When it comes to natural healing, the Japanese know better. They came up with a term, "Shinrin-yoku," which was popularized in Japan back in the '80s and later introduced to the world.
Forest bathing isn't taking a bath in the forest in a literal sense. It simply means being reconnected with nature and disconnected from the stressors of life -- causing diseases.
It's been a year since I'm living in a rural area; in my hometown. It's countryside living away from too much noise and chaos.
Since the beginning of the pandemic and due to lockdown, some plans weren't able to happen, and since then, I wasn't able to come back to Manila.
I'm living my best life away from distraction and pollution, and forest bathing on weekends is my healing wonder. It's all we need in times of stress and whenever we need to relax and rejuvenate. It cleanses and purifies our physical and mental bodies.
So Japanese people are considered world leaders when it comes to health and longevity. Their approach to health and wellness is just holistic and admirable. Hence, they're a world record in having supercentenarians.
We Filipinos adapted to this Japanese form of natural healing. Forest bathing is slowly gaining recognition, especially among health and fitness enthusiasts.
Hikers, trekkers, mountain climbers, and yoga and meditation practitioners are among those groups gaining from the healing benefits of forest bathing.
In the Philippines, there are places I've done forest bathing on a day trip.
In the Philippines, there are places I've done forest bathing on a day trip. Camp John Hay in Baguio City is where you can find the most number of pine trees. And has the most forest cover in the area.
|At Camp John Hay, Baguio City, Philippines|
That was a refreshing forest bathing experience as I was feeling the mists of the foggy place. It feels so great to be surrounded by trees as they give off natural cleansing energy.
Bucari Highlands in Iloilo, Philippines, is one of the best mountain resort destinations in the country.
It was rainy on the way up when we had visited and with a foggy and misty climate. Just like Baguio City, it has many pine trees making the environment cooler.
|Bucari, Iloilo, Philippines|
There are other places where I've enjoyed forest bathing. The Mount Arayat National Park in Pampanga, Philippines. The La Mesa Eco-park in Quezon City, Philippines, and Naddi Village in Dharamshala, India.
More than a decade ago, my parents had the inspiration to develop our farm, so they planted Mahogany trees, making it a mini-forest. Now the trees have reached their peak maturity and are so tall, giving a cool shade in the surrounding.
|Our Mahogany tree park|
And so, every time we visit the farm, I would do forest bathing. I walk barefooted and be in stillness under the trees until I've reached a meditative state. Feel the serenity and inhale the life force.
Anyone can do it. When life gets tough, we need to take slow and find a greener space to unwind and re-energize.
The Japanese people are doing it as a lifestyle, and so we can learn and adopt from their philosophy of healthy and balanced living.
©️2020 Del Cusay