Easton Events, Things to Do, Area GuideEaston Guide
Easton Alive on Facebook
Charities, conservation, events, festivals, concerts, fairs, recognition
Community News
Press Releases
For good health, bathe in a forest!
9/15/2016 Volume XLIX, No. 36

With 130 miles of coastline, New Jersey residents know all about the joys of sunbathing at the beach.  But how about “forest bathing”?

Yes, it’s real … and it can improve your health! And you don’t need to wear a bathing suit!

Forest bathing literally means soaking in the forest atmosphere. It originated nearly 35 years ago in Japan, where it’s known as “shinrin-yoku,” and it’s now catching on in the United States.

Just as sunbathers on a beach enjoy the smell of salt air, the feel of toes in the sand and the sound of waves breaking, forest bathers use all of their senses, too. The scent of pine trees, the sound of singing birds and flowing brooks, the soothing green palette of leaves and the varied textures of plants are all part of the experience.

The result, according to shinrin-yoku practitioners, is a feeling of relaxation and rejuvenation that promotes a myriad of measurable health benefits, from lower blood pressure to a stronger immune system.

The term “forest bathing” comes from a 1982 article by the former head of Japan’s Forestry Agency. Early researchers theorized that health benefits were derived from substances called phytoncides, which are antimicrobial organic compounds given off by plants. Breathing in these “forest essences” was thought to bring about relaxation.

Later research focused on the stresses of living indoors in a technology-oriented society. Japan’s leading researcher on forest therapy, Yoshifumi Miyazaki of Chiba University, believes humans are hard-wired to need nature in their lives.

“Five million years have passed since humans became humans,” he wrote in a paper on the science of nature therapy. “The men and women living in modern times have therefore spent more than 99.99 percent of their evolutionary history in natural environments.” He concluded that living in our modern society’s artificial environments is inherently stressful.

Miyazaki conducted physiological experiments to examine whether spending time in forests actually does improve health. In one study, he found that the average concentration of cortisol, a stress hormone found in saliva, was 13.4 percent lower in people who gazed on forest scenery for 20 minutes than in people in urban settings.

Another Japanese researcher, Li Qing of Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, conducted experiments to find out if spending time in nature increases the activity of natural killer (NK) cells, a component of the immune system that fights cancer. The study found that NK activity was significantly boosted in two groups that spent time in forests.

Like many practices that began in other countries, forest bathing first emerged in California, where organized groups now take therapy trips to forests.

As far as I know, organized forest bathing hasn’t found its way to New Jersey yet – but don’t let that stop you!

Just about anyone can practice shinrin-yoku … you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic or expert naturalist. Unlike a strenuous hike, forest bathing isn’t meant to burn calories, build muscles or reach destinations. Unlike nature walks, the goal isn’t to count species or interpret wildlife behavior.

Beautiful forests are found in every corner of this state we’re in, and this is a great time of year to take a therapeutic stroll to soothe your senses and boost your health. Simply relax and soak in the forest around you!

To find a forest trail near you, visit the New York New Jersey Trail Conference website at www.nynjtc.org, New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s trailhead locator map at www.njconservation.org/recreation.htm, the New Jersey Trails website at www.njtrails.org or the New Jersey Hiking website at www.njhiking.com.

To see an interesting National Geographic video on forest bathing, go to http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/explorer/videos/forest-bathing/.  To read more about forest bathing in Japan, go to http://www.natgeotraveller.in/forest-bathing-the-japanese-secret-to-good-health/.

And to learn more about preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at www.njconservation.org or contact me at info@njconservation.org.

POSTS

Weather extremes may be New Jersey's new normal

Bald eagles and ospreys rebound in New Jersey

Pine Barrens prescribed fires: A renewal force

Take a walk on the bottom of the sea!

Energy efficiency saves money and land - and creates jobs!

The Pines of March

Trees are more social than you think!

New Jersey's geological 'layer cake'

Keeping the 'great' in Paterson's Great Falls

Some good news!

