If you’ve ever spent any time in a forest, you’ll have experienced nature’s immediate calming effect. The dappled light streaming through a canopy of leaves; the soft crunch of twigs underfoot as birdsong echoes around you. The stillness is intoxicating. This multi-sensory experience is called ‘forest bathing’, and it’s one of the best things you could do for your mental and physical health.
One of our favourite home and fragrance brands, Earl of East, has a Japanese line that captures the revitalising scent of forest bathing. We’re here to introduce you to the concept of forest bathing and help you understand what makes Earl of East’s Shinrin-Yoku products so special.
What is forest bathing?
Forest bathing (‘shinrin-yoku’ in Japanese) in its purest form involves being still and taking in the sights, sounds and smells of nature. Since the concept of forest bathing is based on relaxing and consciously connecting with nature, physical exertion is unnecessary. Despite its name, you can do all this with your clothes on and without dipping a single toe in water!
“Spending time in nature gives us the digital detox our minds and bodies crave”
Shinrin-yoku is an ancient Japanese practice, but it was only officially recognised in 1982 when the government incorporated it into the national health programme. It is relatively new to the West, where people will hike, camp, abseil, swim in lakes and traverse valleys, yet seem to struggle with just being in nature. But now the therapeutic benefits of shinrin-yoku are more important than ever.
We spend the majority of our lives indoors and much of that time is spent interacting with technology. We’re on our phones for an average of 4.8 hours a day and that doesn’t include all the screen time spent on computers and watching TV. Spending time in nature gives us the digital detox our minds and bodies crave.
The benefits of shinrin-yoku
“GPs recognise the benefits of forest bathing and are beginning to administer ‘park prescriptions’, particularly in urban communities”
Studies have shown that forest bathing helps reduce blood pressure, lowers our heart rate and reduces stress. Besides improving overall well-being, it also has the power to boost the immune system. Some Japanese doctors claim shinrin-yoku prevents more serious illnesses including cancer, strokes, gastric ulcers and depression.
Anyone who meditates and practices mindfulness will be aware of the calming effect of stillness. Even just an hour in nature can offer you the space, comfort and clarity to improve your health. GPs recognise the benefits of forest bathing and are beginning to administer ‘park prescriptions’, particularly in urban communities.
While it's good to get into the wilderness away from the sounds of traffic and people, you don’t need to hike for miles to bathe in a forest. It’s something people can explore during their lunch break in a city park.
Earl of East’s Shinrin-Yoku products
If forest bathing sounds like a ritual you’d enjoy, why not try it at home too? Earl of East’s range of Shinrin-Yoku products comprises candles, bath salts, essential oils, hand washes and hand balms. The earthy fragrance blends cedarwood, oakmoss and black pepper to invigorate your senses and transport you to the depths of a forest after rainfall. It helps you forget time and escape daily pressures.
Also available in the Nerumae gift set, the Shinrin-Yoku fragrance will give your friends the restorative experience of spending time in nature.
Earl of East is an independent London-based fragrance brand that produces products locally and sells them worldwide. We’re delighted to stock a selection of its sustainable, organic, vegan and cruelty-free products. We highly recommend the Shinrin-Yoku range – it’s the next best thing to sitting in a forest.
If you’re ready for a multi-sensory experience, explore zen minded’s Earl of East collection.