World Healing Day
This World Healing Day, April 29, try Shinrin-yoku Forest Bathing, it is an amazing health activity. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, lay your hands on your favourite tree. Pass the word on, and invite the world to experience; Shinrin-yoku Forest Bathing
We stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of a single tree. Tall and graceful it stands, yet robust and sinewy with spreading arms decked with foliage that changes through the seasons, hour by hour, moment by moment as shadows pass or sunshine dapples the leaves. How much more deeply are we moved as we begin to appreciate the combined operations of the assembly of trees we call a forest.~Richard St. Barbe Baker
Forest-bathing describes the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. The practice originated in Japan where it is called shinrin-yoku. A forest bathing trip involves visiting a forest for relaxation and recreation while breathing in volatile substances, called phytoncides (wood essential oils), which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derived from trees, such as α-Pinene and limonene. Incorporating forest bathing trips into a good lifestyle was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan. It has now become a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity in Japan. According to Cassandra Szlaraski, ” the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, translates to “taking in the forest atmosphere.””
“Soon I was completely isolated in the luxuriant, tangled growth of ferns which were well above my head. In my infant mind I seemed to have entered a fairyland of my dreams.
“I wandered on as in a dream, all sense of time and space lost …
“I became intoxicated with the beauty all around me, immersed in the joyousness and exultation of feeling part of it all.
“I had entered the temple of the wood. I sank to the ground in a state of ecstasy; everything was intensely vivid – the call of a distant cuckoo seemed just for me …
“The overpowering beauty of it all entered my very being.
“At that moment my heart brimmed over with a sense of unspeakable thankfulness which has followed me through the years since that woodland re-birth …~Richard St. BarbeBaker.
“I was in love with life: I was indeed born again, although I could not have explained what had happened to me then.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker My Life My Trees
“In Japan and Korea, forest therapy modalities are integrated into their medical system and are covered by insurance,” said Ben Page, a certified forest therapy guide who founded Shinrin Yoku Los Angeles. ” Meeri Kim, also notes that “phytoncides, which are antimicrobial organic compounds given off by plants. They argue that by breathing in the volatile substances released by the forest, people achieve relaxation… Phytoncides —are colloquially known in forest bathing circles as “the aroma of the forest.” Quing Li, senior Assistant Professor at Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, figures that the increase in people’s natural killer (NK) cells increase due to the Phytoncides which are the essential oils from trees. α-pinene and limonene are examples of tree “perfumes” which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds.
“For years, I’ve charged my batteries on trees. You have to select a special tree friend. When I came out of hospital after a serious operation, I chose a Cedar of Lebanon. Cedar itself comes from the Arabic word meaning strength.”
“I used to do two minutes on and two minutes off, then two minutes again. After about four minutes, your hands begin to tingle. I wouldn’t recommend to a beginner to take more than a minute to start with.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker speaks of laying the palm of hands on a tree trunk.
And just as Richard St. Barbe Baker attests, so, to does Dr. Li, lay your hands on the trees, touch the trees, and open yourself to the healing. The experience is enhanced, if one absorbs the sights, sounds, colours through all the five senses as one walks slowly and meditatively through the forest. An excellent day spent forest bathing would be to wander for about four hours while walking about 5 kilometers through the woods. Forest bathing can also be done for half this time, strolling 2.5 kilometers over 2.5 hours.
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
—Robert Louis Stevenson
Forest Bathing Wikipedia
Kim, Meeri. ‘‘Forest bathing’ is latest fitness trend to hit U.S. — ‘Where yoga was 30 years ago’ Washington Post.
Li, Quing. Effect of Forest Bathing trips on Human Immune Systems. Environ Health. 2010 Jan. 15 (1) 9-17. Published online 2009 Mar 25 doi 10.1007/s12199-008-0058-3
Szlarski, Cassandra What is Forest Bathing? Global News.
What is World Healing Day About World Healing Day A Global Health and Healing Event.
Your Brain on Nature: Forest Bathing and Reduced Stress. Mother Earth News.
“A forest is a perfect example of the law of return in action. Trees give back to the earth more than they take, while building up humus, and enriching the soil by the minerals that have been carried up to the leaves in the rising sap. By nature man isa forest dweller. He was cradled in the tropics. His food was the fruit of the trees. He possessed the secret of adaptation to his environment, so that health, gentleness, beauty and strength were enjoyed to the full. In his forest setting man was conscious of his relationship to God and of his unity with all living things.`Richard St. Barbe Baker
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
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If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
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Let TAWAMHWE-pull together-be our motto and I pray that we may give our active support to all efforts of desert reclamation by tree planting and I pray that I may be just to the Earth below my feet, to my neighbour by my side and to the light which comes from above and within, and this wonderful world of ours may be a little more beautiful and happy for my having lived in it.~Richard St. Barbe Baker