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森林
森林

休日を自然の中で過ごそう!1ヵ月以上続く森林浴の健康効果

森林

森林浴をするととても気持ちが良いのは誰でもが感じる事のできる感覚です。一日森林浴をした後などは気分も爽快で何だか日々のストレスも解消されたような気分になりますね。

この森林浴の癒し効果ですが、医学的な面でも癌予防などにおいて高い効果がある事が明らかになってきています。

森林浴がもたらす心身の癒し効果と健康効果をご紹介いたします。

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森林浴の効果、フィトンチッドとマイナスイオン

お風呂

森林浴の癒し効果の元と言われているのがこのフィトンチッドとマイナスイオンです。

フィトンチッド

効きなれない言葉かもしれませんが、森林の香りその物の事をフィトンチッドと言います。このフィトンチッドは土に根を張り動く事の出来ない植物達が、害虫などから自らの身を守るために発する成分と考えられています。

嬉しい事にこのチトンフィッドは人間にとってはプラスの効果があります。主に体内に侵入した病原菌に対する殺菌効果や自律神経を整え精神を安定する効果があると言われています。

マイナスイオン

森林浴の効果で代表的なマイナスイオンですが、その効果が疑われているのも事実です。しかし私たちの日常の生活環境はパソコンや電子機器、大気汚染等を原因としたプラスイオンに溢れています。森林浴をして、特にマイナスイオンが多いと言われている滝のそばなどに行くと心身がリラックスするのは理屈ではなく誰もが肌で感じた事があるのではないでしょうか?

森林浴をしてマイナスイオンを浴びる事は疲労回復や弱った細胞の活性を促す効果があると考えられています。

森林浴には免疫力を高める効果がある

さらに森林浴の効果として期待できるものにNK(ナチュラルキラー細胞)の活性化が挙げられます。

このナチュラルキラー細胞とは人間の体内に存在する免疫細胞の一つで、病原菌や癌細胞を殺傷する働きがあります。森林浴をする事によって体内のNK細胞は活性化し、抗がん能力も高まる事が最近明らかにされました。

そしてこのNK細胞の活性化には森林浴後も持続性がある事が明らかにされています。

具体的には森林浴一週間後で45%、一ヶ月後でも23%上昇したままという研究結果が出ています。たった一カ月に一度の森林浴でも十分に人体にとって健康的な効果があるという事が実証されています。

アンチエイジングにも効果的な森林浴

森林浴に心身をリフレッシュさせ免疫力を高める効果があるという事は、当然アンチエイジングの効果も期待できます。アンチエイジングにとって最も効果的なのはストレスを自分でコントロールできるかどうかと言われています。

都会の生活は今やパソコンやスマートフォン無しでは成り立たなくなってきています。それと同時に新しい形のストレスも生まれてきています。テクノストレスなどと呼ばれているこの電子機器によるストレスは、肩こりや頭痛だけでなく精神的なプレッシャーから体内の消化機能の不調や睡眠障害に至るまで様々な影響を及ぼします。

森林浴をして自律神経を安定させると同時に、ストレスホルモンを減少させ自己でストレスをコントロールしていく事はアンチエイジングにとってとても効果があります。

程よい日光浴が出来る森林浴

森林浴の効果としてもう一つ挙げられるのが程良い日光浴が出来るという事です。

紫外線を含む日光が皮膚がんの原因となることから、日光浴はあまり健康に良くないという通説が定着してしまいましたが、日射量の少ない地域では日射量の多い地域に比べて胃癌や大腸癌の発生率が高いという調査の結果も出ています。

これは本来日光浴によって体内で作られるはずのビタミンDの不足ではないかと言われています。やはり人間を含め大半の生物にとって日光は欠かせないもの、浴びすぎは良くないとしても定期的に日光は浴びたいものです。

森林浴では草木によって80%近い日光と紫外線が遮られ、夏でも私たち人間にとって丁度良い量の日光浴が可能だと言われています。

月に1日は森林浴をしながら過ごしてみては?

森林浴が私たちの体に与える様々な健康効果のお話でしたが、森林浴の効果は何も健康面だけでは無いと思います。

月に1日でも自然の中で過ごすという事は都会の喧騒から離れ自身の中に生命を感じる機会でもあり、心身共にリフレッシュをする事でクリエイティブな日々を過ごす為のエネルギーを蓄える事も出来ます。

日々新しくなっていく私たちの生活様式とのバランスを保つためにも、森林浴はとても効果的なのではないでしょうか。

森林浴がもたらす様々な健康効果のまとめ

  • 森林浴の効果の源はフィトンチッドとマイナスイオンであると言われている。
  • フィトンチッドには殺菌効果や自律神経を整える効果があると言われている。
  • マイナスイオンには疲労回復や細胞活性化の作用があると言われている。
  • 最近では抗がん細胞であるNK細胞の活性化が明らかにされた。
  • 森林浴にはその他にもアンチエイジングや適量の日光浴などの効果が期待できる。

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