A book that gripped me from the offset. Who knew that learning about trees and their health benefits could be so interesting yet also calming? Dr Qing Li is fascinating; I urge you all to read.
Forest-bathing. Sounds like a something a hippy would do, I hear you say. I’m not going to lie that I had those sorts of prejudices too when Penguin offered to send this title to me. Although if you know me, you’ll know that I’m very interested in how nature can help our health. I love aromatherapy oils and all that sort of thing. So I thought why not?
About the author
Dr Qing Li (the author) sounded like an interesting guy, having studied at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo and then focusing on forest medicine for 20 years. He was actually the first researcher to link time spent in the forest to a boost in our immune systems; reduction in cortisol levels and improved sleep! I think all of us in the UK could do with some of this!
First off, the book is beautifully designed. It’s hardback which I just LOVE and the paper smells SO good. I know, I’m weird but I’m sure any bookish person reading this would agree with me that when a book has that smell, it just gets more points straight off.
Inside on the first page, you’ll find the loveliest watercolour illustration of Japan, showing all the forest-bathing spots around the country. You’ll be mind-blown with all the greenery that Japan has to offer; the book really shows off the country in its best light with all the stunning photography throughout.
So what did I think?
I think you can already that I really enjoyed this book. Well I’d say it’s more of a guide to be honest; a guide to improving our relationship with nature and how we can protect the trees that give so much to us. We often forget that.
I love the way the book is set out into four easy-to-read sections, from the science behind the forest-bathing, and I mean pretty in-depth science with technical words, but not to the point that you can’t understand. To then how we can practise it ourselves, inside and outside. Then most importantly, how we as a planet can protect the trees. It really does have everything you’d ever need to know on the subject.
One thing which has inspired me is the use of kanji (Japanese characters) throughout the book. Dr Qing Li uses the Kanji to explain Japanese terms linked to nature and it’s so so interesting to learn about the Japanese culture in this way. They have so many links to nature, it’s pretty cool. For example one of the Japanese religions known as Shinto, believe that the forest is the ‘realm of the divine’ and that God is found in nature and that these spirits are found throughout the trees and streams etc. Reading all about this has sorta compelled me to want to learn Japanese and to visit the country itself!
I definitely recommend everyone to go and pick up a copy, especially us British. We spend way too much time inside (I know the weather has a lot to do with this) and not enough time exploring nature. I’m guilty of it. This book could actually save lives. Yes, I know that’s extreme but forest-bathing can help people in all areas of life, from illnesses to depression. There’s enough research out there telling us, the author explains. So yeah, pick it up for yourself or maybe someone you know who will benefit from some calmness in their life. I know I’m going to refer to it in times of need. Definitely a bookshelf essential.
Would you give forest-bathing a go? Let me know in the comments!
Shinrin Yoku The Art and Science of Forest Bathing* by Dr Qing Li is available now. You can buy a copy from Amazon UK for £8.81.
*I’m an affiliate link. I earn Jess a small commission if you buy from my link. She appreciates the support. It might buy her a coffee one day!
I received this book from Penguin UK for review. All opinions are honest and my own.