Forests are so much more than just exploitable land; they can also be a place of healing. An increasing number of doctors and scientists agree forests can have positive health effects, such as alleviating hypertension, depression and stress.
Can the forest help stave off even severe physical suffering? The issue was first examined scientifically at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo. In Japan, people traditionally cherish close bonds with their surrounding forests. Here, the forest air is considered a natural elixir. Now, in several large-scale studies, Dr. Qing Li found that trees could provide effective protection against cancer. He studied terpenes in the forest air and their effect on the human organism. Dr. Li's research results turn a walk in the woods into more than just a recreational outing: One single day in the forest can boost the number of natural killer cells that detect and fight cancer by almost 40%. Companies send their employees to survival training, and addiction patients seek treatment under the pines. Some start much earlier: Researchers at Munich’s Technical University are investigating the impact of learning in "forest classes" on the levels of pupil’s concentration, stress and activity levels. Experts recommend spending time in forests to alleviate hypertension, depression and stress. Trees have a number of positive effects on body and soul.