Author Topic: Forest bathing  (Read 3604 times)

BlueTrain

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Forest bathing
« on: July 23, 2019, 01:37:44 PM »
There was a joke in one of the comics this morning about forest bathing. The strip features two goofy little girls, one of whom lives in a little trailer with either her mother, aunt or grandmother. One of the girls is always thinking of crazy things to do, like dumpster diving for treasures. Today she said "Shinrin Yoku" is forest bathing. The other girl said "Yoo hoo! You mean like skinny-dipping?! I'm in! Woo hoo!

That was all worth looking up on Wikipedia, source of all knowledge. Turns out that it's an ancient Japanese practice, going back about 40 years. Okay, so not so ancient. But it sure seems like something very relevant from our point of view. Maybe that's why we all like to get naked out in the woods and to clear our minds. Even though you might not be in the sunlight very much, the air nearly always smells better. It should, too, because plants give off oxygen, I think. That may be one reason people like having plants in their houses.

But it seems like the benefits are more mental than physical, although reduced stress, lower blood pressure and so on are certainly physical benefits. Overall, forest bathing and similar therapies are apparently called nature therapy. It sure sounds like they have rediscovered the recreational benefits of naturism as envisioned in the 1890s, even though nothing I read mentioned nudity--except the comic strip in today's paper. It's real re-creation.

There's also Die Jodeltherapie, if you're into Swiss yodeling. 

nudewalker

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2019, 05:08:37 PM »
"You should sit in nature for 20 minutes a day...unless you're busy. Then you should sit for an hour.-Zen saying.

As usual I can vaguely remember that a study found that a walk in the woods or forest helps clear the mind and of course improves productivity. When I was younger those nude walks in the woods were in my mind airing out the body. I'm sure we all feel better after that walk in the woods or in my case at times just being able to sit and meditate. As with most things in life; nudity is a plus!   
"Always do what you are afraid to do"-Emerson

BlueTrain

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2019, 06:46:23 PM »
It is interesting to note that the first naturists were leaving the city for a vacation, as it were, for different reasons that we do so now, assuming we live in the city or the suburbs. Originally, it was because cities were considered dirty, polluted and unhealthy. Those things are no longer true, for the most part. At least I didn't think any of the cities I've been in were like that. Today, we want to go to the woods to escape the tensions, stresses and the rat race of urban life, although one should not assume that rural living is without its own stresses. Woe to you who do not live near the woods.

Of course the woods aren't everything. I've been in the desert and it has a certain charm and beauty of its own and it's pointless to compare the desert with a forest. And there are tropical beaches, too. Personally, though, I like small town living. I grew up in a small town and later went to school in a small town (didn't think it was small then!). In those cases, I could be deep in the woods in not much more than a fifteen minute drive. Where I live, fifteen minutes won't even take you out of town and depending on which way one is going, it can take an hour just to get to the other side of town. But at least there are plenty of woodland parks where I can pretend that I'm deep in the woods, which may be why I don't go farther very often.

jbeegoode

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2019, 08:20:32 PM »
Yes, there was a Japanese study about being in the woods, based on this.

Shinrin Yoku is "support well-being through sensory immersion in forests and other naturally healing environments."

More naked, more sensory immersion, I'd say.
Jbee
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BlueTrain

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2019, 09:49:42 PM »
Oh, some people can't stand the woods. There are all those insects, poison ivy, dangerous animals (most people) and in some places, it doesn't really smell that fresh. It's a mental thing.

I was reading in the paper that there has been a worldwide decrease in insects. But that hasn't seemed to have happened in my back yard.

MartinM

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2019, 08:47:22 AM »
Most people donít do Shinrin yoku naked, although they are missing a trick. Sone say you should take your shoes off and do it barefoot. For me, there is no contest. If you wear shoes or clothes you are taking away from the benefits although sometimes you just cannot do it naked.

Trees take pollution out of the air and exude a variety of natural chemicals which appear to have soothing and health giving effects. Much research has been done recently on the benefits and 20 minutes in the woods, or even elsewhere in nature, has significant mental benefits, which feeds into physical benefits. All things that most of us probably already appreciate. Shinrin yoku is not just walking in the woods, but immersing ourselves - a deeper experience requiring mindfulness, connecting with the forest and its sounds, smells and, at least if you are barefoot, feel underneath tour feet. To feel the breeze  and occasional shafts of sunlight on your skin should be part of the experience.

