My name is Makiko Sugishita—founder and representative of KaleidoForest.
Allow me to be your forest therapy guide as we explore the forest together as part of your Yakushima deep Shinrin-yoku Program.

As explained in more details (see a link below), Forest Therapy® is a research-based practice supporting the healing of individuals through the immersion in forests. The name taken from the Japanese art of “Shinrin-yoku” which translates to “Forest Bathing” (Forest Therapy Society).

Forest therapy/Shinrin-yoku is a wellness practice that involves walking slowly and spending time in nature and forested area, and engaging in activities such as sensory awareness practices, breathing exercises, and meditation to enhance physical and mental health status. The focus is on being present in the moment, and paying attention to our sensory connection to the natural world through touch, sounds, smells, tastes and sights and more sensations.

So—what awaits you on this encounter with the forest?
This is an experience that will take you away from your usual routine, and bring you into the healing green of the forest.

Like many of us, you may have previously spent some time in the forest on a hike, or on a picnic, or perhaps doing another of the plethora of outdoor recreational activities available to us.
Whilst it may be the same natural setting, this time we will discover a fresh, new facet of the forest.
We will walk along another path, look around us in a different light, and perhaps even feel a different flow of time unique to the deep Shinrin-yoku experience.

Some science-backed benefits of forest-bathing:
– Decrease in stress hormone levels
– Blood pressure and pulse rate stabilisation
– Regulated autonomic nervous system and parasympathetic dominance
– Immunity benefits (e.g., increased NK cell count)
– Inverse relationship between forest coverage (↑) and cancer mortality rate (↓)
– Depression symptom melioration
– Quality of sleep improvement

In recent years, research has demonstrated positive and lasting effects of entering the forest on a variety of mental and physical health indicators. We at KaleidoForest will guide you through the woods using effective forest therapy techniques while opening your five senses—and even more—to maximize these scientifically-proven benefits.

In addition, the deep Shinrin-yoku also necessitates self-reflection. It is our hope that you might gain some personal insight to parts of yourself that may have fallen by the wayside in the hustle and bustle of a busy modern life. In addition to a pleasant and mindful experience in nature, let the forest help you to embody your own emotions, clicking hidden parts of yourself into place to reveal a tessellating matrix of heart-blossoms in myriad colour. This is but the first step to meaningful self-care, is it not?

Beyond that, some people will also find increased motivation for work and daily life, tolerance for others, increased productivity, as well as inspiration and creativity. The forest, with all of its natural wisdom, opens our eyes to new understandings of life and nature. This is the blessing of Yakushima. What new discoveries might arise within you here?

What you will take away from our Yakushima deep Shinrin-yoku program will be different for each and every person. As part of the program, we will prompt you with various nature-based sensory “invitations” in the forest. You are free to accept or reject these prompts along your journey of discovery and embodiment.

For the time being, simply let yourself be one with the forest, and enjoy your walk with me!

B.J. Park, Y. Miyazaki et al. The physiological effects of shinrin-yoku: evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 15 (1) 18-26, 2010
H. Ochiai, Y. Miyazaki et al. Physiologial and psychologial effects of forest therapy on middle-aged males with high-normal blood pressure. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12 2532-2542, 2015
Li Q. et al. Forest bathing enhances human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins.Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 20(2 Suppl 2):3-8, 2007
Li Q. et al. Visiting a forest, but not a city, increases human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2008 Jan-Mar;21(1):117-27
Atchley RA, et al. Creativity in the wild: Improving creative reasoning through immersion
in natural settings『PLoS ONE 7(12):e51474.』(2012)

Session location, meeting place/time:
Final decisions will be made based on weather conditions and guest circumstances.  

Session plan:
< one-day session >
Morning: shrine visit, orientation, warm-up stretch, sensory connection sessions
Lunch: forest therapy lunch, hammock rest & nap
Afternoon: sensory connection sessions, artwork, tea & snack, and final retrospection

< half-day session >
AM or PM: orientation, warm-up stretch, sensory connection sessions, tea & snack, and final retrospection

A note on attire: 
– Comfortable clothes (long pants and socks to cover the ankles) and comfortable shoes.
– Warm clothes like jacket or overcoat, especially in the fall and the winter seasons. Slow-flowing time spent in the forest can be quite cool upon the skin, especially when you’re resting in a hammock.
– Appropriate outdoor attire to move through the bush & avoid insect bites.

What to bring:
– Daypack, drinks, towel, rain gear (rainwear and umbrella), insect and leech repellent spray, additional warm clothes to your liking, etc.

Extra bits:
– Cancellations due to heavy rain may occur. In such cases, we will inform you by 7:00 a.m. on the day of your session.
– We ask that you do your best to disconnect from the digital world and switch your cell phones to ‘off’ or ‘airplane mode’ while in the forest (note: taking pictures with your cell phone camera is fine).
– Please ensure your health condition for the days leading up to your session.  

Makiko Sugishita and the KaleidoForest guide team
Mobile: (+81) 080-1520-2750
LINE ID: makiko_sugishita
WhatsApp QR Code ↓

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