When the New Forest Heritage Centre advertised an event for 'forest therapy' it got my attention, https://www.newforestheritage.org.uk/Event/what-is-forest-therapy but really didn't know anything about it. Anybody who follows my blogs will know 'nature and nurture' is what I live and breathe with not only the guided walks, but my own wanderings and writing along with my work as a reiki practitioner. So went home to look up https://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/
When reading about the practice of forest therapy I had a realisation that I have inadvertently been following a similar path. Often, with the right group, or individual my work overlaps. We can be on a guided walk, but it can quickly become obvious by the company I am in that they are looking for more than 'just a nature walk.' So, it can develop into a deep reconnection with nature by gently inviting them to awaken their senses to the elements, slowing down, creating an awareness that 'we are nature' and holding a safe space to allow the participants to reconnect and 'just be!'
After being invited to a meeting by Mary Montagu-Scott, who is aware of my interest. I felt very privileged to meet 2 inspirational ladies who are both certified forest therapy guides. Jayne Dunsbee from http://www.inspirationalchanges.com/ and Sam Wright from https://www.naturaledgecoachinguk.co.uk/ The purpose of the meeting was to ask questions and get a greater understanding of what Forest therapy is and how it is delivered. As Sam and Jayne explained the pure simplicity of the practice, I could really understand and connect with what nature offers as a 'therapy.' With scientific evidence showing it reduces blood pressure, depression, anxiety and boosts the immune system while enhancing awareness and improving physical, mental and social well-being.
There was so much that was said by both Sam and Jayne that resonated with me, particularly when Jayne expressed how they are not guides or a therapists, but a connection to nature, which will be your guide and therapist. I felt these words deeply as it reflects my intention when walking on the forest with others.
It saddens me in a way, that we now live in a world where we have to be guided to spend time in nature, go outside, use our senses or even be guided how we should breathe! Which are innate to every living thing, so why, as the human race have we become so disconnected? Thankfully, we have caring, grounded souls called forest therapists who walk amongst us, quietly and gently taking us back to an environment we evolved from to find our own way back to our souls path and reigniting our natural instinct and awareness to allow us to live our best possible version of us. This is why I suggest everybody should practice forest therapy in hope, that in generations to come it once again becomes not second nature.....but just nature!