The Medicine of The Forest Forest Therapy • Shinrin Yoku • Forest Bathing
What is Forest Bathing? Forest Bathing, also called Forest Therapy is a research-based practice for supporting healing and wellbeing through immersion in forests and other natural environments. In Japan it is called "Shinrin Yoku," which translates to "forest bathing." Studies demonstrate numerous health benefits, especially in supporting the cardiovascular and immune systems. Medical research also demonstrates that forest bathing supports reduced cortisol (stress) levels, stabilizes and improves mood and offers increased mental focus.
The Forest Therapy practice offered by Wild Wellness Guide, was developed by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs and draws on the latest medical research, new developments in the field of nature connection, and ancient traditions of mindfulness and wellness promotion. It is applicable in any forest ecosystem or bioregion and can be adapted to other natural settings besides forests, being effective in human-built environments such as city parks and botanic gardens. This practice can be readily integrated with health promotion, psychotherapy, social work, recreation, nature education, employee wellness programs, conservation efforts and numerous other specialties.
The Forest is the Therapist. The Guide Opens the Door.
The Forest Bathing Experience There are many ways to be in nature and forest bathing is much more than simply spending time in the woods. During a forest bathing experience, your guide facilitates you in letting go of stress, slowing down and awakening your senses while helping you become present and deeply connected with nature. An essential part of forest bathing is taking part in a series of facilitated "invitations". The invitations help open your doors of perception as you experience the forest directly through hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching, allowing for deep sensory connection. The ability to simply notice where we are and what we feel allows us to become fully present to ourselves and to witness the world around us with a new perspective.
Forest Bathing is facilitated in guided public or private groups and private sessions for individuals and couples. Group offerings are approximately 2.5 to 3 hours with anywhere from 3 to 12 participants and offer a unique deep connection to the forest, oneself and others. Sessions are offered weekdays, weekends and early evenings. Unless specified, the experiences are geared toward adults and teens ages 15 and up.
Who might find forest bathing beneficial ? People come to "Shinrin Yoku" for many reasons: to support emotional and physical well-being; to boost immune function; for individual or couples healing work, professional team building, stress regulation, support with grieving, or simply to experience unplugged, magical playtime in the woods with like-minded people.
During a Forest Bathing walk, we slowly cover a distance of about a half mile in approximately two-three hours. It is not a rigorous hike; there is no goal towards an end point and it is not a walk teaching plant and tree identification. It is a very unique way to connect with the natural world, slow down, unplug and open to exploring the forest through all your senses. Join me in the woods and discover this beautiful, healing mindfulness practice in nature.
"The Forest Bathing experience Sari guided was one of the most transformative personal experiences of my life. As an avid meditator and meditation teacher for 20 years, I highly recommend Forest Bathing and Sari's guidance for anyone looking for more creative inspiration, higher intuitive insight or deep healing. Thank you, Sari." Sadhu Singh, Meditation, Kundalini Yoga & Health Coach