Nature and Forest Therapy is the name the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) gives to Forest Bathing. The forest is the ‘therapist’ and the guide ‘opens the doors’. The ANFT states; ‘With the rapid shift in our society moving into cities, which has occurred over the last 180 years, we have distanced ourselves from natural environments. Humans distancing from nature is bringing undesirable consequences for the planet and all of its beings such as plants, animals, rivers, etc. including humans themselves. Forest Therapy, also known as Forest Bathing, is a relational practice that brings people back to our inner and outer nature; it’s a practice that holds the possibility of again meeting the kernel of who we are, and what we are born to be and how we are intended to be of service in the world.’ The purpose of Forest Therapy is not to use nature for human gain, but to reconnect with nature. The theory is that this deepened connection encourages a sense of guardianship as we recognise ourselves as part of nature.
A Mind Full of Trees follows the principles of wild tending. We seek to take positive environmental actions in all that we do. We encourage participants to engage with nature as Forest Bathing is a sensory experience. Forest Bathing is also a relational practice and we seek to leave spaces in a better state than we found them. We remove litter and report any environmental issues where we can. We hope to encourage a sense of environmental guardianship in all participants. Environmentalism is about hope and activism and we begin by paying attention and cherishing nature. Forest Bathing is a form of mindfulness that encourages compassion and curiosity. We seek to extend this compassion to the world around us and bring curiosity and calm to all that we encounter.