In the 1980's in Japan the term 'Shinrin Yoku" was coined. The literal translation is ' Forest Bathing.' - a term that brings up a myriad of connotations! Far better to consider it as an immersive experience where you take the time to be with Nature under the Canopy of the trees. It is now part of the Japanese Health Service where Shinrin Yoku is prescribed as it is proven to have preventative health benefits and a way of managing our stressful lives.
Why the canopy? Trees release phytoncides which are the trees' aromatherapy. These phytoncides are part of the trees' defence mechanism, protecting them from bugs, bacteria and fungi. As they emit these aromas they are also part of the way trees communicate with each other. Studies in Japan have demonstrated that we can also benefit from breathing in these phytoncides as they can raise the levels of NK (natural killer!) cells - part of our immune system and therefore boosting it. Phytoncides vary from tree species to tree species and have very specific scents.
Using our senses to experience the forest also gives us the opportunity to slow down, switch off from automatic pilot and really become aware of our natural surroundings - connecting with rather than being in Nature.