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Forest Therapy Benefits: From the comfort of your living room?

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

It is scientifically acknowledged that spending time outdoors in a natural setting improves health. But what if you can't access outdoor natural spaces on a regular basis? Research shows that there are many things you can do to simulate a natural environment from your home, workspace, or even car. Not surprisingly, these are related to stimulation of the human senses:

  1. Smell:

Not a believer in the value of essential oils? This might be the time to try. Studies show not only decrease in depressive symptoms comparable to medication, but also an increase in natural "NK" or, cancer-fighting cells, as well as significantly lowered anxiety scores in preoperative patients from the inhalation of therapeutic essential oils.

An easy way to do this is to get small ceramic diffuser plates that are easily kept (or hung) in and around your home, office, or car. Next, choose a few essential oils - my current favourite is a "woodlands" blend, which likely releases phytoncides from the trees included (spruce, fir, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, oak moss). Add a few drops a few times a day, or when you feel like you need a boost, and voila!

2. Sound:

Think you are accustomed to blocking out "white noise," or used to those city sirens blaring? Think again! Research shows that the human body registers a baseline of stress when the mind is constantly "tuning out" sound stimulation from artificial, or urban, environments. The good news? Natural sound can be used to turn on the bodies parasympathetic nervous system, stimulating digestion and healing. "Alexa," turn on "nature sounds," is all you need to say!