6.28.2015

forest bathing



By far the best activity for us in Utah has been the hiking.  Getting out of the condo 2 or 3 times a day for a hike has saved my sanity.  It isn't easy molding your life into another's and so the break in the days have been a Godsend.  It is the main activity of each day and has helped me in ways I never imagined.



We generally do a morning, afternoon and evening hike. We just head out the front door in any direction and see where it takes us.  We usually follow deer paths and find ourselves deep in the forest. The Japanese have done extensive studies on the benefits of hiking in the wilderness which they call Shinrin Yoku.  The basic premise is this...

Go to a Forest. Walk slowly. Breathe. Open all your senses.
This is the healing way of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy,
the medicine of simply being in the forest.


The proven benefits include...


  • Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body's Natural Killer (NK) cells.
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved mood
  • Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
  • Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
  • Increased energy level
  • Improved sleep
Just as impressive are the results that we are experiencing as we make this part of our regular practice:
  • Deeper and clearer intuition
  • Increased flow of energy
  • Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
  • Increased flow of eros/life force
  • Deepening of friendships
  • Overall increase in sense of happiness



Isn't that lovely?  So instead of a hike, go for a bath in the forest and absorb all the natural beauty and healing effects of nature.  For some inspiration take a look at this little video





42 comments:

  1. Your inner strength really comes through in finding positive ways to deal with difficult situations. I think many times we look at others & tend to believe that their lives look trouble free. But in my almost 70 years, I have found that each of us has our own burden to carry. I also think that when possible, it helps others when we are transparent about those burdens. I have seen you do this on your blog, & I know that takes a special kind of strength.

    In the end, I am so glad you are able to find beauty & peace no matter where you are. That is so you!

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek

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    1. thank you dear anita. you are right about everyone carrying their own burden. i personally lean on my faith during difficult times - i don't know what i'd do without it. x

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    2. I, too, rely on my faith to get me through not only difficult times, but each ordinary day. It's reassuring to know I don't have to shoulder it all on my own. ~Anita

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  2. Janet going on a hike 2 or 3 times a day, or a forest bath, well that sounds just wonderful. I love to be out in nature and I feel my best when I'm out walking or skiing among the trees. I see you and your darling hubs doing this and I love it, you are an inspiring couple, always on the same page, walking it together! Thinking of you and wishing you well and holding the image of you and L on your hikes together, such a peaceful picture. XO

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    1. thank you dani. larry and i are really leaning on each other right now. it isn't always smooth sailing as we disagree but we keep at it b/c what's the alternative? right?! x

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  3. No thanks. But glad you're enjoying it so much :) it looks gorgeous! So much more lush than where my brother is (Ephraim). I envy you people who find peace deep in nature. I seem to find mud. That's not to say I don't love a vista. I just require a veranda from which to view it.
    Hope you're hanging in there and settling into an easy routine. Easy being a relative term and all, considering the three hikes.

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    1. Hahaha I love your honesty, Stephen. One day into this and my husband and I would be turning to each other saying....I'm bored! Janet the views are beautiful. My problem is I'm afraid of the wildlife and then I also fear so escaped prisoner is hiding out in the woods 😕. I'm kind of a city person.

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    2. Funny, I was thinking the same thing as we've been blasted by all this recent news coverage of the escaped convicts in New York near the border of Canada and hearing about the dense woods with bugs and bogs where it was so 'thick' that you couldn't see two feet in front of you. I get a little edgy with remote places although I knew of someone who loved nothing more than to get out in the great outdoors by himself, trained Boy Scout that he'd been in his younger years and never having lost the love of wilderness. I do recall being on road trips, passing thru Colorado, and finding the air very pure and clean..

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    3. love all you guys! boredom is just not an option here. if i let myself start thinking that way i'd be done in a day. the hiking takes a big chunk of the day which is good. also i'm learning to just be which is much much harder than it sounds. plus i bet this forest is safer than any street in los angeles!

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  4. My dear friend, you are so right....it's hard doing what you're doing, but it is one of the most kindest, loving things you will do in your life. I remember three years ago when my life changed the day I began helping to care of my father when he got sick. It was so hard and so sad, but I wouldn't have traded those fifteen months for anything. I'm glad you've found something to help you get through the days, to find peace and comfort. You can also email me if you want to talk...it's been awhile. ♥

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    1. i think about you and the time you spent with your dad sarah. it is inspiring to me what you went through and how you came out stronger and richer for it. x

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  5. Nature can be so healing. I was having a rough patch in life recently and decided to head to a state park. Spending time with nature really helped to lift my spirit.

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    1. omgosh i cannot imagine doing this without nature out the door. it is keeping me sane so i understand. x

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  6. Hi Janet What beautiful land! I admire you and your husband to go out of your way to take care of a loved one; it can't be easy. When I'm in nature I feel carefree, happy and fulfilled. I believe it has a lot of healing powers. Nice blog.

