Udaipur : The forest department in Udaipur has embarked on a special awareness program to connect people with nature. ‘Tree Therapy’ a drive recently launched by the department aims to educate people about the health benefits of simply spending some time with trees and in forest, parks.
“Tree therapy or the Japanese practice of forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress harmone production, boost the immune system and improve overall feelings of well being. This is due to various essential oils, generally called phytoncide, found in wood, plants, and some fruit and vegetables, which trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects. Forest air doesn’t just feel fresher and better – inhaling phytoncide seems to actually improve immune system function” Deputy conservator of forest Om Prakash Sharma told Udaipur Kiran.
The department is developing a special area for forest bathers at the Mewar Bio Diversity park at Amberi while it is also promoting tree therapy for morning and evening walkers at GulabBag. ” Forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments,” Collector BishnuCharan Mallick said who gave the idea to the forest department and asked the authorities to initiate the drive here for city dwellers as well as for the tourists coming here from far and wide. On Gandhi Jayanti, Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria officially inaugurated the drive which would be a regular program at bio parks and sanctuaries in and around Udaipur.
An information brochure and a short video film has been prepared by the forest department to propagate the drive. ” Tree therapy isnt a difficult task. City dwellers can benefit from the trees by just visiting a park. They just need to hug any tree, feel it breathing and hear its beats. Meditating under a tree, feeling the voices of the birds and insects and interacting with nature would rejuvenate one’s energy. People would feel more rested and less inclined to stress after a forest bath” Sharma said.