What is Shinrin-yoku ?
Originating in Japan, "Shinrin-yoku" translates to "Forest bathing" or "Immersion in the Forest" is a science-based public health practice. It is a simple and easy mindfullness walk in nature to de-stress and boost health/wellbeing in a natural way.
The most important aspect of Shinrin-yoku is actively engaging each of your five senses, and consciously connecting with what’s happening in the forest around you.
Though the practice has existed for centuries, the term “Shinrin-yoku” was coined in 1982 by Mr Akiyama, Director of the Japanese Forestry Agency.
When practicing Shinrin-yoku, we feel more deeply connected to nature and our own bodies through conscious awareness of our senses responding to the environment.
Shin (Dense Forest)
The Benefits of Shinrin-yoku
Shinrin-yoku is well known to improve both psychological and physiological well-being, and has become popular around the world for its therapeutic benefits.
It is well known that the human species originated in nature, and evolved to thrive in the natural world. Since we live constantly outside of the natural environment, it makes sense that spending time in a natural space leaves us with a sense of peace and relaxation.
Additionally, plants and trees produce "Phytoncides", which are aromatic compounds that contribute to the subtle yet distinctive scent of the forest. The benefits of Phytoncide are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral. Though simply enjoying the aroma of the natural environment is relaxing and invigorating on its own, some research has shown that phytoncides enhance the activity of certain human immune cells, which may benefit immune function.
Why do I need a guide ?
The Forest therapy guide is an experienced professional who helps participants gain the most benefit from their walk in the natural environment.
Your guide has selectively chosen the walk that offers the key elements in accordance to and the principles and practise of Forest Bathing, such as mindfulness, feeling present and de-stressing. This is achieved through a guided series of planned activities.
It is also important to note that your guide encourages you to discuss and share the knowledge with other participants so the positive effect and feelings will enhance your wellbeing and those around you.
Additionally, it is not only connecting with nature on your own but also connecting with other people. Whilst the results are not always noticeable immediately, in time, the subtle nature of your experience will be eventually felt, and for a long period after the walk.
Q: How long have you been
doing a Forest Bathing Walk ?
Q: Where did you obtain your
certification as a Forest Therapy Guide ?
Q: Why did you chose
Lane Cove National Park for a
Forest Bathing Walk venue ?
A : I've been doing the walk since 2019 !
A : Because it is one of the beautiful national parks in NSW and it is close from city.
Also, due to the flat terrains of the walking track, it is suitable for all ages.
And of course, it is such a beautiful forest with amazing eucalyptus trees !
What do we do in walk ?
The following diagram is the example of what you will experience during the walk.
Click the diagram to view.
Forest Bathing (Shinrin-yoku) is the practice of wandering through the forest, actively engaging each of your five senses, and consciously connecting with what’s happening in the forest around you.
Forest Bathing is a somewhat difficult concept to describe since it requires direct experience to understand it depth. It is not taught in a specific and direct manner. Participants gain the knowledge themselves by experiencing the key elements of Forest Bathing.
These are: Sight / Sound / Touch / Feeling the energy of the Forest.
Each participant is encouraged to experience each modality through a series of exercises albeit, not instructions. The participant quickly realises that when the mind experiences these activities, their body relaxes. Over time and practice a sense of connection develops.
Participants often feel a knowingness however find it challenging to describe and articulate.
This is when Forest Bathing starts to wok its magic !
Forest Bathing is design to slow you down, shift the focus to the 'now', an often difficult thing to achieve with our busy lives.
There is no question about its validity as an excellent tool with a significant amount of evidence available.
Yes is sounds simple and it is. It is just a matter of taking that first step to try it, and then you will understand.
When practicing Shinrin-yoku, we feel deeply connected to nature and our own bodies through conscious awareness of our senses and responding to the environment.
✅ Reduce stress/anxiety
✅ Improve mood swings
✅ Deep relaxation
✅ Feeling calm
✅ Awareness within self