What Forest Bathing Is Not
Forest bathing is not about the act of walking or hiking among the trees. It’s simply about being amidst the trees and allowing the natural powers at work there to bathe you in goodness. Sure, maybe you’re thinking: Did someone lose power to all their electronics and was forced outside only to realize that, hey, being in nature makes your mind, body and spirit feel great?!
We recommend The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative by Florence Williams if you want to learn more about the science behind this “trend” which seems to have gained its name in the 1980s in Japan. (Do a quick search on the term biophilia to learn more.)
Speaking of Science: The Forest Community
Regular Horticulture contributing editor Jeff Cox has the following to say about the complex, active relationship that takes place above, around and below us in the forest.
We’ve known for years that plants communicate with one another through their roots and the networks of soil-borne fungi that colonize them.
But it’s only now that scientists are discovering that those connections are just the tip of the iceberg. We may sit quietly and enjoy the peace of nature in our local woodlands, but above, around and below us the forest world is humming with almost infinite activity. Think of Manhattan Island made of living tissue. Truth be told, our gardens and landscapes share in the thunderous communications systems buzzing in their biology.