Simulated Forest Immersion Therapy: Methods Development

Amy Miner Ross, Reo Jane Francesca Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Shinrin-yoku, forest bathing, may provide relief from chronic and breakthrough pain in patients with axial spondyloarthritis and improve immune function through increasing NK cell numbers and activity and their downstream effectors, perforin and granulysin, after chemo-or radiation therapy in breast and prostate cancer patients. The aim of this paper is to describe the study protocol for a simulated forest immersion therapy using virtual reality and atomized phytoncides, volatile organic compounds found in forested areas designed to effect positive change for these two patient populations. The setting, including the room set up and samples with inclusion/exclusion specific to this type of intervention, is outlined. Measures and calibration procedures pertinent to determining the feasibility of simulated forest immersion therapy are presented and include: ambient and surface room temperatures and relative humidity in real time, ambient ultrafine particulate matter, ambient droplet measurement that coincides with volatile organic compounds, specific phytoncides, and virtual reality and atomization of phytoncide set up. Particular lessons learned while training and setting up the equipment are presented. Simulated forest immersion therapy is possible with attention to detail during this early phase when development of methods, equipment testing, and feasibility in deploying the intervention become operational. The expected outcome of the development of the methods for this study is the creation of a standardized approach to simulating forest therapy in a controlled laboratory space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5373
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • DASS
  • NK cells
  • Visual Analog Scale
  • exposure science methods
  • phytoncides
  • shinrin-yoku
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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