Please join us for our next Friends' General Meeting on Tuesday 12 November. Proceedings begin at 5.30pm in the Terrace Room. The meeting will be followed by our final Seasonal Talk for the year - Julianne Evans will speak on Forest Bathing (as described in an article in a recent issue of The Canberra Times). For this event, the Seasonal Talk is entitled, Shinrin Yoku comes to Canberra.
The Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates as “forest bathing”, refers to spending time or ‘bathing’ in the atmosphere of the forest for the purpose of enhancing health and well-being.
This scientifically-validated nature therapy was developed in Japan during the 1980s to address stress-related illnesses. Research showed that it could boost immunity and lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, thereby reducing anxiety, depression and other stress-related conditions. It is fast becoming an established approach to preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine, and is now slowly becoming better known in Australia through the work of a number of Shinrin-Yoku trained guides.
A forest bathing walk is not a hike for physical exercise nor a naturalist walk, but one privileging sensory perception. It is calm, meditative and unhurried walk, usually only covering less than a kilometre over a two-and-half-hour walk.
Shinrin-Yoku is a powerful tool for maintaining mind, body and spirit wellness. By slowing down and opening our senses, we can begin to more deeply perceive the spirit of the landscape around us, its messages, a sense of being one with our natural environment and the peace that it brings.