To wind down, try taking a walk in the woods.
Forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku, originates from Japan and was established in 1982 as an innovative approach to addressing and even preventing modern-day ailments and stressors. In the last two decades, the practice has gained traction and is now primed to be the next big wellness trend. We spoke with M. Amos Clifford, the founder and CEO of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT) and Suzi Minor, an ANFT-certified Forest Therapy Guide at L’Auberge de Sedona resort to demystify the misconceptions of forest bathing and discuss its promising benefits.
What Is Forest Bathing?
Despite what the term initially suggests, forest bathing doesn’t involve washing up in the woods at all. Clifford describes the ideal forest bathing session as a slow stroll through the forest with a stream, canopy, meadow, or open area. Sessions typically range between one hour to three hours. Unlike hiking, forest bathing isn’t a physical exercise and doesn’t emphasize reaching a destination. The purpose of forest bathing is to tap into your senses, experience the forest directly, and pay attention to how your body reacts to being in the natural environment.