Do you have troubles with your blood pressure? High blood pressure is commonly considered to be a leading cause of heart disease, stroke and premature death. Normal and healthy blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg. Systolic blood pressure is the upper number and it indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery WALLS, when beating. The lower number is diastolic blood pressure. And it tells you how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
High Blood Pressure is Serious Business
This time we are going to view the connections between high blood pressure and forest bathing or forest therapy. But first I would like to show you some figures to do with high blood pressure. The price tag for high blood pressure in USA is around UDS 46 billion in a year. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. And just to make the point clearer, it is estimated that in 2035 the cost of all cardiovascular diseases in USA is going to be one trillion dollars.
Forest Bathing Lowers High Blood Pressure
I’m so exited about this one interesting research article, which systematically reviews medical literature and previous studies of blood pressure-lowering effects of forest bathing. That research was aimed to evaluate the preventative and therapeutic effect of forest environment – walking in, sitting in or viewing – on high blood pressure and especially on systolic blood pressure.
The research started with checking out carefully 33 studies. Finally they were narrowed down to 20 trials and 15 individual studies. Five of these 20 trials were control group trials in which other group spend time in nature and other group in city settings. And 15 trials were cross-over studies in which participants had both exposures. Wonderful thing in cross-over studies is, that individual differences are less important.
In total, there was 732 participants in this research. Quite a remarkable sample, I would say. And the time spend amongst the trees was a onetime deal and lasted less than 2 hours. Ok, let’s check out how one short forest visit effects on systolic blood pressure.
I would dare to say, that the difference is huge especially if you are middle-aged man or woman and if your systolic blood pressure is fairly raised. Most would benefit middle-aged ladies who would get a 7mmHg drop in their systolic blood pressure. Second place with 6,33mmHg drop will be given to people with systolic blood pressure over 130mmHg. And third place would go to middle-aged men with drop of 4,27mmHg.
Is the Execise the Key?
It’s noteworthy, that there was not much difference in the results weather participants were walking or sitting in nature. So, it’s not about exercise. What then could be the mechanism behind these – in my mind – amazing results? Trials show clearly, that forest environment decreases sympathetic nerve activity, which prepares the body to react to stresses such as threat or injury. On the other hand, nature increases parasympathetic nerve activity, which controls functions of the body at rest.
So, forest environment or even scenery makes us more relaxed by silencing our over stressed sympathetic nervous system. This happens by slowing down heart rate and pulse rate and lowering the levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Hey, what about the diastolic blood pressure? It was covered with 17 trials in this research. Can you guess what happened? Well, diastolic blood pressure went down -1,75mmHg with just one short visit in nature. Makes one wonder if these results could be boosted even better.
Use Regular and Purposeful Nature Exposure to Fight High Blood Pressure
These trials have lasted only couple of hours and they have been onetime deals. What would happen if this nature exposure would be regular or even daily? We definitely need more research about this, but my gut feeling says, that the effects would me amazing!
In these trials, the main intervention method has been walking or sitting in forest areas or only viewing forest sceneries. How would these results chance when one would combine forest compounds, sights and sounds with forest therapy exercises and deepen the connection with nature?
One of the easiest ways to experience forest bathing in all its depth is to listen to a guided forest therapy audio. Firstly, it’s effortless and easy. There is no need to book appointments and fit schedules. Secondly, you can stay in your nearby park or visit the nearest woods and there is no need to travel far away locations. You just need to find some pleasant nature place, upload the forest therapy audio into your smartphone and let us guide you through the process step by step with nature as your companion.
Guided forest therapy audio is not only easy, it is also a very powerful tool for personal development and helps to work out personal issues and hardships in life. By clicking “join us” in the sidebar or below, you will receive free forest therapy audio. You can also join HERE!!