What is Nature Therapy Placemaking?
Nature Therapy Placemaking is a program designed to invite participants to experience the natural world through their senses, potentially discovering a connection to nature that is rejuvenating, restorative, and maybe even playful.
What does Nature Therapy Placemaking entail?
As a Certified Nature Therapy Guide, I will facilitate a slow and somatic walk in nature. Throughout the walk, I will be offering a series of open invitations that enable participants to feel embodiment in the present. This gateway to sensory awareness leaves space for individual interpretation and creativity. The practice is open-ended and there is no prescription for what a person should experience or receive. Participants come together as a group during the experience through sharing and a closing tea ceremony, often leading to cohesion and community building.
Why Nature Therapy Placemaking?
There are empirically demonstrated health benefits from nature therapy. They can include reduced blood pressure, reduced cortisol levels, boosted immune function, mood improvement, and increased focus/cognition. The experience is designed as a trauma informed and pressure free practice for participants. It is essentially a non-invasive form of healing, supporting wholeness and wellness through immersion in nature.
How did the practice evolve?
The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guiding protocol is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, translated literally as Forest Bathing. It sounds as though you are washing yourself in nature and, in a way, you are. Shinrin-yoku started in the early 1980s in Japan as a response to health concerns related to the technological boom of the 70s. As the idea of immersing oneself in nature took hold and research deepened, many of the health benefits of the practice came to light. Nature Therapy Placemaking takes many of the principles behind Shinrin-Yoku and translates them into a more flexible and accessible form of forest bathing while retaining many of Shinrin-Yoku's benefits.
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