HONOLULU (KHON2) – Forest baths are not what you think. It’s just the therapeutic act of spending time in a forest.
This can be done by slowly walking outside in nature and listening to the environment around you.
Phyllis Look, owner and founder of Forest Bathing Hawaii, said this type of practice can be very therapeutic. She wanted to start guided tours where she grew up.
âI founded this company shortly after obtaining my certification as a Forest Therapy Guide from the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guide and Programs,â Look said.
She said forest baths were first widely documented in Japan in the 1980s, but they likely have roots going back further. The forest bathing community has grown since then and really took off later in 2010.
âSince it started in the early 2010s, it has grown, so there are now 1,500 forest therapy guides being trained around the world,â Look said.
According to Look, you can swim in the forest in California, Japan, and even Europe. She said there is decades of scientific evidence showing the health benefits of a forest walk.
âOver the past 30+ years, we actually have a wealth of scientific evidence on the benefits of a simple forest walk,â Look said,
Look said her walks typically last two hours, and she stresses the importance of going slow.
âMy favorite part about it is seeing people connecting with each other, especially during the pandemic when we had to isolate ourselves socially,â Look said.
Look said they are implementing COVID protocols like wearing a mask, social distancing and not showing up if someone is sick. Virtual tours are also offered to all those who wish to listen to the forest in the comfort of their own home.
For more information and to book your forest bath, Click here.