Where to go Forest Bathing in Trentino: the Parco del Respiro at Fai della Paganella
Monday 8 March 2021
Forest Bathing originated in Japan where it is called "Shinrin-yoku" and it has been applied as preventive medicine from as early as 1982. What does it consist of? Studies have demonstrated that walking in a forest that manifests particular biological properties has positive effects on our immune and nervous systems.
The therapeutic effects of Forest Bathing derive from an interaction between trees and the human organism.
Trees release volatile substances called monoterpenes into the environment, and scientific research has demonstrated that these are capable of influencing our mental and physical wellbeing. They reduce the hormones associated with stress and depression, lowering blood pressure and pulse rate, while reinforcing our immune response.
In order to receive these benefits from trees, Forest Bathing requires walking slowly immersed in dense foliage, doing breathing exercises with your diaphragm, alternating movement with rest and relaxation, while concentrating fully on your sensorial interaction with the surrounding landscape, the sunlight among the leaves, and the sounds of nature.
The Japanese guidelines talk of 12 hours over 3 days, but in reality just a few hours are enough to trigger a response in the human organism. The best seasons for Forest Bathing are spring and summer.
The Parco del Respiro at Fai della Paganella
Not all trees are ideal for this kind of activity and they need to exhibit certain biological characteristics. Some species release less monoterpenes. Analyses carried out by the bio-researcher, Marco Nieri, and the agronomist, Marco Mencagli, demonstrated that the forests around Fai della Paganella contain numerous trees that offer particularly high levels of these beneficial and regenerating effects.
This led to the establishment of the Parco del Respiro, an area for Forest Therapy extending over about 36 hectares. It is on the eastern edge of the village with five easy paths running through it suitable for everybody. Access to the forest is free and open year round.
Forest Bathing and Tree Hugging with Samuele and Yanez
For an unforgettable experience, immerge yourself in the Parco del Respiro with Yanez and Samuele (Brenta Walk – (+39) 349 1213237), mountain hiking guides who have always lived on the Paganella Alpine plateau.
They will guide you in the practice of forest bathing and introduce you to tree hugging, to bring your mind and spirit closer to nature. An excursion to rediscover once again that nature is our true home that should be experienced slowly and respectfully, acknowledged and protected, and described with care.
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