At the heart of all our nature connection programmes is 'shinrin yoku' which literally means 'forest bathing'. A wellness practice that started in Japan in the early 1980s, it encompasses conscious and deliberate immersion of our senses in nature. In the process, we connect deeply with nature.
a sensory immersion
Forest bathing is a slow and immersive practice in nature. Through gentle, guided walks in nature, it supports physical, mental and emotional well-being. Using carefully crafted and perfected invitational activities, participants are guided to interact with nature in ways that they have never thought possible before. In the process, they discover new insights and perspectives.
The focus is on being present in nature, awakening our senses and using them to connect with nature. Unlike a hike or nature appreciation walk, forest bathing is not a completion of a trail within a time period; is not a reaching of any particular destination; is not an identification of plant and animal species.
Forest bathing is a deep knowing of nature through the senses; is a slow riveting walk through nature; is simply being in nature. The gentleness of the practice makes it accessible to everyone no matter the age, gender, fitness and religion.
Forest bathing is also an effective tool to be used in professional coaching sessions, as well as executive and creative retreats. The effective 'tuning in', the sharpening of intuition and the exposures to other perspectives are known to contribute to the successes of such pursuits.
the science and research
Over the last decades, the benefits of forest bathing have been scientifically quantified. These include:
- Increased concentration and mental focus;
- Increased creativity;
- Increased body immunity;
- Increased post-operation or post-hospitalisation recovery rates;
- Increased amounts and efficacy of our body's natural killer cells (NK cells) against cancer;
- Improved maintenance of blood glucose concentrations;
- Improved sleep;
- Reduced stress;
- Reduced blood pressure.
leader in the field of forest bathing
The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programes (ANFT) in the US is the leading global voice for forest bathing. Setting the standards for forest bathing practice, the ANFT trains and certifies nature and forest therapy guides worldwide.
Guides of XIU Nature Connections are trained and certified by the ANFT.