Development of Tourism Resources Utilizing Healing Effects
Authors: Atsushi Ito, Yuko Hiramatsu, Kazutaka Ueda, Yasunari Harada, Haruka Nakayama, Madoka Hasegawa, Miwa Morishita, Mie Sato, Akira Sasaki, Rochaporn Chansawang
Abstract: This research aims to provide tourism information on the healing effects of forest bathing and power spots in response to the health consciousness of the After Corona and With Corona era. For this purpose, we will elucidate the following questions: "What exactly are the effects of forest bathing, and what brings about the healing effects? Specifically, by collecting and analyzing information that links brain waves and GPS location information, it will be possible to provide pinpoint information on which places and how much of a relaxing effect they have, such as where to go near a waterfall or under a huge tree. We will also elucidate the factors that bring about the relaxation effect and examine the possibility of reproducing the relaxation effect. Based on the results of these studies, we will improve the functions and performance of the Nikko Senjogahara guide application that we have been developing for seven years. Regarding measuring the effects of forest bathing, measuring the amount of cortisol at the beginning and the end of the bath is common. However, in that case, we can know the effects as an area; however, it is not easy to provide pinpoint information on which place and how much relaxation is good, for example, near a waterfall here or there, or under this huge tree. In addition, research on the default mode network, the idle state of the brain, has been progressing in recent years. When relaxing by taking a forest bath and paying attention to the inner world, a state of mind-wandering (thinking about many things in a daze) is created, which is expected to activate the default mode network. As a result, it is expected that memories in various parts of the brain under the conscious mind will be connected, and the brain will be in a state where creativity can be easily exercised. Suppose forest bathing or strolling promotes the activation state of the default mode network. In that case, we can measure the effect by continuously measuring EEG and know if there is any difference depending on the location. Once the location can be identified, it is possible to know which of the five senses of information are effective at that location, whether it is auditory, olfactory, or tactile. From this, we can expect to know the elements, such as the sound of water, wind, leaves rubbing, the scent of the trees, and the spray of wind and water, that bring about the effects of forest bathing. For that purpose, we have been developing a wearable EEG sensor with a startup. From the test on our campus using that EEG sensor, we had an interesting result. For example, α wave was increased around a fountain, and β wave was increased when taking photos. In 2022, we are planning to start collecting and analyzing EEG data and location data in Senjogahara and investigating the relationship between them.
Keywords: EEG, Forest bathing, healing point, health tourism, default mode network
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