About Forest Bathing
Forest Bathing or Forest Therapy is inspired by a Japanese practice called “shinrin-yoku” which directly translates to “forest bathing”. In forest therapy, time is spent in the natural world through mindful exploration using our senses. An emphasis is placed on the pleasures of the experience and on connecting with nature through the building of a relationship with the land and all its beings.
Through slowing down, noticing, listening, acceptance and inquiry we heal.
Scientists have been conducting research on the benefits of spending time in nature since the early 1980s. These include stress reduction, strengthening of the immune system, increase in natural killers cells (anti-cancer), stimulation of creativity, improvement in mood and more. To learn more about this research and the science behind Forest Therapy, visit The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy.
The Forest is the therapist, the Guide opens the door.
What to expect
On a forest therapy walk, you are invited to experience the forest in a mindful way guided by your senses, intuition and curiosity.
Walks are not a hike or exercise. They are generally 2 to 4 hours in length and cover less than 2 kilometres in distance. Within this time, your forest therapy guide takes you through invitations that allow you to slow down and take notice of what is around and within you. You may be invited to move slowly, sit still, explore or use your creativity and imagination. You will also have the opportunity to share your noticings with your fellow walkers. Walks conclude with a tea ceremony where you can savour an infusion made from the very forest you just strolled through.
What to bring
Walks take place rain or shine with the exception of severe storms. Your guide will contact you on the morning of the walk by 8am if your walk is postponed or canceled.
Don't forget to submit your health questionnaire prior to your first walk.
To make the most of your experience, we encourage you to bring:
- insect repellent
- sun hat
- full water bottle
- proper footwear (your guide will advise prior to walk)
- a sense of playfulness and an open heart
I am a certified Forest Therapy Guide from The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. Certification requires a 7-day intensive training and a rigorous 6 month mentored practicum. Through the training, as well as my Bachelor's degree in Environment Science and Biology, I am versed in the fundamentals of nature connection, mindfulness practices, bio-regional ecological knowledge, trail awarenesses and safety and are trained in Wilderness & Remote First Aid and CPR.
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