Forest bathing in Patagonia

IMG_1814 (1).JPG

The healing power of Mother Nature!

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”

John Muir

All I can say is, Patagonia, WOW!!!!  

My recent adventure to the Argentinian section of Patagonia far exceeded my expectations, and I can honestly tell you that it was truly a journey of a lifetime! From drinking our water out of the bountiful glacier streams, to not seeing another human, aside for my team, for days, to being completely immersed in the most gorgeous, vast and dynamic landscape, it was the ultimate adventure experience for me. Did you know that when you journey outdoors or into the forest it fills your soul, calms your spirit, heightens your sense’s and opens your mind? Yup, it does all of that and more, and it’s called Forest Bathing.

Forest Bathing is a term that originated from a Japanese study that found when humans did not interact on a regular basis with nature their health was severely affected. The Japanese term for forest bathing is Shinrin-yoku or “Forest Therapy”, the medicine of simply being in the forest. Shinrin-yoku is a term that means "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing." It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. 

It’s about stepping away from life ‘s stress and diversions and taking in the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the beauty of nature!

It’s about being in the moment, in nature. For me it can be the adrenaline of 70mph wind pressing against every part of your body as you maneuver around the corner of a jagged peak to an open face rock ledge, the serenity of a stunning Vista of mountains and the gorgeous valley below, dipping my toes in the babbling brook next to my Berkshire home or simply sitting outside gazing at the magnificent night sky. 

It’s the space, the feeling, and the experience combined, that fills your soul and stimulates your mind.

Unfortunately, the reality of life is that we don’t get the opportunity to forest bath as much as we should. However, there are a few simple yet effective things that you can do to add forest bathing into your daily routine.

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to meet an entrepreneur (Pam Sculthorp, owner of Body Bliss USA), who also understands the power of forest bathing, so much so she has a line of products that mimic the effects of being in nature. Her Forest Bathing collection of natural body products infused with essential oils, will lift your spirit and hydrate your skin. My favorite is the Forest Bathing face mister. It is truly wonderful. 

When I can’t get outside, I try to incorporate other daily practices that help me feel the effects of forest bathing. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Bring nature inside, put fresh plants and flowers around your living and work spaces, and if you don’t have a green thumb, even a cactus will do. 

  2. Leave the office and go for a brisk walk outside, even 15 minutes of fresh air is proven to be beneficial. 

  3. Spend time with animals, the positive mental outlook that occurs from forest bathing also occurs when we spend time with other living creatures, like our pets!!! 

  4. Practice aromatherapy, either in your home or in your body products. Try the essential oils from Body Bliss or any or their Forest Bathing Products that use all-natural ingredients like lavender, sandalwood, bergamot, eucalyptus, and pine. I encourage you to add Forest bathing, in any way into your daily life rituals, and when you can get out there and have your own adventure, PLEASE DO, you won’t be disappointed! Use code HEATHER for 30% off your order.

Heather Thomson