What is Forest Bathing?
Forest bathing, called shinrin-yoku in Japan, is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments.
It began as the Japanese government's response to a noticeable decline in health (increased heart attacks, high blood pressure, autoimmune disease, depression, and more) during the tech boom of the 1980s. Researchers used 24 national sites for the purpose of forest bathing, and found dramatic improvement in markers such as blood pressure, variable heart rate, and cortisol levels (the stress hormone) after a 2-hour walk.
Studies continue to demonstrate a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, mood, and cognitive function. ANFT Certified Guides build on those benefits and look beyond, to what happens when people remember that we are a part of nature, not separate from it, and are related to all other beings in fundamental ways.
A forest bathing walk is not a hike or a workout; we move slowly and, for the most part, in silence. A series of guided activities, called invitations, are offered along the way to assist you in finding your own authentic way of interacting with the land. The walk follows the standard sequence of ANFT and the experience ends with a tea ceremony, where you'll enjoy tea made from local plants, along with some healthy snacks.
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