Renew Nature and Forest Therapy
Renew Nature and Forest Therapy
Kim Hedgpeth is a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy. Before attaining this certification she was a leader of several municipal parks and recreation departments.
Kim has led training on customer service, team building, strategic visioning, and much more. After surviving breast cancer and several connected illnesses and injuries, Kim decided to go to where she had always felt her best - nature. She is excited to combine her training skills with her Nature and Forest Therapy certification.
Forest Therapy is a practice that supports health and wellness through guided immersion in forests and other environments to promote the well-being of both people and the land. It is inspired by Shinrin-yoku, the Japanese practice of “Forest Bathing.” In Forest Bathing, people spend time in forested areas to enhance health, wellness, and happiness. In Forest Therapy, people are guided through a clearly defined sequence of invitations to slow down, allow the senses to open, and experience the environment to deepen the reciprocal relationship between participants and the forest. This supports the wholeness and well-being of both. These Slow Walks in the Forest are typically less than a mile and fit for all ages and physical conditions. Invitations are open-ended. There is no expectation for what participants should experience or receive. Rather, participants spend time in silence, listening and feeling with a quiet and accepting presence. They become reconnected with their senses and their innate creative potential is tapped, which allows the imagination to awaken.
Why Forest Therapy? Forest Therapy promotes the improvement of human health. People are more stressed, anxious, and depressed and have more chronic health conditions than ever before. Forest Therapy provides a pathway for people to remember how to immerse themselves in nature to rest from all that consumes them in their daily lives. It provides a greater sense of connectedness. Jacques Cousteau once said, “People protect what they love.” A heartfelt, embodied relationship with nature naturally leads to a love of nature and recognition that we are nature. Nature connectedness creates a greater sense of compassion. Somatic work with the Earth and our bodies provides participants the opportunity to remember the nature of relationship and the way we are all connected. The sense of connectedness leads toward compassion and away from apathy, greed, and selfishness. This deeper compassion supports the kind of relational values that will support new solutions for the health of people and the planet.
Enjoying nature may lessen need for some medications, study finds
By Sandee LaMotte, CNN
Updated 8:46 AM EST, Tue January 17, 2023
Going for a walk in a park or along a lake or a tree-lined space may reduce the need for medication for anxiety, asthma, depression, high blood pressure or insomnia, a new study found.
“Physical activity is thought to be the key mediating factor in the health benefits of green spaces when availability or active use of green space are considered,” said study coauthor Anu Turunen, a senior researcher at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, in an email.
The study found visiting nature three to four times a week was associated with 36% lower odds of using blood pressure pills, 33% lower odds of using mental health medications, and 26% lower odds of using asthma medications.
“The analysis can reveal key associations, but we can’t say for certain whether it was the greenspace proximity or use that led to reduced use of medications,” said Lincoln Larson, an associate professor in the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, who was not involved in the study.
Green and blue space
The study, published Monday, January 16, in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, interviewed approximately 6,000 random people in three of the largest cities in Finland about their use of green and blue spaces within a kilometer of their homes.
Green spaces included forests, gardens, parks, cemeteries, moors, natural grasslands, wetlands and zoos. Blue spaces included lakes, rivers and the sea.
Prior studies have found people living near green spaces reap significant health benefits. A 2016 study compared the amount of plant life and vegetation near the homes of almost 100,000 women. After eight years, the researchers found having access to the most green space reduced the women’s death rate by 12% — and improved their mental health.
A 2019 study of green spaces around the globe found people who live near them are less likely to die prematurely. Even doctors are beginning to prescribe nature as a treatment for mental health, as CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta explored in an episode of his podcast series, Chasing Life.
The practice of forest bathing began in Japan 40 years ago in order to combat the constantly increasing stress of a rapidly modernizing world. Today, many still relate to that problem and find Shinrin-Yoku to be just as helpful or even more so than it was at its beginning.
The idea of Shinrin-Yoku originated from both the richness of the forest and the unique spirituality & culture that exist in the relationship between the forest and people.
Please join us for a spring walk in Emmenegger Park in Kirkwood on May 6 or June4. The cost of this program is $48 per person. For more information or to register, visit https://recreation.kirkwoodmo.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?module=AR&type=OUTPR .
The Crestwood Parks and Recreation Department is offering two walks on their Quarry Trail. You may register for walks through their website on the link below. https://secure.rec1.com/MO/crestwood-mo/catalog
Experience nature and enhance well-being for you or your group through private Nature and Forest Therapy Walks. We can schedule private or group walks for you, your staff, or any group you desire. I can help open the door to a deeper connection with nature and the beauty of the outdoors. Whether you seek a healing experience, a stronger r
Experience nature and enhance well-being for you or your group through private Nature and Forest Therapy Walks. We can schedule private or group walks for you, your staff, or any group you desire. I can help open the door to a deeper connection with nature and the beauty of the outdoors. Whether you seek a healing experience, a stronger relationship with nature, or just a break from the hectic pace of the daily grind, I invite you to experience a guided walk in any greenspace you desire. Email me to discuss the options available.
Renew Nature and Forest Therapy
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