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Eco Therapy: The Joys of Forest Bathing

Forest Bath and Body Works

Forest bathing is a term and practice that emerged in Japan in the 1980s as a physiological and psychological exercise called shinrin-yoku ("taking in the forest atmosphere"). The purpose was twofold: to offer an eco-antidote to tech-boom burnout and to inspire residents to reconnect with and protect the country's forests.

The Japanese quickly embraced this form of eco-therapy. In the 1990s, researchers began studying the physiological benefits of forest bathing, providing the science to support what we innately know: time spent immersed in nature is good for us. In fact, many cultures have long recognized the importance of the natural world to human health.

Not near any forests, or not particularly outdoorsy? No problem. The practice can be as simple as walking in any natural environment and consciously connecting with what's around you.

To find a trail near you, click here.