News about Shinrin-Yoku is spreading fast. Shinrin-Yoku translates as ‘”forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere.” Forest bathing slows us down. We use all our senses to feel and be with the forest, rather than simply walking or jogging through it.
History of Shinrin-Yoku
Shinrin-Yoku is a term that was created by the Forest Agency of Japan in 1982 to encourage people to reap the health benefits of time in the forest. The benefits were discovered by Japanese scientists. They had measured the reduced blood pressure, pulse rate, stress anxiety, and increased white blood cell count after time in woodland. Link
Forest Therapy Guide Training
Certified Forest Therapy Guides have completed a one week intensive training followed by a six month practicum. This includes mentoring on practice walks, learning to recognize, draw and know the properties of local plants that can be safely ingested as a tea. A classical Forest Therapy session ends with a Japanese tea ceremony and sharing. Sharing is an integral part of these sessions. They help put words to the liminal states we enter into, and invite us to wide our experience by resonating with other participants’.
Forest Therapy Guides are able to facilitate an experience that follows a protocol. The protocol has inbuilt safety, a step by step process allowing participants to more easily open into a place of open receptivity. The method includes sharing circles, invitations to deep awareness, and a closing tea ceremony. All Forest Therapy Guides carry a first aid kit and must complete a full wilderness first aid training to graduate.
Forest bathers gathering for a sharing circle with Kaia