Announcing the North American Chapter of the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine

The Board of the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine (INFOM) in Tokyo, Japan recently approved a North American chapter of the organization. The purpose of INFOM is to promote research on nature and forest medicine, including the effects of forest and nature environments. INFOM aims to provide a platform for those interested in the practice of nature and forest medicine for promoting the effective use of forest resources on stress management, health promotion, and the prevention and rehabilitation of diseases as part of an integrated approach to medical care.INFOM

The initial meeting of the North American chapter of the society will be held at the IUFRO Conference on Forests for People May 19-23, 2013 in Traverse City, Michigan. The INFOM meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m. Qing Li, MD, PhD, Associate Professor at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo and I will host the initial meeting. Dr. Li has been at the forefront of forest medicine research on the practice of shinrin yoku (forest bathing), which is walking in the forest to obtain the health benefits. Dr. Li is the Vice-President and Secretary General of the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine, and I serve on the Board.

We invite you to become a charter member of this truly international organization of researchers and practitioners seeking to learn more about how nature impacts human health and effectiveness. If you would like more details about the North American chapter and how you can become involved please share your contact information.

An Invitation to Become Involved with the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine

The International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine  (INFOM) based in Tokyo, Japan seeks to include in its membership a network of North American researchers, scientists, and practitioners who are exploring the links between nature and human health.

To help raise awareness of INFOM in North America, I am partnering with Alan Logan, ND, a naturopathic doctor, scientist, independent researcher, and co-author of Your Brain on Nature, and Qing Li, MD, PhD, Senior Assistant Professor in the  Department of Hygiene and Public Health at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Li has conducted cutting edge researImagech on shinrin yoku (walking in nature) and forest medicine in Japan, and is the author of the recently published book Forest Medicine.

The purpose of INFOM is to promote research on nature and forest medicine, including the effects of forest and nature environments. INFOM aims to provide a platform for organizations, universities and governments who are interested in the practice of nature and forest medicine for promoting the effective use of forest resources on stress management, health promotion, and the prevention and rehabilitation of diseases as part of an integrated approach to medical care.

Dr. Alan Logan states, “over the last decade or so, Japanese scientists have been examining the ways in which spending time in nature, and forests in particular, can influence objective markers of stress physiology and human immune functioning. These researchers have collaborated together under the auspices of the Japanese Society of Forest Medicine and have made significant contributions to our understanding of how the natural environment can influence our health. However, the Japanese experts have been working in relative isolation, and in an effort to expand awareness of the work globally, and to examine natural settings beyond forests – i.e. parks and urban green space, or waterside areas, so –called blue space – INFOM was born. If you are a scientist, physician, or an allied health care provider interested in the work of INFOM, please contact us using the email address below.”

Dr. Qing Li, Vice-president and Secretary General of INFOM states, “many researchers from Japan, Korea, China, North America and Europe contribute to INFOM. We welcome your participation and invite you to become involved in INFOM.”

We are creating a database of educators, scientists, physicians, allied health care providers and professionals from other related fields who are interested in networking and becoming involved with INFOM. To be included please email your name, contact information and professional affiliation to hikingresearch at yahoo.com. To learn more about INFOM go to www.infom.org.