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Articles: Shinrin-Yoku

We’re stressed. And it’s making us sick. Which in turn places pressure on our medical system, the productivity of our economy, and the resiliency of our social connections. More importantly, dis-ease limits our human potential, curtails our creative life force, and causes us to draw into ourselves, rather than reach out, connect with, and strengthen our community.

If anything about my previous paragraph resonates with you, pick up a copy of Shinrin-Yoku, The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing. The book is imbued with a hush, like what you’d experience on a walk, deep in the woods. The book’s design, which employs a repeating motif of page spreads bracketed by split images of forests, tree trunks, and leafy canopies, immediately drew me into a calm place. This is a book you fall into. I felt embraced.

Which isn’t to say that Shinrin-Yoku is all soft focus and touchy-feely woo woo. Author Yoshifumi Miyazaki is a professor at the Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences at Chiba University in Chiba, Japan. His perspective, informed by his work in environmental protection, medicine, forestry, and health science, is firmly grounded in research and quantitative science.


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