Take action to defend and protect land and water

Interested in ecology? Become a Rutgers Environmental Steward

2016 wins and losses for New Jersey's land and water

Kick off a healthy New Year with First Day hike

Energy infrastructure: the new sprawl

Two great books for connecting kids with nature

Why do some trees stay green while others lose their leaves?

Melting ice, rising seas, hotter planet

Our forests never sleep, even in winter!

Documentary brings Great Swamp battle back to life

Defending the land they loved

Four years after Sandy, rising sea levels predicted

New Jersey: Small state, big diversity

10 great natural areas for enjoying fall colors

Removing obsolete dams brings rivers back to life

Humpback whales a welcome sight off NJ coast

NJ wine industry boosts agritourism

For good health, bathe in a forest!

Let's NOT make a deal!

New Jersey's spectacular waterfalls

Urban trees boost health and land values

Blue Acres: A win-win for open space, owners of flooded homes

Get mosquitos to buzz off - naturally!

Flawed pipeline approval process needs reforms

Speak out for our Atlantic Ocean and coast!

Help Pokemon Go lead into outdoors and nature

NJ 4th in peaches; don't miss out on peach season!

Water, water everywhere - keep it safe to drink!

Growing beer in the Garden State

Celebrate NJ's Revolutionary War parks and open spaces on July 4

Override Governor's veto of open space bill

Taming the wild blueberry 100 years ago

Celebrate and take action during National Pollinator Week

Get on the Circuit for National Trails Day

New tax deduction would give boost to NJ non-profits

Best nature movies

Call on Governor Christie to sign the open space bill!

Native seed bank may provide ash trees of the future

Urban farms bring healthy local foods

National Park Service turns 100

ARCHIVE

March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011

CLICK FOR RECENT POSTS

Visualize yourself coming home to a clean house!  SIMPLIFY.  Free up your time and leave the cleaning to us.  We have been providing professional, healthy home cleaning services to your Central Bucks County friends and neighbors since 2003.  We are a local, family owned business, and multi-year Best of Bucks award winner specializing in weekly, biweekly, monthly, and priority house cleaning. Call or click on our website to set up your free in-home quote. Visualize yourself coming home to a clean house!  SIMPLIFY.  Free up your time and leave the cleaning to us.  We have been providing professional, healthy home cleaning services to your Central Bucks County friends and neighbors since 2003.  We are a local, family owned business, and multi-year Best of Bucks award winner specializing in weekly, biweekly, monthly, and priority house cleaning. Call or click on our website to set up your free in-home quote.

You can trust the service and quality that Colagio The Painter provides. Over the past 25 years we have served the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, Montgomery County and South Jersey areas as a premier residential and commercial painting contractor. In addition to painting, we provide full detailed prep work, dustless sanding, trim work, drywall repair, stucco repair, and pressure washing. We have earned the highest reputation in our industry by providing top-quality craftsmanship on time and on budget.

Frank Harrison Asphalt Paving is a full-service asphalt paving company that has been serving residential, commercial, and municipal customers across Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas (NJ, NY) for 60 years. If you need your driveway or parking lot needs paving, resurfacing, line striping, or asphalt sealcoating, look no further than Frank Harrison Paving. With our state of the art equipment, we deliver affordable long-lasting asphalt or tar & chip paving results that look great!  Our long list of satisfied clients is a testament to our commitment of quality results done on time and on budget. Contact us today for a free on-site estimate!

Snipes Farm and Education Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings vitality and empowerment to our community through organic food and education programs. Our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program provides fresh food, grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, to over 300 families, including vegetable shares to the Bucks County Homeless Shelter. Nutrition, farming, environmental and garden education programs serve thousands of children throughout the year. Children learn, create, make friends and have outdoor adventures at our summer camp! There are many happy birthday parties in spring, summer and fall here. Bonfires, hayrides and picnics have provided fun venues for youth/school groups and congregations. Classes for adults are offered in spring and summer. We are dedicated to sustainable farming practices and are 80% solar powered. Snipes Farm and Education Center offers hope through action.

