Japan’s forest bathing concept comes to the Indian Himalayas in Uttarakhand

Japan’s forest bathing concept comes to the Indian Himalayas in Uttarakhand

India just got its first forest healing centre, which was opened to the public on Sunday at Kalika near Ranikhet, Uttarakhand. The healing centre is based on the concept of making people healthy by bringing them close to nature.

The centre features signboards at the entrance to advise visitors to hug trees, to walk barefoot on the grass, lie on their back and gaze at swaying trees, or look at the sky above to soothe their senses. Pretty, little wooden structures, called tree platforms, have also been set up here, to provide visitors natural ambience to meditate.

Reports have it that the healing centre has been developed after a detailed study of revitalising impact of forests on human health by the research wing of Uttarakhand Forest Department, and by drawing inspiration from the Japanese technique of forest bathing (
Shinrin-Yoku).

Japan’s forest bathing concept comes to the Indian Himalayas in Uttarakhand

The centre is spread across an area of around 13 ac, and was inaugurated by noted environmentalist Ranikhet Joginder Bisht. Regarding the activities, in which the visitors can indulge in the centre, Chief Conservator of Forest Sanjiv Chaturvedi said that it has been found that tree hugging has a very positive impact on increasing the level of feel good hormones in the body like serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine.

He added that the reason behind establishing the healing centre in a pine dominated forest is that studies have found conifers like pine trees emit certain oil compounds, called phytoncides, to defend themselves from various pathogens and microbes. Further, as per research, it has been found that these compounds help to multiply natural killer cells in our blood, thereby helping our body to fight infections and enhance overall immunity.

When there, visitors will find a register in which they can share their experiences.

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