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Harmony Healing: Nature Therapy & Forest Bathing

Alongside her spiritual and mentoring offerings, Joanna’s Nature Therapy and Forest Bathing+ sessions apply mindfulness techniques in the beautiful fragrant setting of ancient woodland or a colourful garden.

Join me for a relaxing and reviving Forest Bathing+ session in local ancient woodlands. Here I will lead you slowly and pleasurably through a series of mindfulness-based sensory exercises and meditations. Deeply relaxing and undoubtedly profound, you will be surprised by your enhanced appreciation and reconnection with nature.

A minimum of two hours wellbeing mindfulness session through Forest Bathing+ in local ancient woodlands. All of our sessions follow the current government guidelines. As at November 2020, costs from £30 (individual). Private and corporate bookings available from £150.

Origins of Forest Bathing

The term Forest Bathing derives from the Japanese, ‘Shinrin Yoku’, referring to immersion of the human spirit under a canopy of trees. The practice originated to mitigate high levels of stress experienced by Japanese executives in busy urban environments and combines mindfulness, meditation and gentle exercise within an ambient forest location.

The Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI) has pioneered the addition of sensory mindfulness exercises in the ancient woodlands, which has created the enhanced experience known as Forest Bathing+.
Ancient civilisations greatly venerated nature and the natural world, and they gained much wisdom from listening to and learning from observations in nature. An increasing body of contemporary research highlights the physiological benefits of time spent in natural surroundings. Trees emit essential oils known as ‘phytoncides’ into the atmosphere, which have been proven to evoke relaxation and additional wellbeing benefits. By immersing ourselves in the natural forest environment, we re-connect with nature, reinforcing our relationship with the natural world including any wildlife within it.

Some societies still hold a very strong affinity with nature, but most have become disconnected.

Forest Bathing+ presents a unique opportunity to reconnect both with nature, and with ourselves. A growing body of evidence has determined that Forest Bathing can:

  • Alleviate stress
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Improve metabolic and cardiovascular health
  • Increase anti-cancer protein production
  • Support weight loss
  • Improve concentration and memory
  • Reduce blood-sugar levels
  • Lift depression
  • Improve pain thresholds
  • Recover energy levels
  • Boost the immune system by increasing the body’s natural killer (NK) cell count

Nature Therapy and Forest Bathing+ Sessions

While I lead this practice in multiple locations, most of my sessions take place at Newlands Corner or in the grounds of the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, close to the picturesque village of Shere, near Guildford in Surrey.

This Sanctuary, which has been run as a charity since 1966, perfectly complements Forest Bathing+ with its focus on Energy Healing and support for people with serious illness.
During the Forest Bathing Session, in local ancient woodlands, I will lead you through a series of mindfulness-based sensory exercises and meditations aimed at enhancing your appreciation of nature through all your five senses.

Whilst my public sessions are mainstream, I can also run themed sessions incorporating nature angels, which may give you a useful introduction to the other services that I offer, including mentoring towards spiritual expansion, RSE® Egyptian alchemy healing and practitioner training. See my separate sections on this website under Spiritual Consciousness and Ancient Healing for Modern Living.

For group and corporate Forest Bathing+ sessions, UK-wide, contact me for details.

How I developed an interest in Forest Bathing

I was lucky enough to grow up with access to dense ancient woodland, and the freedom to roam. I spent much of my childhood playing in those woods and visiting Broadwater Lake with my sister, Fiona. Largely unsupervised by adults, my childish enthusiasm nurtured my love of nature, animals, and woodlands, all laying the foundation for my later work.

As an adult, I spent over 15 years in senior management specialising in customer care and training before realising something in my life had become misaligned. Driven by a desire for greater inner peace, I developed an interest in Ancient Egyptian philosophies and natural healing techniques, which would later become my areas of expertise.

Training as a Forest Bathing+ Guide felt like a natural progression, to promote connecting with nature through mindful sensory exercises during immersion in UK woodlands. I trained with, and am fully certified by, the Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI), who continue to conduct ground-breaking research on the potential physiological, immunological, emotional and mental health benefits of this practice.

Having spent over two decades working with healing energy (my company, Harmony Healing, was founded in 1999) the importance of a natural connection for health and wellbeing is clear. More about Harmony Healing on this site at Ancient Healing for Modern Living.

Garden Therapy sessions are also available for private and corporate bookings, either in your own garden (if suitable) or in a beautiful garden setting in Surrey.

