What is forest therapy anyways?
What is Forest Therapy?
“Forest Therapy is a practice that supports health and wellness through guided immersion in forests and other environments to promote the well-being of both people and the land.”
~Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT)
Forest Therapy is inspired by Shinrin Yoku which started in Japan and translates to “Forest Bathing”. Research supports that spending time “bathing” in the sights, sounds, smells, textures and colors of a forest are beneficial to our body and mind.
What To Expect On A Forest Therapy Walk?
Forest Therapy guides intentionally cultivate a slow moving experience through the landscape bringing attention to the experience of the body, of the senses, and of the surrounding environment.
A sequence of “invitations” is offered to help participants tune into their senses and receive input from the natural world. There is no right or wrong way to do an invitation. Invitations are open-ended and participants will likely come away with very individual experiences.
Walks are generally 2-3 hours, ending with a closing tea. Distance walked is about 1 mile.
Benefits of Forest Therapy:
increases our connection with the natural world
increases prosocial behavior
cultivates a reciprocal relationship with the more-than-human world
equalizes blood pressure
boosts immune system
decreases stress and stress related depression/mood disorders
relaxes the prefrontal cortex through involuntary attention (Attention Restoration Theory)
“The Forest is the therapist, and the Guide opens the doors.”