What is forest bathing, forest therapy, forest wellness walks?
These are all names for the same thing.
Bathing in the aromas or beneficial plant compounds within a forest while connecting to our senses, slowing down and opening to whatever we notice.
Where does Forest Therapy come from?
In Japan in the 1980's there was a tech boom which led to a culture of many workers being over worked and associated health challenges. In response to this the Japanese government initiated Shinrin Yoku or Forest Bathing. In Japan today there are many medical centres associated with forests and forest paths where clinicians measure hormones related to stress response within the body before and after a walk in the forest. This is a different approach to how Forest Bathing or Forest Therapy is being practiced throughout many areas of Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand where it is a more relational rather than medical. This article provides a good overview.
What to expect on your Forest Therapy Walk
We will meet where there is a washroom and our walk will be about 2 hours. There is a gentle pace and many opportunities to rest. We will complete our walk with a sharing circle and tea. Throughout the sequence of the walk there are invitations for engaging with the forest. These are optional and totally customizable by you. There are also some opportunities to share what you are noticing with others on the walk, and this is also optional, and silence is always welcome.
The Forest Therapy Walk is complete in about 2.5 hours.
Bringing layers, a sit upon, bug spray, sunscreen, a water bottle and comfortable footwear is recommended for optimizing your comfort during the walk.