Allentown Events, Things to Do, Area GuideAllentown Guide
Allentown Alive on Facebook
Charities, conservation, events, festivals, concerts, fairs, recognition
Community News
Press Releases
For good health, bathe in a forest!
9/15/2016 Volume XLIX, No. 36

With 130 miles of coastline, New Jersey residents know all about the joys of sunbathing at the beach.  But how about “forest bathing”?

Yes, it’s real … and it can improve your health! And you don’t need to wear a bathing suit!

Forest bathing literally means soaking in the forest atmosphere. It originated nearly 35 years ago in Japan, where it’s known as “shinrin-yoku,” and it’s now catching on in the United States.

Just as sunbathers on a beach enjoy the smell of salt air, the feel of toes in the sand and the sound of waves breaking, forest bathers use all of their senses, too. The scent of pine trees, the sound of singing birds and flowing brooks, the soothing green palette of leaves and the varied textures of plants are all part of the experience.

The result, according to shinrin-yoku practitioners, is a feeling of relaxation and rejuvenation that promotes a myriad of measurable health benefits, from lower blood pressure to a stronger immune system.

The term “forest bathing” comes from a 1982 article by the former head of Japan’s Forestry Agency. Early researchers theorized that health benefits were derived from substances called phytoncides, which are antimicrobial organic compounds given off by plants. Breathing in these “forest essences” was thought to bring about relaxation.

Later research focused on the stresses of living indoors in a technology-oriented society. Japan’s leading researcher on forest therapy, Yoshifumi Miyazaki of Chiba University, believes humans are hard-wired to need nature in their lives.

“Five million years have passed since humans became humans,” he wrote in a paper on the science of nature therapy. “The men and women living in modern times have therefore spent more than 99.99 percent of their evolutionary history in natural environments.” He concluded that living in our modern society’s artificial environments is inherently stressful.

Miyazaki conducted physiological experiments to examine whether spending time in forests actually does improve health. In one study, he found that the average concentration of cortisol, a stress hormone found in saliva, was 13.4 percent lower in people who gazed on forest scenery for 20 minutes than in people in urban settings.

Another Japanese researcher, Li Qing of Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, conducted experiments to find out if spending time in nature increases the activity of natural killer (NK) cells, a component of the immune system that fights cancer. The study found that NK activity was significantly boosted in two groups that spent time in forests.

Like many practices that began in other countries, forest bathing first emerged in California, where organized groups now take therapy trips to forests.

As far as I know, organized forest bathing hasn’t found its way to New Jersey yet – but don’t let that stop you!

Just about anyone can practice shinrin-yoku … you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic or expert naturalist. Unlike a strenuous hike, forest bathing isn’t meant to burn calories, build muscles or reach destinations. Unlike nature walks, the goal isn’t to count species or interpret wildlife behavior.

Beautiful forests are found in every corner of this state we’re in, and this is a great time of year to take a therapeutic stroll to soothe your senses and boost your health. Simply relax and soak in the forest around you!

To find a forest trail near you, visit the New York New Jersey Trail Conference website at www.nynjtc.org, New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s trailhead locator map at www.njconservation.org/recreation.htm, the New Jersey Trails website at www.njtrails.org or the New Jersey Hiking website at www.njhiking.com.

To see an interesting National Geographic video on forest bathing, go to http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/explorer/videos/forest-bathing/.  To read more about forest bathing in Japan, go to http://www.natgeotraveller.in/forest-bathing-the-japanese-secret-to-good-health/.

And to learn more about preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation website at www.njconservation.org or contact me at info@njconservation.org.

POSTS

Weather extremes may be New Jersey's new normal

Bald eagles and ospreys rebound in New Jersey

Pine Barrens prescribed fires: A renewal force

Take a walk on the bottom of the sea!

Energy efficiency saves money and land - and creates jobs!

The Pines of March

Trees are more social than you think!

New Jersey's geological 'layer cake'

Keeping the 'great' in Paterson's Great Falls

Some good news!

Take action to defend and protect land and water

Interested in ecology? Become a Rutgers Environmental Steward

2016 wins and losses for New Jersey's land and water

Kick off a healthy New Year with First Day hike

Energy infrastructure: the new sprawl

Two great books for connecting kids with nature

Why do some trees stay green while others lose their leaves?

