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What is Forest Therapy?

From: "The Little Handbook of Shinrin Yoku" by M. Amos Clifford and the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Website:

Forest Therapy, also known as "Shinrin-Yoku," refers to the practice of spending time in forested areas for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness.  The practice follows the general principle that it is beneficial to spend time bathing in the atmosphere of the forest. The Japanese words translate into English as “Forest Bathing.” Although we are inspired by the Japanese practice our use of the terms Forest Therapy and  Shinrin-Yoku do not mean a specifically Japanese practice. We mean spending time in nature in a way that invites healing interactions. There is a long tradition of this in cultures throughout the world. It’s not just about healing people; it includes healing for the forest (or river, or desert, or whatever environment you are in).

What are the benefits of Nature and Forest Therapy for individuals?

Forest Therapy has been shown to improve health and well-being by:

  • Reducing stress

  • Improving immune system functioning 

  • Improving mental functioning and creativity

For more information on the science of forest therapy click HERE.

And while the science is great, the benefits can be as simple as having the chance to disconnect from the daily grind, slow down, decompress, and escape from emails/texts/calls/posts and all of the other modern clutter of our daily lives!

What are the benefits of Nature and Forest Therapy for teams or groups?

Trust, cooperation and mutual regard are key ingredients for high performing teams and strong groups. A growing body of research has shown that nature-connected experiences bring out more social feelings, strengthen our value of community, and foster the development of close relationships. When combined with the individually-focused benefits of nature, a forest bathing experience can be both a powerful tool for improving team performance and a welcome change of pace from typical team-building activities that are conducted in the confines of a conference room!

What is a typical walk like?

A typical walk provides an opportunity to slow down, engage your senses, and enjoy the natural world around you! The average duration of a walk is between 2-3 hours, and we only cover a short distance – usually no more than a mile. Walks are not strenuous experiences…they are opportunities for renewal, enjoyment, and a chance to unplug from the hectic pace of daily life. Walks are suitable for practically every age group.

Why the name "Forest TLC?"

I believe that there are wonderful gifts that we can receive from spending time in nature, and I have experienced many moments of TLC (tender, loving care) during my walks. The goal of Forest TLC is to help others experience similar moments for themselves!

I am also very interested in helping to support individuals, teams and organizations as they navigate challenging moments of change. The term liminal is defined as “relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.” It can be used to describe the threshold that we must cross when undertaking any significant change effort. In this sense, TLC refers to “The Liminal Connection” and the work that I do with clients to help successfully complete complex change initiatives.

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