Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
. 2017 Jul 28;14(8):851.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph14080851.

Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review

Affiliations
Free PMC article
Review

Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review

Margaret M Hansen et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Current literature supports the comprehensive health benefits of exposure to nature and green environments on human systems. The aim of this state-of-the-art review is to elucidate empirical research conducted on the physiological and psychological effects of Shinrin-Yoku (or Forest Bathing) in transcontinental Japan and China. Furthermore, we aim to encourage healthcare professionals to conduct longitudinal research in Western cultures regarding the clinically therapeutic effects of Shinrin-Yoku and, for healthcare providers/students to consider practicing Shinrin-Yoku to decrease undue stress and potential burnout.

Methods: A thorough review was conducted to identify research published with an initial open date range and then narrowing the collection to include papers published from 2007 to 2017. Electronic databases (PubMed, PubMed Central, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Scopus) and snowball references were used to cull papers that evaluated the use of Shinrin-Yoku for various populations in diverse settings.

Results: From the 127 papers initially culled using the Boolean phrases: "Shinrin-yoku" AND/OR "forest bathing" AND/OR "nature therapy", 64 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this summary review and then divided into "physiological," "psychological," "sensory metrics" and "frameworks" sub-groups.

Conclusions: Human health benefits associated with the immersion in nature continue to be currently researched. Longitudinal research, conducted worldwide, is needed to produce new evidence of the relationships associated with Shinrin-Yoku and clinical therapeutic effects. Nature therapy as a health-promotion method and potential universal health model is implicated for the reduction of reported modern-day "stress-state" and "technostress.".

Keywords: Shinrin-Yoku; forest bathing; integrative medicine; nature therapy.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Concept of nature therapy [9]. Permission to publish from Yoshifumi Miyasaki.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Literature search process.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Walking in nature. Permission to publish from CiCi Lee.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 28 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Bowler D.E., Buyung-Ali L.M., Knight T.M., Pullin A.S. A systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments. BMC Public Health. 2010;10:456 doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-456. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Chun M.H., Chang M.C., Lee S. The effects of forest therapy on depression and anxiety in patients with chronic stroke. Int. J. Neurosci. 2017;127:199–203. doi: 10.3109/00207454.2016.1170015. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Han J., Choi H., Jeon Y., Yoon C., Woo J., Kim W. The Effects of Forest Therapy on Coping with Chronic Widespread Pain: Physiological and Psychological Differences between Participants in a Forest Therapy Program and a Control Group. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2016;13:255 doi: 10.3390/ijerph13030255. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. . Shinrin Yoku. [(accessed on 21 July 2017)]; Available online: http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html.
    1. Williams F. This Is Your Brain on Nature. Natl. Geogr. 2016:229.
Feedback