Updated: May 14
Of course you already know that your health is important, and you’ve learned on our last blog posts that the Adirondack chair is good for you with its unique backward sloping seat, and comfortable contoured back, keeping your spine aligned with your neck for optimum relaxation. But did you know that forest bathing can start at home in your own back yard, with perhaps only one or two trees or shrubs at hand?
Shinrin-Yoku, literally 'Forest Bathing', is a term coined by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture which has been studying this phenomenon since 1982. The scientific benefits of breathing in the woodlands, bringing our bodies back in tune with nature, are being studied and analysed by research teams the world over. No more negative connotations for tree huggers: hugging a tree actually increases hormones that govern calm and emotional bonding, so don’t avoid the natural healers available to you.
Hugging a tree actually increases hormones that govern calm and emotional bonding.
At best, we should be going into a forest or woodland for two hours at least once a month. The Vagus nerve (governing the body’s patterns of calm and regeneration) benefits from our breathing in volatile Phytoncides (airborne essential tree oils) resulting in a natural immunity boost and decreased psychosocial stress-related disease.
The benefits of your “natural shower” while walking peacefully through the woods can last for weeks as the cancer-fighting cells in your body are encouraged by medicinal properties of the oils. Other benefits of your proximity with trees are notable mood enhancement, better sleep, reduced blood glucose levels, and lowered nervous system activity.
But if we are not able to leave home for the woods on a regular basis, who’s to say we can’t sit back in our outdoor wooden garden lounger and experience essentially the same benefits on our home patio? All you need to do is:
get outdoors and into your Adirondack chair
unplug your devices (don’t even bring your phone with you)
Temperature permitting, allow sunshine on your skin and bare feet (remember, Vitamin D?)
Focus your brain (with your eyes open) on mindful awareness of your green, natural bit of garden
Breathe deeply and slowly (nasal breathing has proved most effective for stress relief)
Relax your body (with your eyes closed) and soak in the bliss of springtime
Even if you are short of trees, grass, or green plants in your garden, guess what? It turns out that just the act of using a natural Larch wood Adirondack chair can actually contribute to your overall physical and mental forte. Continuous exposure to wood will boost your health. In our wood shop, we use no chemical finishes or unnatural stains, but deliver the chair free of toxins directly to your home. Watch out that as you fall in love with your comfortable wooden garden chairs, its rich, woodsy scent, and softly sanded armrests, your neighbours might catch you giving it a hug!