Medicine. Connection. Re-connection. Bodyfulness. Play. Whatever you and the land create.
Forest therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of forest bathing, a response by the Japanese medical community to rising stress-related illnesses in the 1980s. When we go to the woods, our blood pressure goes down, our heart rates steady, and we benefit from immune-boosting aerosols from trees.
I like to think of forest therapy spiritually and, as the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides teaches, as a relationship. Humanity is utterly dependent on the more-than-human world for not only for survival but for the richness of living, the wealth that is both being born and dying.
If spiritual direction is an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of life, forest therapy is an opportunity to experience life.
What happens during forest therapy?
Over a slow walk (or even sitting inside), I will offer you a series of invitations to bring our full senses present in the moment. The process does not predetermine any outcomes for you, but trusts that "the forest is the therapist, the guide opens the doors." This article offers an excellent accounting. I also share some reflections on it and spiritual direction here.
Forest therapy is one means for reconnecting, or re-wilding, human creatures. It is a space of intention, wonder, and snacks that supports us in learning to "speak tree" once more. At a time we have never needed it more.
I live and guide within the Kaskaskia, Sangamon, Vermillion, and Wabash, and Embarass watersheds. These were once under the stewardship of the Illinois, Peankashaw, Wea, Miami, Mascoutin, Odawa, Sauk, Mesquaki, Kickapoo, Ojibwe, Chickasaw and Potawatomi people. As a consequence of colonization (germs, betrayal, blood), Illinois no longer has any land-based indigenous populations.
Pricing and booking.
To begin scheduling an in person or remote walk (via Zoom) please use the form below.
Time commitment: Two to three hours, as desired
Cost: $150-$225 for private sessions (for one to 12 people).
Do you have something else in mind?
If you have a different idea for how we might work together or collaborate, I am wide open to new ideas. I have worked with The BTS Center (Portland, ME) and OLLI Illinois (Champaign, IL) to name a few. Just send me an e-mail.