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Opportunities for Human and Forest Health, Green Jobs, and Social Benefits.

The practice of Shinrin-Yoku, “forest bathing”, or literally translated, bathing in the atmosphere of the forest, was established in Japan by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in the early 1980s to bring people back into nature in support of improved human health and wellbeing. Forest bathing, forest and nature therapy, forest immersion, and the Japanese term, Shinrin-Yoku, are all names that are often used interchangeably to describe the practice of “making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest.” 

This report explores the basics of forest and nature therapy, development of training and certifications to support credentialed practice, and research findings from around the world. The development of forest and nature therapy creates green job opportunities such as forest therapy guides and trainers, research and development roles, certified forest therapy trail implementation, and other associated products and services. These practices are now being introduced in the United States and Europe and the scientific basis is being expanded, including adoption within the USDA Forest Service. Forest and nature therapy is also being incorporated into treatments prescribed by clinicians. Additional research is necessary to continue to quantify the benefits of these practices and provide an expanded scientific-basis for further adoption.

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