As a forest therapy guide, trained by the ANFT, I guide Shinrin-yoku (forest bath) sessions in nature. Walks at a very slow pace where you really experience what is in the moment. As a guide I provide a safe bedding where you can be completely yourself. I open the door and nature is the therapist. In a walk you experience a time outside of normal time where the possibility of healing and growth is enhanced. It is beneficial to take time and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the forest, park, sea, dunes or heath. It is beneficial to take time for yourself in these hectic times when a lot is asked of you, you are often behind a screen and you are constantly on and stimulated to take action. As humans, however, we used to live in connection with nature, and we followed the cycles of the seasons. Now we are mostly indoors and have much less contact with our senses, and thus also with the now. In a forest bath session, nature helps you become aware of the intelligence of your heart and soul. And you can feel the connection with nature, with the more than human world.  With your true nature. In a forest bath session you go Back2nature. 

The texture of leaves, the wind through your hair, the smell of the forest. Every tree, flower and blade of grass is different, every forest has its own atmosphere and ecosystem. The birds, the ants, the mushrooms, everything is working and cooperating together. When you are outside, surrounded by nature, opening up to what is in that moment, something special happens. The smells, the sounds, the different colors do something to you. Your head is a little less in charge, you feel yourself becoming calmer with every step you take. The moment you slow down your pace, and take time to experience what is around you, you are in the moment. Through your senses you end up in the now.

I would recommend anyone who is curious about the effect of forest therapy to do a forest bath session with Linde. Guided by her calm, soothing voice and exploring invitations to experience what is and feel even more deeply, it gave me a sense of serenity and gratitude that stayed with me long after the walk was over. Linde knew how to intuitively connect to where I was during the walk. It was a complete and very personal journey of both recovery and play.

– Sidsel Solmer Ekiksen

What can you expect from a forest bath session with Linde?

In a forest bath session you walk for 2,5 to 3 hours at a very slow pace in nature. I tell something about the place where you are and give you different invitations that bring you in contact with your senses and nature. Step by step you listen to your own body and experience what is there. Everything is welcome, you don’t have to achieve anything, not to perform, just to be. Nature acts as a mirror, she will show you and let you experience what is. You don’t have to fix, change or justify anything. Everything is good. I trust in the wisdom of nature. She supports and helps you. And I am there as a witness. The walk ends with a tea ceremony where we drink tea made from herbs or plants of that place and something sweet to go with it. During the walk you get in touch with nature in a different way than you are used to. You make the walk for yourself, and after each invitation we share briefly what we have experienced. Precisely because of the slow pace, your thinking comes to rest and you have more contact with your body and the now. I guide 1 on 1, group sessions and remote sessions. Book a forest bath session on Eventbrite or contact me if you want to experience a private forest bath session. This is possible 1 on 1 or with a group of up to 10 people.

I open the door to your senses, nature is the therapist

How do you dress for a forest bath session?

You don’t need swimwear for a forest bath. You are in fact bathing in the atmosphere of nature, in the smells, sounds, shapes, colors and tastes of that place. However, it is advisable to dress warmly, wear several layers and possibly bring a raincoat and rain pants so that you remain comfortable during the walk. Because of the slow pace your body can cool down faster than you are used to on a regular walk in nature.

Where does forest therapy come from?

Forest therapy is based on the Japanese Shinrin-yoku. In the 80s in Japan things went very wrong with the health and wellbeing of the people. The computer made its appearance and more and more people sat behind the screen for hours and moved around much less. Many people became ill, suffered from burn-out and struggled with all kinds of physical and mental discomfort. The government then launched a large-scale health campaign and started several studies on the beneficial effect of nature on humans. The vast forests of Japan now have forest bathing paths where many people go to relax and pay attention to their health and wellbeing. Shinrin-yoku is approached medically in Japan. Before you begin a forest bathing session, your blood pressure is measured and your saliva examined. Afterwards, this is done again.

What are the effects of a forest bath session?

Results of studies show that blood pressure can drop, you can feel calmer, happier and more in touch with yourself and nature. You feel more energetic, you sleep better and your immune system can get a boost. Your stress hormones decrease and you experience more focus and creativity.

Phytoncides

Research has been done on defense mechanisms of trees. When a tree is attacked by insects, for example, it secretes substances that can protect the tree and are a warning signal for other species in the area. These trees can then arm themselves against the insects or intruders that are coming. Phytoncides are the essential oils of trees that have many medicinal properties. They are the chemicals that stimulate the activity of natural killer (NK) cells in the human body. NK cells are cancer-fighting proteins that literally seek out and destroy tumor and virus cells. There is ongoing research into these medicinal properties of phytoncides. Read more about scientific research on forest bathing and phytoncides.

Would you like to experience a forest bathing session? Book a walk with a group, or take a remote walk with me? You can! Book a forest bath session with me here or contact me if you have any questions 

Linde is a sensitive, intuitive, gentle and beautiful guide.  I am still amazed at how I could have this experience with her in the Netherlands and me in Canada. I felt so connected to her, to the nature around me, and to myself.  I went into the experience feeling not quite right in my skin and I came out happy and much lighter.  Thank you Linde for your gentleness, your time, and the opportunity to be in the woods in a new way! 

– Lisa Nackan

For You

Do you want some time to yourself? A break from your daily routine? Get away from your screen and let your eyes and your body unwind in nature? Then choose a forest bath session with Linde. Look here for the scheduled walks or contact me for the possibilities of a 1-on-1 session in nature.

For organizations

Nowadays we have more and more appointments scheduled in a row. We have meetings with each other via screens and we meet each other less in the corridors or at the coffee machine or during lunch. We hardly have time to relax in between all those meetings and many people experience an overload of stimuli, to a continuous pressure to a lack of interim time that is beneficial and healthy and much needed. If you want your team to be happy, feel good about themselves and be able to make a real contribution, it is important to include health and wellbeing in your program. To let your employees experience the meantime. Away from the screen and the office chair, and into nature, into their bodies and hearts. If you really want to give your team a nice gift, include health and wellbeing as a permanent part of your hr program, think of the power and focus that a forest bath can give to your employees. As a fixed part of your hr policy, or as a birthday gift, team outing or part of your teamsessions outside. Please contact me to talk about the possibilities.

Research

Excessive stress can play a role in headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis and many other ailments. Forest bathing increases the parasympathetic nervous system, the heart rate slows down, you experience more peace and the bowel and glandular activities can do their job better. When you are constantly under pressure, cortisol and other stress hormones are released into the body. Excessive exposure to these chemicals can increase the risk of anxiety, depression, heart disease, weight gain and memory and concentration disorders. Read more about scientific research.