Sunday, November 8, 2020

The Japanese art of Forest Bathing


When it comes to natural healing, Japanese  know better. And so they come up with a term called "shinrin-yoku" that was popularized in Japan back in 1980s and was later introduced to the world.

Forest bathing isn't literally taking a bath in the forest. It simply means being reconnected with nature and disconnected with the stressors of life -- causing diseases.

It's been a year since I'm living in a rural area; in my hometown. A provincial 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 a weekend is my healing wonder. This is all we need in times of stress and whenever we need to relax and rejuvenate. It cleanses and purify our physical and mental bodies.

So Japanese people are considered as world leader when it comes to health and longevity. Their approach to health and wellness is just holistic and truly 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 most especially among health and fitness enthusiasts.

Hikers, trekkers, mountain climbers and  yoga and meditation practitioners are among those groups who are gaining from the healing benefits of forest bathing.

In the Philippines, there are places I've done forest bathing on a day trip.

Camp John Hay in Baguio City, Northern Philippines is where you can find the most number of pine trees and having the largest forest cover in the area.

At Camp John Hay, Baguio City, Philippines

That was a wonderful 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 best mountain resort destinations in the country.

It was rainy on the way up when we visited the place and we're greeted with a foggy and misty climate. Just like Baguio City, it's also planted with pine trees making the environment cooler.

Bucari, Iloilo, Philippines

There are other places where I've enjoyed forest bathing. These are; 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 were inspired to develop our farm, so they planted Mahogany trees making it a mini-forest. Now, the trees have reached its peak maturity and are so tall giving a cooler shade in the surrounding. 

Our Mahogany tree park

And so, everytime we visit the farm, I would do forest bathing. I would walk slowly and be in stillness under the trees until I've reached a meditative state. Feel the serenity and just inhale the life force. 

Anyone can do it. When life gets tough, all we need is to take it 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 a healthy and balanced living.

©️2020 Del Cusay

Related Post:

👉 The Highlands of Baguio

👉 The Highlands of Bucari

👉 Stairway to the Mountain