Melting ice, rising seas, hotter planet

Our forests never sleep, even in winter!

Documentary brings Great Swamp battle back to life

Defending the land they loved

Four years after Sandy, rising sea levels predicted

New Jersey: Small state, big diversity

10 great natural areas for enjoying fall colors

Removing obsolete dams brings rivers back to life

Humpback whales a welcome sight off NJ coast

NJ wine industry boosts agritourism

For good health, bathe in a forest!

Let's NOT make a deal!

New Jersey's spectacular waterfalls

Urban trees boost health and land values

Blue Acres: A win-win for open space, owners of flooded homes

Get mosquitos to buzz off - naturally!

Flawed pipeline approval process needs reforms

Speak out for our Atlantic Ocean and coast!

Help Pokemon Go lead into outdoors and nature

NJ 4th in peaches; don't miss out on peach season!

Water, water everywhere - keep it safe to drink!

Growing beer in the Garden State

Celebrate NJ's Revolutionary War parks and open spaces on July 4

Override Governor's veto of open space bill

Taming the wild blueberry 100 years ago

Celebrate and take action during National Pollinator Week

Get on the Circuit for National Trails Day

New tax deduction would give boost to NJ non-profits

Best nature movies

Call on Governor Christie to sign the open space bill!

Native seed bank may provide ash trees of the future

Urban farms bring healthy local foods

National Park Service turns 100

ARCHIVE

March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011

CLICK FOR RECENT POSTS

Camp Conrad Weiser is a Summer Overnight Camp on 600 mountain top acres in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  While we offer a variety of session lengths, most campers come for 2 or 4 week sessions.  We are a coed program for campers 7-16 years old. Traditional camp programs including horseback riding, swimming, boating, athletics, target sports, mountain biking, creative arts, nature, adventure & teen leadership.  We also offer a variety of specialty theme camps, adventure trips and international trips.  Fees starting at $500 per week.  We can't wait to see you on the mountain!

GYMGUYZ Greater Bucks is # 1 in Home Personal Training specializing in one-on-one fitness, group sessions, and corporate fitness in the comfort of your own home, office, or setting of your choice. GYMGUYZ provides Convenient, Customized, and Creative workouts using vans stocked with state of the art equipment. Our services include weight loss, body sculpting, bodybuilding, weight training, therapeutic/athletic stretch, strength training, senior fitness, obstacle course training, kickboxing, group training, corporate fitness, post & pre-natal exercise, pool workouts, youth and teen fitness training, cardio fitness, professional sports conditioning, nutrition counseling, deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, sports massage therapy, and birthday parties. GYMGUYZ Greater Bucks is # 1 in Home Personal Training specializing in one-on-one fitness, group sessions, and corporate fitness in the comfort of your own home, office, or setting of your choice. GYMGUYZ provides Convenient, Customized, and Creative workouts using vans stocked with state of the art equipment. Our services include weight loss, body sculpting, bodybuilding, weight training, therapeutic/athletic stretch, strength training, senior fitness, obstacle course training, kickboxing, group training, corporate fitness, post & pre-natal exercise, pool workouts, youth and teen fitness training, cardio fitness, professional sports conditioning, nutrition counseling, deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, sports massage therapy, and birthday parties.

Opened in 1974 initiated by parents in the community, LifePath, a non-profit organization, has been providing a variety of community and residential services to individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities in 7 counties in Pennsylvania. LifePath's programs and services are guided by the principal of everyday lives, an environment of respect and dignity and opportunities to make decisions and choices about one's own life. If you are ready to make a difference in the lives of individuals in your community, we have a position for you! EOE

As a property owner and community member, your needs for a property management company that has genuine skills, service and expertise is critical. AMCC places the highest priority on accountability, accessibility and service. We perform weekly visual inspections of our properties, detecting potential problems before they become real problems. Our hands-on management reduces the burden on the board for the daily operations and maintenance of your community. A primary objective of AMCC is to relieve the board of the burdens of day-to-day operations and administration of property management and empower them as decision makers. We believe in common sense solutions to property management, providing clients with services tailored to meet their needs, rather than a blanket approach for every community. Our clients love us, and you will too! As a property owner and community member, your needs for a property management company that has genuine skills, service and expertise is critical. AMCC places the highest priority on accountability, accessibility and service. We perform weekly visual inspections of our properties, detecting potential problems before they become real problems. Our hands-on management reduces the burden on the board for the daily operations and maintenance of your community. A primary objective of AMCC is to relieve the board of the burdens of day-to-day operations and administration of property management and empower them as decision makers. We believe in common sense solutions to property management, providing clients with services tailored to meet their needs, rather than a blanket approach for every community. Our clients love us, and you will too!

