What is Forest Bathing? (Shinrin Roku)
I was curious too! I spent a lot of time in nature, and whenever I came in from a paddle or a walk in the woods, I noticed; Wow! I feel amazing. So when I heard the term "forest bathing" I researched it and came across the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs site. I just could not believe that what I had been doing as "self care" my whole life was a certifiable guide program. I signed up asap. ANFT introduced me to a structured, organized, inspiring and replicable format to assist humans in re-connecting with nature. In general terms: Forest Bathing is making contact with nature and taking in the atmosphere of the forest."
But...in the training I learned so much more...
come walk with me...
we'll slow down, notice and awaken our senses,
explore inner and outer worlds, and invite the forest to "speak" with us,
and finally make tea from plants foraged during our walk.
Forest Therapy is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. In Japan it is called "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.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Forest Therapy: The Forest Library
We have a saying: "The Forest is the Therapist...the guide opens the door."
I have lived most of my life in the great state of Maine and come from 7 generations of family rooted here. I am an industrial designer, an adjunct professor of contemporary art, a jeweler, a videographer, a shamanic practitioner, an organizer of an annual retreat and performance in nature called (stillness), a kayaking guide, and now...
a forest therapy guide.
"Feeling a connection with nature to a point where you can draw insight from it is unreal...It made me feel so human, so earthy, so native. Using the resources right in front of you is so powerful, especially because nature is (kinda) unpredictable and each experience will be different, it is up to you to decide how to interpret it." - walk participant from Unity College
"Just do it! Susan is caring, wise and wonderful, you will connect with the earth, you will connect with others and you will connect with the deepest reaches within yourself. This was a perfect experience, I feel blessed actually." - walk participant at HIdden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson Maine