FOREST THERAPYThe Guide that Opens the Door
About Forest Therapy
Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) inspired Forest Therapy has been studied by scientists since the 1980s. Health benefits include lower blood pressure, boosted immune system, increased cancer-fighting proteins (natural killer cells), reduced stress hormones and improved mental health. Scientists have discovered that 2 hours of forest therapy can increase your immunity (number of natural killer cells) by 40% and it will remain boosted for a week. Furthermore, 2 hours of forest therapy for 3 consecutive days can boost your immunity by 50% and the level remains increased for 30 days.
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 healthy solutions. 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. Although hiking in the woods and going on a nature interpretive walk are beneficial experiences, forest therapy / forest bathing is not either of these. It is unique. It is inspiring. It’s like a vacation at the Spa! And it helps to build a healthier heart and body connection.
“A forest therapy walk with Haida is an experience that is great for families. It’s a great way to reconnect with yourself, nature and family. Children learn new skills and come alive in nature. Haida is a gentle guide with lots of respect for the forest.” — Sonya Salamon, Mother
“During the walk, I slowed down, and the entire experience was an artistic and sensory experience. I loved it. Would not have known how to appreciate the forest like this even though I go to the forest frequently. I felt supported being in the forest and guided to experience a calming and immune boosting therapeutic opportunity. It was evident to me that the experience was beneficial.” — J.R., Nurse
Why Walk With a Forest Guide?
A guide will help you to have a better forest experience and will:
- slow you down. Most people move too fast through the forest to experience the kind of health benefits that forest therapy / forest bathing creates.
- Participants often are grateful to have a guide to slow their pace.
- offer invitations, or suggestions, on unique, fun and healing ways to interact with the forest.
- plan ahead, assess current hazards, carries a first aid kit and certificate.
- provide a tea ceremony and snacks.
- listen attentively, non-judgmentally, confidentially
- help you be more accountable and committed; helping ensure you get out for the therapeutic forest time you know and say you want.
- share her experience of the forest too so you can “see” and “hear” the forest through other’s eyes and ears too!
“The highlights of the walk for me included the inviting and peaceful approach, the tea ceremony to close the walk, and the lovely facilitator with her calming voice. This walk refreshed my spirit, soul and outlook on life.”
—A.B., Young Adult Woman
“Haida created a safe container for me as a participant to authentically and comfortably show up and participate.”
— RM, retreat participant