Forest bathing was developed in 1982 in Japan as a way to use nature to provide healing for the stressful effects of modern life. Spending focused time in nature improves our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Nature therapy is my way of extending forest bathing, known as shinrin yoku in Japanese, to the desert and all natural areas.
Research has shown that spending extended time in nature reduces our cortisol (stress hormone) levels and blood pressure. Patients in hospitals recover more quickly if they have a view of nature. Spending time in nature also increases our focus and creativity. By spending at least two hours in nature each week, either all at once or divided into small portions, we can be happier and healthier.
The greatest effects are achieved when you can be present in the moment and truly experience the peace and quiet of nature without distraction. A nature coach can guide you in invitations of how to stay in the moment and get the most out of your nature experience.
Guided Nature Therapy
In practice, nature therapy employs the natural world to improve your sense of well-being. As your guide, I will help you to become more present and mindfully use all of your senses so that you can connect with nature and yourself.
This will not be a hike but rather a slow meander through nature keeping focus on our senses. We will start with a meditative exercise to relax and ground you. I will then offer you invitations to focus on your senses for a 15-20 minute period. You can relax and follow your body’s lead to see what is calling to you. We will then gather to share what we are noticing and listen to each other without judgment. Each person’s experience will be unique and based on what nature is providing for you during this time. Nature is the therapist, your guide opens the door.
The guided walk will last about two hours. It is in a safe area and on easy terrain. All you need to bring is some water and sun protection. Most of the experience will be done without talking and I will ask you to silence your phones. At the end we will share some tea and snacks and there will be time for discussion and questions.
Find more information and a guide in your area at The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy.
I practice nature therapy guiding for individuals or groups in the Scottsdale and greater Phoenix area. Please email me at karniacoaching @gmail.com or use the form below to schedule a walk. Nature is the therapist and I will be your guide.
Contact me for further information or to register for a program.