When the phrase shinrin-yoku shows up in blogs, podcasts, newspapers and Oprah magazine, you know times of have changed. Yoga and mindfulness have become mainstream. Could forest bathing be next?
Shinrin-yoku emerges from Japan, where designated Forest Therapy Trails exist and The International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine is headquartered. The practice taps the power of nature for health by being in her glory. Research has found time in nature to reduce cortisol levels, improve blood pressure and increase white blood cell counts.
Years ago some in my city explored nature deficit disorder as a community health issue. Many mocked the effort, but I’m sure they would react differently today as disconnectedness grows in our ever-connected world of devices.
Health food store owners know the feeling. Being a whole health visionary hasn’t always been easy. Now it is the way. And Americans hunger for more.
In the January/February issue of Natural Foods Merchandiser—our first bimonthly edition—we look at just how the new wholeness has become ingrained in society and what it means in the natural products industry as consumers seek health and vitality. For some, it’s serving as the connecting point for practices such as yoga or alternative therapies, even nature immersion. For others, it’s serving up Zen in a bottle or a cuppa tea—a personal fave when I truly need a refreshing break.
I vow this year to take more such moments. I hope you do, too.
To do: Christine’s cup of tea
Brew a beautiful tea.
Hold the cup with two hands; feel the warmth. Close eyes. Hold cup up to mouth and breathe deeply.
Open eyes and take in the color of the cup, the translucence of the tea.
Close eyes and sip, feeling the warmth flow to the belly.
Ah, centeredness, like no other.