The Healing Benefits of Forest Therapy

The Healing Forests of India

Directed by Nitin Das (2019)

Film Review

An exquisitely beautiful documentary about the field of forest therapy – a form of healing is most practiced in India and Japan (which has 50 healing forests).

There are numerous studies demonstrating the calming effect of forests on children. Research from both India and Finland show that holding classes there makes children calmer, helps them focus better and reduces misbehavior and violence. It’s especially effective for kids diagnosed with ADHD.

Research in adults reveals that the forest environment can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, cortisol* levels, inflammation, depression, stress and anxiety. At the same time, it also improves serotonin** levels and immunity. Forest therapy has proved helpful in treating diabetes, hyperthyroidism and addictions. In young people, it helps alleviate depression and anxiety stemming from excessive social media exposure.

It makes perfect sense that people would find forests more inducive to health than overcrowded hyper-polluted cities. As one researcher reminds us, human beings co-evolved over hundreds of thousands of years with forest plants and animals. This means our bodies are programmed to thrive in the presence of other living beings.

The recommended dose of forest therapy is five hours a month.


*Cortisol is a steroid stress hormone.

**Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the brain and elsewhere that is believed to mediate mood.

 

5 thoughts on “The Healing Benefits of Forest Therapy

  1. Pingback: Die Heilende Wirkung des Waldes – Farben für´s Leben

  2. Coincidentally, I just finished reading “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers, and found it one of the most inspiring books I’ve read in a long time. It’s about trees and forests, more or less from nature’s point of view, through people who are brought together through love of them and against the rabid timbering of old growth in National Forests and other places in the Northwest US.

    I have been working on a synopsis/review of the book, which is a “must read” for all nature lovers.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Uh,oh. That means I need to get moving. I have so many blog starts and few finishes, as life rushes forward. You may have time to read it before I finish the blog. I checked my copy out of the library and have renewed it once, because I’m synopsizing it chapter by chapter, for my own files. I’ve decided this is a great exercise for a writer, because it compels a reader to go over a book twice, once for the story, and again to focus on how it’s constructed. Thanks for your interest, Rosaliene.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting. I was close friends with an indigenous healer when I was in Seattle, who taught me new respect for other living things we share the planet with as “tree people,” “insect people,” etc. It definitely taught me to see them in new ways.

    Liked by 1 person

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