Japanese forest bathing

urbantravels

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I just read about this in Landscape Architecture magazine, a weekly missive I still get from my former career.

Shinrinyoku or "forest bathing" refers to taking a short walk in the woods. It has become very popular in Japan: Forty-two forest therapy bases have been established, and the Japanese government promotes forest bathing for tourists.

Asian researchers have been studying forest bathing's effects on human health since the 1990s, leading to the establishment of two new areas of research: forest medicine and forest therapy. In 2005, Chinese researcher Qing Li discovered that the inhalation of tree-derived wood essential oils known as phytonicides, such as alpha-pinene and limonene, resulted in an increase in the number and rate of production of natural killer (NK) cells...Li reported that the elevated NK cell count was sustained after a period of time after forest bathing trips.

...Anyone can do it - no strenuous activity is required. In fact, the Japanese advocate a slow pace and a short distance. Plant yourself next to a tree trunk to read or nap for a bit.
I'm not sure if this link will work, but I quoted the relevant bits above.

http://www.zinio.com/pages/LandscapeArchitecture/Jan-11/416152063/pg-24
 

Chris

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Thanks, Urbantravels--a lovely and simple idea--maybe connected with that "Earthing" thread; the link took me to the magazine, but I could not find a quick way to that particular section, so gave up. But the simplest and most agreeable way of raising NK cell count I have come across, though curcumin and high alpha whey are up there too. I gather, however, that our real problem is not so much the NK count as NK function or cytotoxicity, and I wonder if those tree oils work on that too? In any case, a slow relaxed walk in the forest can't but be good for our total selves. Best, Chris
 
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I know this is an old thread . Over the summer we sold our home. I had strongly suspected it contained some kind of toxic mold. We left out possess behind. We bought a “new “ house. Built in 1946 solid wood well built and drafty which is what I wanted. We are adjacent to A large State forest.

My cfs functioning went from a five to about an 8 over this summer. I was camping and felt well as long I was not exposed to my old possessionsIn the fall my functioning went down again . I did much better sleeping on an outside porch. Over the last week or so it has been really cold and I slept inside. I think I need to live outside.

Since Christmas I have really been struggling. Yesterday I could hardly do anything meant to sleep outside but really badly brain fogged. Tried to move around but had malaise and cognitively impaired . When I get like this I can’t use the phone and sometimes have trouble speaking. Not as bad as in my old home but still.

Today I forced myself to bundle up and drove to the forest. After about 20 minutes of hiking ( I don’t have bad oi problem s or paralysis) I felt great. I could barely move at home, I ran into a woman walking her dog . I was very excited about feeling so well and she told me about forest bathing.

This to me was like a miracle. My new job is going to be going to the forest everyday no matter what the weather..
I have been detoxing and have been in a remission mode before while in Death Valley and this summer. It was 20 degrees. To forest bathe you don’t have to hike . You can just sit there. The Japanese have done studies and is showed it increased natural killer cells helped mood and lowered blood pressure and calmed the flight or fight response. I did not meditate or do anything but hike because I am fortunately able to do this now.. . I am not a strong believer in the whole brain retraining philosophy,

Just putting this out there.. I am a convert. Will be forest bathing regularly.
 
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This just speaks to me.; It makes total sense that it would help cfs. We live about a 10 minute drive away.from Wharton State Forest. I agree about not trying to it it artificially. Part of it could be lowering toxic load. Also nature is too complex we need to preserve as an essential resource..

I am dragging my husband ( who has anxiety/ depression that has not responded to drugs) this weekend.

Thank you for this video.
 
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i-lava-u

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happy to share :)
nature is very healing for me also.
Best wishes for you and your husband, that you may both benefit from your adventure this weekend!
 
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Last year, one of the hikers in my group said that her eye problems (from laser eye surgery, many years ago) rendered her unable to work, or drive, at times. The only cures were some eye drops (not very effective) and walking in a forest. Apparently, there are some molecules given off that helped her health.

However, be aware of chiggers, oak mites falling, and ticks -- Lyme disease, Bartonella, Rickettsia, etc.

If I hadn't gone hiking, I would be in this forum.
 
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South Jersey is the capital of Lyme disease. I had some Lyme bacteria in my system according to an alternative practitioner I saw last year which I was treated for. I had multiple negative blood testing including a culture. I think if I was still living in an environment with a lot of toxic mold this would be an issue. I am of the belief that in cfs any kind of virus / bacteria is not held in check by the immune system. I have camped out and I think probably everyone in Medford has been exposed to Lyme. I consider it like Epstein Barr. I guess it is a benefit versus risk scenario. Again more research is desperately needed.


I camped out in Wharton State Forest over the summer. My own personal experience is that I am reactive to mold. I am stuck in South Jersey for now ( my kids and husband) and feel that this is as close to clear as I can get.
I know there are risks in spending time in the forest but fir me now the benefits outweigh them. For now I am pretty bundled up , I wear long pants , hat long sleeves.
 
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Just putting this out there.. I am a convert. Will be forest bathing regularly.
You and me both. I notice my breathing rate changing first, 30 to 40 minutes in I am feeling intoxicated.

The forest here have a large amount of Sugi, an aromatic cedar. Now I'm wondering if tree species has anything to do with the effects.

