In Japan, a forest bathing experience, called Shinrinyoku in Japanese, is regarded as being similar to natural aromatherapy. A forest bathing trip involves visiting a forest for relaxation and recreation while breathing in phytoncides, whose antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derive from trees, such as a-pinene and limonene. Incorporating forest bathing trips into a good lifestyle was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan. It has now become a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity there.
The New York Times reported that one scientific study " included data on 280 healthy people in Japan, where visiting nature parks for therapeutic effect has become a popular practice called ' Shinrin-yoku,' or 'forest bathing.' On one day, some people were instructed to walk through a forest or wooded area for a few hours, while others walked through a city area. On the second day, they traded places. The scientists found that being among plants produced 'lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, and lower blood pressure,' among other things."
Governor-General Award winning author Marq DeVilliers described the forest at Trout Point for the Globe & Mail:
This is pristine Acadian forest; thousands of hectares of red spruce mixed with sugar maple and yellow birch, beech with their silky bark, red oak, pine and spruce, and hemlock on the lower stretches, some of them 30 metres or more tall. No roads, no houses, no industry … just nature. No all-terrain vehicles, no trucks. Not a golf course anywhere, not even a croquet pitch.
. . .
When the lodge was built 10 years ago, even its owners – Charles Leary, Vaughn Perret and their partners – thought of it as being “in the middle of nowhere.” But they've slowly learned that they were wrong. Nowhere is somewhere after all – this is a destination, not a refuge. They've built a luxury lodge up to Relais & Chateaux standards, yes, but also a nature sanctuary, a centre for forest bathing, an exemplar of ecotourism, and the “nowhere” has been transformed into a place that really does detoxify the many ills of urban living – the sour city air with its smells of old dust and burned carbon, the absence of living things except the ant-like bustling of too many other humans, the stress hormones that take residence in city dwellers and never let them go. At Trout Point, you can “bathe” in the woods and read a good book and eat exquisite locally grown food (cooked for you by the owners) and your cellphone won't work no matter how hard you punch its buttons.