The trend of “forest bathing” has been around since the 1980’s but it’s been increasing in popularity. The term does not actually refer to bathing in the forest but rather spending some uninterrupted time walking amongst the trees.
It’s originally a Japanese concept called “shinrin-yoku″ which translates to “taking in the forest atmosphere.” The term was actually created by the Japanese government and now it is popular in the U.S. as well.
The practice has been studied quite a bit and it has been found to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, as well as lower pulse rates, and lower blood pressure. It’s not unlike yoga in that way, and some predict that will become just as popular at some point in time.