Forest therapy/forest bathing
Join Certified Forest Therapy Guide Jeanne Christie for a guided forest walk and learn about forest bathing/forest therapy guided walks.
This is a special opportunity to slow down and become fully immersed in the natural world and explore it from a new perspective. In Japan this practice is called Shinrin Yoku, which means making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest.
During the walk participants will be guided to learn how to let their busy minds rest and focus on experiencing the forest through all their senses—both the ones we all know-- like sight and sound--as well as other more subtle senses like the ability to feel gravity, to use intuition, and sense shapes and forms nearby even with eyes closed.
A forest bathing walk includes a series of activities—called invitations--while slowly walking on a trail, wandering independently or just sitting. Each invitation is very simple, often encouraging the exploration of a particular sense. After each invitation there is an opportunity to come together to share. A special tea ceremony with snacks is held at the conclusion.
What is Forest bathing?
In Japan, Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing, is defined as spending time among trees. It has been considered a form of preventive medicine since the 1980s, when researchers in Nagano found that the practice lessens stress, boosts immunity and lowers blood pressure. Subsequent studies showed that soaking up the forest environment — the still atmosphere, the green scenery, the gentle crunching of twigs underfoot — reduces cortisol (the body’s primary stress hormone) and activates the parasympathetic (self-healing) nervous system.
What to wear and bring:
Dress comfortably for moving slowly through the woods. This is a wander, not a hike. Close toed shoes or sandals are recommended. During the walks we often explore the forest off the trail.
What will be provided:
There will be a choice of mats or stools to sit on during the walk, two kinds of bug spray and hand sanitizer available. At the end of the walk, everything will be provided for a tea ceremony.
Hello! My name is Jeanne Christie. I am a Certified Forest Therapy Guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, as well as a Registered Maine Guide with extensive outdoor experience including hiking, camping, trail running, backpacking, canoeing, skiing, snowshoeing and more. In recent years I discovered I also loved just being in nature. When I discovered Forest Bathing, I realized I had found a way to share that experience with others. If you want to go fast, I'm not a good fit. If you are drawn to taking time to go slow, get close with nature and develop deep connections, please sign up for a walk.