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Forest Bathing

FOREST BATHING

We all know how good being in nature can make us feel. We have known it for centuries. The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air - these things give us a sense of comfort. They ease our stress and worry, help us to relax and to think more clearly. Being in nature can restore our mood, give us back our energy and vitality, refresh and rejuvenate us.

But what exactly is this feeling that is so hard to put into words? In Japan, they practice something called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means "forest," and yoku means "bath." So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses. This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.

So how does one go about forest bathing? First, find a spot in nature, maybe a local park or walking trail. Make sure you have left your phone and camera behind. You are going to be walking aimlessly and slowly. You don't need any devices. Let your body be your guide. Listen to where it wants to take you. Follow your nose. Listen to the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees. Look at the different greens of the trees and the sunlight filtering through the branches. And take your time. It doesn't matter if you don't get anywhere. You are not going anywhere. You are savoring the sounds, smells and sights of nature and letting the forest connect with you.

When you have been caught up in our modern lifestyle, it can be hard to slow down. You may have been rushing around so much you no longer know how to be calm. Never before have we been so far from connecting with nature. But the good news is that even the smallest changes can have an impact on our health. A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Here at B.Witching we have a new twist on forest bathing and it involves actual bathing.

You can enjoy B.Witching Forest Bathing anywhere in the world-wherever there is water. The key is in setting the stage with the right accessories. We start with filling the bath or shower with nature scented products like Balsam Fir, Oak and Moss or Redwood and Cedar. We are looking for green, earthy and wood fragrance notes, the same you would find in a forest. Add some ambient music. We enjoy the Sounds of Earth Collection with the melody of evening woodland birds. Take the experience a step further, light a candle and bring in some real foliage with a house plant. Go all out nature in the bathroom!

The key to unlocking the power of forest bathing is in the five senses. Let the feeling of nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet. Listen to the birds singing and brush your hands through the leaves of the plants. Smell the fragrance of the forest and breathe in the natural aromatherapy. Taste the freshness of the air as you take deep breaths. Relax in the warm water. Drink in the flavor of the forest and release your sense of joy and calm. This is your sixth sense, a state of mind. Now you have connected with your inner self and crossed the bridge to happiness.

Excerpt from Time.com and FOREST BATHING: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness by Dr. Qing Li published on April 17, 2018 by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © Qing Li, 2018.

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Aromatherapy is a great way to immerse yourself into Forest Bathing when you don't have access to a real forest.

These collections depict fragrant notes of green grass, leaves, fresh earth, tree bark and pine needles. Guaranteed to delight the senses and condition your skin, leaving it smooth, soft and radiant.