5:22 PM February 8, 2022
“When I tell people I’m a forest bathing guide,” says Sharon Dunscombe, “the first question is usually ‘am I spending my time in a bathtub, deep in the forest? The answer is no, but it sounds like a good idea! »
Sharon’s forest bathing journey began unconsciously decades ago as she wandered through the ancient forests that surrounded her, “connecting deeply with nature and integrating it into who I am”.
In 1980 the Japanese created a very popular therapy called Shinrin Yoku – literally translated as forest bathing.
“I started to get interested and read as much as I could on the subject”, continues Sharon, “which at the time was rare. Without the Internet, I depended on books.
Fast forward to a few years ago, and forest bathing turned out to be interesting for many people around the world.
“It was easier to research and study the subject,” she says, “so I slowly worked towards my accreditation as a trained forest bathing guide with the International Mindfulness and Meditation Alliance. I am also studying with the University of Derby on the subject of connected nature, learning about the current challenges of global warming, physical connections to nature and our cultural need for a new relationship with nature.
“With the constant use of technology, we forget how to consciously connect with those around us. My guided forest bathing sessions allow the space to find and connect our shared emotions in a natural and sensory way.
Sharon’s two-hour sessions take place in the forests and woodlands around the Cotswolds, but most of her work is performed from glorious Wolford Wood near Moreton-in-Marsh.
“These sessions involve immersing all of your senses in the calming atmosphere of the forest,” Sharon explains, “until you feel completely refreshed, rejuvenated and reconnected. They involve gentle, mindful walking, reading poetry, and several sensory tasks to discover peace in nature.
“Forest bathing is now recognized as an evidence-based natural therapy that helps rebalance mental and physical well-being, and I love being a part of it.”
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