Part of South Korea’s prescription to improve its citizens’ health and wellbeing is the establishment of dozens of ‘Healing Forests’ - they have an ambitious plan to designate 37 forests within the next few years!
Currently, the Korean Forest Service (KFS) trains instructors to develop and provide specialized forest healing services to the public. The agency now offers everything from prenatal classes in the woods to forest kindergartens. There is even a “Happy Train” that delivers school bullies to a national forest for two days so they can learn to be nicer.
South Korean studies show that a 30-minute forest walk decreases negative feelings such as stress, depression, anger, fatigue, anxiety, and confusion -- and improves cognitive skills. Participating in a forest healing program also has shown to increase self-esteem and psychological stability in people suffering from depression and alcoholism.
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