forest bathing two

Forest Bathing, two



lush advance prove/proved/proven
climb mind (2) conclude
climb getaway strenuous
germs bug (2) essential
boost spot (3) produce (2)
cell enhance immune system
stress trip (2) hormone
amid cancer protein (2)
giant cypress immune (2)
clear remain conduct (3)
focus function insurance
anti- quarrel atmosphere (2)
enjoy benefit point (3)
illness research prescribe
reduce go back






For years, the Japanese have gone into the country’s lush forests for what they call shinrin yoku or “forest bathing”. And recently these short trips into forests have now proven to be much more than relaxing getaways.

The point is simply to be among the trees; no strenuous hiking or climbing.

Thirteen years ago, Dr. Qing Li was one of the first to conduct research on forest bathing. He concluded that the essential oils that the trees produced to protect themselves from germs and bugs can boost the human immune system.

Qing Li, Nippon Medical School: “At lot of phytocide or essential oil is found in the forest. My research has shown that forest phytocides enhances activity of natural killer cells, reduces stress hormones and relaxes us.”

And that a cancer protein within natural killer cells is increased during forest bathing.

This is Akazawa National Forest. It’s about a five hour drive from Tokyo. It was here amid these giant cypress trees that forest bathing was born thirty-five (35) years ago. It’s also one of the few spots where scientific research was conducted proving the health benefits of spending time in the forest.

Takashi Miora, Forest Medicine Therapist: “Dr. Li’s study had exhausted workers staying here for three days. The natural killer cell functions were enhanced by 56% even after they went back to cities, it remained 23% higher than usual. The doctors are focused on the anti-cancer functions of natural killer cells.”

But the health benefits also come from the atmosphere, not just the chemistry.

Forest Bather, one: “We usually quarrel, but not here. We are enjoying walking together.”
Forest Bather, two: “As soon as you get here, the stress is gone. It clears your mind and makes you feel positive.”
Forest Bather, three: “If nature can cure your illness, what could be better?”

Well, one way it could get better is if national health care and insurance companies paid for it.

Qing Li, Nippon Medical School: “In the future, the time may come when doctors prescribe the forest instead of medicine.”

A possible future, where our health could be improved, not by advances in medicine, but by going back to nature.

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1. “Forest bathing” means taking a bath and washing yourself in the forest. True or false?

2. To reap the benefits of forest bathing, do you have to follow a walking trail and do certain exercises?

3. Is the air in forests healthy for people?

4. What are some of the health benefits of being in a forest?

5. The forest bathing therapeutic effects are only physiological, and not psychological. Is this right or wrong?

6. At the moment, do conventional medicine and authorities recognize the potential of forest bathing?

7. Is Dr. Qing Li optimistic, pessimistic, both or neither about forest bathing’s potential?


A. There are many forests and extensive natural habitats where I live. Yes or no?

B. People like to visit or walk in forests and parks.

C. How do you feel in a forest or in nature? Would you like to live in a forest or the country?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. What should people, governments and the medical establishment do?

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