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This Special Secret for Enjoying Nature Can Help You Beat Cancer

By Lee Euler / October 1, 2014

Our culture of alerts and apps and 24-hour activity is hurting us in ways we’re only beginning to understand. Our screen-addicted population is more distracted and stressed out than ever. But even though the big software companies keep trying, there’s no app to fix it all.

However, there is this radically simple thing called Mother Nature. New research shows you can lower your blood pressure, keep depression at bay, ward off stress, and – oh yes – prevent cancer – all with one simple practice that’s popular in Japan. No drugs or supplements needed – it’s free. Here’s the story. . .

Continued below…

The Biggest Cover-Up
in U.S. Medical History

Who hasn’t at one time or another felt cheated and abused by the current medical system?

* It’s expensive…

* It’s dangerous…

But the worst part is that it is completely unnecessary and does not work.

For hundreds of years, the money-hungry Mainstream Medical Establishment has been trying to hide a form of medicine that could solve most of your health problems.

In fact, they were established explicitly to squash the competition.

As someone who’s interested in natural health, you probably share my frustration with the medical system’s shortcomings…

The real answers for the health problems that plague us have been right under our noses the whole time.

Click here to see them

 

It’s no secret that exercise and merely being outside relieve stress and improve health. Walking in particular is one of the most reliable and easiest disease-fighting things you can do.

Here’s the catch – walking is fine, but where you walk matters, too.

In the 1980s, the Japanese developed a new twist on walking outside that brings about a surge in your cancer-fighting white blood cells. Called shinrin-yoku, it’s now considered standard preventive medicine. Though the Japanese government coined the term, it was inspired by ancient Shinto and Buddhist religious practices.

Shinrin-yoku translates to “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere.” The methods behind it serve as a cornerstone of Japanese recommendations for staying healthy.

So how is this any different from your average walk in the park? Forest bathing is more than simply walking. You literally engage all five senses. In essence, you walk mindfully. The goal is to focus on what you’re seeing, hearing, and smelling when under the canopy of a living forest. It includes touching nature, literally, and whenever possible, tasting nature. In essence, forest bathing means you “shower yourself” in greenery.

Mindfulness can be defined as “a gentle effort to be continuously present with the experience of the moment.” It’s related to meditation, which might be considered a specific type of mindfulness during which the outside world is largely tuned out.

But the broader meaning of mindfulness is to be fully in the moment during any experience – to give it your undivided attention, to calm the riot of thoughts about unrelated matters and just be where you are instead of mentally being somewhere else.

Mindfulness and being out in nature are both known to be effective, restorative activities on their own. That’s why combining the two has a profound effect on your health.

Power up your immune system with “healthy chemicals”

 To understand the effects of shinrin-yoku, the Japanese government has invested about $4 million in forest-bathing research since 2004. They want to know, on a molecular and cellular level, how spending time in nature affects us. Scientists in Japan and South Korea have spent the last several years building a collection of research on these health benefits, and now the ideas behind this type of forest therapy are spreading throughout the world.

Dr. Miyazaki, a physiological anthropologist at Japan’s Chiba University, has studied the effects of shinrin-yoku on more than 600 research subjects. He and his team found that study participants report better moods and lower anxiety, which is what you might expect.

But that’s not all they experience. They also enjoy an average 12.4 percent decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, a seven percent drop in sympathetic nerve activity, a 1.4 percent decline in blood pressure, and a 5.8 percent decrease in heart rate.

Another Japanese study found that walking through wooded areas caused nearly a 16 percent drop in cortisol levels compared to what people experience when walking through urban areas. Blood pressure also drops significantly for forest-walkers compared to those taking a stroll in the city.

But here’s where it gets interesting, as far as cancer is concerned. In one experiment, researchers measured natural killer (NK) immune cell levels for a group of middle-aged Tokyo businessmen after they spent three days in the woods, hiking twice a day each day.

By the end of the three days, blood tests showed the activity levels of their NK cells rose an astounding 40 percent. Even a month later, measures of their NK activity were still 15 percent higher than before the experiment.

NK cells are a vital weapon in your body’s arsenal for resisting cancer. If conventional medicine came up with a drug that boosted NK cell activity 40 percent it would be front page news.

On the flipside, walking around a city didn’t change NK levels at all.

According to another study, women who participated in two and four hours of forest bathing on two consecutive days experienced a nearly 40 percent surge in cancer-fighting white blood cell activity.

