Imagine a hot, bubble bath to sink into after an exhausting day or week. The warm water helps relax tired muscles, the fragrance of the bubbles soothes your olfactory system, and you can rest your mind as you soak. Now, imagine taking a bath without a bathtub. Wait, what?! Yes, remove the bathtub and replace it with a forest. Angel Janssen is our forest bathing instructor and will also be one of our massage therapists that is available during Harmony Retreat. Here is a quick introduction from Angel about forest bathing.
Shinrin-yoku is the name given to the Japanese art of “forest bathing.” A Forest Bath is a form of active meditation. It is a way to enjoy nature and unwind at a very deep level using all the senses.
Forest Bathing is active contemplative time in the woods in an oxygen rich environment some even speculate that the plants and trees in the forest release compounds into the air that stimulate our immune systems. Tune into the sound of the breeze in the trees and the song of birds. Enjoy the touch of dappled sunlight on the skin. Breathe deeply the earthy smell of the forest, inhale the fragrance of sun warmed pine. Gaze at the deep green healing color of the forest, let it soothe the mind and body.
Shinrin-yoku has been recognized by the Japanese government since 1982 and has been endorsed by the Forest Agency of Japan as a means of improving quality of life. Highly valued in Japan, it is fast becoming popular around the world. Come indulge in a forest bath with me at Harmony Retreat this August. Take the time to reconnect with nature and value the forest in a whole new way. Realize all over again the wealth we have at our fingertips here in the UP! ~ Angel
Angel Janssen, LMT is a massage therapist in practice for 25 years. The focus of her practice is pain relief, stress reduction and health maintenance. Angel’s favorite place to Forest Bathe is in the woods surrounding her home in Toivola, MI.