Today I want to talk to you about the healing benefits of being in nature and what forest bathing is.
About the Host:
Melissa is an Integrative Health Practitioner and Master Practitioner in NLP and Timeline Therapy and a Board Designated Hypnotherapy Teacher Trainer, helping people get to the root cause of their health issues and then get lasting results. Melissa neither diagnoses nor cures but helps bring your body back into balance by helping discover your “toxic load” and then removing the toxins. Melissa offers functional medicine lab testing that helps you “see inside” to know exactly what is going on, and then provides a personalized wellness protocol using natural herbs and supplements. Melissa’s business is 100% virtual – the lab tests are mailed directly to your home and she specializes in holding your hand and guiding the way to healing so that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.
Melissa is the winner of the 2021 & 2022 Quality Care Award by Business From The Heart and is also the recipient of the Alignable “Local Business Person of the Year “Award 2022 for Whistler.
Melissa has been featured at a number of Health & Wellness Summits, such as the Health, Wealth & Wisdom Summit, The Power To Profit Summit, The Feel Fan-freaking-tas-tic Summit, the Aim Higher Summit and many more! She has also guested on over 60 different podcasts teaching people about the importance of prioritizing our health and how to get started.
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Welcome back to another edition of health hack. And this week I want to talk to you about the healing benefits of being in nature. And there is something called forest bathing, or Shinrin Yoku as it is named in Japan, which is where a forest bathing was first started. And the reason that it started in Japan is, of course, that is a, a small island country with a massive population, very dense population and huge cities, but they also have wonderful mountain and forested areas. And what they found is that the people that were working very, very long hours, or under a great deal of stress and pressure, as many of us in the world are. And when they actually went out and spent time in nature, that it was very calming to the nervous system. When you're spending time in nature, you're moving your body, which actually gets you breathing deeper. And this fuels your body with fresh oxygen getting into all of the cells in your body, including cells in your brain, which can help boost mental clarity and just get, you know that oxygenation of your entire system moving more effectively, and you start to feel better, you actually become energized because of that oxygen moving through your system due to you breathing more deeply, simply because you're moving and you're out in nature. So that is one of the benefits of spending time in nature. And another one is when you've spent time in nature, getting all of that fresh air that can result in better sleep. And you've probably heard before that and experienced hear for yourself that when you get fresh air during the day, that you tend to sleep better. And again, because there's been some exercise and exertion that can help improve sleep as well. And those are just two benefits of spending time in nature. And I will come back later this week and continue talking about the benefits of being in nature. But one of the things that I want to also share with you today in regards to forest bathing is that isn't just simply, you know, going for a rushed 15 minute walk through nature, which even if you're doing that it's beneficial to doing nothing. But forest bathing is all about really slowing down in nature. And being really focused on the fact that you're in nature, it's not about getting from point A to point B. And I've experienced forest bathing myself. And what I experienced was an opportunity to move through nature, while taking time to explore with my five senses, at each sense, one sense at a time. So for instance, we would spend five minutes just simply walking slowly and observing all of the different colors that we could see the different greens and perhaps leaves were changing color, or perhaps there was berries on plants. So what other colors could I see besides all of the different shades of green in the forest, and just enjoying looking and focusing on that instead of walking through and not noticing? And then after using our eyes, then we started to spend some time just paying attention to the smells. What could we smell? Was it the smell of the pine trees? Was it the smell of damp soil etc. And then we stopped doing that. And we just focused on what we could hear the sounds of birds, the wind rustling through the leaves. And as we continue to move through the senses, we didn't really go to taste other than just to be conscious of was there a taste in our mouth as we were walking through, but we will certainly weren't sampling anything and I don't recommend that. I know mushrooms can be found in nature and some mushrooms are great and some mushrooms are toxic. And unless you're an expert, you don't want to start tasting things in nature. The same with berries because you might see berries, but are they safe to eat. If you don't know, don't try them. But using your senses even touch the different barks on trees, the different texture of different leaves using all of your senses as you slow down and spend time in nature. And we literally spent 10 minutes focusing on each of our senses and we didn't go very far. We were just very mindful in our process of doing this. We also spent time sitting with our back against a tree and our bare feet in the soil so that we were really grounding and just you know, quietly meditating, letting whatever thoughts wanted to flow into our mind as we did this. And as I sat there sometimes my eyes were open some times I closed my eyes and felt the sunlight that was coming through the trees on my face. So I encourage you to try forest bathing. Spend some time in nature because it is wonderfully healing and come back and continue to listen to these episodes as I talk about the benefits in the next couple of episodes.