Human beings have lived in deep relationship with nature throughout time; however, the Industrial Revolution, expanding technology and urbanization have disrupted this healing relationship. Chronic physical and mental illness is on the rise. Forest Therapy Walks are an opportunity to return to our roots, embrace ancient wisdom and renew therapeutic relationship with nature and the more than human world. Forest and Nature Therapy can be experienced in a variety of settings such as your backyard, a city park, a local nature preserve, arboretums, etc. Certified guides can skillfully assist by providing invitations to engage with the natural setting.
Research began in the 1980s in Japan. Scientist there focused on collecting quantitative and qualitative data on the physiological, mental, and emotional impacts of Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) on human beings. Over two decades, significant findings demonstrated that time in the forest decreased the stress hormone cortisol, lowered blood pressure and pulse, improved heart rate variability, strengthened immune function, decreased anxiety and improved mood and cognition. Visit the Events/Workshops for Presentations for Health Care Providers, Click Here to see Maggie’s list of research references, visit NatureAndForestTherapy.org to links to research and media articles. See NIH Videocast.