Originally from Japan, forest bathing—or shinrin-yoku in Japanese—isn't what it sounds like. Yes, it involves a trip to the forest, but you won't be stripping down and jumping into a serene lake surrounded by larger-than-life trees. Instead, it's a meditative moment or walk spent immersing yourself in all the forest has to offer: clean air, peace and quiet, and immune-boosting benefits.
Research has long shown the positive impact of nature and greenery on our overall health, and forest bathing is no exception. This spiritual practice is scientifically proven to boost the immune system, lower your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and improve our overall sense of well-being.
Yes, forest bathing has been around for decades, but it's so popular this summer that the U.S. Association of Nature & Forest Therapy has plans to certify 250 new guides next year, and 2017 has seen the largest number of guides ever. In other words, this meditative exercise isn't going anywhere.