“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
- John Muir (1901)
Nature misses you, and recent research suggests the feeling is mutual whether you realize it or not. Studies show that unplugging and recharging in nature (even for 20 minutes at a time) is akin to a mental and emotional reboot. Known as shinrin-yoku in Japan where the practice originated in the early 1980s, forest bathing is like scrubbing stress right off your body-- no shower required.
As you walk among the trees your attention shifts to your immediate surroundings. You might notice a flower you’ve never seen before, enjoy the way a particular shade of green reflects light breaking through the trees, or become intrigued by the call of a bird in the canopy. This mental refocusing is nearly effortless, and it allows the things that felt stressful even a few minutes ago fall away.
You find a spot to sit and let your focus soften. Your body relaxes. You breathe in the fresh, earthy aroma of evergreens. Each of the senses are an important part of the forest bathing experience (yes, even taste), but smell is perhaps one of the most impactful. Aromatic volatile substances such as pinenes and limonenes are released by evergreens and other trees. These naturally occurring scents have aromatherapeutic qualities, reducing feelings of stress and fatigue.
Forest bathing allows nature to enter your body through all five senses. While there’s no substitute for the real thing, research suggests that strategically using essential oils can help lower stress levels and improve mood. You can freshen the air in your own home with our White Lodge incense, or lather-up that fresh forest aroma with Owls are Not What They Seem cold process soap.