess I have know for years how immersion in nature has a healing effect on me. Now I know there is some good science to go along with those “forest baths” I love to take.

I am excited to get out hiking again this week to an old growth forest walk near Darrington. My hope for you is that you too find the time to get out in the forests, even if it is raining! It is so healthy for us!

Blessings and all good,

John

Photograph of the Week

Quiet Forest Time

This forest panoramic was taken in the fall of 2013 during a visit to Traverse City, Michigan. The fall colors and the ease of walking through the forests was delightful. One of my favorite forest walk memories.

P.S. The photograph at the top of this blog is from near the end of our long walk across Spain. I was walking along the trail through a forest and saw this interesting lighting and bushwacked across several yards to get this image.

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