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Forest Therapy: 4 Ways in Which Forest Therapy Can Enhance Health and Well-Being

A wonderful quote from an influential naturalist, John Muir, goes, “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” This depicts that forests can improve our emotional, mental, and spiritual health. But, can forest therapy enhance health and well-being in real? If you want to know about it, read further and explore by yourself.

Forest Therapy: 4 Ways in Which Forest Therapy Can Enhance Health and Well-Being

What Is Forest Therapy?

Forest therapy is a nature-based intervention that aims at promoting mental health and improving physical health by enhancing nature connectedness and interpersonal relationships. Forest therapy is rooted in the practice of Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing”. So, forest therapy is also known as Forest bathing and is a natural therapy practice that originated in Japan. In this therapy, people get immersed in the forest or green/natural atmosphere, especially go through a slow and mindful walk in the woods or green space and use their five senses to reconnect with nature. Forest therapy can work as an adjunct to the standard treatment and rehabilitation for certain types of diseases.

Can Forest Therapy Enhance Health And Well-Being?

This is a big question. But, the answer to this is quite simple. Yes, forest therapy can enhance health and well-being in many ways. There are a lot of health benefits associated with this therapy, some of which are, improved cardiovascular and respiratory health, boosted immune function, reduction of stress and depression. However, these health effects might differ from person to person.

It has been found from a recent study in the UK (considering nearly 20, 000 people), that spending at least 130 minutes or 2 hours a week in nature could improve self-reported health and well-being.(1)

4 Ways in Which Forest Therapy Can Enhance Health and Well-Being

Below, let us take a look at some of the ways by which forest therapy can enhance health and well-being.

  1. Forest Therapy Boosts Immune Function:

    One of the best ways in which forest therapy enhances health and well-being is that it boosts immune function. This therapy generates a state of physical relaxation when the participants are exposed to a natural environment. This activates compromised immune function and also improves the functioning of the immune system in maintaining and promoting health.(2)

    It is also thought that trees in the forest give off phytoncides, which are volatile essential oils, that have antimicrobial properties and might influence immunity.

  2. It Reduces Stress And Depression:

    If you are stressed, anxious, or dealing with depression, forest therapy can do wonders for you. The natural sights and sounds of the forest help you to relax and boost your brain. Forest therapy is also beneficial for our bodies or physical health. However, its mental health benefits are quite interesting.

    A study has shown that forest therapy reduces the level of cortisol or a stress hormone.(3) This in turn helps in reducing stress.

    There is also research that suggests that getting exposed to natural tree oils helps in reducing depression, anxiety, and blood pressure.(4)

  3. It Reduces Blood Pressure And Regulates Blood Sugar Levels:

    When we say forest therapy can enhance health and well-being, it could also include the excellent benefit of the therapy towards reducing blood pressure. A study has found that forest therapy impacts on blood pressure quite positively, and also helps in regulating the levels of blood sugar.(5)

  4. Forest Therapy Is Associated With An Improved Healing:

    Forest therapy can help in the healing process. According to a study that compared people who recovered from gallbladder surgery in a room with a window onto an outdoor natural view with those who recovered from the same surgery in a hospital room without a natural view; it was found that the group of people that could see nature, recovered more quickly and required less dose of pain medications than the other group of people.(6)

Final Words:

When we are known to the exclusive fact that forest therapy can enhance health and well-being, why not trytaking this therapy and improve our overall health? Just spend 2-3 hours with nature or woods every week and experience the magic of enhanced health and well-being.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 21, 2022

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