You have questions. I have answers.
The following answers are referred and quoted directly from the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, where I was certified to do this amazing work.
Nature & Forest Therapy, or NFT for short, is a “relational practice that brings people into deeper intimacy with natural places. One of those places is our natural self; it’s a practice that holds the possibility of meeting again the kernel of who we are, and what we are born to be, and how we are intended to be of service in the world.”
Research has found there are many wonderful health benefits attributed to NFT including boosted immune function, improved cardiovascular and respiratory health, attention restoration, and a reduction in stress and depression.
In NFT there is a clearly defined sequence of guided events that provides structure to the experience, while embracing the many opportunities for creativity and serendipity offered by the forest and the individual inspiration of each guide. This practice was developed under the leadership of M. Amos Clifford, and has become the most-widely used framework for Forest Therapy in the world.
I get that question all the time, and no there is no cult-like rituals we do here! Forest therapy was inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing.” It broadly means taking in, in all of one’s senses, the forest atmosphere. By being completely immersed in the sights and sounds of the forest, one “bathes” in the forest.
NFT has been proven through various studies to significantly lower pulse rate, systolic, and diastolic blood pressure after a two-hour guided walk. In addition, reduced tension, anger, fatigue, depression, confusion, anxiety and improved positive emotions were reported. To learn more please read this article: A Review of Field Experiments on the Effect of Forest Bathing on Anxiety and Heart Rate Variability – by: Marc R Farrow and Kyle Washburn.
Get in touch with me for your free consultation where I can answer many more questions that haven’t been addressed.