On 7 April, the world celebrates World Health Day and this year’s theme encompasses health for all; universal health coverage for everyone, everywhere.
If we view the world as a body (an entire eco-system), we can see that the world is made up of interdependent parts and if one part is not working properly, all the other parts will be affected. Therefore, if we can create a world that is universally healthy, we will all reap the benefits: disease won’t spread so easily, people will be more productive and able, and communities can prosper, benefitting all.
On a micro scale, we can apply this idea to the human body. If people have imbalances (physical, emotional, or spiritual) in their lives, it can negatively affect their overall health.
One of the ways we can positively impact our health is by simply getting outdoors and being at one with nature. Immerse yourself within the forest and reap the benefits it has to offer to support your health and well-being, with an array of therapies.
Walk amongst the trees. Slow down. Breathe.
David Strayer, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Utah, has studied nature’s calming effect on human stress levels, saying that, “Our brains aren’t tireless three-pound machines; they’re easily fatigued. When we slow down, stop the busy work, and take in beautiful natural surroundings, not only do we feel restored, but our mental performance improves too.”
Forest Bathing is simply immersing yourself in the forest, a natural way to calm your senses within a busy world of day-to-day stresses, digital overload, and the inability to switch-off. By reconnecting with the forest, it imparts you with a sense of peace and serenity. Known as shinrin yoku in Japan, it draws upon the therapeutic powers of nature to bring all your senses into play, ultimately leaving you feeling calmer and happier.
Forest Bathing allows us to return to our original state of being, allowing our creativity to flourish, maximising our problem-solving capabilities, and allowing our mood to improve. Studies conducted on young adults in Japan support Strayer’s statement and captures the very essence on which Forest Bathing was created.
At Forest Holidays we have embraced the concept of Forest Bathing and lead experiences at Blackwood Forest and Thorpe Forest to help our guests on their life’s journey with, what we believe to be, the best natural therapy. Our Forest Rangers are qualified Forest Therapy Guides with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT) and will invite you on a journey to open your senses to the world around you.
Herbs and plants
As well as immersing yourself in the forest surroundings and actively reconnecting with nature, you can also turn to herbs and plants that help promote good health, alleviate pain, and boost the immune system. Here are a few of our favourites:
Ginger: Packs a punch and is not only best known to help prevent nausea (perfect for motion sickness or pregnancy) it also helps relieve muscle and joint pain and reduces the severity of migraine headaches as well.
Garlic: How about eating a clove or two of fresh garlic a day to keep the doctor away? Garlic is known to help improve cardiovascular health and circulation, as well as boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Peppermint: Offers benefits to the respiratory system, including coughs, colds, asthma and allergies and our In-Cabin Spa therapists recommend peppermint oil to relieve headache pain. Try dabbing a few drops on your wrist or sprinkling a few drops on a cloth, then inhaling the aroma. You can also massage the oil directly onto your temples and forehead.
Our resident experts – a.k.a. our Forest Rangers – are on hand across our locations with an abundance of knowledge in forest foraging. Why not take part in one of their activities and learn about these and many more plant species and their properties?
Our In-Cabin Spa therapists are experts in both beauty and holistic treatments, their massage treatments are known to help to stimulate the lymphatic system, improve blood circulation and promote better sleep. With over 10 years’ experience behind them you can be sure they are providing top notch treatments without you needing to leave the comfort of your cabin – but still feel truly immersed within the forest environment.
Why not indulge yourself with an In-Cabin Spa during your stay? Experience a therapeutic massage with oils infused with highly concentrated plant extracts. The combination of releasing tension through the massage as well as the powerful effects of oils such as lavender, neroli, or orange blossom will offer a heightened sense of relaxation and will ease any tension away.
Whether you try the art of Forest Bathing or turn to relaxing spa treatments, it’s hard to deny the benefits of a short break in the forest for improving of our health and well-being. Perhaps by applying it to our bodies, we can help to promote universal health for all.
Walk amongst the trees. Slow down. Breathe.