ARTICLES & BOOKS
Forest Therapy Articles
Here are a selection of articles we’ve written to explain the powerful benefits of Forest Therapy. Please click on each title to expand the article. If you’d like to know when we publish new articles please join our mailing list at the bottom of this page.
I am an empath. I feel deeply. I feel more than I speak. I sense with my whole body and often cannot find the words to express what I am sensing or why.
As an empathic child, society taught me that I was not okay being who I was. I was taught to be less emotional, don’t cry, don’t feel the pain of others or the world. How can an empath not feel pain in a world where humans have tortured others for thousands of years through war, violence, theft, ridicule, alcoholism and so much more.We are taught to numb our emotions with drugs, alcohol, food, sugar, excessive work or too much exercise…all things that bring about poor health.
I know there is a better answer. Connect to the world in which we evolved and naturally has our best interests at heart. Connect to the world which accepts us exactly as we are meant to be, exactly who we are. The forest accepts us unconditionally.
A deer does not care if a tree is bent or scarred. It just goes about its day finding food, resting and playing. Similarly, a tree can hold space for all your emotions and even suck them up and root them deep into the ground where they can regrow into love and joy and wonder.
When we connect our natural heart sense, our emotional sense, to the many stimuli in the forest, our bodies remember who we are, why we are, and our true selves come alive.
The forest has taught me, through four years of regular forest therapy connections, to love and embrace the power of my heart. I want to guide you and set you on a path to embrace and love the power of your own heart.
Your heart is extremely valuable and needed in our world to heal our world and make it a better place for all beings, especially you! By empowering your heart, you will better connect with others whom you have, or want to have, in your life.
For seven years, I was yelling at my child about once a week, as my dad had done in our household when I was a child. About a year after my forest therapy practice began, I noticed that the frequency of my yelling significantly decreased to about once or twice a year. This greatly improved our relationship.
I’m not suggesting you hire me for a year, although you may. I am suggesting you hire me for a series of 7 guided forest therapy experiences. This will get you deeply rooted in the practice with support, information and techniques that will motivate you to keep on your own forest therapy journey. Then perhaps just one day a year you can return to the support of my guidance either on your own or in a group setting to refresh what you may have forgotten and reignite your inspiration. Group experiences have the added benefit of authentic connection with other people.
“Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.” ~ Standing Bear
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu
“Return to the ways that ignite your inner child. Return to nature play.” ~ Haida Bolton
As a child in our society I was taught that if you cannot speak fast and bud into other conversations then you did not matter and what you had to say did not matter.
As an introvert who put a lot of thought into what I wanted to say, I was too slow for this fast paced society. Double that with being an empath, I took my time to deeply feel what others were saying. That meant that I left space after others spoke before I spoke. But, by the time it felt right to share my thoughts, someone else had spoken up. There was no room for my voice in a Canadian society.
What I love about forest therapy and the way I guide is that every voice and every form of communication matters. This includes English words, other languages, silence, gestures, tears, laughter…the whole works! And by using a sharing piece, you can communicate when your sharing is complete. Everyone is encouraged to share from the heart and listen from the heart without interruption. The sharing piece allows for silence to be included in one’s communication. In this way, participants are valued, and their voice is empowered.
Another reason that introverts enjoy forest therapy is that most of the time we are silently connecting with nature. As introverts, we value this silent time. This practice values silence and stillness. It is here we feel we belong and are valued. It is here we can deeply understand that we matter. It is here where our voices are empowered.
“The earth has music for those who will listen.” ~ William Shakespeare
“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” ~ John Muir
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ~ John Muir
“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.” ~ Linda Hogan
Creating Calmer Classrooms
Our school districts in British Columbia are talking a lot about record levels of anxiety, stress and depression among our students and education staff.
Is it any wonder with all the demands placed on people today combined with the lack of connection to nature, and thus our own nature, our truest selves? With the advance of technology has come the greatest disconnection to our source of happiness and health: nature!
Hundreds of scientific studies conducted around the world have demonstrated that Forest Therapy, or slowing down and submerging your senses in the ambience of a forest, significantly reduces the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. Furthermore, our immune system is boosted by 40% after two hours of casually being in the forest environment.
What I like most about connecting to the forest with all of the senses on a regular basis is that people then also connect to their heart and nurture this emotional centre. When they do this, their love bucket can fill up naturally, calmly, creating greater health and happiness. Happy people are kinder to themselves and others. Their relationships with themself and others improves. Anxiety, depression and stress related illnesses decrease.
Happier and healthier students and staff learn better and work better.
What more can a school district want?
“It is in the still silence of nature where one will find true bliss.” ~ unknown
“Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Nature is loved by what is best in us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Normality is a paved road: it’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh
“Look into nature and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein