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I've just read an article on another forum about Forest Bathing and its therapeutic values. It's not really bathing; it's more like immersing oneself in the beauty, peace, solitude, sounds and fragrances of a forest.


NPR's article on Forest Bathing is here:
www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/17/536676954/forest-bathing-a-retreat-to-nature-can-boost-immunity-and-mood.


If the URL is deleted, Google "Forest Bathing".


I think you'll relax just by reading the NPR article and imagining yourself in the beauty of a forest. I immediately thought of the benefits for caregivers and our loved ones.



There was a forest on Mackinac Island that had this effect; it was literally transcendental to be in that beautiful, peaceful grove of trees.

97YearOldMom, I wasn't aware of the reason behind the high mounted tvs. It does make sense when I think of how much time I spend leaning over, even to read gardening magazines.

Thanks for sharing that insight. I'm going to try to get used to "opening up" my chest and breathing by looking at some of the wonderful things I purchased at craft fairs years ago. I used to collect marquetry and often spend time studying the designs and different woods. It's such a beautiful use of wood.

SusanA43, "earthing" might explain why some gardeners work in their gardens while barefooted. There's also a soft feeling of being barefoot in the sand - it's like really connecting with the environment of a beach. I wonder if that's called "sanding"?

On the issue of "naturalizing" AL and other similar facilities, I recall reading in one of my gardening magazines sometime ago that more "adaptive" gardens were being developed. Beds were being created that were at wheelchair level, so those in a w/c could just reach out and rub their fingers over herbs and other scented plants around the edge of the bed.

The last two rehab facilities I found for Dad had bird feeders. One place was close to a wooded area with animals and fowl that visited. Dad saw a deer; I think there were some wild turkeys. Others said deer came close to the facility in the evening. He also saw sandhill cranes. One day two sandhills carefully picked their way right up to the building; Dad had OT; I sat and watched the cranes, no more than 6 feet away from the building.
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Garden
A therapist told me once that the TVs mounted higher were beneficial for several reasons. We spend most of our time looking down, folding in and breathing shallow while reading, eating, computer and often as we get older we look down when walking. Looking up allows the shoulders to go back, lungs open up and it is easier to breath.

Susan
My DH told me about a program on the travel channel that advised earthing to help with jet lag. Best to be done as soon as possible upon arrival.
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Sue- you summed it up. It is magnificent
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Oh the Redwoods! Probably the most calm, beautiful and peaceful place on earth. Huge, red, "furry" trees towering so high that not much sun ever hits the ground. Therefore the ferns have a great place to thrive.

It's quiet in there and cooler than out in the open land. It's a marvelous place to just "get lost" from civilization. Many little cabins can be rented and a there are a few rocky streams to sit by.

Yes, there's commercialization too, such as the Drive Thru Redwood ( it's so wide that a car can drive through it) and the Redwood Gift Shop in the hollowed out portion of a burned tree, but mostly it's just nature.

Fortunately redwoods are naturally fire resistant. Many have been there for a few hundred years. An average life span is 500-700 years but they can live as long as 2000 years. They can be as tall as 360 feet. I've heard them called "Gentle Giants".

If you can ever get out to the very northern part of California near the coast (for the fog), (around 325 miles north of San Francisco), definitely visit these great trees. You'll never want to come out.
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We have over 20 acres of forest on our place. I use to forest bathe everyday. But when I moved my parents here, I haven't had a chance. But It is wonderful and it is refreshing. I feel so much closer to God alone in the woods. I have been trying to figure out how to get some forest time. Now I mostly get greenhouse bathing. 

California redwoods are beautiful. I saw them every weekend when I grew up in CA.

Cwillie- I so agree with you.There so needs to be a nature spot attatched to NH. That would do them a world of good. 
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Snoopy -

Going barefoot on soft earth in the woods is called "earthing" and is supposed to help absorb good things through the soles of the feet. I think at the very least, it's therapeutic just to be in nature, absorbing the sights, sounds, smells and feeling of just being away from all the electronics we're exposed to on a daily basis.

This cute little video is a good explanation:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4F8mterVGE
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I have never seen the California redwoods either. I would love to!
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I think I'd like to have a Forest Bath in the Redwoods. My father has seen them; I haven't been that far West. Perhaps that should be one of my post caregiving goals. It's hard to imagine being in such a magnificent surrounding with such spectacular and legendary trees.
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That sounds absolutely fantastic, TNtechie!
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It may not be in a garden but I love my soaker tub! Late at night, with only a small night light, an iced drink, my kindle, and an ipod with speakers playing a favorite playlist... I soak for an hour or two, shave my legs, wash my hair, and read my latest book - sometimes refilling the tub a couple of times. I have to do this in the middle of the night now after Mom and the kids are asleep (and keep a robe handy just in case) but it's so worth it! My escape!
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It takes me once again to the need for any kind of natural space attached to facilities, it doesn't need to be a formal garden that requires lots of maintenance, just somewhere you can go where you don't see walls (or in mom's NH a parking lot) and you can forget that you aren't surrounded by nature.
(Can you picture all the residents of a nursing home sitting there with their bare toes in the grass?)
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I love the concept of Forest Bathing and if I can't get to a forest then I make do with Tree Bathing or even Large Shrub Bathing. Sometimes I also take my glasses off to let my eyes get the benefits of all the different beautiful green colors. It does sound a bit crazy but as the article GardenArtist pointed to mentions, there is some scientific backup.

Go barefoot at the same time for extra points...
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CW, the rehab center my father was in had a channel that played only soft music and featured beautiful natural scenes. The Deacon who came down to visit once Dad went on Palliative Care found the channel for us.

I don't know whether other facilities have those kinds of good channels. The hospital had various channels but I got a neck ache looking up while channel surfing.

That's a major question as well - why in the world don't facilities hire someone to design a tv bracket or stand at eye level?? Even some of the nurses agreed with me that it wasn't a sensible placement.

And for someone with bi-focals or progressive lenses, looking upward causes the lower (closer distance) portion to be the section through which the tv is viewed.

Must have been a low bid contractor. But what a waste of money.

And as to the bad channels, one hospitalization was in a double room with a guy who listened to Fox News, A-L-L D-A-Y L-O-N-G. It's a good thing Dad didn't have his hearing aids.
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There are hours of nature sounds videos an YouTube. I've often wondered why they don't play them in the nursing home, it seems to me they would be much more soothing than the endless game shows and old movies usually on TV (which NO ONE watches) and you don't have to worry about those who are unable to follow a story line.
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Sounds heavenly...
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Gardeners: I think we're all engaging in Garden Bathing!
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