Effects of forest bathing on pre-hypertensive and hypertensive adults. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effects of forest bathing on pre-hypertensive and hypertensive adults: a review of the literature.
Environ Health Prev Med. 2020 Jun 22 ;25(1):23. Epub 2020 Jun 22. PMID: 32571202
Katherine Ka-Yin Yau
The aim in this literature review was (1) to explore the physiologically and psychologically therapeutic benefits of forest bathing on adults suffering from pre-hypertension or hypertension, and (2) to identify the type, duration, and frequency of an effective forest bathing intervention in the management of pre-hypertension and hypertension, so as to provide directions for future interventions or research. The electronic databases PubMed, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, PsyINFO, and the China Academic Journals (CAJ) offered through the Full-text Database (CNKI) were searched for relevant studies published from the inception of the databases to April 2019. Of the 364 articles that were identified, 14 met the criteria for inclusion in this review. The synthesis of the findings in the included studies revealed that forest bathing interventions were effective at reducing blood pressure, lowering pulse rate, increasing the power of heart rate variability (HRV), improving cardiac-pulmonary parameters, and metabolic function, inducing a positive mood, reducing anxiety levels, and improving the quality of life of pre-hypertensive or hypertensive participants. Forest walking and forest therapy programs were the two most effective forest bathing interventions. Studies reported that practicing a single forest walking or forest therapy program can produce short-term physiological and psychological benefits. It is concluded that forest bathing, particularly forest walking and therapy, has physiologically and psychologically relaxing effects on middle-aged and elderly people with pre-hypertension and hypertension.