At Victor’s Way, Roundwood, Co Wicklow, Ireland
Forest Bathing simply means: immersing oneself in the holistic ambience (more) of a forest by absorbing wholly in and becoming wholly absorbed by the trees, plants and animals.
Can you remember taking a walk in the woods, seeing the tall, sturdy trees against a blue sky, hearing the sounds of birds singing, feeling the leaves and moss beneath your feet, smelling the sweet freshness of the air and the perfumes of the trees … so enjoyable, enlightening and peaceful.
Forest Bathing is all about regenerating one’s mind, body and spirit by taking a healing timeout in the awesome wonder that is nature. more
An old age guinea pig
testing the claims of Forest Bathing
1. The health benefits of Forest Bathing
2. Understanding ‘bathing’
3. The benign Forest Bathing coma
4. The brain & body self repair process
5. Forest Recliner mechanics
6. Forest Recliner meditation
1. The main benefits of Forest Bathing:-
1. Clean, fresh, sweet air works as a health tonic.
2. Physical and mental exercise revitalise and improve body and brain functions.
3. Experiencing the novelty, indeed the wonder of the natural world actually creates new brain cell connections that prevent degenerative diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson.
4. Beneficial chemicals (i.e. essential oil ingredients) put out by the trees support recuperation. more
5. The healing energy of the trees restores inner harmony and well-being. more
6. Flooding with a selected positive stressor, in this case the wholly absorbing forest (to wit: ‘green’) ambience, suppresses chronic negative (= ‘red’) stress (viz. hypertension) and returns the body, brain and emotions to the state of maximum relaxation. Achieving maximum relaxation (as with mindfulness meditation) not only returns the immune system to maximum operational, meaning self-healing capacity but also relieves the harmful (i.e. mildly traumatic and mostly self-inflicted) side-effects of hypertension, namely depression, obesity, diabetes, asthma (and other respiratory infections) and so on. more
7. Hugging a tree. 1. Confiding, meaning: sharing, one’s very personal unresolved and therefore distressing conflicts (i.e. troubles) – as Jews do at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem or infants do with a teddy bear or doll – is one well-proven means of letting go (of harmful stress) and which restores one to perfect functioning more . 2. Another way to benefit from direct interaction with a tree is to apply a powerful positive emotion, such as joy, caring or love, to it. To be able to do that one first has to flood oneself with that emotion, such self-flooding resulting in the positive outcomes of flooding (see above).
8. The Pygmalion effect (as Forest Bathing double whammy). What I wholeheartedly believe to be true (hence a fact for me more, ) alters my mental operation and which in turn alters my physical operation, the latter making my belief an everyday reality. If I believe (i.e. if I’m fully convinced) that forest bathing is good for me then it is good for me. more
2. Understanding ‘bathing’
By bathing is meant flooding (i.e. immersing/saturating) the brain with a selected datum (i.e. a benign stressor), such as a perception or an idea. In the case of Forest Bathing I flood my brain with the ‘green’ ambience of the forest. In other words, just as I would remove dirty water (in this case city (or home or workplace) distress) from a jar by filling it with clean water, so I eliminate negative (to wit: ‘red’) stress/tension in the brain and body by flooding them with ‘clean’ data, in this case stress positive ‘green’ ambience. more
3. The benign green coma
By flooding my brain (that is say, my Biological Navigation System (or BIO-NAV) that instructs the body what to do more..) with stress neutral information, both my head and my body go into a stress neutral state, to wit, into the fully relaxed and peaceful mental and physical ‘on standby’ (i.e. meaning coma …more) state. Flooding my brain with a benign forest data temporarily eliminates (i.e. ‘patches over’) consciousness of all other (specifically self-harming) data leaving me in a peaceful therefore positive altered state of consciousness. By flooding my brain with a single benign datum (i.e. an idea) I as it were take a brief nap (i.e. a ‘time-out’, as tennis and basket ball players do) from negative stress (more) that lets me relax, rest and recover.
4. The brain & body self-repair (as self-healing) process
Once I’ve accessed my peaceful and therefore benign Forest Bathing coma state my self-repair genes can apply themselves fully to restoring my brain & body to full operational capacity. In short, intense exclusive processing of forest data is a smart, very cheap and most enjoyable way to get de-stressed and fully relaxed and thereafter more energised. Then I feel a lot better and happier and probably rearing to get back into the everyday fray, which is, after all, what life is all about.
5. Forest recliner® mechanics.
The Roundwood Forest Recliner (nice try!) much improves the intensity of the brain & body flooding process. Since one’s back lies flat and non-moving on the base of the recliner, upper chest breathing (activated during anxiety, meaning fight/flee operations) is prevented. Because the calves and feet rest higher up the body is placed as it were into a foetal position. That relaxes the stomach muscles resulting in abdominal breathing, which in turn induces physical and mental relaxation. The Roundwood Forest Recliner actually doubles as a meditation bench, meditation facilitating increased concentration, enhanced focusing (i.e. mindfulness) and all pervading inner peace.
6. Forest Recliner® meditation
The Forest Recliner is not designed for total comfort, though it’s far more comfortable than sitting upright, as in traditional meditation. Its base and head rest are hard. That results in continuous body mindfulness and which increases mindfulness of one’s breathing, the latter gradually slowing down (as does the heartbeat) and so deepening relaxation and inner peace. 20 minutes on this benign rack produces enough NK (i.e. Natural Killer (of tumours et al)) cells to last a month and more than enough equanimity and compassion to endure who or whatever is pushing your stress button.