Forest Therapy (shinrin-yoku, Forest Bathing) is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. Forest Therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing.” Studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition. We build on those benefits and look beyond, to what happens when people remember that we are a part of nature, not separate from it, and are related to all other beings in fundamental ways.
Forest Therapy is a practice. It is open-ended; there is no prescription for what a person “should” experience, or what benefits they “should” receive. Instead, it is a practice of developing a deepening relationship of reciprocity, in which the forest and the practitioner find a way to work together that supports the wholeness and wellness of each. In Forest Therapy, there is a clearly defined sequence of guided events that provides structure to the experience, while embracing the many opportunities for creativity and serendipity offered by the forest and the individual inspiration of each guide. This practice, developed by ANFT has become the most-widely used framework for Forest Therapy in the world.
“The forest is the therapist. The Guide Opens the Doors.” -ANFT Founder M. Amos Clifford