Forest Bathing as a Therapy travel experience

Do you want to lower you stress levels? Stop feeling so tired or anxious? Recharge your energy amount? Sleep better during the night? Getting through the week feeling more calm and patient and less stressed? Why don’t you try with a Forest Bathing!?

What is Forest Bathing!? Find out below.

“Forest bathing”, or “Shinrin-Yoku”, is a conception born in Japan in 1982 as part of a national health programme designed to reduce the stress levels of the population (Kagami, 1998). Shinrin-Yoku literally means “forest bathing” or “immersing oneself in a forest atmosphere.”
The Forest Bathing refers to the concept of Forest Medicine that is a new interdisciplinary science, belonging to the categories of alternative medicine, environmental medicine and preventive medicine, which encompasses the effects of forest environments on human health. (Dr. Qing Li, 2019).
Over the years, the preventive and curative effects of forests have been documented in the scientific literature. Evidence shows that spending time in the forests without doing any sport or exercise but simple activities like short walks (e.g. forest bathing) have a considerable positive effect on human health.

It has been reported that forest environment is affecting:
-the psychological sphere with the reduction of stress levels, anxiety, etc, acting on the decreasing of stress hormones (salivary cortisol and urinary adrenaline)
-the physiological sphere, observing a significant improvement in these functions (Kuo, 2015):

  • Cardiovascular and hemodynamic, with the reduction of heart rate and blood pressure thanks to the increasing of the activity of parasympathetic nerves and the reduction of the activity of the sympathetic nerves.
  • Immunological (augmentation of the number and the level of activation of the NK-cells, responsible for the immune system and the intracellular levels of anti-cancer proteins, suggesting a preventive effect on cancers),
  • Metabolic (augmentation of the adiponectin hormones in the blood, that appears to play a crucial role in protecting against metabolic syndromes such diabetes or obesity)

Positive effects on health and wellbeing from the exposure to nature are found starting at 120 minutes (White, M.P. et al., 2019), regardless of how they had been achieved: in a long single visit or several visits over the seven days (e.g. 30 minutes 4 times a week).

A Forest Bathing or Nature Bathing is an immersive experience in nature. A short (700mt – 1km), slow walk will be offered, interspersed with moments of relaxation where the guide will invite participants to do some simple activities (sensorial experiences using senses, mindfulness, moments of sharing, etc.).

Any adult can participate, provided his/her good health condition. It is anyhow required from the guide to fill out a short questionnaire about the health state of the participant before the beginning of the walk.


Marta Battaini is a nurse and a certified forest bathing guide. As a nurse she has worked with people with disabilities, where she had the opportunity to observe the importance and the positive effects of nature exposure to help treating different kind of diseases. After some years working in the development cooperation field in Africa, she is now living with her family in Albania. She offers Forest Bathing to locals and tourists to promote well-being in nature and enhance the wonderful Albanian nature and landscapes, especially in protected areas.

We suggest you to wear comfortable clothes, suitable for both warm and cold weather (e.g. dress in layers), hiking boots or walking shoes, and bring in your backpack:

  • A rain coat and/or an umbrella in case of unexpected rain.
  • A towel or a blanket to sit or lay down on the ground.
  • Water bottle
  • Mosquito repellent (to only use if strictly necessary. The strong smell of these chemicals products may interfere with the sensorial activities)

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