I offer guided Forest Therapy walks in the Asheville, Sylva, Bryson City and Great Smoky Mountains region of Western North Carolina. Walks offer an opportunity to slow down, disconnect and experience the restorative power of nature. Much like an instructor sets the pace and direction in a yoga class, a forest therapy guide sets the stage for participants to enjoy the natural environment through a series of invitations and a closing tea ceremony. With the host of health benefits associated with spending time in nature, including reduced stress and fatigue, enhanced creativity, heightened mood, and increased energy and resiliency, a guided forest therapy walk offers a low impact way to enjoy nature.
I learned about the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku or forest bathing from numerous meetings and conversations with Dr. Qing Li, who helped start the practice of Shinrin Yoku in Japan in the 1980’s. Based on collaborative efforts with Dr. Li and my doctoral research on the restorative benefits of nature, I was one of the first in the United States to offer Shinrin Yoku walks. In 2014 Oprah Magazine published an article on Shinrin Yoku, which included information about my walks. In 2018, I completed the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs certification program for Forest Therapy Guides.
I will be offering scheduled walks at Pinnacle Park in Sylva beginning in April 2019. A schedule will be posted here. The cost for individual participants is $20. I also offer walks at other locations by request.
Email me to learn more about going on a guided forest therapy walk. I look forward to hearing from you and walking in the forest with you soon!