Introduction to Forest Therapy

Short article (BBC)

Long article (National Geographic)


Film download link

Your Brain on Nature
brain-on-nature-wIn Your Brain on Nature, physician Eva Selhub and naturopath Alan Logan examine not only the effects of nature on the brain, but the ubiquitous influence of everyday technology on the brain, and how IT overload and its many distractions may even be changing it. Offering an antidote for the technology-addicted, the book outlines emerging nature-based therapies including ecotherapy, as well as practical strategies for improving your (and your children’s) cognitive functioning, mental health and physical well-being through ecotherapeutic, nutritional and behavioural means. A powerful wake-up call for our tech-immersed society, Your Brain on Nature examines the fascinating effects that exposure to nature can have on the brain.

Nature Fix
nature-fix-webIn this informative and entertaining account, Williams investigates cutting-edge research as she travels to fragrant cypress forests in Korea to meet the rangers who administer “forest healing programs,” to the green hills of Scotland and its “ecotherapeutic” approach to caring for the mentally ill, to a river trip in Idaho with Iraqi vets suffering from PTSD, to the West Virginia mountains where she discovers how being outside helps children with ADHD. The Nature Fix demonstrates that our connection to nature is much more important to our cognition than we think and that even small amounts of exposure to the living world can improve our creativity and enhance our mood. In prose that is incisive, witty, and urgent, Williams shows how time in nature is not a luxury but is in fact essential to our humanity. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas―and the answers they yield―are more urgent than ever.

* A list of references / research papers is given below. If you have any other interesting links to articles, books, films please add them in the comment section below.

** You can also experience the effects of forest therapy by going for a healing forest walk in a forest near you. Check out our Healing Forest walk page.

Poster 1
Poster 2


Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework. Journal of environmental psychology15(3), 169-182.

Li, Q., & Kawada, T. Healthy forest parks make healthy people: Forest environments enhance human immune function. Department of Hygiene and Public Health, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan. http://www.hphpcentral. com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/5000-paper-by-Qing-Li2-2.pdf

Li, Q., Kobayashi, M., Wakayama, Y., Inagaki, H., Katsumata, M., Hirata, Y., … & Ohira, T. (2009). Effect of phytoncide from trees on human natural killer cell function. International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology22(4), 951-959.

Li, Q., Morimoto, K., Nakadai, A., Inagaki, H., Katsumata, M., Shimizu, T., … & Kagawa, T. (2007). Forest bathing enhances human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins. International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology20(2 suppl), 3-8.

Morita, E., Fukuda, S., Nagano, J., Hamajima, N., Yamamoto, H., Iwai, Y., … & Shirakawa, T. (2007). Psychological effects of forest environments on healthy adults: Shinrin-yoku (forest-air bathing, walking) as a possible method of stress reduction. Public health121(1), 54-63.

Ohtsuka, Y., Yabunaka, N., & Takayama, S. (1998). Shinrin-yoku (forest-air bathing and walking) effectively decreases blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. International Journal of Biometeorology41(3), 125-127.

Park, B. J., Tsunetsugu, Y., Kasetani, T., Kagawa, T., & Miyazaki, Y. (2010). The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. Environmental health and preventive medicine15(1), 18-26.

Song, C., Ikei, H., Kobayashi, M., Miura, T., Taue, M., Kagawa, T., … & Miyazaki, Y. (2015). Effect of forest walking on autonomic nervous system activity in middle-aged hypertensive individuals: A pilot study. International journal of environmental research and public health12(3), 2687-2699.

Tsunetsugu, Y., Park, B., Miyazaki, Y. (2010). Trends in research related to “Shinrin-yoku” (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing) in Japan. Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine. 15(1): 27-37.