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Forest bathing so close to Athens: rejuvenate mind and body

Posted by moodhacker on January 5, 2020 at 5:55 AM

 

 


Drowning in the firs, with magnificent views to the peaks of Euboea and Peloponnese, the Euboean and Corinthian Gulf, and the Attica basin lies the Flambouri Refuge, situated in the lush fir forest of Parnitha at an altitude of 1,158 meters with magnificent views¨

 

A place within the incredible beauty of Parnitha National Park, ideal for forest bathing, the new travel trend, for rest and rejuvenation for people of all ages that allows you to enjoy an all around view of the whole Attica,

 

Οn the south side you you can wach Athens from above, Aegina, Poros, Peloponnese and clear weather even Hydra.

 

On the east and north side, Marathon Lake, the Euboean Gulf, Euboea, its highest mountain, Dirfy and with clear weather the Aegean Sea and the curvature of the earth!

 

 

A place so close to Athens, but so far away from the daily routine of the city.

 

You can enjoy your coffee or the homemade dishes and you can take part in one of the many activities organized.

 

 

Ideal place for rejuvenation in nature, a breath away from the city, for young and old alike.

 

 

 

 

eco friendly equipped

 

The environmentally friendly Flamburi refuge has been powered since 1985 with photovoltaics that charge solar-powered batteries. It is heated by an energy-efficient fireplace that warms radiators, and also acts as a heat source, contributing to less air pollution.

 

 

It features an organized kitchen and offers coffee, drinks, rustic pies, freshly cooked homemade dishes, grilled meats, salads and pastries.

 

The shelter hosts parties, corporate events, seminars, school educational and environmental excursions and many other events, literally in nature!

 

 

There is also the possibility of overnight staying on the upper floor of the shelter, in a cozy and cozy wooden floor, making for a refreshing and relaxing sleep.

 

Mattresses, pillows and blankets are provided and you need to bring a sleeping bag or sheets and a pillowcase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Hiking

 

Parnitha has a rich network of trails and depending on your fitness level, you can choose trips that last 30 minutes to many hours. Together with the experienced guides and escorts of the shelter, you can make your own route, tailored to your group's moods and moods.

 

 

Mountain biking

 

Browse the mountain in a different way. Upload your pulses and breathe the fresh mountain air. Feel your adrenaline going downhill, feeling the sense of speed and adventure. Our experienced escorts take care of your safety and carry all the necessary equipment for you, for a carefree ride with no technical problems.

 

 

Climb

 

Experience the ultimate experience in the world of vertical rocks. Guided by experienced instructors, mountain and climbing guides, the necessary equipment and complete safety, you will climb the rocks that seem inaccessible and will feel unique emotions reaching the summit. Just 10 minutes' drive from Flamboury Refuge, climbing routes of small to medium difficulty are ideal for beginners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canyoning Crossing - Canyoning

 

Downhill canyoning is for many fans of extreme sports the most exciting. It combines hiking in the wild and the use of rappels. There is a theoretical lesson on the technique and use of the equipment we provide and of course absolute safety. In the Goura Gorge in Parnitha, you will not believe that you are not next to Athens.

 

 

Orientation - Orienteering

 

Amazing orientation activity for young and old and all levels of fitness, with a compass and map theory course. Compete with your friends by finding the flags hidden in the forest at the best time possible. Play individually and in groups, day or night!

 

 

Mountain Skiing

 

In the winter, try a separate walk in the snow-covered landscapes of the park, on the snowy treetops with the use of special sandals, under the guidance of hikers.

 

 

Skill and Action Games

 

A combination of activities in nature (Spider, Flying Fox, Centipede, Snake, Swamp, Pipe line, etc.) that offer incredible laughter and fun while developing concepts of team spirit, confidence, perseverance and collaboration. The perfect combination to celebrate an excursion, birthday, anniversaries, children's parties and more in a unique and original way.

 

 

Open

 

Friday Saturday Sunday

 

and on public holidays.

 

Daily on request.

 

At Easter and August we are closed

 

 

Working hours

 

Friday-11:00 to 22:00

 

Saturday-08: 30 to 22:30

 

Sunday-08: 30 to 19:00

 

 

 

 

 




Forest bathing

 

"Even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health., science says

 

A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Numerous studies I’ve conducted have shown that shinrin-yoku has real health benefits.

 

 

Mindfully release your senses

 

 

The key to unlocking the power of the forest is in the five senses.

 

Let nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet.

 

 

Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees.

Look at the different greens of the trees and the sunlight filtering through the branches.

Smell the fragrance of the forest and breathe in the natural aromatherapy of phytoncides.

Taste the freshness of the air as you take deep breaths.

Place your hands on the trunk of a tree. Dip your fingers or toes in a stream. Lie on the ground.

Drink in the flavor of the forest and release your sense of joy and calm.This is your sixth sense, a state of mind.

 

Now you have connected with nature.

 

You have crossed the bridge to happiness.

 

 

When you have been busy at work all week, it can be hard to slow down. You may have been rushing around so much you no longer know how to stand still. Walking with a guide who is a trained forest therapist can help you feel more comfortable and find the right environment to fit your needs.

 

In one of my favorite forests, Iinan Furusato-no-Mori, the forest-therapy program includes guided walks. Doctors are on hand to offer general health assessments. When you arrive, you are given a physical health check and a psychological questionnaire. The therapist then works out the best walking plan for you.

 

 

But it is just as easy to forest-bathe without a guide. And there are many different activities you can do in the forest that will help you to relax and to connect with nature.

 

Here are some of the things people do:

 

 

forest walking,

yoga,

eating in the forest,

hot-spring therapy,

T’ai chi, meditation,

breathing exercises,

aromatherapy,

art classes and

pottery,

Nordic walking and plant observation.

 

"It doesn’t matter how fit – or unfit – you are. Shinrin-yoku is suitable for any level of fitness"

 

writes on Time Dr. Qing Li is the author of Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, .

 

Dr.Qing Li as he explaines in his article, has devoted his research to provide the scientific proof behind the feeling we all experience being at the forest: "The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air — these things give us a sense of comfort. They ease our stress and worry, help us to relax and to think more clearly. Being in nature can restore our mood, give us back our energy and vitality, refresh and rejuvenate us."

 

Dr. Qing Li explaines that the Japanese practice something called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.

 

 

This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.

 

 

 

The Benefits of Forest Bathing

 

Forest bathing has many benefits, including:

 

 

1. Creating Kung Fu Fighting Killer Cells

 

One Japanese study demonstrated that after a three-day camping trip in the forest, participants averaged a whopping 50 percent increase in NK cell activity. Forest bathing has been scientifically shown to increase immunity, decrease the risk of cancer and help you to recover from illness faster. One study showed that even looking at trees through a hospital window increased recovery time for gallbladder surgery patients.

 

 

Not only does forest bathing enhance NK cell activity, but it also increases their number, and for a significant length of time: the positive effects lasted for more than a week after the forest excursion.

 

 

2. Decreased Risk of Heart Attack

 

Multiple forest bathing studies have demonstrated its ability to significantly reduce blood pressure, stress levels and pulse rate. A trip through the woods will also increase your body’s adiponectin levels. These have an anti-inflammatory effect on blood vessel cells and have been shown to decrease the risk of heart attack.

 

 

3. Protection Against Obesity and Diabetes

 

Increased adiponectin is also inversely related to obesity and insulin resistance. The substance is secreted by fat cells and regulates our fat metabolism, glucose levels and weight gain. Forest bathing reduces blood glucose levels, even in diabetics. Diabetic patients did a forest bathe walk every eight months for six years. Even though their time spent forest bathing was very spaced out, their blood glucose levels still showed significant improvement.

 

 

 

4. More Energy and Better Sleep

 

Many of us notice the revitalized feeling we get from taking a deep breath in a natural location. It’s not just your imagination — forest bathing has been shown to increase vigor and fight fatigue. At the same time, it triggers hormones and processes in our body that improve sleep. It’s also been shown to reduce dopamine and cortisol levels, meaning it reduces stress and calms the body and mind.

 

 

5. Mood-Boosting Effects

 

A small study of 19 men showed that anxiety, depression and confusion levels were improved after a forest bathing trip. They compared the forest walking group to one walking through an urban area. Even though both groups had the health benefits of exercise, the forest bathing group clearly won out. This is just one example of the many studies showing the mood boosting effects of forest bathing.

 

 

6. Decreased Inflammation

 

Forest air is noticeably fresher than city air, or even other nature environments, since the trees are busy converting CO2 into fresh oxygen for our lungs. Not only is the air fresher, but the compounds naturally released by the trees decrease inflammation. The D-limonene found in some forest air reduces lung inflammation. Those with breathing problems like asthma and COPD have shown improvement after forest bathing as oxygen is increased and inflammation is lessened.

