We’re delighted to welcome Philippa Bassett from The Forest Bathing Institute who has contributed this blog.
The restorative power of trees can help you relax and unwind
During lockdown, it was noticeable that many people are re-connecting with nature. They have been spending time in their gardens, local parks, nearby woodland and even growing flowers and vegetables on their balconies!
Generally, there has been a theme whereby many people across the UK have appreciated the splendour of their natural surroundings and how spending time in nature has helped them to cope better with the impact of Covid-19.
It has been known for many hundreds of years that nature is a great healer. So being able to step outside to find somewhere to relax and re-charge is important to our mental health and physical well-being. In addition, keeping a positive focus is important for coping with a lot of uncertainty, managing stress and anxiety issues.
During the last four months The Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI) has been posting regular ‘mindfulness hints and tips’ with the aim of giving people of all ages, simple, everyday exercises that can help them to stay ‘in the moment’ and be calm and centred, especially with managing such a drastic change to their everyday lives.
Forest bathing, or ‘Shinrin-yoku’, has been established for over 40 years and is widely available via the Japanese ‘NHS’ on prescription. It is offered as a public health intervention for treating and preventing mental and physical ill health.
Forest Bathing+ is underpinned by a mindfulness practice and engages all of the 5 primary senses by spending time immersed in nature. This takes place under the canopy of ancient woodland and forests to fully benefit from the health-giving chemicals, called phytoncides that are emitted by the forest cover.
Scientific research on forest bathing indicates that a patient’s parasympathetic nervous system reverts to a state that is calmer, restorative, and therapeutic to the body, thus alleviating anxiety and mental health issues and bringing a state of calm and wellbeing to the body. People attending Forest Bathing+ events can therefore expect to benefit from both physiological and mental health benefits.
Now that the easing of lockdown is being phased in, TFBI is able to start to run its Summer programme of Forest Bathing+ immersive nature therapy sessions.
Connick Tree Care knows all about the health care of our trees and woodlands and have been actively engaged for over 35 years in aboricultural advice and in ensuring that those natural habitats and dedicated ‘green spaces’ are cherished, so that future generations are able to relax and enjoy the health giving benefits of our beautiful British tree life, woodland enclaves and ancient forests.
More about The Forest Bathing Institute
In February 2020 Dame Judi Dench was appointed as a Patron for The Forest Bathing Institute.
TFBI has developed a unique form of forest bathing called Forest Bathing+ (FB+) which is now being widely adopted across England. FB+ is a more comprehensive therapeutic form of forest bathing developed in cooperation with numerous universities, professors, doctors and scientists.
During 2019 scientific studies and research took place with the TFBI at the University of Derby, measuring the health benefits of FB+. The research revealed improvements across 12 areas of well-being. Alongside psychometric testing, heart rate monitors (HRV) were worn by participants to measure changes in the nervous systems relaxation response. The initial analysis of the HRV data highlighted increased activity in the parasympathetic nervous system
Since its inception, Gary Evans Founder and Director of TFBI has been fostering close working relationships with numerous major landowners, including the NHS, Guildford Council, and various universities including the University of Surrey and the University of Derby to advance and promote the health benefits of forest bathing.
Philippa Bassett, PR& Communications Manger can be contacted on 07767 684 745.