Forest Therapy: using nature to heal the body and the mind

On Sunday we held our second Forest Therapy Workshop, this time in the Mapleton Falls National Park. It was just me, Aimee was still a bit unwell (yes, Forest Therapy probably would have helped!), and I met with 4 lovely ladies at 9am, all eager to go for a relaxing and rejuvenating walk through the bush.

 

4

I see a tree like this and of course I’m going to climb it!

 

What exactly is Forest Therapy anyway?

Forest bathing

Taking a walk in a forest, or “forest bathing” as it’s often called, can have some amazing effects on our mind and body. The scientifically proven benefits of Forest Therapy include:
• Lowers blood pressure
• Lowers pulse rate
• Reduces cortisol levels
• Increases vigour
• Reduces anger
• Reduces depression

 
From a personal experience making Shinrin-Yoku part of our weekly practice we’ve noticed:
• Deeper and clearer intuition
• Increased flow of energy
• Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
• Increased flow of life force
• Deepening of friendships
• Overall increase in sense of happiness

3

Remember to look up! The view upward to the canopy is something special

Miyazaki of China University said forests gratify the five senses by providing the sounds of birds, cool air, green leaves, the touch of trees, wild plants and grasses. “The atmosphere of forests makes people calm” he said. Based on studies on the effects of forests, the public and private sectors are now promoting forest therapy.

 

Stuck in the office and can’t get outside? Even looking at a picture of a forest has been linked to reducing blood pressure, stress and improving cognitive performance. So one tip is to bring up an image of a forest onto your computer screen every hour or so, look at it for a couple of minutes, focusing on relaxing your mind and body, breathing deeply and imagining yourself in that forest. Take note of how you feel afterwards 🙂

6

These old trees can make us healthier and happier

 

Because Aimee and I are big fans of this little-known therapy we hold workshops so we can invite others to experience and enjoy the benefits. I really enjoyed the workshop on Sunday; all the ladies seemed to as well and all have said really positive things since. Such as Amanda who gave this feedback…

 

“Refreshed, invigorated, regenerated and inspired is how I feel right now. A short wandering walk in the company of some pleasant folks which ended with some meditation beneath the green canopy. Like a balm for the mind, body and soul, it seems a little dose of forest therapy is just what I needed right now. Clint presented himself with thought and care and it was evident that he truly believes in what he does. Certainly worth the two-hour drive up from Brisbane. Thanks guys!”

7

Take a deep breath and breathe in the beauty

 

The workshop was just $6 which included an info sheet for everyone, a can of coconut water from a local supplier, and the total profit went to charity! Until the end of June we’re supporting the Red Cross Australia Nepal Region Earthquake Appeal and so far we’ve given them over $30 which isn’t much but hopefully it’ll help in some way.

2

Me barefoot and balancing (as usual!) and one of my guests enjoying the surrounds

And hopefully the attendees on Sunday can now use Forest Therapy to improve their health and happiness well into the future. We’re so lucky here on the Sunshine Coast to have a variety of forest, dotted all over the region, to take advantage of.

1

The nice view over the Sunshine Coast hinterland

And the bonus? Forest Therapy is FREE! Sure beats popping a pill doesn’t it!

 

If you’d like to find out about our next Forest Therapy Workshop so you can come along, just register for our Primal E-News newsletter so you don’t miss out!

Now go find a forest and get some therapy 🙂

Clint

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

1. Facing the Flinch – something I’m new to and really enjoying

2. Getting people moving

3. Family and friends

4. Winter Solstice has passed! Longer days, yay!

5. Forest time

 

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