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    1. thanks cherre. it really does restore us. it sounds like such a cliche but it isn't! it's real. x

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  7. Hi Janet What beautiful land! I admire you and your husband to go out of your way to take care of a loved one; it can't be easy. When I'm in nature I feel carefree, happy and fulfilled. I believe it has a lot of healing powers. Nice blog.

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  8. Love it! We live in the woods so I experience thus daily and it really does make a difference!

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    1. lucky you wendy. it really has made the difference here. x

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  9. You're being an absolute trooper, I would go spare in that environment, it's essential for me to surround by nature but I need civilisation too, I'm so glad you're finding a way to keep happy throughout this time.

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    1. thanks L. we are just doing our duty and finding that nature is helping. i could use a dose of civilization - i'm not gonna lie! x

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  10. How long will you be there? Your father in law sure is lucky to have you and your husband make this sacrifice. Has your grandchild been born yet? So looking forward to seeing their house redo finished and welcoming the baby.

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    1. that's the million dollar question dianne. we really don't know. taking it one day at a time. yes our grandaughter was born healthy. we spent a few days with them. she is gorgeous!

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  11. So interesting. Glad you are well. I know nothing about forests. I'm a beach/seacoast gal. I do remember the smell of pine...isn't it pine?!...from when my folks would take us kids to Yosemite National Park in summers. They have those cabins in the vicinity of the park service center (or did...haven't been there in decades...) but, you know, it's nothing like you're speaking of, away from people. Glad this can be a unique experience for you at this time, when you need an outlet. Take continued good care of yourself!

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    1. i'm a beach girl too having grown up there but these mountains really are spectacular and the isolation is both serene and can be unnerving too. it's an education for sure. one i'm rather enjoying. it's like i'm slowly falling in love with the place. x

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  12. Would love to live somewhere hiking out the door was possible. Beautiful photos.

    It is a real and very difficult service you are doing. There's no time limit? This is essentially your life now? I guess I'm just asking what others are - how long will you be there? More power to you.

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    1. the time limit is a big question. but yes this is my life right now. i'm sure the answers will come when we are ready. x

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  13. I feel terrible for asking but it seems I've missed something - where are you Janet and whom are you caring for? I didn't realize someone was ill.

    Laura

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    1. we are up here in utah taking care of my ageing father in law. :)

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    2. Janet,

      Yep, I missed this info somewhere - thank you for updating me - I wondered why your posts were few and far between - now it makes sense!

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  14. So beautiful, and thank you for taking me along on this walk getting close to nature....deep breath exhale ...
    Thank you for this bit of Information, I have been working on my stress levels and immune system.... A good nature walk is what I need right about now.

    See you soon.

    Xx
    Dore

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    1. thank you dore. i hear it is quite hot in your parts of the woods. stay cool my friend. x

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    2. Yes hot! And a bit of a summer Storm and overcast days that add to the uncertainty of what the next day will be like.
      Have a wonderful week, hope your home enjoying all it give so freely in its beauty and comfort.

      See you soon.
      Xx
      Dore

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  15. Making the best of a situation, that's the finest medicine anyone can ask for. xxx

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  16. Sweet mother nature. She keeps calling to us doesn't she? I find it interesting how she gets us there. Enjoy.

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  17. Hi Janet, earlier you mentioned doing a post about the meals you're preparing for your f-i-l while remaining true to your veganism. This would be very helpful for those of us who live with carnivores.

    I know Larry and his dad appreciate everything you do. You are a good and kind person. Best, Kathleen

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    1. Yes, i really do need to post our meals more often. they are pretty mundane but so far it hasn't been hard for me to make the adjustment. i thought handling meat would really bother me but i've gotten used to it and also FIL like the faux hamburger crumbles and so i've been using them. his tastes are v basic and old school so i've been making casseroles which he loves. tonight (as so far every tuesday night has been) will be tacos.

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  18. <3 I love this post. I wish I were closer to a forest to bathe. <3

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  19. Janet, I'm glad to hear that you find your hikes therapeutic. That is quite a list...I like the proven benefit of increased ability to focus and reduced stress. Ha ha I need to find a forest! I have major ADD lately, it just seems like I have too many things going at once. But then I get stressed out because I don't feel like I'm accomplishing much. :/

    Glad to hear you are hanging in there...I find it so incredible that you and Larry are doing this for your FIL.

    Congrats on the birth of your granddaughter, when do we get to see pics?

    Linda
    xo

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  20. so true - I started hiking about 4 years ago when I was going through a really rough time and it has helped me so much - nature is good for the soul

    take care
    Mireille

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  21. Glad to see you are back and congratulations on the birth of your new grand baby. I am so happy for you and your family. My husband is sitting with my mother right now so I can come home and take care of some things. It is such an adjustment. I always look at your blog when I come home for a few minutes. She lives at the edge of the forest and I live in the middle of a forest! It is beautiful. I dare to walk through the pit viper (copperheads, rattlers and moccasins) filled woods though. We used to spend alot of time in the woods as children, but now it seems the snakes have increased so much or back then we were so carefree we did not notice them.

    Sincerely,
    Debra from SENC

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kindness is never out of style.