Shinrin-yoku became popular in Japan during the 1980s.(森林浴”to benefit from the atmosphere of the forest”) is a term in the Japanese language for a particular branch of medical science that claims that spending more time in nature has surprising health benefits. In a series of studies (2010), scientists found that when people spend a few hours in a more natural environment (forests, parks and other places with a large concentration of trees) there is an increase in immune function. One way to measure the health of our immune system is to look at the activity of NK (Natural Killer) cells that recognize and attack Virus-infected cells. In studies done the number of these cells was significantly higher after the forest bath, the effect lasting for 30 days.
Therefore, if an individual goes to a forest and breathes deeply, he or she will enjoy numerous benefits, including lower cortisol concentrations, decreased heart rate and blood pressure, decreased stress, and a cure to depression. Credit for these benefits would be given to phytoncides, terpenes in tree wood, the main components of plant resins and essential oils. The major producers of phytoncides are evergreen trees such as pines, cedars and firs.Putting Shinrin You into practice basically means walking in the forest or a park with many trees, possibly 2 hours a day 2 times a week. As an added value, a variety of activities can be practiced that help us experience nature more consciously, using all our senses to become more in tune with our surroundings.