Did you know that there is a special kind of bath you can take which effects will last at least 7 days and sometimes up to a month? If not, let me introduce the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku also referred to as forest bathing.
Qing Li, MD, Ph.D, (Forest Medicine/Shinrin yoku researcher, a professor in the Department of Hygiene and Public Health at Nippon Medical School, vice president of INFOM from Tokyo, and the editor of a book called Forest Medicine) has been working on forest bathing since 1982. The idea behind shinrin-yoku is to spend time walking in a dense forest environment combined with deep breathing and engaging all of our senses. Dr Li advocates the use of nature as a healthcare treatment alternative and authored several articles including the following: "A forest bathing trip increases human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins in female subjects" and "Visiting a forest, but not a city, increases human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins."
Dr Li and his research team found that a trip to the forest not only increases human natural killer (NK) cell activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins, but provides the following additional benefits:
The best thing is that forest bathing/forest therapy is FREE. However, for the full benefit, forest bathing must be combined with physical activity such as walking and you really need to do it in a forest since where you walk really matters.
Imagine the day when your primary care doctor prescribes the following: "Take Two Hours of Pine Forest and Call Me in the Morning".
Acute effects of walking in forest environments on cardiovascular and metabolic parameters
American Scientist: A Walk in the Woods
Your Brain on Nature: Forest Bathing and Reduced Stress