In 2010 early morning forest walks became one the the three pillars that supported my road to recovery from cancer. At the time it started as an intuitive choice. As time progressed I started appreciating and understanding what the real benefits were to my health. The keyword was ” flow”. My walks stimulated flows and helped to remove flow blockages on all fronts. Physical, mental, emotional. And the combination of early morning and the forest environment seemed to have something magical. I could feel it, sense that it was different than a simple walk down the road.
When I googled walking and cancer back in 2010, the search results were minimal to non existant.
When I google walking and cancer today, in 2019, there is a wealth of information appearing. New developing themes include walking Qi Gong for cancer, forest therapy and forest bathing. They all highlight the benefits of walking, in the early morning and in forest environments. There also appears to be a growing interest in performing scientific research into the health benefits of early morning walks in the forest, and simply being in the forest in the early morning (e.g. for those who experience difficulties walking.)
The following therapies and schools of thought caught my attention.
The healing way of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest. Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forestatmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
From a Chinese clinical treatment standpoint, Guo Lin Walking Qigong became the most popular and effective form of Qigong for cancer. It is also known by the names Guo Lin Qigong, Guo-Lin New Qigong, and New Qigong Therapy. There is a short description of it in The Healing Promise of Qi: Creating Extraordinary Wellness Through Qigong and Tai Chi. There is more extensive information in The Healer Within: Using Traditional Chinese Techniques To Release Your Body’s Own Medicine, Movement, Massage, Meditation, Breathing
Looking for a more scientific insight into the health benefits of Qi Gong practice? Qigong in Cancer Care: Theory, Evidence-Base, and Practice