The Art of Forest Bathing
What is Forest Bathing?
Forest Bathing refers to the wellness practice of spending time in nature for the purpose of enhancing our wellbeing and happiness. It is also called Shinrin Yoku. and was developed in Japan in 1982 as part of a national health programme designed to reduce stress in the Japanese population. Shinrin Yoku literally means “Bathing in the atmosphere of the Forest”.
It involves a very slow, gentle walk underpinned by mindfulness activities which are designed to connect you to the natural world around you.
What makes it different from just walking in nature?
You are led by a trained Forest Bathing guide, who helps you to connect with nature and those around you through a series of connection “invitations” which are offered to participants to support you in slowing down, connecting with your senses and through that with your natural environment.
A guide will know the trail they are leading you on, will have specialist training in nature connection methods and be able to ensure that your experience is as relaxing and effective as possible, whilst ensuring your safety whilst on the trail.
Why connect to your senses and your natural environment?
The senses are the mechanism through which we perceive the world around us. When we are exposed to toxic environments we become desensitised and disconnected by a process of shutting down and numbing out. This may help us to ease any discomfort but at the loss of our capacity to truly relax and feel alive. When we are in nature, we sense this aliveness and the vehicle for this is through our senses.
Benefits of Forest Bathing
Calms the Mind and nervous system
Improves sleep and mood
Lowers blood pressure
Increases memory and concentration
Enhances intuition and creativity
The Science of Forest Therapy
What is Forest Therapy?
Forest Therapy is delivered by Forest Bathing guides who have completed further training to offer a collection of nature-based interventions that target specific mental health and physical health difficulties.
The Forest Therapy Practitioner works with individuals who are experiencing difficulties . The practitioner helps and supports them to connect to Nature as they work with the distress caused by their mental and physical health needs .
Our Forest Therapy Practitioners work in partnership with the forest to enhance nature connection, thus encouraging reciprocity between people and nature. Forest Therapy is grounded in the Forest Bathing practice of sensory connection and immersing the senses in the forest atmosphere and aims to enhance social connections and increase social capital to aid inclusiveness. In this way, Forest Therapy can act as an adjunct to standard treatment and rehabilitation for specific illnesses
Who leads Forest Bathing and Forest Therapies at Wellbeing at Whistlewood?
Anne Bramley is a Forest Therapies Practitioner and Certified Forest Bathing Guide. To find out more about Anne click here.
Helen Saunders is a Certified Forest Bathing Guide. To find out more about Helen click here.
Andrene Alejandro is a Forest Therapies Practitioner and Certified Forest Bathing Guide. To find out more click here.
Helen, Anne and Andrene are trained by and members of the Forest Therapy Institute (FTI). To find out more about the FTI please click here.
The Locations for Forest Bathing/Therapies
Forest Bathing and Therapies are regularly available at Whistlewood Common through Retreat Days and separate Forest Bathing Walks.
Forest Bathing guided walks are also available at the beautiful Intake Wood on the edge of the Pool at Melbourne Hall, Church Square, Melbourne, DE73 8EN - www.melbournehall.com
An invitation at Melbourne Pool, to throw a pebble into the pool and follow the ripples. Watch the relaxing patterns that emerge.
Research for Nature Connectivity, Forest Bathing and Forest Therapies
Testimonials for Forest Bathing
For all the latest research into Nature Connectivity, Forest Bathing and Forest Therapies please click here
"Lovely, relaxing experience, taking in nature through all the senses whilst shutting out the stresses of life for a while. Great experience!"
"I particularly was moved by the forest bathing. ..................the journey made to the Pear Orchard and finding my tree to lean against was tremendously moving and supporting. It is a journey in my memory I will keep returning to when needed."
'WE OFTEN FORGET THAT WE ARE NATURE. NATURE'S NOT SOMETHING SEPARATE FROM US. SO WHEN WE SAY THAT WE HAVE LOST OUR CONNECTON TO NATURE, WE HAVE LOST OUR CONNECTION TO OURSELVES' - ANDY GOLDSWORTHY