We offer Forest Therapy sessions in and around Melbourne, Australia.
See below to find out more about Forest Therapy, or contact us to enquire about a private session.
What is Forest Therapy?
Stemming from an ancient Japanese belief that forests are places for rejuvenation and healing, ‘Shinrinyoku’ (translated as ‘forest bathing’) has become a key part of government funded preventative health care in Japan and South Korea. It originated in Japan in the 1980’s as the government’s response to an increasingly stressed and urbanised population.
The idea that simply being in a forest can aid relaxation and well-being is not unique to Japanese culture, and is increasingly being supported by science. Given its universality and ease of application to most places on earth, Forest Therapy is taking off as a practice that addresses some of the main health issues present in modern industrialised societies.
What happens on a Forest Therapy walk?
Participants are guided along a specially selected trail in a beautiful forested area for approximately 3 hours. We stop at selected spots along the way for different activities that are designed to bring about relaxation and connect us with our senses and the place. Locations are chosen for their own unique natural qualities, access to facilities such as parking and bathrooms and for their safety.
What does Forest Therapy do for you?
Here’s how some of our clients have answered that question after coming with us on a walk:
“I feel calmer, more connected to myself and the space around me.”
“I‘m relaxed and re-energised.”
“I would love to do it as a weekly practice. Not just a fun thing to do, but a critical missing link in my life.”
“I feel lighter and stress-free.”
Why go on a guided Forest Therapy walk?
Of course you can always go into a beautiful natural place on your own and you may feel better after being there. What we and our clients have found is that going with a guide means that you generally experience the benefits quicker and more profoundly than going alone.
On a guided Forest Therapy walk your phone is turned off, you’re given specific things to focus on and you don’t have to think about where to go or what to do. Someone else does all of that for you, and you just have to be present, follow some simple instructions and enjoy yourself.
Your inner child is released and you’ll find yourself noticing and doing simple things that bring you joy and peace, that you may never have done before, or may not have done for many years. Doing this together with other people can add another enriching dimension to the experience.
Guides trained to international standards
Our Forest Therapy Guides love what they do. They not only have an innate passion for nature and forests, but are trained by the International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance (INFTA). INFTA is the peak body for training Forest Therapy Guides, using a curriculum based on evaluation by over 120 international experts. The training process combines the science and art of being the perfect guide - blending a scientific understanding of what works to decrease stress and accelerate relaxation, with the magic and craft of guiding people to make their own discoveries.
Evidence based health and well-being benefits
Researchers from many countries have studied the effects of guided Forest Therapy walks. What they have found is exciting, with science supporting what people who go on these walks have been saying for decades - that they do it because it makes them feel better.
Research shows that after doing Forest Therapy people have reduced levels of cortisol and blood pressure, and increased production of ‘natural killer cells’ - a type of white blood cell which aids immune system function. Participants consistently report an increase their levels of concentration, positive mood and energy, and a decrease in anxiety levels.
Many studies are freely available to download and read from the INFTA website here.