Der Wellness-Trend aus Japan: Waldbaden - NIKIN EU

The wellness trend from Japan: forest bathing

Forest bathing has arrived in Europe. The natural experience from Japan, where shinrin-yoku, as it was originally called, has a longer history, is also finding more and more interested parties and providers in this country. We'll tell you everything about the what, how and why.

For several years now Japanese scientists have been studying what forest bathing, i.e. consciously being in the forest, does to the human body. The results: Pulse and breathing calm down and blood pressure also normalizes - after just a few minutes. Certain hormones that are beneficial for heart health are found to be in increased concentrations after forest bathing, and the killer cells of the immune system can also be stimulated by spending time under trees.

Wald Symbolbild

Forest bathing in Asia and Europe

The Forest as a place of longing where people find healing and relaxation? This is already being implemented in the Far East. There are nature reserves and parks in which visitors - even under guidance - can experience the meditative peace of the forests in Japan, but also in South Korea. Those interested can also train there to become “forest therapists”. In Europe, Shinrin-Yoku is not yet a recognized treatment, but most spa clinics are located in locations that, in addition to the actual treatment, allow intensive contact with nature - this can be by the sea, in the mountains or just be near a forest.


Where can you learn forest bathing?

For city dwellers who may not have set foot in a real natural forest in a while, the idea of ​​walking there alone can be somewhat intimidating. That's why there are "taster courses" that help you take your first steps under the canopy . During a stay of 2-3 hours, the participants learn how to deal with nature and themselves mindfully. In this way, all senses should be attuned to the forest. This allows you to perceive the scents of trees and ferns and touch tree bark or moss as well as listen and let typical forest sounds resonate. You can find out more in the NIKIN experience report about forest bathing with the Forest Office  .

Erde in Hand

How to meditate in the forest

However, you don't necessarily need instructions to immerse yourself in the forest. For now it is enough to find a quiet place, consciously stay in the forest and fully immerse yourself in the perception of your surroundings, freely allowing all the impressions to reach your senses. After a short time, everyday thoughts and stress fade into the background and the forest can develop its healing, calming effect. Just try it next time you're in the forest.

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