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There is a calming and deeply healing quality that comes with being connected to the natural world. In the 1980s the Japanese government introduced the concept of "forest bathing" for therapy, simply meaning being in nature and connecting with it through all our senses. It suggests that being distant from nature has an unhealthy impact on human beings. Japanese universities even train specialists in forest medicine and forest bathing is available on prescription in Japan. In Shinto, the ethnic Japanese religion, spirits are not separate from nature, but rather in it. They take the form of things and concepts important to life, such as mountains, trees, wind, rain, a breeze.
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