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Woodland bathing at Moor Hall Hotel & Spa

Forrest bathing, nature therapy, forest bath or what we like to call woodland bathing, is a new concept for mindfulness we are introducing for conferences and meetings for company wellbeing. Woodland bathing is to simply take the time out to connect with nature by immersing yourself in a forest, or wood to relax your mind.

What is Forest/Woodland bathing?

This concept stems from an ancient Japanese religion, however the modern name of ‘forest bathing’ came to light by the Japanese government as they began to notice the harmful effects of technology on especially city workers. These symptoms were known as ‘Karoshi’, which translates to ‘death by overwork’, showing signs of stress, depression and sickness. The national Japanese health programme called ‘Shinrin-yoku’, which roughly translates to ‘Forest Bathing’, was implemented as a way for people to immerse themselves with nature to relieve stress.

So, what are the benefits?

Most of us will naturally feel better being surrounded by nature; whether it’s fresh air in your lungs, the warmth of sun on your skin or the simple sounds of nature. All these things and more can help you relax and find peace throughout a stressful day. These became particularly noticeable during COVID-19 as many had little contact with nature. The positive health benefits confirmed by scientific studies are;

  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Lower stress levels
  • Mood improvement
  • Concentration & memory
  • Boost immune system
  • Increases liveliness

How do you Woodland/Forest bathe?

It is no more complicated than simply going for a slow walk, and trying to connect with nature. Here are some tips;

  • Turn off or leave your phone behind, try to focus on where you are and try not to be distracted
  • Find a peaceful spot you like, anywhere immersed in nature
  • Don’t plan a route. Walk slowly and aimlessly taking your time and allowing your body to be the guide.
  • Focus on slowing down your mind and body, try to take long breaths
  • Stand, sit, or lie down- whatever you feel most comfortable with
  • Take as long as feels comfortable
  • What can you hear, see or smell?
  • How do you feel in the present moment?

If you find yourself struggling, you can try nature journaling. Find a space you feel comfortable and write down key words you are feeling, seeing, smelling or anything that comes to mind. Studies have shown Nature journaling can enhance memory and also gives you a collection of memories to look back on, no matter how simple or in-depth they may seem.

Woodland bathing at Moor Hall

For your next meeting or conference, why not take a gander into our woodlands area for some woodland bathing. From peaceful walking trails, to wishing trees, space to meditate- you may even come across our secret wizard door! De-stress, relax and return to your day reenergised, give it try!

 


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