is a Japanese term that means literally "taking in the forest atmosphere."
It's common translation is "forest bathing," a term that has become quite trendy of late.
Shinrin-yoku has been an integral part of Japanese medicine since the 1980's
and is used for both prevention and healing;
as scientific evidence has shown that spending time in the woods
lowers heart rate and blood pressure,
lowers stress hormones,
and boosts one's immune system.
It has little to do with exercise or hiking, and everything to do with
experiencing nature through all of one's senses.
From personal experience, spending time in the woods gives me
complete peace and tranquility...
something that is often absent in our busy modern world.
I can spend hours just sitting in the woods listening to the bird song,
and watching the sunlight as it plays amongst the leaves.
I find that my mind clears and my senses become heightened.
Often, I take the dogs with me as they, too, enjoy the forest.
Intentionally, however, I sometimes leave them behind so that I can
quietly walk down the woodsy trails with nothing but the sounds of the forest
Without the dogs, I am more likely to see the creatures who call this...