Shinrin-yoku ( 森林浴 ) also known as Forest Therapy, Forest Bathing, Forest Immersion etc, was first officially developed by the Japanese Forestry Agency in 1982, Though anecdotal reports of the benefits of forest walks (etc) have existed for centuries in various cultures.
Proponents say that exposing people to periods of immersion in forests and woodlands has measurable beneficial physiological and psycho-social effects - which can improve general well-being, and also mental and physical health.
In Japan it's currently prescribed as a treatment for, , , , and other conditions.
See: The physiological and psychosocial effects of forest therapy: A systematic review Urban Forestry & Urban Greening Journal, Volume 54, October 2020, 126744.
There are various theories regarding its possible mechanisms of action - they include :
Critics of the therapy claim that none of the proposed mechanisms has been scientifically proven - and that the perceived beneficial effects are too small to be considered significant. They also point out the difficulties in ruling out possible.
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