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What Is Forest Bathing? And Where Can I Do It?

what is forest bathing

Everyone knows that being in nature is good for us. In fact, having a connection with nature has been an important part of cultures across the world throughout history. Research tells us what we know intuitively: spending time in nature can reduce stress, boost immunity, and improve our moods. The practice of forest bathing is about purposefully tapping into that restorative energy and goodness.

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Origins

“Shinrin-yoku” originated in Japan in the 80s, and translates to “forest bathing.” The goal of this  exercise is to offer an eco-antidote to tech overload, and to help practitioners reconnect with nature. Our bodies, after all, are built for the natural world. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 93% of his or her time indoors. And even when we’re not indoors, we’re often still chained to our technology and devices.

Fortunately, even little bits of time spent in nature are proven to be restorative. A true forest bath will help you unplug, relax, and bring you into the present moment. Forest bathing isn’t about hiking – it’s about using your five senses to connect with the outdoors. You can absolutely do it on your own, but many people find it incredibly valuable to go with a guide.

Guided Forest Bathing

Amos Clifford, is a former wilderness guide with a master’s degree in counseling. Clifford is also the founder of the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy, the body that certifies forest guides. He explains simply that a forest guide “helps you be here, not there.”

what is forest bathing

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