"The forest is the therapist, the guide opens the doors"
Forest therapy/Forest bathing
You too perhaps, changing autumn shades on leaves brings you in awe. You like the forest, and it brings you rest. Not knowing exactly why, the forest may be calling you. Is it to contemplate trees from a distant point of view? Is it to lay down at their roots, gazing up to the sky and the branches? What are you noticing?
And, if you close your eyes, what do you feel in these moments next to them? Peace? Fear? A revival of vitality? Perhaps a childhood memory moves within yourself and calls you back to something? All these mixed emotions will maybe appear clearer on a forest bath.
What is Forest Bathing ?
A forest bath takes place over a short distance, less than a kilometer for about 3 hours on easy and flat terrains. In a group up to 20 people, the walk will unfold through sensory invitations (5 senses) given by the guide, in order to let participants interact with the natural habitat. These invitations are not exercises, but to be experienced like games or fun workshops. For example, laying down in the grass and gazing at the movement of clouds in the sky, listening to the forest sounds, or exploring the environment with the sense of smell. The session is always ending up with a progressive trip back to the meeting point including an incorporation time of the experience lived.
By letting go of the mind to our feelings, the forest bath allows little by little a connection to what is essential, to what is present. Therefore, the guide’s role is to be a link between Nature and the participants.
What is not Forest Bathing ?
It is not a naturalist walk, neither a hike, nor a meditation course, not even a meeting for mystic enlightened souls!
It is not about hugging trees or putting a swimsuit on in the forest. Do not expect to be asked to look for any spirits, or dive into a fantastic tale.
There is no right or wrong way to do this walk. The forest never judges us. Come as you feel like being, the most simple way is to be yourself !
Forest Bathing benefits ?
Well-being by simply slowing down.
A connection to yourself through a connection to Nature.
Taming the wilds, confidence boost.
A time for yourself.
Living the present moment.
An open space through sharing circles (Council methodology from Native American traditions), helping deep listening and speaking from the heart with a group of persons.
Contemplating. Sharing. Resting.
To improve communication abilities. Talking with others.
Benefit from Nature, boost immune system. Lowering blood pressure and heart rate with the help of phytoncides, negative ions, and Chromotherapy.
Senses awakening. Freeing creativity. Following and supporting the sense of intuition.
A time to feel free in a gentle and supportive atmosphere while enjoying a unique forest bath experience.
Forest therapy is a practice inspired from Japan, known as Shinrin-Yoku, literally: Forest Bathing.
In the 1980’s, Japan experienced a very big economic growth, mostly based on tech industries. Which meant, a lot of time spent inside offices for workers. The following years saw a massive increase in Auto-immune diseases, burn outs, and death by over work known as KAROSHI. The government reacted, and launched some research programs, one of them asked a simple question: What happens to the human body while exposed for some time in Nature? More specifically, to forest and trees.
The results were fabulous and very welcome. They realized that trees secrete at all times some little particles to fight against fungus, insects and diseases. These particles are called phytoncides, and trees are literally showering themselves with it, and us at the same time! Phytoncides are also present in fruits and vegetables. They are like essential oils, so tiny that it is easy for the them to get into our lungs and so in our blood systems.
Phytoncides are vital for trees, and so are they for people through breathing. Phytoncides’ effects on the human body lower down blood pressure, boost the immune system by secreting more NK cells (also known as Natural Killer cells), and lowering the heart rate. To simply breathe in the forest, bathing in these phytoncides for a few hours, is proven to be very beneficial for health. In Japan, Shinrin-Yoku is a real lifestyle.
Today, this practice is all around the planet.
Takaya Forest Therapy design its forest baths from the ANFT approach (Associtation of Nature and Forest Therapy). This association has developed the concept of Forest Therapy inspired from Japanese Shinrin-Yoku, and adapting it to our western culture.
In a forest bath, come and look for what you need, without any prescriptions from anybody. Whether it is a moment of pleasure, a conscious time, an introspection, or simply the need to share something, let your curiosity explore what the forest has in store for you!