Frequently Asked Questions
- Forest Bathing -
What is Forest Bathing?
Forest Bathing, also known as Shinrin-yoku, is a practice that involves spending time in nature to improve physical, mental, and emotional health. It originated in Japan in the 1980s and has since become popular around the world.
What are the benefits of Forest Bathing?
Forest Bathing has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep. It can also increase focus and creativity.
How is Forest Bathing practiced?
To practice Forest Bathing, we find a natural setting such as a forest, park, or garden. Your guide will invite you to slow down and engage your senses, taking in the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of your surroundings. You guide may also invite you to try activities like walking meditation, breath work, guided visualization, creative expression, or qigong to deepen your connection to nature.
How much time should I spend Forest Bathing?
There is no set amount of time for Forest Bathing, but studies suggest that spending at least 2-3 hours in nature per week can have significant benefits for health and wellbeing. Our guided Forest Bathing experiences generally take 2 hours.
What should I bring with me?
No special equipment or training is required for Forest Bathing. However, it can be helpful to wear comfortable clothing, hiking shoes, and season-appropriate outer layers. You should also bring water and sunscreen. Out of consideration for our guides and fellow Forest Bathers, we ask that participants avoid wearing synthetic frangrances or insect repellent containing DEET. (DEET- and frangrance-free repellent will be provided for those who need it.)
Is Forest Bathing safe for everyone?
Forest Bathing is generally considered safe for most people, but those with certain health conditions or allergies should consult with their doctor before starting a practice. It's also important to follow safety guidelines for any natural environment, such as avoiding areas with poisonous plants or animals. Your guides will orient you to your path and alert you to any potential concers.
What about children and pets?
Unless otherwise noted, our Forest Bathing outings are best-suited for young adults and adults only. We love hosting family-friendly outings on occasion, but we find children and adults have different and often conflicting needs and methods of engagement. Additionally, our outings are pet-free, as the energy and demands of managing a furry friend can unintentionally distract from the group's Forest Bathing experience. (There are, of course, always exceptions for trained service animals.)
Are your Forest Bathing outings accessible?
We do our best to create outings that are inclusive to a variety of mobility needs. While not always possible, we select as many wheelchair accessible trails as we can and indicate confirmed accessible trails in our event materials. We also take care to select "beginner" or "easy" hiking trails for our outings, so that anyone, regardless of "fitness level" can participate. Additionally, for locations inaccesible to those using public transportation, we are happy to help participants coordinate pick-ups or carpools.