Here's a site with more information,
Shinrin-yoku: The Medicine of Being in the Forest
 

valentinelynx

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Hmm. Perhaps this is why I relapsed after leaving our place in the woods up above Salt Lake City. We were there 3 years (came from SF Bay Area to do a fellowship at Univ. of Utah). I'd had a ~80% remission for about 10 years when we moved there. We were living at 7,000 ft. on the edge of the national forest. I would go for 3 miles walks/hikes, up major hills. Then we moved to Tucson, AZ. Hardly a tree in sight. Within 3 months I was thoroughly relapsed.
 

Hufsamor

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Posted today:)
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325060.php


Can 'forest bathing' reduce stress levels?

The act goes beyond walking through nature, according to experts who explain that shinrin yoku "can be defined as making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest."

The authors explain that for their analysis, forest bathing "was defined as staying in a forest, either walking or simply resting and watching it, and taking in its air for a specified amount of time."

The authors also noticed an "anticipatory effect" of shinrin yoku — individuals experienced a drop in cortisol just before beginning their forest session. For instance, in one study, participants' cortisol levels dropped once the researchers had informed them that they were going to take part in forest bathing. The authors explain:
"Forest bathing is considered an anti-stress practice, and planning to visit a forest seems to positively influence cortisol levels, even before physically interacting with it; therefore, watching a forest, and possibly even the sole mental visualization of a forest, may have a role in triggering anticipated placeboeffects."

So- it seems possible to enjoy some of the positive effect from forest bathing, even if you're bed bound :)
 
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So- it seems possible to enjoy some of the positive effect from forest bathing, even if you're bed bound :)
But you would miss exposure to the essential oils of the trees.

Effect of Forest Bathing Trips on Human Immune Function
Effect of phytoncides (essential oils) from trees on human immune function
To investigate the effect of a forest bathing trip on human immune function, the effects of phytoncides on human natural killer (NK) activity and intracellular levels of perforin, granzyme A (GrA), and granulysin (GRN) in NK cells were studied in vitro. NK cells have been reported to kill tumors or virus-infected cells through the release of perforin, granzymes, and GRN via the granule exocytosis pathway [812]. Li et al. [1] incubated NK-92MI cells, an interleukin-2-independent human NK cell line, in the presence of phytoncides, such as α-pinene, 1,8-cineole, d-limonene, and essential oils extracted from trees including Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria, Sugi in Japanese) and Chamaecyparis obtuse (Hinoki in Japanese), for 48–144 h and then measured NK activity and the intracellular levels of perforin, GrA, and GRN [1]. They found that phytoncides significantly increased the cytolytic activity of NK-92MI cells in a dose-dependent manner and significantly increased the intracellular levels of perforin, GrA, and GRN in NK-92MI cells. Phytoncides also partially, but significantly, restored the decreased human NK activity and the decreased perforin, GrA, and GRN levels in NK-92MI cells induced by dichlovos, an organophosphorus pesticide. Pretreatment with phytoncides partially prevented dichlovos-induced inhibition of NK activity. Taken together, these data indicate that phytoncides significantly enhance human NK activity and that this effect is at least partially mediated by the induction of intracellular perforin, GrA, and GRN [1]. Komori et al. [13] reported that the citrus fragrance found in forests affected human endocrine and immune systems, based on the measurement of urinary cortisol and dopamine levels, NK activity, and CD4/8 ratios. da Silva et al. [14] found that volatile oil from Zanthoxylum rhoifolium Lam leaves and certain terpenes (α-humulene, β-caryophyllene, α-pinene, and β-pinene) exhibited anti-tumor efficacy and significant immunomodulatory action in vivo and in vitro in mice. Moreover, Grassmann et al. [15] found that the essential oil from Pinus mugo showed antioxidative properties. All of these findings strongly suggest that forest environments (forest bathing trip) have beneficial effects on human immune function. However, to date, there have been no published reports on the effect of forest bathing on human immune function, with the exception of the studies conducted by this author.
 
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But you would miss exposure to the essential oils of the trees.

Effect of Forest Bathing Trips on Human Immune Function
Posted today:)
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325060.php


Can 'forest bathing' reduce stress levels?

The act goes beyond walking through nature, according to experts who explain that shinrin yoku "can be defined as making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest."

The authors explain that for their analysis, forest bathing "was defined as staying in a forest, either walking or simply resting and watching it, and taking in its air for a specified amount of time."

The authors also noticed an "anticipatory effect" of shinrin yoku — individuals experienced a drop in cortisol just before beginning their forest session. For instance, in one study, participants' cortisol levels dropped once the researchers had informed them that they were going to take part in forest bathing. The authors explain:
"Forest bathing is considered an anti-stress practice, and planning to visit a forest seems to positively influence cortisol levels, even before physically interacting with it; therefore, watching a forest, and possibly even the sole mental visualization of a forest, may have a role in triggering anticipated placeboeffects."

So- it seems possible to enjoy some of the positive effect from forest bathing, even if you're bed bound :)
I think if you can meditate and “pretend” you are in a forest or a beach this may help. I am practicing neural retraining .
If I can’t get to the forest I put on a u tube video of nature close my eyes and pretend I am there. I am doing this to get my “ hyperarousal to “ mold” down while increasing my activity.
I do believe everything about cortisol and nk levels and the essential oils in the forest.
I was/am a pharmacist so the whole neural training was Not at all in my wheelhouse. The more I study cfs/me the more I realize how little is known about disease even the ones we “ know” about.


I am also trying to “ rewire” my brain to decrease the “ mold” sensitivity but for me it is a long crawl but have seen results.
.