For Forest Bathing+ and Nature Therapy session dates, see my website at www.harmonyhealing.co.uk/forest-bathing. Blog updates with seasonal activities are emailed out to Harmony Healing subscribers.

United Kingdom, KT12 3BH, Surrey, Walton-on-Thames, 23 Severn Drive

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    Showing 1 - 6 of 6
    Forest Bathing October 2020
    5.0
    United Kingdom
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    "Thank you so much for the wonderful session of forest bathing last Thursday at Newlands Corner. This was my first experience and I wasn't sure what to expect but it was just lovely. I enjoyed every minute of it and in particular the tree meditation - very peaceful and calming.  The group felt very safe under your leadership and I really valued yours and Katie's input and enthusiasm.  I will be so much more aware of everything around me on any future woodland walks.  I hope to return for another session of forest bathing in the future."
    Forest Bathing, September 2020
    5.0
    United Kingdom
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    "I found today to be very informative and transformational. I particularly enjoyed the exercises that focused on smell and touch, learning about the wood wide web, and the ‘treelaxation’. I left the session feeling educated, relaxed and rejuvenated. This experience has given me a whole new perspective on going out for walks in the forest, turning them from an activity where I would standardly be lost in my thoughts and disengaged from my surroundings - to one where I can be fully mindful and immerse myself in nature."
    Forest Bathing at Harry Edwards, September 2020
    5.0
    United Kingdom
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    "Thank you for this detailed follow-up Joanna. Also big thanks for the session last weekend. That was such a soulful, soothing start to a Saturday."
    Forest Bathing at Newlands Corner, October 2019
    5.0
    United Kingdom
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    "I really, really did enjoy meeting you and Katie and Jen and I got sooooo much out of my first experience. I have managed to spend quite a bit of time in nature since and have emulated aspects of our walk but in Richmond Park mainly. From tomorrow I plan to do the same up the road at Wimbledon common (social distancing permitting). I have also told a lot of people about the positivity of the experience- especially myself being a reformed cynic and there has been a lot of interest from both my male and female friends. When we are back in some shape of normality I can only hope that there is a general change in attitude in not only building up the immune system but also empathy towards each other which I think one can achieve through meditative walking. I will definitely see you at some point in the future when socialising rules relax! I really enjoyed the sensory walk and tuning into the different senses. I normally struggle to initially focus and was very surprised by how quickly I zoned into the forest and switched off the ambient traffic noise that surrounds Newlands Corner. I enjoyed the whole session as everything fell into place. When I made an energy connection with a particular Tree. That really stands out also the 1000 year old trees - they were incredible. I suppose my number 2. moment was actually achieving a meditative state and waking up under the canopy of those beautiful trees. It was the first time I’ve enjoyed and felt like I’d achieved the aim of the meditation. This completely enlightened me about the power of nature and being in it and soaking it up when one can. I have been trying to since. It’s definitely good for the soul. I would go Forest bathing again in a heartbeat- I have one weekday off per week in my current job so I will definitely take advantage of that or book a days annual leave and join you again. I have recommended it to several people and there is genuine interest from people I know in joining you. I would only reiterate the importance of being dressed appropriately with hats gloves warm socks and enough layers on the bottom half too."
    Forest Bathing at Newlands Corner, September 2019
    5.0
    United Kingdom
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    "I can say that I think Forest Bathing is a tremendous idea, that I am impressed with the science behind it and the measurable effect it can have on improving so many conditions. For me understanding the science was important. I did enjoy it a great deal. I wanted the session to go on longer. I especially enjoyed lying meditating in the woods. Also stopping and opening my senses one by one to everything around. Walking distances isn’t important, but spending time communing with the trees and with nature was, and I can see this makes forest bathing accessible to anyone. I would like everything to have gone a bit slower - stopping for longer in places along the way rather than keeping up to get to a particular spot. Although I also liked the spots you took us to and the conversations there about the chemistry of trees, and fungi."
    Forest Bathing at Newlands Corner, September 2019
    5.0
    United Kingdom
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    "Hi Jo. Thank you for the lovely experience of the forest bathing. I felt so much better afterwards and still a lot more peaceful and relaxed, even after going to see my mum at the nursing home. I have requested to join the mailing list and look forward to hearing from you in due course with info. Best wishes and thanks again for sharing."