Forest Bathing – Shinrin-Yoku – Speyer Forest
Important note: In the future I will send an email and leave a comment for people to confirm their assistence 2 days before the event. Who does not confirm will be removed from the participants list. Who confirms and does not show up will be removed from the group. Last week on the gorges hike there were 18 people on the waiting list who probably would have liked to participate while half of the participants list cancelled the same morning.
Forest bathing is not the same as hiking. The destination in forest bathing is “here”, not “there”. The pace is slow. The focus is on connection and relationship. The focus is on our senses. It is an immersion into nature. It is the art of stillness in the forest.
Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Researchers primarily in Japan and South Korea have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest. Now their research is helping to establish shinrin-yoku and forest therapy throughout the world.
The idea is simple: if a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way there are calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits to be achieved.
We have always known this intuitively. But in the past several decades there have been many scientific studies that are demonstrating the mechanisms behind the healing effects of simply being in wild and natural areas. For example, many trees give off organic compounds that support our “NK” (natural killer) cells that are part of our immune system’s way of fighting cancer.
The scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include:
● Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells.
● Reduced blood pressure
● Reduced stress
● Improved mood
● Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
● Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
● Increased energy level
● Improved sleep
Just as impressive are the results that we are experiencing as we make this part of our regular practice:
● Deeper and clearer intuition
● Increased flow of energy
● Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
● Increased flow of eros/life force
● Deepening of friendships
● Overall increase in sense of happiness
We recognize that forest therapy approaches such as Shinrin-yoku have roots in many cultures throughout history. John Muir wrote, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home. Wilderness is a necessity.” He is one of many people who we include when we think about the origins of the practice.
How to get there:
By train to Speyer Nord/West station and from there it is 1,4 km by foot.
What to bring:
• A smile
• Sporty outfit adjusted to weather conditions (umbrella and / or rain coat if weather is unstable)
• Hiking boots or shoes with good traction for longer distances
• Food and water for the time of the hike
• A mat, towel or something to sit on (for the sit spot excercise)
Please keep track of the comments section for changes.
Every participant is responsible for his/her safety and health for the entire duration of this event. Neither the organizer(s) nor the Rhein-Neckar Hiking & Outdoors Meetup Group will accept any liability for loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from participation in this event. There may be circumstances (e.g. bad weather, closed trails, misleading instructions, etc.) that make the activity slightly more difficult or longer than expected.