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Healing Mind and Body : Understanding the Health Benefits of Shinrin-yoku

The need and demand for Mindfulness activity have been growing fast, and its credibility is backed by science as one of the alternative approaches to alleviating and treating general and acute stress, depression, anxiety, sleep disorder, chronic pain and mental illness.

In our society we move fast, from here to there, and subsequently so does our mind. We are always in thought, and our mind is fully occupied with "stuff". This process is the background noise, always there without us knowing, until it stops!

Our mind constantly oscillates from thought to thought, our body continually flows from action to action.

Let me ask you a question. When was the last time that you took your time out for yourself, to be in nature?.....

If you type "the benefits of Shinrin-yoku" in Google, or ask Chat GPT (AI), you will have more than enough answers.

A one of the key elements is called "Phytoncides" which is a organic substance that trees and plants produce to protect from insects/fungus attack.

Phytoncides are Anti-inflammatory, Anti-fungal, Anti-bacterial, Anti-microbial, and Anti-viral.

When you walk in a forest, you will smell the "forest" (In Australia, you will soon notice beautiful Eucalyptus) that's because of "Phytoncides".

Once we inhale Phytoncides, it activates the activity of NK cells (Natural Killer cells) which is known to fight with cancer tumors and improve our immunity.

As we gain a stronger immune system, our body will have more strength to fight stress and illness. And trees produce more "Phytoncides" to let the other tree know that there is a danger, so it is a one of nature's communication tool.

Phytoncides are the nature' own defence system, and it also provides us the same effects once it is in our body - how amazing is this !

So just being in nature and inhale the phytoncide, we are receiving precious medicine that doesn't cost anything and wonderful for our body.

There are other elements such as noticing "Yuragi" and find a gentle beauty and warmth in "Komorebi", as well as listening the sound of birds and creek does enhance physiological relaxation, which means our parasympathetic nervous system ("rest and digest") balances sympathetic nervous system("fight or flight").

Parasympathetic nervous system manages the activity in organs throughout our body when we feel calm and safe. These functions don’t involve risk or danger but are still key in keeping us alive and healthy.

The forest, in all its splendor, becomes a sanctuary for both mind and body,, a catalyst for healing, and a catalyst for improved well-being.

Embrace the allure of Shinrin-yoku, and let nature's symphony guide you on a transformative journey towards holistic wellness !


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