Monday, 16 July 2018

Walking Practices: Cyclic Journey / Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio

June 9  and June 23rdWalking


WALKING PRACTICES: CYCLIC JOURNEY   |   Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio(S12) MFA

Friluftsliv as Slow and Peak Experiences in the Transmodern Socienty by

Dr. Hans Gelter



I was able to place myself into the group of ‘genuine Friluftliv’. The description of the different generations and their respective focus was extremely interesting since I see myself shift from that workaholic with 80 hour weeks and no time to encounter nature in my thirties, living in a big city Hamburg, to moving to the Pacific North West coast of Canada in my fourties, living on an island in the Pacific rain forest, walking the old growth forest every day. 


Erfahrung stands indeed in contrast to Erlebnis, which both are translated into experience in English but one always needs to explain precisely what kind of experience it is and that indeed 

they are experienced differently by our two brain hemispheres. 


Friluftsliv is the essence of environmental philosophy and ethics and the goal of environmental education. Genuine friluftsliv develops strong emotional and spiritual experiences from the immersion in natural settings, forms a personal connectedness to nature. Accordingly, this closeness to the landscape and non-human beings significantly differ from outdoor activities that range from sports, entertainment, gathering and painting, educational endeavours. 


The need for friluftsliv is compared to experiential industries in sociological contexts. The concept of transmodernity, meaning taking active action towards sustainability and interconnectedness, especially with nature and other cultures is thought may contribute to a revival of the genuine friluftsliv concept as a segue to sustainability action, existential reflection and restoration from stress.


June 10th

Effect of forest bathing trips on human immune function


From my own experience I know how healing the daily walk through the old growth cedar forest can be. The air is wonderful and besides the physical daily activity, walking about 3.5 km in an hour, the mind clears and I get a distance to all the things that worry me and keep my mind busy. I can focus more on the things that are really important. I was happy to read about the healthy impact of such a walk and the studies show that the cells that kill cancer cells are more active during and after such a walk.


Shinrinyoku is a Japanese word for a forest situated experience that has a positive effect on the human immune function. This experience, akin to “natural” aromatherapy is called forest bathing. Breathing in the antimicrobial phytoncides, a biological substance comprised of volatile organic compounds found in essential wood oils that inhibits and prevents the development of bacteria, fungi and protozoa was proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan. A recongised relaxation and / or stress management activity in Japan, forest bathing is now been scientifically demonstrated to significantly increase vigor and decrease anxiety, depression and anger, psychosocial stress-related diseases.

Invitrio studies to calculate the effects of phytoncides on the human natural killer (NK) cell activity, the lymphocytes that destroy and protect the body from antigens and negative intercellular responses like tumors or virus infections result in in a significant increase in mitigation of destructive cell activity. Also, the phytoncides contribute to the restoration of decreased human NK activity, prevent pesticide-induced inhibition of NK activity. The conclusion was that phytoncides significantly enhance human NK activity, partially but significantly restore pesticide affected NK and intracellular perforin (a protein emitted by NK cells), GrA (regulates immune function) and GRN (gene regulation). 


It would be interesting to know if comparable tests have since been done. 


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