Place your hands into the soil to feel grounded. Wade in water to feel emotionally healed. Fill your lungs with fresh air to feel mentally clear. Raise your face to the heat of the sun to connect with that fire and feel your own immense power.Victoria Erickson
Forest bathing or Forest therapy is the practice of spending time in the forest. This is not exercise or hiking or jogging it is simply BEING in nature. It’s an opportunity for people to take time out, slow down and connect with nature throughout the senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, for better health.
The Japanese believe that the time spent under the tree’s canopy can reduce blood pressure, lower stress, boost energy and boost the immune system.
What is Forest Bathing?
Shinrin-Yoku, translated into English as ‘forest bathing’, means taking a leisurely walk in the forest atmosphere. It’s a therapy that was developed in Japan during the 1980s by Tomohide Akiyama, becoming a cornerstone of preventative health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
During forest bathing we immerse our senses in special characteristics of the forest. When we take a slow walk through the woods while focusing on our five senses, we are able to feel the breeze, hear the brooks and rivers as they flow, hear the birds sing, and even see the trees move.
By tuning into it we are able to reduce the volume on our unmelodious inner thoughts. This allows us to bring ourselves into the present moment where we can appreciate what the forest has to offer. So technically, the air, the sound, the surroundings are like an ocean in which everyone “bathes”.
The Tree of Life
Many modern and ancient cultures hold trees sacred. Stories of a “Cosmic World Tree”, “Tree of life”, “Wisdom Tree” have been told with the roots, trunk and branches representing the underworld, earth and heavens. So that’s why trees are the primary focus during Forest bathing therapy, the energy that trees transmit has the ability to affect a person’s mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. The vibration energy of trees is slower, deeper and more concentrated than some other living things and that’s why trees give out the energy vibe of safety, security and stability and the person becomes more centred and grounded.
For instance, many people feel at peace when sitting under a tree or walking through a forest. Children also experience joy, happiness, and excitement while tree climbing or playing in a tree house.