For 30 years, The Princeton Review has been the destination for college and grad bound students to make their dreams a reality. Last year alone, we helped more than 3.5 million students get into a great college or grad school. How do we do it? Online and in-person tutoring and test prep from top-notch educators as well as more than 150 books that provide test prep help to college admissions advice. For 30 years, The Princeton Review has been the destination for college and grad bound students to make their dreams a reality. Last year alone, we helped more than 3.5 million students get into a great college or grad school. How do we do it? Online and in-person tutoring and test prep from top-notch educators as well as more than 150 books that provide test prep help to college admissions advice.

Your Time, Your Home, Your Lifestyle, Your Way! A recent Time Use Survey showed that Americans spend on average 20 hours or more per week on housekeeping & entertaining. What if we could show you a way to have freedom from all of those tedious tasks that are robbing you of hours of time & energy? If you are too busy, too tired, or too smart to spend your free time doing time-consuming household chores, then we are the ones to call! Armed with a select team of bonded and insured, non-smoking, housekeeping & hospitality professionals with more than 20 years of experience; a full range of Home & Hospitality service plans to fit every need, and a 5 Star Quality guarantee, Eclectic Domestics is ready to help you manage, maintain & reclaim your time, your home, and your lifestyle. From cleaning & laundry, grocery shopping & meal prep, organizing & holiday decorating, to party staffing & more, no job is too small. We will design the perfect service plan for you. Contact us today to learn more about our premium & customized service packages.

Tyler Park Center for the Arts offers exciting workshops in a variety of artistic mediums for all levels, beginner through advanced, adults and children. All classes, workshops, and a variety of Summer Art Camps are taught by talented and exceptional artists in beautiful Tyler State Park. Experience Wheel Thrown and Hand Built Pottery, Precious Metal Clay, Glass Arts, Fine Art, Photography, Paper Making, and more! Take a stroll in our large scale Outdoor Sculpture Garden, fire pots in our Manabigama Wood Kiln, and attend Crafts in the Meadow, our annual  Juried Invitational Fine Art and Craft Festival this October along with the Mad Hatters Garden Party benefit auction in June.

For over 25 years, the paving experts at Boswell Brothers Paving have increased the value and beauty to residences and businesses in Bucks, Montgomery and Lehigh counties. We are the people to call when your driveway needs to be repaved or your building's parking lot needs striping or crack repair. With our knowledge and experience, you can expect incredible results in paving, asphalt, and sealcoat services. We are equipped do court services, asphalt grading, paving designs, retaining walls, and more. Some of our project specialties include basketball courts, tennis courts, private roads, and parking lots. If you just need regular maintenance, we can provide that too! This includes asphalt overlay, replacement, patching up holes, re-raking, and smoothing out damaged areas. Boswell Brother's Paving specializes in all forms of paving and can help you with just about any project. Give us a call today!

Doylestown Escape Room is the borough's first immersive mystery & adventure game. Behind the escape room door, with just 60 minutes to work, your group will rush to solve unique riddles, puzzles and mind tricks. Imagine a dark isolated alley; a harrowing rescue and narrow escape; a mind twisting, 60 minute quest for clues. Do you have what it take to save your friend and escape from Dead End Alley, before it's too late? In the escape room, creativity, teamwork and resourcefulness are the keys to freedom!

Strength & Grace Dance Academy is a place where each student is given strength not only to dance, but to become strong, confident individuals. We believe that each dancer can express themselves freely through the art of dance. Dancers will get the attention they deserve to let their own unique personality shine! We offer classes for dancers age 3 to adult. The classes we offer are: Baby Steps with Mommy, Freedom which is our version of creative movement, Combo classes, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Pointe and Barrga! A class for adults which is a fun blend of ballet and yoga! Strength & Grace is a loving, caring environment to let everyone truly shine! We are located at Spotlight Dance Center in Huntingdon Valley.

  become a sponsor

adbnrs