Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing+ nature therapy sessions offer an opportunity to relax and restore your wellbeing.

The Forest Bathing Institute is the leading UK organisation for research, training, and events. During 2019 in partnership with researchers from the University of Derby, the UK’s first scientific research study of Forest Bathing+ was carried out to measure the impact of Forest Bathing+ on physiological wellbeing and mental health.

Forest Bathing+ is a more comprehensive therapeutic form of forest bathing developed in cooperation with numerous universities, professors, doctors’, and scientists. At its core is the incorporation of mindfulness, so Forest Bathing+ encourages full engagement with all five senses to enhance the experience and to bring about a mindful state, where the body can switch to the parasympathetic nervous system, which is more restorative, healing, and therapeutic for the body.

The findings from the research revealed significant improvements in mood, nature connection, rumination, compassion, and pro-environmental attitudes. The study conducted in semi ancient woodland in Derbyshire, also produced improvements in Heart Rate Variability in 57% of the study participants and reduced anxiety by 29%. So, demonstrating wellbeing benefits similar in magnitude to an established UK wellbeing intervention (Compassionate Mind Training), revealing its promise as a therapeutic intervention for improving wellbeing and cardiovascular health in the UK.

For over 40 years in Japan there has been significant scientific research into the science behind spending time under the canopy of trees practising ‘Shinrin-yoku or Forest Bathing. The Nippon School of Medicine and Professor Qing Li, a world-renowned expert have led the way regarding evidencing the benefits. In fact, ‘Shinrin-yoku’ has been socially prescribed on the Japanese NHS for 40 years and is seen as a preventative therapeutic intervention for people who suffer from depression, anxiety, mental health issues and physical complaints such as high blood pressure. In June 2021, Professor Qing Li was appointed as the Scientific Adviser to The Forest Bathing Institute.

Currently across Surrey, S.E. England, The Forest Bathing Institute is conducting a green social prescribing pilot programme whereby social prescribing and mental health charities refer patients who are suffering from mental health, anxiety, and stress. In addition, a Forest Bathing+ nature connection programme is being developed for cancer patients of The Fountain Centre in Guildford in Surrey where holistic healing therapies are offered for treatment.

So, if you are interested in the science behind nature and health and enjoy spending time in nature, training to become a Forest Bathing+ Guide, might be something of interest. Accredited by The Complementary Medical Association the training takes 12 months, with the course programme being broken down into two modules, Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher training followed by Module Two, the Forest Bathing+ Guide training which is split into on-line theory and then the practical nature immersion sessions, which are more like a mini retreat and set in some stunning woodland locations.

The Birtley Estate is hosting Forest Bathing+ nature sessions so do come along and experience mindfulness in nature and woodland for yourself. The Forest Bathing Institute Guides look forward to meeting you.