Category Archives: Health, mental health, therapy

Through walks in the woods, UW-La Crosse professor taps into nature’s healing powers | Education | lacrossetribune.com

The children stood shoulder to shoulder under the towering trees, their eyes closed, their mouths open, their senses tuned to the forest around them.
— Read on lacrossetribune.com/content/tncms/live/

The ANFT Way of Forest Therapy

Important information about why forest therapy with a guide has far reaching potential for everyone.

Contents include an overview of Forest Therapy, a description of some of the emerging issues in the forest therapy field, a transparent discussion of the business aims of ANFT, and the Scope of Practice and Professional Standards upon which the ANFT Guide Training and Certification Program is built.
— Read on view.joomag.com/the-anft-way-of-forest-therapy-the-anft-way-of-forest-therapy/0822982001561584510

Forest bathing: What it is and why you should try it – Thrive

The Japanese practice of forest bathing — or shinrin-yoku — may result in some impressive health benefits. Here’s what you need to know.

These days, we stay indoors for hours scrolling through social media, binge-watching TV shows, or playing video games. We shop online and have purchases delivered straight to our homes. We live in or commute to cities surrounded by concrete, steel, and smog. Our days are mostly spent away from sunshine, trees, water, and fresh air.

While our modern way of life can be convenient, it’s taking us away from the health benefits of nature. To the point where getting outside should now be a priority. This is where the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku — or forest bathing — can help.

What is forest bathing?

In 1982, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries created the term shinrin-yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” or “absorbing the forest atmosphere.” The practice encourages people to simply spend time in nature — no actual bathing required. It’s also very low impact, which means you don’t have to go for trail runs or do an intense hike. The goal of forest bathing is to live in the present moment while immersing your senses in the sights and sounds of a natural setting.

— Read on thrive.kaiserpermanente.org/thrive-together/live-well//forest-bathing-try

Forest Bathing

 

Forest Therapy, also known as
Shinrin-Yoku,”

refers to the practice of spending time in forested areas for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness. The practice follows the general principle that it is beneficial to spend time bathing in the atmosphere of the forest. The Japanese words translate into English as “Forest Bathing.”

How do might you do it?

Enter the forest with an intent to have a direct, uninterrupted, immersive engagement.

arboretum lawn

Cross the threshold into the forest and acknowledge the ceremonial honor of entering the home of gracious beings.

baldwin lake shoreline

Take time to become aware of yourself, your body, and what your senses are perceiving

Begin to take notice of each impression you have as it occurs

baldwin lake side cottage

Move slowly through the forest as you observe everything else that is moving around you

lakeside palm

Explore aspects of the forest that enable you to have an intimate appreciation for what you find by connecting with your senses

water feature

Sit and discover what has been revealed to you

phoenix

close your visit with a ceremony before crossing the threshold as you depart

 

“The problem with our busy city lives, however, is that the stressful events keep piling up.  There will be emails to answer, co-workers demanding attention, a deadline looming, the shopping to get done, the bills to be paid.  And our cortisol levels remain always slightly raised.

When cortisol is released constantly, it can disrupt all our body’s processes. And people who produce chronically high levels of cortisol are at increased risk of numerous health problems.”

Dr. Qing Li

Forest Bathing, pgs. 66-67

autumn autumn mood colorful edge of the woods
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Writing Meditation

5 Things You See

For my practice of mindfulness I completed the exercise of describing five things I observed when I went outside today.

Water

The shimmering surface of a pool of water.  The clear blue hue.  Stained surfaces beneath the water, bleached, rough, and uneven.

abstract aqua blue clean
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Shadows

Gray Oak leaves blowing in the wind.  Bouncing off the ground.  Waving along a wooden fence.

Hammock

An empty hammock rocking slowly back and forth.  Dozens of pine needles trapped in the white cloth webbing , dotted with dried leaves.

hammock palm trees bungalows bora bora
Photo by Chris McClave on Pexels.com

Lamp

A black oil lamp hanging from a pole.  Rust spots below an empty wick slot, on one side of the base a capless reservoir.  Soiled surfaces along the frame and a dusty glass enclosure.

Wind Chimes

Six silver flutes strung with black string hanging from a stone stamped with “Welcome” in a bed of flowers.  Alongside, two faded tear drop clappers twisted into a line of miniature Christmas lights.

decoration design hanging love
Photo by Manesh Xavier on Pexels.com

Do you practice writing meditations?  Does it help you with mindfulness?  Does it benefit your writing?

My Grieving Letter

Dear Fellow Sufferer,

I come to you with sad news of the death of my close relative. And while life does go on, I’ll never be the same. I want to say now that fact is accepted. For her life meant so much to me that the loss will forever change how I approach my world. However, I need to recover and eventually arrive to a place where I am thriving. That will take time, effort and help from people such as you.

How can you help? Your tolerance with me when you see me feeling bad, your patience with any unexplained anger I show can help me heal. Seeing you, gives me a chance to lean on your strength. I won’t ask you for advice. But when I of course do ask you, be assured that I won’t heed what you tell me, or even appear to appreciate it. I will appreciate your reaching out to spend time, visits, texts, phone calls. And when I don’t respond, I hope you use that as a sign. Seek me out when that happens because it will probably be when I am most vulnerable and need your help more.

Prayers are always welcome. If you ever feel prompted to share with me how loss has impacted your life I hope that you do. I believe it would benefit both of us. It may not seem like it by the way I look or act, but that’s okay, remember I’m grieving, and that often isn’t comfortable.

Let me close with words of gratitude and appreciation. Because each time you help me this way you will be acting out of love. That gift has more value than every other thing you might provide me. Thank you.

The idea for the grieving letter is from Recovering From Losses In Life by H. Norman Wright, who got the idea from Bob Deits, who wrote Life After Loss.