I have been cultivating my relationship to nature for many years, through working as an ecologist and venturing off into the backcountry at every opportunity. But despite that long relationship, my life changed when I began developing a personal Forest Therapy practice that really taught me how to slow down and connect in a new way. I am so happy to now be a certified guide, able to share that experience with others.
Forest Therapy Sessions
This is a chance to unplug, slow down, and soften. Forest therapy is an intuitive and natural way to connect with nature and receive its healing benefits. During each session, a certified Forest Therapy guide will lead you on a slow and gentle walk interspersed with invitations to pause, explore your senses, and connect with the natural world. Note that this is not a hike, but a very slow and therapeutic practice with opportunities for facilitated stillness, quiet contemplation, and group interaction.
Sessions typically take place on fairly flat terrain and incorporate some mindful wandering off of maintained trails. Each walk ends with an opportunity to enjoy wild-foraged herbal tea and a light snack.
Sessions range between 1.5 to 3 hours. Public sessions listed in the calendar are group events. Groups typically range in size from 4-12 participants. Private sessions can also be arranged for individuals or small groups. Contact me to find out more.
Why Forest Therapy?
Throughout history, humans have been connected to their homelands. Historically, indigenous peoples around the world have held a deep understanding of landscapes, ecological connections, and local plants and animals - these things were a natural part of daily life. The few intact indigenous cultures remaining in our world today still have these deep connections embedded into their way of being. With it, they have wisdom, purpose, and resilience.
In recent centuries the expansion of technological and scientific ways of knowing have allowed people to pursue new and different ways of life. Through that growth, many of us have migrated to dense cities and become more reliant on technology and the conveniences of city life. While this way of life has brought many tangible benefits, it has also distanced us from the natural world.
Forest therapy first emerged as a modern practice in the 1980s in Japan, where it is called shinrin-yoku, or 'forest bathing'. Now practiced around the globe, forest therapy is a way for people to reconnect to nature. Numerous scientific studies are being done to help us better understand the effects of forest therapy on our human psychology and physiology. Generally we know that common therapeutic benefits of this practice include reduced stress, heightened sensory awareness, and increased sense of place and community.