To wind down, try taking a walk in the woods.
Forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku, originates from Japan and was established in 1982 as an innovative approach to addressing and even preventing modern-day ailments and stressors. In the last two decades, the practice has gained traction and is now primed to be the next big wellness trend. We spoke with M. Amos Clifford, the founder and CEO of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT) and Suzi Minor, an ANFT-certified Forest Therapy Guide at L’Auberge de Sedona resort to demystify the misconceptions of forest bathing and discuss its promising benefits.
Supports Mindfulness and Focus
At the heart of forest bathing is a deliberate meditation, but instead of forcing an internal dialogue, you let your walk through the forest guide your focus. As the ANFT puts it in its motto, “the forest is the therapist and the guide opens the doors [to the forest].” Oftentimes, forest bathing is a positive and calming experience that allows individuals to see the forest in a new light and provides an opportunity to clear their minds. Minor explains, “When we’re using our senses, we’re entering a different experience. It’s not a distraction and instead, it moves our focus to another realm.”