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Immich, Gisela ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5444-4334 and Schuh, Angela (2021): A Conceptual Framework of Forest Therapy as an Innovative Health Approach Combined with Local Health Resort Medicine in Alpine Regions to Increase Mental Health and Well-Being. In: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation - International, Vol. 8, No. 2 [PDF, 3MB]

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Introduction: There has been a constant increase in mental health disorders in Western industrialized nations, and the current Covid 19 pandemic is increasingly exacerbating the problem. The health resorts in Germany are well equipped to improve mental, emotional and physical health with their local remedies and procedures to improve the individual health status. Method: The available alpine health resort procedures/interventions as well as the novel forest therapy with their various effects are described in order to develop a novel health resort concept for the treatment of mental-health disorders and well-being. Result: Based on the principles of health resort medicine (HRM) and the available alpine interventions, a three-week treatment concept has been developed. Different procedures such as climatotherapy, balneotherapy, forest therapy & nature connection, mindfulness practice and physiotherapy have been combined in a healthy manner. Alpine health resorts are particularly well suited because of their excellent health-promoting climate factors. Conclusion: The novel combination of HRM with forest therapy will lead to stress reduction and an increase in mental health and general well-being. This new approach shows promising benefits for future health resort treatments. Studies on this new approach are needed to confirm the effectiveness of the conceptual framework.

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