We are certainly very lucky to live in an area of the United States with beautiful forests, but did you know there is actually a thing called “forest therapy”? It is a concept that comes from Japan and researchers are actually studying the impact that spending time in the woods has on people. So far they have learned that spending time in a forest can significantly lower levels of salivary cortisol, the hormone released during times of stress. It can also lower blood pressure and pulse rate. In addition, Japanese researchers have reported that spending three days in the forest increases natural killer (NK) cells, which are produced by the immune system to ward off infection and fight cancer, by 50%, a beneficial effect that can last up to one month.