Scientists believe part of this benefit comes from what you’re breathing in, when you’re in a forest, not to just the calming act of taking a walk and getting exercise. Because while you’re out there in the forest, you’re surrounded by, and steadily inhaling, phytoncides. These are “healthy chemicals” produced by trees and plants.

Tokyo-based researcher Qing Li, MD, PhD, says “Phytoncide exposure reduces stress hormones, indirectly increasing the immune system’s ability to kill tumor cells.”

Create your own version of a “forest bath”

I’m impressed that Japan’s Forestry Agency has designated 48 official Forest Therapy trails for the practice of shinrin-yoku. When visitors stroll the trails, they’re regularly taken to a cabin where rangers measure their blood pressure, which will in turn provide even more supportive data for the project. The goal is to designate a total of 100 Forest Therapy sites in the next ten years.

Forest bathing is just beginning to catch on in the U.S. (Here’s your big chance to be on the hip cutting edge of things.) It looks like it’s more than just a trend and will be here to stay.

It comes at a good time. Besides general health improvements like lower blood pressure, pulse rate, and cortisol levels, regular forest bathing is said to also increase your energy while dialing down any anger or depression – chronic issues in our culture.

Some studies suggest that merely looking at something green, such as a tree outside your window, can help reduce muscle tension and blood pressure. But better than that is to actually get out and walk in the fresh air.

I realize most of us can’t spend three days a week walking in the woods. But even a one-day trip to a suburban park gives you similar gains, meaning it can boost your NK cell numbers and your anticancer proteins – and they’ll stay at the higher levels for about seven days. Try to sit under trees, as opposed to out in the open. Since most of us are urban desk jockeys, it’s not a bad habit to get used to.

Especially as fall approaches, the blistering heat fades, and the colors in the trees magically transform themselves into reds and golds, get yourself to a forest whenever you can. Stop to smell the forest. Listen for birdcalls or the rustle of small animals in nearby bushes. If you’re not familiar with which mountain mosses or berries to eat, take the safe route and pack your own. One of my sources recommends taking some bark-flavored wasabi-root tea.

I’m fortunate in that I live in a very beautiful forested area of the Appalachian Mountains. I moved here for precisely the reason the scientists above urge you to take that forest walk: I believed living here would add years to my life – and those years would be quality years, each one serene, gem-like and unforgettable.

So I whole-heartedly endorse the idea of mindful, meditative walking in nature’s most beautiful surroundings.


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Kindest regards,

Lee Euler, Publisher

The Biggest Cover-Up
in U.S. Medical History

Who hasn’t at one time or another felt cheated and abused by the current medical system?

* It’s expensive…

* It’s dangerous…

But the worst part is that it is completely unnecessary and does not work.

For hundreds of years, the money-hungry Mainstream Medical Establishment has been trying to hide a form of medicine that could solve most of your health problems.

In fact, they were established explicitly to squash the competition.

As someone who’s interested in natural health, you probably share my frustration with the medical system’s shortcomings…

The real answers for the health problems that plague us have been right under our noses the whole time.

Click here to see them



 References:

“Forest bathing enhances human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins.” By Li Q., et al. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2007 Apr-Jun;20(2 Suppl 2):3-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17903349
“Forest Bathing: Good for the spirit—and the body.” By Will Richter, Health: Alive.com, October 2011. http://www.alive.com/articles/view/23253/forest_bathing
“Forest Bathing: The Benefits of Being Outdoors Are Many.” By Elissa Michele Zacher, Health News: The Epoch Times. 29 December 2013. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/421854-forest-bathing-the-benefits-of-being-outdoors-are-many/
“Forest Bathing: The Healing Power of a Walk in the Woods.” By Maggie Spilner, Natural Awakenings. April 2012. http://www.naturalawakeningsmag.com/Natural-Awakenings/April-2012/Forest-Bathing/
“Go to a Forest. Walk slowly. Breathe…” By shinrin yoku.org: Introduction to shinrin yoku therapy, Retrieved 17 September 2014. http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html
“Take Two Hours of Pine Forest and Call Me in the Morning.” By Florence Williams, Outside Magazine, December 2012. http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/wellness/Take-Two-Hours-of-Pine-Forest-and-Call-Me-in-the-Morning.html
“The New Nature Walk.” By Nicole Frehsée, Oprah Magazine, June 2014 page 92.
“Want to Prevent Cancer? Take a Walk in the Forest—Studies on ‘Forest Bathing’” By Colleen M. Story, Renegade Health, 2 July 2014. http://renegadehealth.com/blog/2014/07/02/want-to-prevent-cancer-take-a-walk-in-the-forest-studies-on-forest-bathing
About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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