April 10 , 2019 / 5 minutes, 41 seconds

Forest Bathing and the Gangsta Goddesses

Author: Annette K. Scott

Forest Bathing and the Gangsta Goddesses 1Need another reason to sign up for a weekend away? Let me give you a glimpse of but one reason why you should get your name on the Gangsta Goddess list…Forest Bathing Baby! It’s going to happen each and every day that we are in retreat.

Go to a Forest. Walk slowly. Breathe. Open all your senses.
This is the healing way of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy,
the medicine of simply being in the forest.

More than ever before, society promotes a culture of connection and though connection seems to be valued more than ever, staying connected to ourselves and putting away our devices is more challenging than ever. I’ll grant you that digital devices have made it easier than ever to stay on top of what’s happening, to do work anywhere and to see into the lives of our friends and family at any given moment. And yet, while this at-our-fingertips lifestyle enables us to easily find almost any information we’re looking for, it also inundates us with content we might not always be seeking. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, everyone needs time to rest the body, mind and brain.

When you do, you come back to your sense of self with the result being that you can function at higher levels in your personal and professional life. Coming back to yourself in this calm way and restoring your mind and body can seem daunting, however with the right tools, this can happen in as little 15 minutes if you know what to do.Forest Bathing and the Gangsta Goddesses 2

Research shows that even 15 minutes of time in the forest significantly restores the mind and body and quickly. John Muir wrote, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home. Wilderness is a necessity.”

It’s as easy as taking a walk in the forest which we will definitely be doing daily while on retreat.

This practice creates impressive results. Studies and personal experience show that forest bathing creates:

  • Deeper and clearer intuition
  • Increased flow of energy
  • Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
  • Increased flow of eros/life force
  • Deepening of friendships
  • Overall increase in sense of happiness

During the 1980s in Japan, doctors started prescribing a type of forest therapy called Shinrin Yoku, or forest bathing, which means “taking in the atmosphere of the forest.” They found amazing results, so started conducting research to understand the effects of spending time in the forest.

Forest Bathing and the Gangsta Goddesses 3Today, over 30 years of research has been conducted that shows spending time in the forest is really good for you.

Benefits Include:

  • Lower stress levels
  • Reduced blood pressure and lower heart rate
  • Increased clarity, critical thinking and problem-solving capacities
  • Heightened decision-making abilities
  • An overall sense of well-being

One study even proved that 3 days outside in this way can increase your Natural Killer Cell activity (these are your cancer and tumor-fighting cells) by 56% and have lasting effects for roughly 30 days. Japanese researchers also discovered trees give off an organic chemical compound called Phytoncides (essentially a tree’s natural bug spray). When we’re present in these microscopic oils, through our senses, they help increase the vitality of our Natural Killer Cells, along with many other benefits, including:

Did You Know?

  • 15 min in nature reduces your cortisol (stress hormone) levels by 12%
  • 2 hours in nature increases your memory and attention span by 20%
  • 3 days in nature increases your cancer-fighting blood cells by 56%

Most people connect to the forest through an activity like hiking, biking or skiing. Forest Bathing is a third way to experience nature. It’s one that invites you to slow down and sink into your senses. In this way, you bathe in the atmosphere of the forest.

Forest Bathing and the Gangsta Goddesses 4

Without a doubt, our time in the forest will provide you with an experience to slow down, listen to your ‘other’ voice, reflect, and simply be in nature in a different way. This is an opportunity to really experience nature, without any other goal or focus.

Might I suggest that you sign up now as space is limited? I just did…

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