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What is Forest Bathing?

Forest bathing (or shinrin-yoku) is about bathing yourself in the forest atmosphere through all of your senses. Contrary to what the name suggests, you don’t have to go into water to forest bathe.  Instead, you focus on what you can see, hear, smell, touch and taste.

 

What does a forest bathing session look like?

During a forest bathing session, you will connect with nature by slowing down and getting out of your head and into your body. A forest bathing guide will help you to do this, by taking you on a short walk and giving you a series of invitations. Invitations are short nature-based exercises that will help you to connect with nature. We call them ‘invitations’ because we invite you to participate. If for whatever reason you don’t feel like doing that, that’s okay too. Feel free to not take part and just relax in your own way.

 

After some invitations, we gather in a circle, where we can share our experiences. This helps us to deepen the experience and also to connect with each other. Again, if you don’t feel like sharing, you don’t have to. Know that silence is also very welcome. 

 

Is forest bathing good for you?

Scientific studies show that forest bathing has many health benefits like reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and boosting your immune system. It also improves your mood, increases concentration and frees up your creativity. And it can accelerate recovery from illness. 

Where did forest bathing originate?

Forest bathing was developed in the 80’s in Japan as a way to cope with stress related health issues. They realised many people were being cut off from nature and needed to reconnect.

Dr. Qing Li is the world’s foremost expert in forest medicine. A medical doctor at Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School and a founding member and chairman of the Japanese Society for Forest Medicine, a leading member of the Task Force of Forests and Human Health, and the vice president and secretary general of the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine.