forest bathing
Craig Raleigh

'Forest Bathing' May Be Just the Therapeutic Experience You Need

Forest bathing may have been around for a long time, but it's now catching on as a method of outdoor therapy.

Known as shinrin-yoku, or "forest bathing," began in Japan as a way to get people in an overpopulated urban setting to explore the land around them. This idea focuses on prolonged exposure to the outdoors as a therapeutic way of reaping a health benefit from walking in the woods.

Phytoncides, which exist in essential tree oils and escapes into the forest air, is said to increase energy levels in human beings by some 30 percent. It offers us a lively and resounding feeling of euphoria that comes from being in the woods.

forest bathing

Reducing things like stress, anger, depression, and anxiety are all of matter of course when one begins to trek through hills and valleys. So why not try?

Now, Dr. Qing Li, possibly the world's foremost expert in forest medicine, introduced this healing practice in his new book "Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health And Happiness."

forest bathing

It's true we've all had a rejuvenating experience walking in the woods, and hunters know this better than most. Just don't let it be said that we didn't try to share the information with everyone!

In my upcoming book, "The Hunter's Way," I came across this tried-and-true method of re-establishing a connection to the forest according to our deepest needs.

Here's an excerpt:

"Lost eventually became known as being found. As he grew into modern man, the hunter became more thoughtful and vigilant about his surroundings. He began to reflect on the outdoors more than any other aspect of his life. It was here that he started to see the world for what it was and what he needed to be thankful for. This, he called, reflection."

forest bathing

Forest bathing and outdoor peace of mind are beneficial for anyone and everyone who cares to replenish their inner energy stores.

It doesn't have to be in the woods, though. You can get the same benefits from walking through the nearest park, or just a walk through your yard to look. Wait for the stars to come out or the sun to rise. And, when it comes to pass, stop and reflect on the world in a new way.

And, if you come to decide hunting is for you, I promise you won't regret it!

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