Forest Bathing Book Summary - Forest Bathing Book explained in key points
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Forest Bathing summary

Qing Li

How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness

4.7 (306 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

'Forest Bathing' by Qing Li is an insightful guide to the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing. It explores the physical and mental benefits of spending time in nature and provides practical tips for incorporating this practice into our daily lives.

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    Forest Bathing
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    Forest bathing is a Japanese practice based on the healing power of nature.

    Imagine this: after a stressful week of deadlines and family obligations, you desperately need something to boost your mood and energy. A vacation would be ideal, but, unfortunately, you don’t have the time or money. But you can take a walk in a nearby park, and something tells you that this will do the trick.

    That something is right! After about an hour of taking in the trees, flowers, and various sounds of nature, you feel refreshed.

    You instinctively know that spending time in nature is good for you. What you might not know is that, in Japan, there’s a specific word for basking in nature and connecting with it in a healing way. It’s called forest bathing, or, in Japanese, shinrin-yoku.

    The key message here is: Forest bathing is a Japanese practice based on the healing power of nature.

    The term shinrin-yoku was coined in the early eighties by Tomohide Akiyama, the Director General of the Agency of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. At the time, Japanese people started practicing forest bathing because they believed that being in nature was beneficial. When you consider the centuries-long relationship that the Japanese have with forests, it makes sense that the practice of forest bathing developed there.

    According to the author, Japan is a forest civilization, whose culture, religion, and philosophy are tied to forests. To start, two-thirds of the country is covered in forest. Practitioners of the main religions, Shinto and Zen Buddhism, believe that forests are divine spaces, and Japanese folktales are about tree-dwelling gods called kodama. Festivals and traditions in Japan also revolve around nature, and one example is hanami – a spring flower-viewing festival.

    Despite this deep relationship with nature, many Japanese people today are disconnected from the natural world. An astounding 78 percent of the population lives in cities. This urbanization trend isn’t unique to Japan. The world is becoming increasingly urban; it’s estimated that, by the year 2050, 75 percent of the global population will live in cities.

    Although there are definite perks to city-dwelling, it also increases stress. And more stress leads to higher chances of developing health conditions like cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. The good news is that forest bathing is more than refreshing. It also combats stress and improves health – as you’ll find out in the next blink.

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    What is Forest Bathing about?

    Forest Bathing (2018) is a guide to the Japanese practice of forest bathing. It explores the beliefs, culture, and traditions behind forest bathing, as well as various studies on its health benefitsIt also lays out easy-to-follow steps for practicing forest bathing in any environment.

    Forest Bathing Review

    Forest Bathing (2018) explores the healing power of being in nature and offers a practical guide on how to connect with the natural world for improved health and well-being. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its scientific research and compelling case studies, it provides evidence for the numerous physical and mental benefits of immersing oneself in nature.
    • The book offers practical tips and exercises to help readers integrate forest bathing into their lives, making it accessible and actionable.
    • Through its beautiful descriptions and poetic language, it transports readers to the serene and rejuvenating environment of the forest, making the topic of nature immersion captivating and exciting.

    Best quote from Forest Bathing

    When you walk in the forest, you are breathing in its healing power.

    —Qing Li
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    Who should read Forest Bathing?

    • People interested in nature’s effect on human health
    • Nature lovers
    • Japanese culture enthusiasts

    About the Author

    Dr. Qing Li is an immunologist and a leading expert on forest medicine. He’s a founding member of the Japanese Society for Forest Medicine, and the vice president and secretary general of the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine. Dr. Li teaches at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan, and has been a visiting fellow at Stanford University.

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    Forest Bathing FAQs 

    What is the main message of Forest Bathing?

    The main message of Forest Bathing is that spending time in nature has numerous physical and mental health benefits.

    How long does it take to read Forest Bathing?

    The reading time for Forest Bathing varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Forest Bathing a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Forest Bathing is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in improving their well-being. It provides valuable insights into the healing power of nature.

    Who is the author of Forest Bathing?

    The author of Forest Bathing is Qing Li.

    What to read after Forest Bathing?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Forest Bathing, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Eight Master Lessons of Nature by Gary Ferguson
    • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    • The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
    • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
    • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
    • In Pursuit of the Unknown by Ian Stewart
    • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
    • Dopamine Detox by Thibaut Meurisse
    • Practical Optimism by Sue Varma
    • On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin