Shinrin Yoku Asheville & WNC

Do you want to reduce stress and fatigue in your life so that you can be more productive?   Do you want think more clearly so that you can more effectively lead? Would you like to be healthier, more energetic, and more resilient? Do you want to enhance your creativity and have more novel ideas? Scientific research has shown that spending time in nature offers benefits in each of these areas.

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 research on the restorative benefits of nature, I was one of the first in the United States to offer Shinrin Yoku classes. Living in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina near Asheville, I facilitate forest therapy programs designed to help participants learn about and experience the restorative health benefits associated with spending time in nature.  Oprah Magazine recently did a feature on Shinrin Yoku, and my classes.  A recently completed analysis of my programs found that participants had significant increases in areas related to psychological well-being and connection to nature. My programs are based on the ECO-Human Resource Development (HRD) theory that I developed as a doctoral student and have presented at international research conferences in Oxford, England, and several United States locations.

Experiencing nature continuing education class hike to Crowders Mountain

“Utilizing Nature for Improved Health”  class

Programs include experiential activities in nature designed to help participants reconnect to nature to aid in achieving optimal physical and psychological health, improved resiliency, as well as increased effectiveness. Contact me by email to learn more.

A Utilizing Nature for Improved Health class on a hike at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve (North Carolina, USA).

“Utilizing Nature for Improved Health” class on an experiential hike



5 thoughts on “Shinrin Yoku Asheville & WNC

  1. Are there any programs you know of for certification as a forest therapist? Do you provide any training? I am very interested in the field. Currently I lead hiking groups with high school students, but I would like to develop a program to help adults reap the health benefits of our many forests. I live in central pa., surrounded by state parks, natural areas, wonderful waterfalls and bogs, yet few in our community venture into the woods. I believe if they realized the benefits and were led by a knowledgable facilitator, they may feel more comfortable. I am a certified high school teacher with a counseling certification. I have hiked extensively for the last four or five years, and it has greatly improved the quality of my life. I have semi-retired and would like to dedicate myself to getting people into the woods! Thanks!!

    Cindy Way

  2. Dear Mark, I was delighted to find this page on your blog as I have not been here for a while.
    You are following your heart and using your remarkable knowledge and resources with your Shinrin Yoku classes. I am looking forward to sharing news about your work with my HT students this week, especially as they will be embarking on some “forest bathing” with me in a lovely forest close to our classroom. All the best, Ann Kent HTM.

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