HONOLULU (KHON2) — Forest bathing isn’t what you think. It’s just the therapeutic act of spending time in a forest.
It can be done by walking slowly outside in nature and listening to your surrounding environment.
Phyllis Look, the 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.
“I founded this company shortly after I got my certification as a forest therapy guide from the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guide and programs,” Look said.
She said forest bathing was first widely documented in Japan in the 1980’s, but it likely has roots that go further back. The forest bathing community has grown since then and really took off later in 2010.
“Since it began in the early 2010’s it has expanded, so there are now 1,500 forest therapy guides that are trained around the world,” said Look.
According to Look, you can forest bathe in California, Japan, and even locations in Europe. She said there is decades of scientific evidence showing the health benefits a walk in the forest can do.
“In the last 30 plus years now, we actually have a wealth of scientific evidence about the benefits of a simple walk in the forest,” said Look,
Look said her walks are usually two hours long, and she emphasizes the importance of going slow.
“My favorite part about it is seeing people connect with each other, especially during the pandemic when we were having to socially isolate,” said Look.
Look said they do implement COVID protocols like wearing a mask, socially distancing, and not showing up if someone is sick. Virtual tours are also offered to anyone who want to listen to the forest from the comfort of their home.
For more information and to book your forest bath, click here.