I like to go a little further, and climb and meditate in a suitable tree now and then. Swaying gently in the breeze, listening to the birds in the forest canopy takes it to another level.....
Tread lightly upon the earth!

BlueTrain

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2019, 02:27:00 PM »
Barefoot? Well, if you say so.

Although I mentioned that I have plenty of places to wander in the woods where I live, mostly within walking distance (I guess everywhere is within walking distance), I suspect that those woods are not 'deep' enough for real forest bathing. I think I've mentioned that people don't like the deep, dark woods but it's a mental block. I prefer to think of the woods as cool and shady places, although in the winter they're not shady but still cool. They aren't so dark when your eyes adjust to the light. But I don't know what deep implies.

I don't know that forests remove pollution and if you went to some of the places I go, you will find that some places 'deep' in the woods are anything but pure and sweet smelling. But I can guarantee they are 100% natural. As for wildlife, I see just as much from my deck as I do deep in the woods, although there are no bears. Bears have been seen here in the county, though, just outside Washington, D.C., so I figure it's just a matter of time.

nuduke

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2019, 10:39:01 PM »

I think I invented this myself!  All the stuff about immersion in the woods I have been doing for years.  Woodland and beside fresh water are my favourite places to be and if both together so much the better.
John

jbeegoode

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2019, 10:48:25 PM »
I don't think that it is a new invention. I think that it is innate hardwired natural.
Jbee
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BlueTrain

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2019, 11:04:48 PM »
I think that the appeal of the woods is more for the folks that live in town than for those who already live out in the country. I've lived way out in the country and everyone who lived there had a lot of space around their house. You might say they were keeping the woods at bay. Yet most of the land was tree-covered, though the trees were probably third or fourth-growth. The original forest was starting to be cut down when the area was settled, sometime probably in the 1830s, give or take a few years. The house where I lived was built of squared logs and were upwards of a foot wide (not thick, though), so I'm pretty sure they were the first growth timber. I never met anyone there who was the least bit romantic about the woods, even though they mostly would never think of living anywhere else. And even though the same families had lived in that area for generations, from before the Civil War, for some places in the world, that isn't that long.

jbeegoode

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2019, 11:14:38 PM »
I live in a desert. It is a home. I get huge spiritual benefits.
Jbee
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eyesup

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2019, 01:17:25 AM »
There is more going on besides the improved air. Sunlight, exercise etc. You are right that plants put out other things besides oxygen.

Staying inside gives you the benefit of breathing the same old air you breathed just earlier and to relax in the glow of artificial light. All while experiencing the same stimuli you did the day before and the week before.


This is the closest I get to a forest around here that’s not on a mountain.  ;D
Walking along the highway in another forest.  ;)

Duane


jbeegoode

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2019, 01:30:13 AM »
What are those strange trees called? They look like a Joshua, cholla, yucca something.

Okay, where are the mountain weekend getaways? The sky islands covered with trees like a camel's hump?
Jbee
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eyesup

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2019, 10:27:01 PM »
The photo on the left is near Cima Dome. It's one of the largest 'forests' of Joshua Trees in America.
The other is just a stretch of desert south of Belmont, NV. The forest there is only about 8" tall and looks remarkably like grass.  :-\

Probably sky islands south of the 40. There are fewer the closer you get to Mojave Desert in this area.

Duane

BlueTrain

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Re: Forest bathing
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2019, 01:29:10 PM »
In the old comic strip "Pogo," as published on Earth Day 1971, one of the characters says, "Ah, Pogo, the beauty of the forest primeval gets me in the heart." Pogo replied, "It gets me in the feet, Porkypine." "It is hard walking on this stuff." "Yep, son. We have met the enemy and he is us."

Another line from the strip (not the same day) was, "Don't take life so serious. It ain't nohow permanent."

Pogo was a 'possum and the dialogue in the strip was decidedly rural Southern of a sort not hardly heard much of late, which is a crying shame. The strip apparently infuriated a lot of politicians in the 50s and 60s, which was not that difficult to do, although to get it printed in the newspapers was something else.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 12:23:02 AM by BlueTrain »