Nature and Forest Therapy

 

“Forest bathing is a sensory immersion in green light and birdsong that leaves the bather renewed and clean.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer, Author of Braiding Sweetgrass

Nature and Forest Therapy Programs

Forest Bathing or Therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku or translated – Shinrin (forest) and yoku (bathing) which is the conscious and contemplative experience of opening all the senses in the forest atmosphere and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest.   Walks led by a certified guide include a series of invitations to connect with nature, sharing circles, and conclude with a tea ceremony. Research from around the world has shown that Forest Therapy has highly positive affect on health, mental health, and well-being including lowering anxiety and depression, while boosting the immune system.

Slow down and awaken your senses on a guided therapeutic experience in one of New England’s many beautiful forests. BirchWalking offers guided forest therapy walks for individuals, families, groups, teams and organizations in New Hampshire and beyond both in person and virtually.  BirchWalking has two site specific locations in West Ossipee and Northwood, New Hampshire and can also create forest therapy guided trails and experiences near or on your business location for easy staff or client access.  All the prompts, invitations, sharing and ways of participating are optional and open to interpretation.

From increased cerebral blood flow to stronger immune defenses, come discover for yourself what happens when we unplug, slow down and open our senses to notice more of our natural surroundings. Forest Bathing is part of a global effort to tend to the stressful conditions of living in modern industrialized civilization.

lake and forest
forest bathing

“I would recommend this experience to anyone who enjoys being in nature and wants to further their connection to it. I would also think anyone who enjoys and participates in meditation, regularly or once in awhile, would gain something from this experience. I believe forest bathing may be most effective in combination with other therapies, but it is certainly a worthy inclusion into different treatment plans and/or forms of treatment for mental and physical wellbeing.”

Youth Homelessness Program Coordinator, Individual with Lived Experience, 35 years old

Learn more about Forest Therapy

To learn more about Forest Therapy, check out Forest Bathing Retreat: Finding Company in the Wholeness of Trees by Hannah Fries, a native of New Hampshire.  Here is a short video you can also watch on the origins and benefits of forest bathing.

The body of research on Forest Bathing is growing around the world.  See the National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine., Harvard Medical School, Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine, Yale School of the Environment

“I brought Christine in to support our staffs’ health and well-being. The human services field had a high rate of burnout before the pandemic – things are even harder now. Christine offered a fresh, new, yet evidence-based wellness experience that staff loved”.

HHS, Senior Executive

“Going on a forest therapy guided walk with Christine has given me another tool in my toolbox to help handle life’s challenges, find joy, and accomplish more mental/emotional balance”.

Virtual Forest Therapy Participant, previous Rape Crisis Hotline Responder and Meals on Wheels Volunteer, 81 years old

“Our virtual guided forest bathing walk was an opportunity for growth in appreciation for the benefits of nature… self-reflection and contemplation. The ever-evolving process of nature that allows oneself to grow, change, heal, relax and meditate.”

Virtual Forest Therapy Participant, previous Substance Use Treatment Center Staff member, 76 years old

“I would recommend this experience to anyone who enjoys being in nature and wants to further their connection to it. I would also think anyone who enjoys and participates in meditation, regularly or once in awhile, would gain something from this experience. I believe forest bathing may be most effective in combination with other therapies, but it is certainly a worthy inclusion into different treatment plans and/or forms of treatment for mental and physical wellbeing.”

Youth Homelessness Program Coordinator, Individual with Lived Experience, 35 years old

“I just felt so relaxed, unwound, and at peace by the end of our walk with Christine. I was pretty stressed out before I got here for the walk today, and had no idea what to expect, but I just trusted Christine and did the invitations in the way that was best for me. I’d like to go forest bathing again – and would invite friends who I know could use an opportunity to de stress.”

High school student, readying to return to in person school after a year of virtual learning due to COVID, 16 years old.

“The experience of forest bathing in woods I’d often walked or hiked in before was completely different. Through Christine’s invitations, I slowed down… and saw, listened to, and felt the forest and animals in ways I never had before. My parasympathetic system calmed, and I felt more peaceful and relaxed then I have in a long time. The feeling lasted for many days. I would definitely like to bring this experience to my clients and colleagues. We all need this kind of support”

Mental Health Counselor, 48 years old

Get In Touch

Contact Christine to discuss your individual, family, team, group, or organizational needs and codesign a nature connected wellness experience oriented towards building resiliency and capacity for all humans and beings to live well and thrive together.

2 + 9 =