Forest bathing, or Shirin-yoku in Japanese, is defined as a leisurely visit to a forest. Shinrin-Yoku inspired forest therapy is a slow, guided walk in nature that awakens every sense, calms the mind, and produces more joy, creativity, curiosity and overall good health. The forest is the therapist, the guide opens the door to the forest and invites you to experience the forest with a variety of sensory invitations. It’s like a vacation at the Spa!
Forest therapy has been shown to have other measurable health benefits include lower blood pressure, boosted immune system, increased cancer-fighting proteins (natural killer cells), reduced stress hormones and improved mental health. The boost can last as long as a week. Essential wood oils, volatile antimicrobial tree compounds called phytoncides are regarded as being similar to natural aromatherapy.
A hike or a bike in the woods, while being a beneficial experience, is not the same as forest therapy or forest bathing.
Haida Bolton is a certified Forest Therapy Guide. Check out “Nature with Haida” if you would like to experience forest bathing. Great for corporate retreats as well.