Forest therapy is facilitated by a trained guide who provides a structured and safe space where participants are invited to slow down in nature. Come as you are, take time to notice, to wander, and discover the experience of connecting with nature. Benefits of slowing down in nature include a wide range of physical, emotional, and mental health benefits.
Forest therapy guides have received training from the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) where they teach that the forest is the therapist, the guide opens the door. Guides provide a framework and hold space for participants as they respond to invitations to see, hear, smell, and touch nature. Guides keep track of the time so participants can loose track of time and be fully present to themselves and the natural environment. Nature and forest therapy is rooted in Jungian psychology, Ecopsychology and Shinrin yoku (forest bathing). Shinrin yoku means to take in the forest atmosphere with all of ones senses, a technique developed in 1982 by Akiyama Tomohide, director of the Japan Forestry Agency. The term "forest therapy" was first used in 2003 by Miyazaki Yoshifumi, who studied the physiological and psychological effects of forest immersion experiences. Forest therapy, as facilitated by an ANFT guide, is more than a walk in the woods, it is the intentional slowing down in nature to increase well-being and connection with oneself and the natural world.
Nature and Forest Therapy is an opportunity to connect with nature, with oneself, and others. The main intention of the walk is to slow down in nature and to be present with nature, ourselves and one another. Come however you are, bring curiosity, and an openness to notice and share the experience of being in nature.
"Forest Therapy is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. Forest Therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing.” Studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition. We build on those benefits and look beyond, to what happens when people remember that we are a part of nature, not separate from it, and are related to all other beings in fundamental ways." https://www.natureandforesttherapy.earth/about/the-practice-of-forest-therapy
"I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and no, when I came o die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau
"I wonder if much that ails our society stems from the fact that we have allowed ourselves to be cut off from that love of, and from, the land. It is medicine for broken land and empty hearts." - Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
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