Forest Therapy in Breast Cancer Patients
A South Korean study was curated online in the Natural Medicine Journal and detailed how immersion in a forest can help those with breast cancer.
The study included 11 women, aged 25 to 60 that were living in Seoul, South Korea that were being treated for stage 1-3 breast cancer. The women were brought to a forested national park for two weeks for what is called “forest therapy.” During their time in the forest, the individuals stayed in log cabins, hiked, and were otherwise immersed in the environment.
Baseline blood samples were taken and all participants were otherwise healthy and there were no detectable physical or mental health issues.
The results of the study were that the NK (natural killer) cell count increased 39 percent directly after the forest therapy. A week later it had subsided, but was still elevated 13 percent relative to baseline.
The importance of this study is that standard medical treatment for breast cancer (eg, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) can be rigorous and immunosuppressive. Reducing or destroying the tumors comes at a price. The forest therapy attempts to treat the problem without the side effects.
For more information, read the full study.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.