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Inspirations / Art of living

Forest Baths: The Call of the Wild

We all feel this appeal of wide open spaces and vegetation. Nature that perks up is at the very heart of the practice of “forest bathing”, a Japanese term designating the practice of healing through immersion in nature.
bains de foret l'appel de la nature relax détente technique japonaise foret avec plantes au sol et arbres


If life in the city can take on many charms and many interests, each of us knows that noise, lack of natural light, lack of space, vegetation and pollution tend to damage us and that n the contrary, nature perks us up. If at the end of winter, the parks, the woods, the forests neighboring the big cities are very busy from the first rays of the sun, it is not by chance. We all feel this basic need of nature. We all feel the well-being that gives us the simple fact of opening a window overlooking a tree-lined street and taking a deep breath.

All of this may seem obvious, but it may be good to remember how fundamental nature is for our balance. Many scientific studies conducted in the United States and Japan have demonstrated the therapeutic benefits of being close to nature in general and trees in particular...

What is a forest bath?

The notion of "forest bathing" (Shinrin-Yoku) is a term that originated from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture in the 1980s to describe the practice of healing through immersion in nature. Based on research by Professor Miyazaki Yoshifumi. To read, his very interesting interview on the subject in and "Shinrin Yoku: forest baths, the Japanese secret to calm your mind and be in better health" book published by Éditions Trédaniel. The "forest baths" would help fight against stress, certain forms of depression, certain joint and muscular chronic problems and would strengthen our immune system. You will always find critics of this approach. There will always be people who believe that the scientific evidence of the benefits of the forest on our body is questionable. It is therefore not a question of entering into a debate of experts but rather of inviting everyone to make their own experience by trying to apply four small key tips from those who have been practicing this activity for years.

Four tips for practicing

Leave all your devices at home

To promote total immersion, cut out anything that can distract you or solicit you, such as the notification of an email, a message or your heart rate watch. The idea is to keep your mind in the moment. Be in the forest physically, mentally, COMPLETELY.

Don't follow a set path

Soaking up the immediate surroundings is part of the experience of making yourself totally available to the smells, lights, sounds, birdsong and the multitude of colors around you. Let all this information stimulate your brain and your senses. To do this, do not be distracted or focused on following a particular path or absolutely going through this or that place. You are not a tourist. Your immersion should have no PURPOSE.

Soak up the atmosphere

Pay attention to everything around you: the strength of the wind, its direction, its different levels of intensity in the leaves. The variations of light, the different shades of green from one tree to another. The different flowers that litter the ground, the number of birdsongs you can have fun counting. As you get closer to a tree, observe and touch the rings of its trunk or follow the route of the ants. You will quickly find what catches your attention and invites you to concentrate and will quickly find that calm settles in you and that your breathing rhythms slow down. What was so important to you an hour ago may seem futile and stop cluttering your MIND.

keep quiet

If you are not alone during your immersive walk, make those around you aware of the fact of observing silence so that everyone can experience their moment of contemplation and gentle introspection. Now is not the time to argue, you can do it on the way back. Silence is the origin of all LIFE.
The call of the wild is here. Always and since the dawn of time. Can you hear it and follow it?

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