This Surprising Prescription is Free

For ye shall go out with joy, And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills shall

forest bathing
forest bathing

break forth before you into singing, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12, JPS Tanakh 1917


Have you ever walked into a forest and felt bathed in peace?

It’s not your imagination. It’s real.

The Japanese have a phrase for taking in the healing properties of the woods: shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing.”

Studies “show that forest environments could lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, increase parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity compared with city settings.”

Dr. Johanna Budwig, a biochemist, wrote that walking through a forest can recharge our batteries.

Even simply looking out a window at green plants is healing. Post-surgical patients who could look out on trees and grass got out of the hospital sooner, had fewer complications, and took fewer pain medications than those without such views.

Other benefits include

  • Improved sleep and mood
  • Increased energy levels and ability to focus
  • Decreased anxiety, depression, anger, confusion, and fatigue.

In other words, it’s not just relaxing to be in a forest. It’s healing, and here’s why: you are literally being showered with essential oils that prevent the growth of attacking organisms.

Like cancer.

Plants are busy sending out chemical signals called phytoncides that ward off insects and help fight bacterial and fungal disease. When we breathe in these phytoncides, our bodies’ immune systems create more natural killer white blood cells that go after tumors and viruses.

So maybe take your next “bath” among trees and imagine they are clapping their hands, showering their joy and healing balm upon you.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Find ways to get out into the woods, or at least get a view of plant life, as much as possible.


Budwig, Johanna. Flax Oil as a True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer and Other Diseases. Apple Publishing; 3rd edition (December 1, 1994), p. 50.

Ulrich, R. S. (1984). View through a window may influence recovery from surgeryScience. 224:420-422.

11 thoughts on “This Surprising Prescription is Free

  1. I spend a lot of time doing homework at my dining table these days, and when I plant in the spring I’m very aware of what I see when I look up! I’ve crafted the view out the kitchen door too. It lifts my spirits and makes me smile to see the blooms and birds and wee creatures darting about!

  2. A few years ago, I did the research for a real-life movie about three young men who died on a plane crash after they played their final college football game. During that effort, I met and held the three mothers…and filled in the blanks with details of their final wonderful moments before losing their lives. The love provide the bridge and they will be forever remembered. November 14, 1970 marks the date of the greatest sports tragedy in American history.

    1. Thank you for sharing, and for the wonderful gift you gave those mothers. As a mother, I know it is priceless.

  3. After my failed back surgery, I was advised by three different surgeons that I might never walk again. The pain was intense and my daily pain killers included 1/2 bottle of scotch, 110 milligrams of Oxycodone, and marijuana. The only thing that relieved pain was the marijuana. That was six triathlons ago and I no longer smoke weed…

  4. 80 percent of milk protein is casein and most people react negatively to casein, but there is a type of casein some cows produce which do not cause the traditional problem. Those other 20% of milk proteins include a protein hormone (insulin-like growth factor-1) which has been identified as the KEY factor in the growth and proliferation of every type of human cancer. As a human cancer begins its growth it is silent and painless. When the tumor becomes large enough, it becomes its own endocrine gland, secreting internally an abundance of IGF-1 which promotes its growth as it metastisizes.

  5. Perhaps it is milk/cheese from a particular cow BREED that does not upset you…it would make sense that certain breeds produce more/less of the upsetting enzyme (or whatever) – and regions are breed specific usually…

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