The Benefits of Forest Therapy

You might be leading a hectic life, and consequently suffering with daily anxiety and stress. I guess that at least some of these resonate with you:

  • Expectations from society - you can 'have it all' / the glorification of 'busy'. 
  • Balancing demands of work and family
  • Never feeling good enough
  • Worrying about health issues
  • Feeling lonely / disconnected
  • Constant comparison to others
  • Managing family responsibilities and difficulties
  • A lack of quality time for yourself
  • Negativity around us (media, social media, other people)
Testimonial - "Forest Therapy with Sonya is something else. There's something about being given permission to, for example, spend 20 minutes in your own little world just watching out for things that are moving around you, or collecting 'treasures' to build your own personal gratitude shrine, that at the same time connects you to both your 8-year-old self and your deepest/highest Self" - Helen, Petersfield. 

There is growing scientific evidence from the UK that proves that just 2 hours of connecting to nature in a Forest Therapy experience can improve both your physical and emotional health.  Results from my early sessions corroborate these findings (participants completed the recognised psychological rating Profile of Mood States (POMS) test before and after the walk). 

Read the blog on benefits

And the best news? The benefits don't just last for the duration of the experience. Some are proven to last well beyond the end of the session; days and sometimes even weeks afterwards. 

Testimonial - "The course of monthly sessions allowed me to become increasingly open and take the experience to a deeper level each time. The benefits continue long after the session itself has finished" - Annie, Upham. 

These are some of the proven health benefits:

  • Reduced levels of stress hormone cortisol
  • Increased happiness and reduced depression, anxiety and ADHD
  • Enhanced mental clarity, memory and focus 
  • Increased sense that life is worthwhile
  • Heightened ability to feel trust, empathy and kindness towards others
  • Increased sense of gratitude, joy and wonder - proven to increase resilience
  • Accelerated recovery from surgery/illness*
  • Boosted immune system and increased count of and activity in natural killer cells that are known to fight cancer*
  • Reduced high blood pressure and heart rate
  • Improved sleep
  • Feelings of rejuvenation
  • Increased creativity

* Specifically attributed to inhalation of the chemicals emitted from trees (mainly conifers and oak) called Phytoncides (note that this will take you to the scientific report on a separate site). 

Read more about nature connection

From a personal perspective, Forest Therapy has fundamentally changed who I am; I cannot un-see what I have seen on my nature connection journey (not that I would want to) and I hope to bring these same fundamental shifts in personality to you. There is so much in nature that can bring you deep joy and a sense of awe, and I feel so grateful to have found this now. Considering yourself part of nature rather than separate to it, changes everything. 

Testimonial - "I came home feeling rejuvenated and positive. So much so that I managed to have a 2-hour Saturday afternoon snooze on the sofa, something that I haven't done for a long time." - Jules, Winchester. 

Happy People