 

 

 

7. Clearer, More Comfortable Skin

 

Inflammation is the cause of many issues in the body, including certain skin disorders. Those with eczema and psoriasis can see benefits after forest bathing. Terpenes are some of the main anti-inflammatory components expressed by trees into the forest air and are mainly found in conifers like cypress, fir and pine trees.

 

 

8. Soothing Relief for Sore Muscles

 

There are over 40,000 known terpene structures and they have a wide variety of positive effects on the body. Osteoarthritis relief, reduced joint pain and inflammation, and decreased neck and back pain are just some of the proven benefits.

 

 

Two groups with neck pain did forest bathing, but one group added in a four-hour stretching and strengthening exercise. Painful and tight trigger points in the neck area were reduced more in the exercise group. However, pain, inflammation and range of motion in the group that didn’t exercise was just as good.

 

 

9. Anti-inflammatory Terpenes

 

Different terpenes have also proven to be effective against inflammation in the brain, liver and pancreas to keep these vital organs healthy. The terpene borneol protects the brain and nervous system and may help protect against degenerative brain diseases that stem from inflammation, like Alzheimer’s.

 

 

As mentioned earlier, forest bathing helps fight against cancer cell growth, and that’s due in part to the terpene D-limonene. This terpene has anti-tumor properties and studies have shown it effective against breast, intestine, pancreas, liver and colon cancers.

 

 

 

 





How to Forest Bathe

 

"First, find a spot. Make sure you have left your phone and camera behind. You are going to be walking aimlessly and slowly. You don’t need any devices. Let your body be your guide. Listen to where it wants to take you. Follow your nose. And take your time. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get anywhere. You are not going anywhere. You are savoring the sounds, smells and sights of nature and letting the forest in.", say Qing Li in his book

 

Dedicated Shinrin-yoku forests in Japan are predominantly conifer trees, but other trees are still beneficial for forest bathing. The point is to take a trip into the forest to soak in and fully experience your surroundings.

 

 

There are forest bathing guides that are certified through the association of nature and forest therapy.

 

 

According to this group “The aim of forest therapy is to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment.”

 

 

Lying on the ground, meditating, gathering forest edibles and noticing the foliage are some of the different ways you can forest bathe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Often Should You Forest Bathe?

 

Most of the studies showed benefits when participants went on forest bathing trips every one to four weeks. The more often you can go, the better. However, positive results were still seen even seven days after a forest bathing trip, and even as long as 30 days later.

 

 

Where to Forest Bathe

 

In the United States, any nature scene is considered acceptable for forest bathing, however Japan takes a more scientific approach. Shinrin-yoku trails in Japan are only certified as such after blood sampling shows a specific increase in natural killer cells. Choosing an area that’s heavily wooded by conifer trees may be best, but really any heavily wooded area will do. Just don’t forget the all-natural bug spray!

 

If you’re sweating, are distracted by swatting at bugs, or there are noisy children running around, then you can’t focus on relaxing. Choose a place with a comfortable temperature with minimal noise and distractions.

 

 

 

 

 

 




Enhance the Experience with Earthing

 

Since the idea is to connect with the Earth, grounding or barefoot shoes help improve the experience. This also enhances your perception of the surroundings. Depending on the area you’re in and the exact circumstances, you can also kick your shoes off and go barefoot. Electromagnetic exposure from wireless devices, cell phone towers, and other modern-day technology saturates our environments. Earthing and forest bathing gives us a way to reset our natural electromagnetic fields and center the body. Read more practical ways to reduce your EMF exposure here.

 

 

No Forest? No Problem!

 

If a whole forest isn’t available to you, then even standing underneath a single tree and inhaling deeply will benefit the body to some degree. Lay on a patch of healthy grass. Go to a nature park. There’s even some evidence to suggest that focusing on a picture of a forest may have some health benefits!

 

 

Amplify Forest Bathing with Essential Oils

 

If you’re not able to get out to a forest, and instead find yourself gazing at forest pictures, essential oils can improve upon the experience. Conifer essential oils from sources like cypress, pine, juniper, cedarwood and fir contain many of the same beneficial constituents trees release during forest bathing.

 

 

Scents from conifer trees and rosemary were found to promote a healthy inflammatory response throughout the body in one study. However, the effects were even greater when these oils were combined with frankincense. Using a diffuser in the room, or even a personal diffuser, like a diffuser necklace, or personal inhaler are good ways to experience these oils.

 

 

Categories: Health Travel &Travel Health in Greece , Greek to me Holistic , Greek2m Your Senses Travel Guide

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