The Rise of “Forest Bathing” — And How Forests Reset Your Hormones

Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health And Happiness by Dr. Qing Li invites you to the world and art of Japanese “Shinrin-Yoku,” or “forest bath.” Dr. Li — one of the world’s leading experts on how time spent in deep nature improves health and lives — writes beautifully and persuasively about the stress of our modern, digital, electric existences, and how spending time in a forest is the answer.

The book takes you on a gorgeous journey through Japan’s forests: home to 62 certified forest therapy bases, between 2.5 and 5 million people walk Japanese forest trails each year. Dr. Li illustrates a core concept of what many ancient cultures instinctively knew: people were meant to be outside, breathe fresh air and commune with nature. It’s not just about feeling balanced and de-stressed — it’s now been scientifically proven that time spent in nature increases immune function, sleep, and many other factors that impact the quality and length of all of our lives. Time spent in deep nature balances your hormones, helps you sleep deeper, and even boosts your immune system — one study found that after a three-day, two-night forest trip, people’s white blood cell count went up by 53%!

It’s exciting to see one of Mountain Trek core tenets of health and wellness gain attention in the public consciousness. The cornerstone of our program is balancing hormones to help your body function optimally — only then can you achieve natural health and functional fitness.

Digital detox and time spent in deep nature work together to meaningfully realign and reset your body, mind, and spirit. In deep nature, you find a wealth of negative ions, healing essential oils, and a sorely needed respite from digital devices. Outside, the forest engages all of your senses. The complex, delightful scents of the forest don’t just relax us and put us in a better mood — it’s proven to lower cortisol.

Prioritizing time spent outdoors should no longer be considered just a leisure activity — Dr. Li’s books adds to the growing scientific community calling for more time spent in the forest for your health’s sake. Whether you plan a walk or hike in a local park or even just step outside during your lunch break, you’ll be reducing stress and supporting your own vitality.

Need a reset? Join us for a week at Mountain Trek, where you’ll be immersed in the forest more than three hours every day, eat organic spa cuisine, and rebalance your hormones for a more optimal life. Don’t miss August when we hike high into the alpine and get some of the most gorgeous, rewarding views of the season. If you’re an autumn lover, you can’t miss September and October — with cooler temperatures and stunning fall foliage, it’s some of our favorite hiking of the year. Check out our rates and dates page for more information. Go ahead — you deserve it.