How useful are forests to humans

How the forest has been shown to heal people

The brain relaxes in the forest

Humans smell some of the terpenes very clearly, other terpenes are unconsciously perceived by humans because their concentration in the forest is low. Nevertheless, they have an effect on the nervous system. "The smell is usually associated with instinct, feeling and preferences" and that the smell has a greater influence on physiological changes than the stimuli of the other senses, "write Yuko Tsunetsugu and Bum-Yin Park.

Park and his team found that the blood flow in the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain, of his subjects in the forest decreased. In modern industrial society, humans mainly use the capabilities of the prefrontal cortex, for example to work with high concentration or to follow a situation. It is crucial for human health that the thinking apparatus can relax and that brain activity shifts to other areas that people perceive as calm. The studies by Park et al. use the blood flow in the brain to show that the prefrontal cortex comes to rest in the forest.

The American team around G.N. Bratman confirms the neurological findings of the Japanese. Bratman and colleagues also asked their test participants how they fared in the forest. All participants stated that they brooded less after a short time. Instead, they have dealt with their surroundings and their mood has brightened up. The forest visitors surveyed agree in the numerous tests that they felt stronger and felt less fear and restlessness after spending time in the forest. "These studies suggest that accessible natural regions are a serious resource for improving mental health in our rapidly urbanized world," writes Hiroko Ochiai of the National Health Organization of Japan.