With the stresses of everyday life, many people find it difficult to slow down and connect with their natural surroundings. In this new episode of Windows to the Wild, host Willem Lange joins forest bathing coach Nadine Mazzola at the Farandnear Reservation in Shirley, Mass., where they slow down and experience nature in a meaningful way.
Forest bathing became part of Japan’s national healthcare system in the 1980’s. The practice of slowing down and letting nature’s beauty wash over you and is now gaining popularity worldwide.
Scientists say that practicing forest bathing holds both physical and mental health benefits. Nadine first discovered these healing benefits while recovering from breast cancer. After getting better accustomed to the healing process, Nadine traded in her corporate desk job to become a forest bathing guide. In her work, Nadine encourages others to focus on all their senses and surroundings while walking through nature whether it’s a forest or in a backyard.
Willem and Nadine are joined by Jeff Brogan, Kristi Perry, Pamela Androkiewicz, and Kelsea Anderson. All of the participators share their unique connection to forest bathing and the personal benefits it has held for them. “I think most people in modern society almost never get a chance to hear what the natural soundscape sounds like, and that’s a shame,” says Jeff Brogan, who claims that focusing closely on movements in nature and invitations from the forest has enabled him to see much more than before.
Kelsea Anderson views the forest as a place where she constantly feels supported, safe and free of judgment. It’s her escape from reality when she needs one. Kristi Perry tells us how this forest bathing experience has urged her to do more listening, seeing and thinking without distractions.
After receiving news of a family illness, Pamela knew she needed to reduce her grief and stress through this forest bathing experience. “Forest bathing is the anecdote to treating stress related illnesses and even to prevent stress,” says Nadine.
Viewers can learn the stress relieving methods of forest bathing by joining Willem and Nadine on a journey of healing and discovery in a new episode of Windows to the Wild, airing Wednesday, February 21st at 7:30pm on NHPBS or online at nhpbs.org/windows.
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