We were spoilt this weekend to a weekend in New Forest, England, at a lovely dog friendly hotel. Banjo got to go for walks in the forest, sit with us in the hotel conservatory at lunch and his all-time favourite, he got to sleep on the comfy hotel bed. Watching Banjo walk in the forest was great to see, dogs love forests and woodland, he was walking tall and proud, looking out for prey, licking his lips and barking at the squirrels and marking a some key spots to let other dogs know he was there. But it wasn’t only Banjo who felt the effects of the forest.
It turns out a walk in the forest is therapy for the human body. In Japan it’s called “shinrin yoku” or forest bathing, where people immerse themselves in a forest as part of a treatment. The scents, sounds creaks and rivers, the sight of green leaves and grass all have a calming effect on the body, but more than that, a study in 2004 which studied the physiological effects of forest bathing showed that walking in a forest activates natural killer (NK) cells which is known to attack cancer cells and increase three types of anti-cancer proteins.
Dr. Li who prepared the report on the study explained that…
plants produce air borne chemicals called phytoncides as protection against rotting and insects. Inhaling phytoncides results in increased NK cells in humans.
Forest bathing has now been accepted as a natural therapy in Japan, Germany and a few other countries. No wonder I feel so much better from the weekend, so get yourselves to a forest for some therapy and some surprisingly potent health benefits.
Learn more about Forest Bathing here.
We hope you had a good weekend too.
Hanri & Banjo