The shinrin-yoku, literally “forest-bath” from Japanese, it is a walk in the forest. It is a therapy recognized by the health services of many Asian countries. It is not sport, it is not trekking, there are no results to be achieved. THE forest baths I’m a dive into the nature that reduces stress and regenerates you at every step. Here we offer you three types of forest baths in different areas of Italy.
- North. In the Tenuta de L’Annunziata
In the province of Como, on a hill overlooking the plain there is a unique wood in Lombardy because in its 13 hectares there are, hidden among others, 40 trees with beneficial virtues certified and measured. Access is by appointment, with a map and a guide because the area is part of a charming farmhouse, the Tenuta de l’Annunziata, which also includes a Spa and a restaurant where farm products are cooked (access to the forest with guide starting from 40 € for groups of 4 people, [email protected]).
«You can also simply stand for about 10 minutes under the bioenergetic plantstaking advantage of the stone seats provided for visitors, but the first few times it is much more engaging to follow the route, suggested based on the participants », explains Margot Errante, Forest bathing expert at the Estate.
“Between centuries-old chestnut trees and wild cherries, beeches, rowans and conifers, the wooded landscape changes with the seasons and is accessible all year round. One of the proposed activities is cardiac coherence: sitting under the trees, you inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for as many, perceiving the breath at the level of the heart. Then all the affection you feel for a loved one is evoked to the point of feeling a sense of profound peace ».
- Center. In the heart of the Casentinesi Forests
One of the green lungs of Italy, a protected area where biodiversity is studied, the Casentino Forest National Park is on horseback between Romagna and Tuscany and extends for 36 thousand hectares, among centuries-old beech trees (Unesco heritage), firs, maples and woods with a great variety of species.
An access point is the territory of the municipality of Bath of Romagna, where you can combine the benefits of forest bathing with those of spas. For example, Roseo Euroterme Wellness Resort offers a guided forest bath in the Casentinesi Forests together with access to the thermal pool, a relaxing or draining massage, daily entrance to the Spa and a two-night stay with half board (€ 277 per person, Eurotherm. com).
“THE woods with beech, oak and conifers, according to the bio-researcher Marco Nieri, release a greater quantity of terpenes, volatile substances which, when inhaled, act at the psychoneuroimmunoendocrine level, strengthening the immune defenses, reducing blood pressure and regulating the level of sugar in the blood. In addition, negative feelings such as anger and anxiety can be relieved, increasing energy and improving sleep ».
- South. In the Pollino Park
An immersive experience in the Pollino National Park, between Basilicata and Calabria, in the largest protected area in Italy, also a Unesco world heritage site. It is a 3 or 6 day retreat organized by Ivy Tour, a tour operator specialized in Forest bathing, under the aegis of its certified guides (from 347 € per person in a double room, full board, 2 forest baths and several activities in nature with the guide, ivytour.it). You sleep in a refuge at 1350 meters above sea level, for a beneficial digital detox and a reconnection with the wild nature, among beeches, oaks and firs.
More you participate in a study by the University of Padua on the benefits of forest bathing in digital overexposure: «Several studies have shown that immersion in nature promotes well-being. However, they are almost always based on common experiences of very short duration. The collaboration with Ivy Tour on the research project “From the roots to the fruits of well-being” allows us to verify the benefits of group courses, which optimize their effects “, says Dr. Angelica Moè, of the Department of General Psychology of the University of Padua.
In addition, part of the proceeds are donated to WOWnature, for the planting of new trees.
- READ ALSO: What are forest baths and why they are good for you