Tonic

Myriad thoughts and
worries fret my scrambled brain.
Gentle trees soothe it.

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I have always been a big advocate of trees. They are a favored subject for my paintings, and a walk among trees never fails to nourish me. I return to my workaday routine feeling lighter in spirit, but somehow also physically energized. It’s as though I’ve swallowed an elixir!

Until fairly recently, I wondered why. Here’s the answer:

In Japan, there is a pastime known as forest bathing. Major studies and experiments have been conducted in Japan to measure the positive effects of trees on humans. The results are astounding in terms of physical and emotional health. Have I piqued your interest? To read more, go to this Quartz blog post: The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is scientifically proven to improve your health.

After you read it, you may just become the next tree bathing convert! And lest you think this is just some weird Asian ‘flash in the pan’ fad, I’m here to tell you, no it is not. In 1982, it was integrated into the national health program in Japan and the studies quoted on health benefits go back as far as 2004. Tree bathing is lately being embraced in our Western culture as an antidote to stress. A brief excerpt from the Quartz article:

“Julia Plevin, a product designer and urban forest bather, founded San Francisco’s 200-member Forest Bathing Club Meetup in 2014. They gather monthly to escape technology. “It’s an immersive experience,” Plevin explained to Quartz. “So much of our lives are spent interacting with 2D screens. This is such a bummer because there’s a whole 3D world out there! Forest bathing is a break from your phone and computer…from all that noise of social media and email.”

As far as I know, no one has figured out how to bottle this yet. (And I hope they never do.) So, scout around for some trees in your neighborhood real soon, and let them work their magic on you. Happy bathing!

SuHai

Tonic © Susan L Hart 2019
Photo courtesy icon0.com, Pexels