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An integrative review of the evidence for Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) in the management of depression and its potential clinical application in evidence-based osteopathy

Richard Doran-Sherlock, Simon Devitt, Payal Sood Orcid Logo

Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Volume: 35, Pages: 244 - 255

Swansea University Authors: Simon Devitt, Payal Sood Orcid Logo

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Abstract

There is growing interest in the idea of integrating Nature Therapies into the multidisciplinary management of complex conditions such as depression. Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing), a practice involving spending time in a forested environment while paying attention to multi-sensory stimuli has been p...

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Published in: Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
ISSN: 1360-8592
Published: Elsevier BV 2023
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa63362
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Abstract: There is growing interest in the idea of integrating Nature Therapies into the multidisciplinary management of complex conditions such as depression. Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing), a practice involving spending time in a forested environment while paying attention to multi-sensory stimuli has been proposed as one such modality. The objectives of this review were to – critically analyse the current evidence base on the efficacy of Shinrin-Yoku for the treatment of depression, and to examine how the findings may reflect and/or inform osteopathic principles and clinical practice. An integrative review of the evidence for Shinrin-Yoku in the management of depression published between 2009 and 2019 was conducted resulting in n = 13 peer-reviewed studies meeting inclusion criteria. Two themes emerged from the literature, the positive effect of Shinrin-Yoku on self-reported mood scores, and physiological changes arising from forest exposure. However, the methodological quality of the evidence is poor and experiments may not be generalisable. Suggestions were made for improving the research base via mixed-method studies in a biopsychosocial framework, and aspects of the research which may be applicable to evidence-based osteopathy were noted.
Keywords: Shinrin-Yoku, Forest Bathing, depression, osteopathy
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Funders: This paper was based on research conducted for a Masters Dissertation in Osteopathy at Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom. We are profoundly indebted to the staff of the College of Human and Health Sciences, students of the Osteopathy department, and the patients of the University's Health and Wellbeing Clinic and Swansea Bay University Health Board.
Start Page: 244
End Page: 255