WHAT IS FOREST BATHING AND FOREST THERAPY?
The medicine of the forest is the antidote to our modern stressful lifestyles
The practises of Forest Bathing (known as Shinrin-Yoku in Japan) and Forest Therapy are ways of immersing our senses in the atmosphere of the forest for relaxation and positive health benefits.
As we re-establish our connection with the natural world, our sense of beauty, wonder, awe and curiosity is restored and our brains and nervous systems are calmed. The stress hormone cortisol is lowered and the immune system is strengthened.
What is Forest Bathing?
Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing originated in Japan in 1982 as part of a national health programme to address stress related disorders and protect the forests.
Forest Bathing is a guided or non-guided wellness practise for those who wish to relax, relieve stress, and invite joy and pleasure through sensory connection with nature. Evidence supports the practise of Forest Bathing and has been embedded in healthcare systems as a preventive health care intervention that can lower stress/anxiety and strengthen the immune system.
The method of Forest Bathing resembles the practise of mindfulness with some differences. Forest Therapy/Forest Bathing experiences engage in ‘effortless attention’, a type of relaxing and restorative mindful awareness that arises spontaneously.
Forest Bathing is:
What is Forest Therapy?
Forest Therapy is distinguished from Forest Bathing in that it is a skilfully guided practise for those in need of evidence-supported, nature-based interventions for wellness, restoration, treatment and rehabilitation. It is founded on Forest Bathing Practise of sensory connection and immersing the senses in the forest atmosphere.
Forest Therapy Guiding provides opportunities to move Forest Bathing from a preventive health care practise to a clinical mental and physical treatment and rehabilitation intervention.
This is reinforced by guides with professional skills development and nature immersions with clinical applications, particularly aiming to support people with specific needs.