What is Forest Bathing and does it really have an impact on well-being? I’ll be sharing my experiences and top tips on how to connect with this nourishing innate energy. You may have read my earlier blog on Why Earthing Is Good For Health, this blog follows on a similar theme.
Pulsing With Life
Often things go in cycles, we move away from nature and migrate to cities only to find that we still need the connection of nature as a natural remedy to reconnect and restore ourselves. Luckily most cities have parks even if they are small they offer a type of blissful sanctuary. Something for the eye to rest on that is organic rather than just man-made structures. And something to FEEL that is pulsing with life. When we're walking or relaxing in a wooded area or forest, we are literally soaking up essence of nature. The stillness, peace, natural textures, form and surroundings in genral have the most profound effect on well-being. This impact is enhanced even more when you are consciously engaging with nature and the trees.
Japan & UK
There have been many studies carried out in Japan confirming the benefits of spending time in nature but particularly within woods or forests, hence the name Forest Bathing. Some GP’s in Sussex are currently offering Forest Bathing Nature Therapy Sessions to patients, which sounds a great step forward, rather than turning to medication straight away.
Nourishing with Nature
Not only can you can feel the calmness and tranquillity enhancing your sense of well-being, but you can also make a difference to your health by Forest Bathing regularly. Here are some facts from the research.
Improved sleep patterns
Increased immune system function
Soaking Up The Seasons
I do love walking in the woods at any time of year, I say any time of year, any time I’m not up to my knees in mud. Early frosty mornings look so pretty, late afternoons with golden Autumn sunlight feel delicious, the colour of vigorous Spring green leaves and abundant birdsong and the delicious scent of blossoms and the sage greens of Summer. All different, yet with such richness to offer if we choose to be present, listen and really FEEL what’s available to us.
Loving The Trees
It will be different for everyone, but when I’m walking in the woods often a particular tree will catch my attention. How does a tree catch ones attention? It might the shape of the tree reminding me of something, it could be the size or even how different it is the other trees surrounding it. I take it as an invitation to connect with that tree. Simply leaning against the tree with my back or facing the tree literally holding the tree. Finding the quietness within, then opening up to gratitude for the trees (gratitude opens the field of the heart for example helps us to connect with nature/people/situations). A bit like feeling love and expanding that into the tree.
I find each tree has a different ‘personality’ so to speak, a different energy. But one thing they all have in common is the sense that they are receiving this love with gratitude. The first thing I’d suggest is just to stay open and curious to the experience. It’s easy to just dismiss the possibility of feeling the energy of a tree. I know it’s a bit of light hearted banter when we use the phrase ‘tree hugging hippy’, once you experience something that you can’t quite explain, then it’s likely you’ve tapped into the energy of that tree. Then maybe more tree hugging is in order!
Every living thing emits electromagnetic energy, meaning it has an aura surrounding it. This beautiful field of energy which radiates from trees/plants etc can be felt in a very subtle way. It may be felt as a tingle or goosebumps on your skin, or perhaps a mild feeling of connection. It has a very nourishing effect on our wellbeing. If you would like to experience this, remember to take your time, don’t hurry the process just enjoy what arises. Allow at least five minutes to settle yourself down and ‘tune’ in. The connection may feel super subtle or maybe quite swift and strong, just let go of any attachment to the outcome and enjoy whatever you may feel.
There has been a shift in how science understands trees. The mycorrhizal networks ( the super fine ends of the roots) are the foundation for sharing water, nutrients and communication between trees which also benefit the microscopic fungi which help create the network. This creates a type of tree community which I find it so clever and fascinating.
Forest Bathing Tips
See earlier blog on Why Earthing Is Good For Health.
Stay open and curious to the experience.
Allow plenty of time to enjoy the woods or forest.
Bring a blanket or waterproof sheet to lay on and switch off your phone.
Find a tree/collection of trees or area that feels good to you and prepare the area using your blanket etc.
Lay down on your blanket with knees bent and bare feet on the ground if you can (allow at least 10 minutes for your bathing experience).
Take your attention into the breath, just feel the rise and fall of the breath.
Feel the ground your are laying on.
Notice the scent in the air.
Have your eyes open for a while and look up at the tree canopy (even if it’s Winter) to have a different view.
Take your attention to the sounds, what can you hear?
Using your senses will help you to stay very present so you'll be able to feel the full benefit of your Forest Bathing experience.
I encourage you to stay curious and open if you have never tried Forest Bathing before, if you have already done your version of it, well that's great! Do more! It's simple to experience and is super-charged by your intention, which goes without saying really. The more harmonious you are the more well-being you'll experience.
https://ninaheaton.co.uk - Empowerment Intuitive - If you experience lack of confidence, clarity and would like to feel deep connection and wholeness within yourself, feel free to book your Discovery Session. This session helps you to discover where you are now, where you want to be and how I can help you get there.
Disclaimer - All information in my videos, blogs, website, Conscious Art or anything I create is for information only. I do not diagnose, treat or cure any illness or disease. Please refer to your healthcare practitioner for advice.
Copyright Nina Heaton 2022