The Literary Influence 4: Forest Medicine

Pagans are more known for their ‘live in a field’ aspect than that of ‘live in a library’, but camping out amongst the shelves may just find you a gem or two which has influenced pagan critical thinking about how we see the world around us, and how we view the past.

Outside Magazine’s December 2012 issue includes an in-depth article by Florence Williams entitled “The nature cure: Take two hours of pine forest and call me in the morning.”  Williams describes the emerging focus on the connection between nature and health as the “slow nature movement.” this pieces together the research taking place around the world. She cites the work of Alan Logan, Richard Louv, Rachel and Stephen Kaplan and others who have helped raise awareness of the links between nature and individual health.

Put simply, Forest Bathing or sometimes known as social forestry is the practice of taking extended walks within forests and woodland to improve mental and physical well being.

In Japan the practice of Forest Bathing is widely accepted in the modern day, with 48 current forest therapy bases, and future plans to expand to around 100.  Visiting forests has been found to increase anti-cancer proteins

You may be interested to know that there is an International Society for Nature and Forest Medicine, which can be found HERE and the Radio 4 programme ‘The Secret Power of Trees‘ which discusses the practice of forest bathing, and looks at the recent rise of social forestry.

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