WELCOME TO SHINRIN YOKU NY FOREST THERAPY NATURE IMMERSION
There Is Always Music Amongst The Trees And In The Garden But Our Hearts Must Be Still To Hear It
MEET YOUR GUIDE
June has always had a desire to help others and a love of Nature since childhood. As a young child she climbed/sat in trees and often walked local trails as she lived near Watchung Reservation, a nature preserve in New Jersey. As a young adult she moved to Upstate New York where she often backpacked in the Adirondacks. June also has a passion for art as her father was an oil painter and she grew up drawing and painting. In her 20's she learned wheel throwing pottery and she assisted a local potter in teaching classes and in the operations of the pottery studio.
June pursued a 42 year career in the medical field where she worked as a Registered/Licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L) in the field of Rehabilitation & Hand Therapy. Here she found the medical field focused more on the physical body and lacked addressing the whole person particularly mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual. She pursued additional extensive training in different mindfulness/meditation techniques: MBSR ,EFT-tapping, Heartmath as well as energy techniques becoming a Reiki Master/Teacher. She offered these practices along with her Occupational Therapy treatment sessions to her patients.
The nurses & physicians, as well as the patients, remarked about how these additional techniques greatly helped patients to better manage pain, anxiety, decrease their stress levels, improving their ability to focus.
June retired after 42 years as an OTR/L but since she wanted to continue to help her community, she offers services to help others manage their stress and health issues, offering reiki healing energy sessions/teaches classes through her business: It's All About The Heart.
June's desire to continue helping others combined with her love of Nature led her to become a Certified Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides (ANFT). She expanded her business establishing: Shinrin Yoku NY Forest Therapy Immersion.
June is very passionate about guiding others to experience Nature in a different way. "I feel that by sharing my years of knowledge as well as guiding others in this forest therapy practice, will give them the tools to manage their stress and discover the ability to enhance their healing through boosting their immune system as well as increasing relaxation and emotional contentment by partnering with Nature. This Forest Therapy practice also deepens one's relationship and love with themselves and the world around them.I would be honored for you to come experience a Forest Therapy walk with me."
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF FOREST THERAPY WALKS?
Extensive research over the past decade has found benefits to Mental Health from spending time in Nature.
Studies show that the autonomic nervous system is calmed thereby:
-increasing one's mental state towards contentment
-assists in decreasing anxiety, depression and stress.
Many other Physical Health Benefits found such as:
-decrease blood pressure, decrease heart rate, reduced cardiovascular morbitity
-decrease in cortisol levels
-reduced prevalence of Type 2 diabetes
-increase ability to focus
-accelerate recovery from illness and surgery
-increase energy level
-increase in memory
-improve pregnancy outcomes
-increase creativity-since creativity is a receptive process-being in nature encourages receptivity.
Studies also demonstrate how Nature's natural phytoncides (which are essential oils given off by trees/plants), have been found to stimulate & boost a persons immune system by stimulating their white blood cells to increase the number of NK-cells (known as killer cells). The NK-cells job is to seek out and destroy cancerous or other abnormal developing cells.
Connecting with Nature helps in developing a sense of belonging and inspire's reciprocity in caring for the Earth.
"Nature is not something optional but absolutely essential to living a happy, healthy and meaningful life." (Beatley, 2010).
WHY DO I NEED A GUIDE?
A Forest Therapy Guide will bring your awareness to opening up to all of your senses through a series of invitation offerings. Invitations are so named as there is no right or wrong way to do. This creates a supportive, receptive and sensory experience immersion with one's natural environment surroundings.
The Guide holds a safe & open space to allow each participant to follow their own body's wisdom through partnership with Nature.
The Guide helps you to slow down and by doing so, you begin to notice & experience nature in a different intimate way.
Now you can certainly do forest bathing without a guide.
Similarly, like when one finds benefits from working with a yoga instructor, a certified forest therapy guide helps you to be present in the moment by providing new ways to experience the environment of the forest in a much more deeper relationship experienced through one's heart and senses.
As you progress through the guided walk, one finds that their mind begins to quiet from all the mind chatter of daily life, switching from a state of stress to one of relaxation.
WHAT IS FOREST THERAPY?
Forest Therapy is based on Shinrin Yoku, a Japanese practice also known as 'forest bathing' that was developed in the 1980's, as health issues dramatically increased, as the society transitioned from working on the land to indoor work environments becoming more tech based.
In seeking answers to what can help in reversing this health crisis, the Japanese conducted extensive research studies and found many healing benefits from people spending time in nature.
The Japanese then developed & utilized this forest bathing practice routinely for prevention of health issues as well as utilizing the 'forest medicine' to help work through existing maladies. There are now 600 designated certified Shinrin Yoku, 'forest bathing' natural forest or park sites throughout Japan.
Forest Therapy combines these healing benefits and principles of forest bathing with a Relational aspect and Partnering with Nature. The motto of ANFT clearly describes the forest therapy walk experience: The Forest is the Therapist The Guide Opens the Door.
The Guide, by providing a series of invitation offerings, allows the participant to experience nature beings with all their senses in a unique and different way than one is accustomed to doing so.
Incorporated within the walk is 'sharing' together in any way that feels right. This sharing helps one to expand awareness of how expansive, wise and supportive Nature truly is.
The walk ends with a tea ceremony offering to the land, with wildcrafted tea foraged from the area and snacks.
Here in Upstate NY, we have many beautiful natural forested nature centers and state parks where I will be conducting these walks.
We will all journey together opening our senses and heart, expanding our awareness to what the natural surroundings want to offer us in that moment.
A Forest Therapy walk is not a hike, rather a slow walk, to at times no walk, which covers less than one mile.
It typically lasts 2-3 hrs. depending on the size of the group. Winter walks, due to cold weather, are shorter from 1-1.5 hrs.. It is done at a relaxed pace and is open to all.
As we are on wooded trails, there may be some uneven ground, but nothing challenging or steep. If you have mobility challenges, please make me aware prior to the walk so I can pick an appropriate trail and make accommodations for you, to assure you have access and a wonderful experience.
Nature is inspiring, healing and stimulates our creativity and imagination. It helps us to leave our worries and 'to-do list' and just be present in the moment.
So come join one of my walks, after all, who doesn't want to peel away stress, increase relaxation and improve their overall well-being.
Everyone would benefit from forest therapy. It offers such a deep level of peace and comfort. It's a lovely reset from the hustle and bustle of day to day life.