Interview June 11, 2020

The benefits of Forest medicine in the context of covid-19 with immunologist Dr. Qing Li


In this episode, Dr. Qing Li, immunologist, physician and an associate professor at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, exposes us to a way of interacting with the environment for the good of our health, called forest bathing. He talks about increasing immune function through forest medicine. The professor was the first one to use the terms of forest bathing and shinrin-yoku in English. His research shows the positive effect of forest bathing on different disorders, such as hypertension and depression. He describes the beneficial impact of phytoncides, both psychologically and physiologically. Additionally, Dr. Qing Li highlights the power of phytoncides to reduce stress, which induces many diseases.


We discuss:

  • Explaining the benefits of forest medicine
  • Dr. Qing Li’s background in immunology and his decision to focus on forest medicine
  • Introducing phytoncides and their effect in the context of the current pandemic
  • Using phytoncides in different therapies including aromatherapy (essential oils)
  • Psychological effects of forest bathing
  • Forest medicine in clinical vs. preventive medicine
  • Impact of forest bathing on people with certain disorders (like hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases)
  • Why forest medicine is not still used for medical treatment
  • How non-pharmacological treatments get financing
  • The main healing mechanisms of forest bathing
  • The soil bacteria in forest therapy
  • The incidence of chronic disorders: city vs. forest
  • Forest medicine in different countries
  • Forest therapy bases and forests certification
  • Forest therapy guides
  • The impact of forest medicine on saving trees and preventing deforestation
  • The future of forest medicine
  • The effect of forest bathing on sleep
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