What is forest bathing?
“Forest bathing” or so-called “shinrin-yoku” from the Japanese original means “immersion in the atmosphere of the forest”. The method originates in Japan, it was created in the 80s. there and gradually became part of preventive health care. Also thanks to scientific research on the health benefits of forest bathing, this well-being activity and information about its benefits are spreading to many countries around the world.
We have always intuitively felt that a peaceful walk in the forest has a calming and restorative effect. Today we already understand several mechanisms behind these healing effects of nature. In the natural environment, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, which is responsible for the regeneration of organism and helps us to relax. » We also know that trees release biologically active substansses into their surroundings, the so-called phytoncides supporting our immunity. These organic compounds have a beneficial effect on the formation and activity of NK-cells (natural-killer cells), which are a very important part of our immune system. »
Forest bathing offer people living in busy cities an opportunity to support health and mental well-being in a fast-paced time full of information and demands.
Do you feel tired? Do you need to relax? Do you want to improve the quality of your sleep or support your ability to concentrate and think creatively? Try forest bathing.
Mindful time spent in the natural environment has many benefits. It will help you slow down, relieve stress, or restore inner balance. It offers space for perceiving nature with the involvement of the senses, being present in the given moment and observing one’s own thoughts and emotions.
Forest bathing can help:
● improve mental well-being »
● promote better quality sleep »
Other relevant information can be found in the recommended articles and videos section.
Frequently asked questions:
Who is forest bathing suitable for?
The forest bathing is designed to be accessible to people with different levels of physical fitness. The route is usually adapted and the activities take place at a slow pace. The goal is not physical performance (the distance to be walked), but mindfulness training in nature during the walk (we learn to focus on the present moment).
What is the difference between forest bathing and forest therapy?
In practice, these two terms are often confused and different approaches are applied. The Forest Therapy Hub FTH distinguishes these categories.
Forest bathing is a wellness activity whose aim is to improve psychological well-being, promote health and help prevent stress-related diseases. It is based on the conscious involvement of the senses in the perception of nature and the principles of mindfulness. You can try the forest bathing yourself or under the guidance of a trained guide. Our walks and workshops take place with a certified forest bathing instructor.
Forest therapy is a method based on the principles of forest bathing, which usually focuses on specific specific problems in physical and mental health. Forest therapy under the guidance of guides without qualification in psychology, psychotherapy or medicine cannot replace professional health care. Forest therapy can act as a supplement to standard treatment and in the recovery process.
Forest bathing is not an ordinary walk. The goal is to “be here and now” during mindful time spent in the forest, not just “go there”. Nature is not just a pretty background. A mindful walk provides space for us to perceive nature with the involvement of our senses, to be present in the given moment, to observe our thoughts and feelings. Forest baths are a way to slow down, replenish energy and regenerate body and mind.
As part of the international event, International Forest Therapy Days 2023 we organised a mindful walk in Bratislava Forest Park .
We are planning further walks in the spring of 2024. If you are interested in being informed about our future activities, subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.
Workshops / Courses
Our workshops and educational courses are designed for those who want to learn how to promote the benefits of mindful time spent in nature. Participants have the opportunity to try and master simple exercises aimed at promoting health and mental well-being. Regular stay in nature creates space for slowing down and stimulates the ability to concentrate and think creatively.
Based on proven experience, we prepare structured activities for work teams and collectives of any kind. We recommend them to organizations whose employees have sedentary jobs, are exhausted from work stress, spend a lot of time online and feel a loss of energy. Our innovative Nature-Based Stress Reduction program provides space for active regeneration and stress reduction. The concept of our activities also supports concentration and creativity.