Qing Li: Forest bathing – how trees can help you find health and happiness
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Japan—The land of the rising sun, is the place where I find concepts in forestry blended with culture. For instance, the Miyawaki method—a concept of recreating forest. It aims at planting trees with very close spacing based on species co-existence, thereby creating a forest. When I read about it on a blog, I had all sort of apprehension about it. However, the notion changed when I had the opportunity to see the model of this method in Tamil Nadu, India. It was at that moment, I gained newfound respect and admiration for Japanese culture. Similarly, the Bonsai tradition from Japan is also quite exquisite and fascinating. I am using all these initial remarks about Japan to showcase one more concept from Japan—‘Shinrin-Yoku’. Its literal translation might sound absurd, for it means ‘forest bathing’. To be more precise and accurate, ‘Shinrin-Yoku’ is a leisurely visit to a forest and it resembles some sort of aromatherapy (Li et al. 2007). It is far different from hiking or trekking....
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