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The forest and its therapeutic power

The forest is a therapeutic paradise. Japanese people know it perfectly and they have a specific language expression, Shinrin-yoku, (森林浴) to indicate the experience of plunging in the forest atmosphere (forest bath), rich in sundry benefits. By breathing chemical substances of vegetal origin produced by the trees, surrounded by the silence and relax of nature, we allow our nerve system to reset, almost by magic.

Forest medicine and Shinrin-Yoku

Since the 80s, after significant data collections and experimentations by the School of Medicine of Tokyo, the Shinrin-yoku practice have been acknowledged in the medical area of “forest medicine”.
Walking in the “green”, especially in woods and forests, strengthens the immune system, regularizes blood pressure and heart rate, lowers cortisol (the stress hormone) and cholesterol, treats depression, weakens anger, increases the energy and stimulates creativity, also thanks to a better oxygenation. But the best aspect is that walking in the wood fosters the increase of Natural killer cells too, cells able to recognize and fight viruses and cancer cells.

How can all this happen?

The secret has been revealed by botanists: the trees emit phytoncides in volatile form, essential oils contained in the wood, toxic for pests and insects, but highly therapeutic for the human being. Now, if we consider the number and the concentration of trees in a forest, imagine how we could potentiate the effect of a single tree!

What to do

You start training with a little stretching and you relax by breathing deeply. When you activate all senses, you can listen to the surrounding sounds (birdsongs, the breeze blowing through the leaves of the trees, the water flowing…), your eyes can admire the landscape (the different shapes of the tree, the shades of green, the sunlight filtering through the branches…), you can brush the leaves, the bark, while barefoot you can touch the soil, the fresh water of a stream or of the swamp, or you can lie down indulging on the ground, you can breathe in the perfumes of the forest (the fragrance of the phytoncides, the perfume of the soil, the flowers, the rain…), you can taste some fruits of the wood or you can sip some green tea or an infusion. In such a way, we can truly be a part of the environment and not just simple bystanders, we are the users of a great and holistic aromatherapy session!

Shinrin-Yoku in the Bellamonte forest

After a few-minute walk, you can sink into the woods and forests surrounding our Park Hotel Sancelso.
Then, a heartfelt and spontaneous thank you arises, a sense of gratitude for this nearly-unspoiled paradise, free, powerful, accessible to everybody, few meters away from the hotel, in the Forest of the Travignolo Valley and in the Forest of the Paneveggio-Pale di San Martino Natural Park.

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