Forest Bathing is a practice as old as time in Japan called Shinrin-yoku. It is taking the opportunity to just be in nature and one with nature. It does not involve jogging, hiking or exercising in any way, in fact the opposite.

Forest bathers are encouraged to just be in the forest and take time to appreciate all of your senses, sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Outside there is opportunity to smell the flowers, taste the fresh air, look at the changing colours of the trees, hear the birds sing and feel the breeze on your skin. When we open up our senses we are able to connect to the natural world.

Connecting with nature is a biological need and fundamental to our health. The term for connecting with nature is biophilia which is Greek and means ‘love of life and the living world’. Shinrin-yoku is viewed as a bridge in which we can bring our own rhythms back in step with nature. When we are in harmony with the natural world we can begin to heal, be refreshed and restored.

A two-hour forest bathe will help you unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. The research into forest bathing has found that it can help in the following ways: reduce blood pressure, lower stress, improve cardiovascular and metabolic health, improve concentration and memory and lift depression.

Most importantly you don’t need to go far to forest bathe. Whilst many of us would like to find a wonderful forest we could just pop too, it is not always practical. So, the effects of forest bathing can also be achieved in your local park, botanical garden, your own garden, a near by golf club, beach or reserve. The idea is that you just get into and connect with nature for a couple of hours and relax, re-energise and heal.