Forest bathing opens up the sense of smell for natural perfume scent

When feeling weary and worn out, many people yearn to escape from the familiar surroundings and seek tranquility and relaxation, inhaling the natural scents of the forest or exploring different provinces. They long to hear the melody of birdsong, immerse themselves in the fragrance of nature emanating from the trees, feel the warmth of the sun shining through the leaves, and experience the incredibly clean and fresh air.

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All of the aforementioned aligns with the concept of utilizing nature and aromas for physical and emotional well-being, a practice that has become widely popular worldwide. One such approach is the Japanese concept of ‘Shinrin-yoku’ or Forest Bathing. Forest Bathing involves immersing oneself in nature, and the idea of natural healing has its roots in Japan. Scientifically known as Shinrin-yoku, this practice has been proven through research to effectively treat both physical and mental fatigue caused by stress. It’s no wonder that the natural scents of vast forests are considered an integral part of stress relief, contributing to the efficacy of ‘Shinrin-yoku.’

Embark on a journey into the forest to seek the scents of nature.

The term “Shinrin-yoku,” if translated literally from Japanese, means “forest bathing.” However, its true meaning is the act of immersing oneself in the atmosphere of the forest to heal both the body and mind through perception, feelings, and inhaling the natural scents of the forest.

While the scents may include the fragrance of sunlight and unaltered aromas, they contribute to clearing our minds and creating a sense of happiness, as if we are solely using the power of scent for healing. Shinrin-yoku is considered a holistic approach to respiratory well-being, promoting relaxation and stress reduction, making us realize the profound connection between nature and humanity.

As humans began seeking scientific explanations for the benefits of immersing themselves in the forest, serious research in this field began in Japan in 1982 under the project named “Therapeutic Effects of Forests.” After thorough studies, it was discovered that nature, indeed, serves as a vital link to heal both our bodies and minds.

• Reduce Stress and Increase Relaxation: Research has shown that walking in the forest reduces the hormone associated with stress, cortisol, by 12.4% compared to walking in the city. Additionally, individuals who viewed forest landscapes for 20 minutes experienced a decrease in anxiety by up to 13.4%.

• Boost Immune System Function: Research indicates that spending two hours walking in the forest over two days increases the natural immune system’s cell levels by 50%. Forest Bathing has also been linked to anti-cancer effects, with the body producing cancer-fighting proteins after forest walks.

• Healing Scents from Nature: Walking in the forest exposes individuals to the diverse scents of trees and releases phytoncides, natural essential oils that enhance the immune system. These scents, such as those from Japanese cypress or hinoki trees, help balance the body, alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, and reduce high blood pressure.

• Reduce Heart Disease Risk: Forest Bathing effectively lowers blood pressure, reduces stress levels, and decreases heart rate. It also increases adiponectin levels in the body, a protein with anti-inflammatory properties in blood vessel cells, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

• Prevent Obesity and Diabetes: Forest Bathing helps lower blood sugar levels even in individuals with diabetes. Studies have shown improvements in glucose levels in individuals with diabetes after engaging in Forest Bathing.

How to Practice Forest Bathing While Inhaling the Scents of the Forest

It can be observed that just spending 15-20 minutes practicing Forest Bathing and engaging the senses, inhaling the scents of the trees and breathing fresh air, can effectively lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and enhance mindfulness. We can try Forest Bathing whenever there is an opportunity, starting with simple steps:

1. Before starting, it’s advisable to mute your phone or eliminate other disturbances during Forest Bathing. This will help you fully immerse yourself in a relaxing experience within the forest and genuinely connect with the natural scents.

2. Release mental burdens by taking a walk, allowing your feet to lead you to experience nature. Inhale the fragrances of flowers and trees in the vast forest, letting the scents soothe both your body and mind.

3. Pause for a moment to closely observe the leaves and branches of the trees. If you catch the fragrant scent of the leaves and grass, take a deep breath, inhaling the natural aromas. Also, pay attention to the sensations under your feet at every step along the way.

4. Sit and listen to the sounds around you. Take note of the birds and other animals. Release your breath and enjoy the moment.

5. If you go with friends, don’t forget to share your stories and experiences with each other.

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