ANFT CERTIFIED FOREST THERAPY GUIDE
Do you need an escape from the stresses of life, need to refuel your mind, body and spirit, or need time to heal? Spending time in Nature, especially forests, is considered a healing balm for the mind and body. Come explore an uplifting nature-based contemplative and wellness practice with me as your guide.
RX = Restore+Relax+Rejuvenate
My Forest Therapy RX
Forest Therapy is considered a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. Research confirms how nature can profoundly strengthen the immune system and the cardiovascular system, increase attention capacity and creativity, lower blood pressure and stress hormones, and improve mood. *Side effects may include greater longevity, increased energy, and improved pain management among many other benefits.
As a health professional, and Forest Therapy Guide, I am joining a growing number of health practitioners around the world, formally recognizing nature’s powerful health benefits by promoting and prescribing time in nature. As Hippocrates said, “Nature itself is the best physician.”
With special attention to time in nature, a guide helps open the doors of a beneficial partnership with the land. The forest is the “therapist” and participants can gain an overall feeling of well-being, and also a contemplative and mindful practice for the spirit.
What does a Forest Therapy guided experience look like?
The primary goal of a forest therapy walk is not hiking, physical exertion, or identifying plants and animals. As your guide, I offer a series of specially crafted “invitations” with an intention to slow down, awaken your senses, and individually cultivate a relationship with the earth,
A Forest Therapy walk typically involves going only a mile or two in distance. Lasting 2-4 hours, guides encourage one to mindfully move through and interact with the forest, with time for stillness, silence, and special solo interactions with nature.
Nature is like a conduit for staying in balance, and when we return to our roots of healing, we reap numerous benefits. Perhaps falling in love with the earth is also a worthy endeavor in itself, and much needed for these times. The best way to know what forest therapy is? Come experience a walk with me.
Why a Guide?
Developing a meaningful relationship with nature takes time and can help us see ourselves as part of nature not separate. The health of the forest and our own health are intermingled. A guide offers the gift of time, space, specially crafted invitations to the participants, and permission to deepen one’s relationship with nature in ways that they would perhaps not do on their own.
A regular practice of forest therapy can be powerful, and like yoga, meditation, prayer, fitness, or other meaningful mind, body, and spirit endeavors, a guide/teacher can help us learn how to begin and find ways to deepen our “practice” and connection with nature and ourselves.
“Into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.”
I have enjoyed being immersed in nature since childhood, and still feel that childhood awe and wonder in natural settings. Forest Therapy is a way to share not only that magic, but also the physical, emotional, and ecological health and wellness offered by being with nature. It is a gift to one’s self and a practice that has called me again and again back to the source of all life. Besides being a trained and certified guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT), I am an Occupational Therapist focusing on improving mental and physical health. Related experiences include being a health educator and outdoor counselor.