I am so excited! My partner and I just returned from Sugarloaf Ridge State park in Kenwood California where we completed an intensive 8 day training to begin our journey to becoming Certified Forest Therapy guides! When we discovered this practice late last year through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, we knew instantly that this was something we were meant to practice, and share together. We are both passionate about trees, plants, animals, the environment and mindfulness. He has amazing outdoor skills and training through his work and education, and I have a thorough background in the healing arts. All together it seemed like the perfect fit! We now have to complete the required six month practicum.
We are both so excited to begin sharing this beautiful practice with our community on Salt Spring Island, the other Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island --Coming in Spring of 2019 when we complete our certification. In the meantime, we will be working with friends and family and completing the other requirements including wilderness first aid training.
What is Forest Therapy?
Forest therapy has its roots in, and is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. The Japanese have thorough, science backed research on the positive effects of time spent immersed in nature. Studies show that this practice has healing benefits that can strengthen our immune and cardiovascular systems, decrease stress and improve mood. If done regularily, Forest bathing can enhance health, wellness and happiness.
As a future forest therapy guide, our role is to assist participants with feeling comfortable connecting with nature during a leisurely walk and a series of "invitations". During the invitations, we hold space for the participants and assist them with opening their senses so that they can connect with the land and nature, in a deeper way. Thereby, experiencing and noticing things that they may have not, if done on their own. The forest and nature become the therapist, and we are merely guides.
Walks are generally about three hours in length and we do not go far. People of all ages and abilities can attend.
More information coming soon and watch for our other website too!
Author, Kelly Kiss
Sharing healing stories from my own experiences, and inspiring healing journeys of others!