Forest Therapy gives you the chance to disconnect from technology and the hustle and bustle of daily life, and get back in tune with what’s important: nature, yourself, and those around you. It’s so simple to do, it’s like a walk in the park (ahem, the forest).
Forest Therapy (also known as Forest Bathing or Shinrin-yoku) supports your health and well-being through guided immersive experiences in forests and other natural healing environments.
What does that actually look like? It looks like a nice gentle walk in the woods with a guide inviting you to participate in activities along the way. These walks are not your traditional hike. You’re only covering 1.5 kilometers over 2 to 3 hours. This makes Forest Therapy walks accessible to people with disabilities. Because it’s such a short distance over a long period of time, you’ll connect with nature in a much deeper way than you ever have prior to the walk.
Forest Therapy walks follow a standard sequence, set by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy
THE FOREST THERAPY SEQUENCE
Establish embodied contact with the present moment and place
Receive a series of connective invitations, mobilizing the power of the senses, adapted to the location and the needs of participants
Enjoy wander time, and/or find a sit spot
Participate in a tea ceremony where we share tea made from local foraged plants
During a Forest Therapy walk, you can expect to have a wide range of experiences, some of which you may feel are significant, even profound. The guide is trained to be a supportive witness of these experiences. From tears of sadness, anger, and frustration, we’ve seen it all. You can express your emotions freely and receive only acceptance, no judgment.
We have Forest Therapy Guides available across Canada waiting to help you reconnect with nature and yourself. Whether you’re an individual, a group of friends, or a business with a group of staff, we’ve got your Forest Therapy needs covered.
WHY ARE THE WALKS GUIDED?
Trying to do Forest Therapy on your own is a bit like trying to learn yoga without seeking guidance from an instructor. You can absolutely do it, but you won’t get very much out of it without a Guide. (At least at the beginning, when you’re a Forest Therapy newbie.)
Forest is the true therapy, your Forest Therapy Guide is simply opening the door and welcoming you in. Your Guide is trained to slow you down, help you turn off the stream of habitual thinking and establish embodied contact with the present moment. They work in partnership with Nature and also have a function of a supportive witness, enabling you to experience whatever the natural environment has to offer to you at the moment, without interfering and disturbing this process. Forest Therapy Guides enhance your sensory perception, facilitating connection with place, body, nature, and the more-than-human world.
BENEFITS OF FOREST BATHING
CORPORATE AND WELLNESS RETREATS
For all its apparent simplicity, you’ll likely be surprised by Forest Therapy’s transformative power. Some of the empirically demonstrated physical, mental, and spiritual benefits include:
Reduced stress & increased sense of relaxation
Improved and stabilized moods
Boosted immune system functioning
Increased count of the body's Natural Killer cells (NK)
Reduced blood pressure
Stabilized blood glucose levels
Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
Increased focus, sharper cognition, and greater mental clarity
Increased happiness, pleasure in life, and sense of well-being
Improved relationships, including your relationship with the more-than-human world
Check out some of the research on the health benefits of Forest Therapy.
Forest Therapy walks are a fun and effective way to de-stress your staff, create positive attitudes, boost creativity, enhance communication skills, and improve teamwork. Invite your staff to disconnect from the stresses of the job and start connecting with each other!