Opened in 1974 initiated by parents in the community, LifePath, a non-profit organization, has been providing a variety of community and residential services to individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities in 7 counties in Pennsylvania. LifePath's programs and services are guided by the principal of everyday lives, an environment of respect and dignity and opportunities to make decisions and choices about one's own life. If you are ready to make a difference in the lives of individuals in your community, we have a position for you! EOE

Come join us for a Season of Celtic Music at the Sellersville Theater. Check out our website to see a listing of shows for March, April, and May 2017.

Residential housecleaning, weekly, biweekly, monthly since 1994. Owner operated. We ensure that you get personalized service and workers carefully selected for the reliability and professionalism you deserve. Sweeping Beauty's Guarantee: We will make your home sparkle. We give you the best housecleaning services for your money. We are totally reliable and trustworthy. You must be 100% satisfied. Five-time award winner of the Best in BucksMont, Sweeping Beauty is not a franchise. It is an independent company whose goal is to build a relationship with every one of our clients. Sit back and relax. With quality teams and a flat rate, you can rest assured that your home will be beautiful enough for a Princess. We back our work with our Happily Ever After Guarantee so you can feel confident about our work. Call Sweeping Beauty today for a free in-home estimate. Residential housecleaning, weekly, biweekly, monthly since 1994. Owner operated. We ensure that you get personalized service and workers carefully selected for the reliability and professionalism you deserve. Sweeping Beauty's Guarantee: We will make your home sparkle. We give you the best housecleaning services for your money. We are totally reliable and trustworthy. You must be 100% satisfied. Five-time award winner of the Best in BucksMont, Sweeping Beauty is not a franchise. It is an independent company whose goal is to build a relationship with every one of our clients. Sit back and relax. With quality teams and a flat rate, you can rest assured that your home will be beautiful enough for a Princess. We back our work with our Happily Ever After Guarantee so you can feel confident about our work. Call Sweeping Beauty today for a free in-home estimate.

SDG Design and Construction is a Pennsylvania Licensed and Insured residential contracting company, located in the heart of Bucks County, PA. With over 15 years of experience in the various facets of construction and home improvement, no matter how big or how small the project, our customers can always count on Affordable Pricing, Quality Workmanship, and Excellent Service. As a general contractor with long-standing connections and resources, we do ALL the work by providing a hassle-free, one-stop shop, complete home improvement package for whatever services are needed. These services include home remodeling and renovations, additions, custom carpentry, exterior improvements, and residential repair and maintenance. We service Bucks, Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware Counties, and surrounding areas of NJ and DE.

For 16 years The Gutter Guard Kings has been committed to providing the Delaware Valley with unmatched quality in gutter cleaning and gutter guard installation. Our products, Leaf Relief and Champion, are the only 100% effective gutter guard systems that come with a

ARK Apartments, in Bensalem overlooking the Neshaminy Creek, is a community offering 3, 6, or 12 month leases in our unfurnished apartments and month-to-month stays in our furnished apartments for corporate travelers or those in transition. We have five spacious floor plans with individual washers and dryers. Stainless steel kitchen appliances are available and pets are welcome. Some of our amenities include: a clubhouse with concierge services, Olympic size pool, sunning deck and terrace with outdoor fire pit, lighted tennis courts, state-of-the-art health complex with Precor elliptical machines, wi-fi cafe and business center with MAC computer stations, scan/fax/copy machine, resident receptions and social events, and complimentary parking. Ask about our current Specials! ARK Apartments, in Bensalem overlooking the Neshaminy Creek, is a community offering 3, 6, or 12 month leases in our unfurnished apartments and month-to-month stays in our furnished apartments for corporate travelers or those in transition. We have five spacious floor plans with individual washers and dryers. Stainless steel kitchen appliances are available and pets are welcome. Some of our amenities include: a clubhouse with concierge services, Olympic size pool, sunning deck and terrace with outdoor fire pit, lighted tennis courts, state-of-the-art health complex with Precor elliptical machines, wi-fi cafe and business center with MAC computer stations, scan/fax/copy machine, resident receptions and social events, and complimentary parking. Ask about our current Specials!

  become a sponsor

adbnrs