Forest bathing

Freija is located amidst a remarkable, mature maple-beech 1,000 acre Kinghurst Forest that is a rare example of pre-settlement woodlands in southern Ontario. Many of the trees are 250 to 300 years old, tower over 30 meters high, and clearly show the vertical stratification characteristic of a true, old-growth forest. A spectacular show of wildflowers greets visitors in the spring, as do provincially rare plants such as Hart’s-tongue fern.

A simple act of taking a walk in a forest like this one (a form of preventative therapy called “forest bathing” or Shinrin-yoku) has proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing.

Our guides will take you on a magical trek through the forest, pointing out various types of trees, terrain, water features, magical streams, birds and wildlife abundant in the Ontario forest. Along the way we’re going to forage for wild edible plants and make rejuvenating tea by a forest stream.

Lee, Juyoung et al. “Effect of forest bathing on physiological and psychological responses in young Japanese male subjects.” Public health 125 2 (2011): 93-100.

Tsunetsugu, Yuko et al. “Trends in research related to “Shinrin-yoku” (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing) in Japan.” Environmental health and preventive medicine 15 1 (2010): 27-37.

Li, Qing et al. “Forest bathing enhances human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins.” International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 20 2 Suppl 2 (2007): 3-8.

Park, Bum Jin et al. “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 medicine 15 1 (2010): 18-26 .

Hansen, Margaret M. et al. “Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review.” International journal of environmental research and public health (2017).

Cho, Kyoung Sang et al. “Terpenes from Forests and Human Health.” Toxicological research (2017).

Ohtsuka, Yoshikazu et al. “Shinrin-yoku (forest-air bathing and walking) effectively decreases blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.” International journal of biometeorology 41 3 (1998): 125-7.

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