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About Forest Bathing


What is
Forest Bathing?

Forest Bathing is a health-promoting and research-based practice that involves spending time outdoors in nature, sitting peacefully or walking slowly through a forest or park, immersing yourself in the natural environment and mindfully using all your senses. 

You can forest bathe on your own or under the direction of a guide with knowledge of the location and of the role the senses play in finding calm.

In today's fast-paced world, many find it hard to slow down, stay in the present moment and actively connect with the natural world. Some feel unsafe and awkward walking slowly in a forest on their own.

Just like a yoga instructor or mindfulness coach, a guide in the forest can help you harness the benefits of this powerful practice and strengthen your own forest bathing confidence.

A need to reconnect
with nature

Humans have spent over 99.99% of their time in history living in the natural environment, directly in the forests and fields. The gap between the natural setting, for which our physiological functions are adapted through millennia, and the highly urbanized and artificial setting that we inhabit today, is a strong contributing cause of the “stress state” in modern people. (Source)

Today we spend up to 90% of our lives indoors. And when we are outdoors we rush. We hurry from A to B.  And we rarely walk without distractions, without a purpose, or without a phone.

Forest bathing functions as a powerful antidote to the pressures of the modern world. Guided by mindfulness and meditation techniques, forest bathing encourages us to slow down and awaken our senses to connect with our surroundings and ourselves. 


A research-based framework

The research that has been carried out into forest bathing has often been based on taking different physiological and psychological measurements from a number of participants before and after forest bathing. The results have then been compared with measurement data obtained from similarly tranquil stays in an urban environment. There are also studies comparing forest bathing with other health-promoting or calming activities. Measurements have been taken from different groups of people: students, old people, middle-aged people, the stressed, depressed, those with heart disease, COPD patients and others. (Source)

Through this body of research, carried out at universities across the globe, a framework and a methodology have been developed. The knowledge of the benefits of forest bathing - and how to make the most out of them - is growing each year.

Forest Bathing
and Forest Therapy?

The practice of forest bathing draws inspiration from the Japanese movement known as Shinrin-Yoku (森林浴), which emerged in the 1980s as a government initiative to address the rise in stress-related illnesses.  

While Forest Bathing and Shinrin-Yoku are often used interchangeably, you can say that Forest Bathing today encompasses a more comprehensive scientific methodology, compared to its origins in the 1980s.

Both Forest Bathing and Forest Therapy offer nature connection activities structured in carefully designed sequences.

Forest Bathing primarily focuses on health promotion, aiming to reduce stress and prevent illnesses, including burnout.
Forest Therapy operates on a deeper level, offering health and rehabilitation interventions (treatment). It is facilitated by a practitioner trained to work with nature as a therapeutic partner. Forest Bathing is one of the most important components of Forest Therapy.

Who is forest bathing
suitable for?


Forest bathing is suitable for a wide range of individuals, and its benefits can be experienced by people of all ages and backgrounds. Here's a list of who forest bathing is particularly suitable for:

  • Individuals suffering from stress and sensory overload

  • People living in urban environments

  • Mental health concerns - Forest bathing can be part of a holistic approach to managing conditions like anxiety, depression, and mood disorders.

  • Physical health - Forest bathing can lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system, and reduce the risks of heart attacks and diabetes.

  • Creative minds - Anyone looking to stimulate creativity and mental clarity.

  • Children and families - An opportunity for bonding while
    enjoying the benefits of nature connection.

  • Seniors - Older adults can enjoy the gentle and accessible nature of forest bathing to maintain mental and physical well-being.

What to expect


A Forest Bathing walk usually lasts between one to three hours, but in this time you will rarely walk more than two kilometers.
We walk slowly and it will take time to also slow down the pace of our thoughts and really tune in to our surroundings. Walking at a pace that is much slower than normal can be the hardest part.

Achieving the maximum physical and psychological benefits from forest bathing requires a gradual slowing down of pace. Your guide will engage with your parasympathetic nervous system, ensuring a purposeful and effective experience.

During the walk, you will be invited to take part in nature connection activities known as Forest Bathing Invitations. These invitations are offered in a carefully designed sequence to enhance nature-connection and boost the therapeutic and restorative effects. However, these are only recommended activities to try and there is never any pressure to engage in activity that you do not wish to.

Following these nature-connection invitations, you might be invited to share what you noticed in a ‘Sharing Circle’. It is common to use a piece of wood or a pine cone as a ‘talking piece’. Sharing Circles can deepen our connection and our understanding of nature, ourselves, and each other.

The walk often ends with a simple tea ceremony, offering tea brewed from locally sourced, foraged plants. When you depart, you will likely have a new appreciation for the nature around us, and within us, along with a practice you can easily integrate into your daily life.


What to bring

You might want to bring warmer clothes than you think is needed. Walking slowly in the forest, perhaps in the morning hours, requires extra layers in order to be comfortable. A hat, a scarf and gloves can be nice. Perhaps a water bottle and sunscreen, and something small to eat. On my guided walks I usually offer everyone a 'sit spot seat pad', you can also bring your own.

What NOT to bring:

I suggest that you take a break from technology as far as you can and either leave your mobile phone behind, turn it off, or turn it onto Flight Mode.

Get in touch

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