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connect@foresttherapyelgin.ca

Come as you are, the trees as our teachers, me as your guide, & just be.

Enhance your wellness journey. Experience restoration, rejuvenation, relaxation, and support from deepening your connection with the nature world lead by a Certified Forest Therapy Guide.


What is Forest Therapy?

Nature and Forest Therapy, often called Forest Bathing, is inspired by the Japanese practice Shinrin-Yoku. This is a health promoting, nature connection practice that aims to enhance well-being, relieve stress, and encourage relaxation. It is underpinned by mindfulness principles, encouraging the opening of the senses to the forest atmosphere, slowing down, breathing, and fostering an emotional connection to the landscape. It engages in an effortless attention. It helps us reconnect to our place, the Earth, the other-than-human world, ourselves, and our community. In a time when our lives are overwhelming and over stimulating, this subtle practice grounds us and brings us to a place of balance and connection.

An experienced and well trained Forest Therapy Guide leads you through a natural area providing education on the land as well as carefully worded and timed guided invitation, a series of sensory invitations facilitating explorations in nature. The Forest Therapy Guide holds the space so that you can completely immerse in the experience with the more-than-human world.

While immersed in nature we slow down, tune into our senses and allow for deep connection, introspection, reflection, and sharing. We cultivate the practice of stillness as we focus our attention within ourselves and the natural environment around us. We don’t travel far on a Forest Therapy Walk, as this is about the journey not the distance.

Each participant has a unique experience as each receives the invitations in ways that feel right for them. There is no incorrect way to receive an invitation and our body’s will only go as deep as is comfortable for us. As we cultivate connection to the non-human elements in our natural environment we intuitively connect with ourselves a little deeper.

Benefits

Nature & Forest Therapy is an evidence-based practice. Studies show that slowing down in nature reduces stress levels and blood pressure and boosts our immune systems. It improves mental health and enhances brain power and creativity. Indigenous peoples have long taught that a strong bond between humans and the more-than-human world is essential for the health of all. Modern science is now catching up with this ancient wisdom.


Why a guide?

The forest is the therapist, the guide opens the doors. A Forest Therapy Guide gently offers a path to the present moment and to deeper levels of attentiveness to the gifts of nature. A specific sequence of invitations helps us shift from our chronically stressed state of coping with the demands of modern life, to a place of calm awareness. There, we can make meaning of our lives and new insights and healing can arise.


What to Expect

A walk is 1.5 to 3 hrs long. It's not a workout. We move slowly and pause often. The guide offers "invitations" to help you rest your mind, slow down, and awaken your senses to each moment unfolding around and within you. Participants branch out for short explorations, solo or in pairs, and then circle up and have an opportunity to share stories. We end with a tea ceremony to receive a deeper experience from a plant from the trail we've been walking and give thanks to the Earth for her gift.



Forest Therapy Elgin Events

Now more than ever we need nature. Choose your adventure.

Offerings Overview

Some part of each of us - regardless of where we're from or where we live -
seems to carry a deep yearning for a more meaningful connection with nature.

Public Wellness Walks


Single sessions for inclusivity and and accessibility for the resident's of Elgin County and surrounding area. Therapeutic mindfully guided group  Forest Therapy Sessions scheduled throughout the year at local public natural areas. 

Rates: $20-$60 per participant on a sliding scale 

Participants: up to 15 participants per Public Walk

Plant Identification, Herb Walks, Lunch in the Woods, & other offerings also available.


Wellness Programs

Ashley Park Wellness (formerly Park Botanicals) offers a variety of services to support you in creating a personal and career lifestyle that honours the wellness and vitality of body, mind, spirit, and the Earth. I offer a variety of unique private consultation and empowerment programs to assist in the regeneration of personal and ecological health.

The programs complement each other and can be taken together or separately, to give you the knowledge and skills needed to create a healthy, balanced, and vibrant lifestyle. Our wholistic wellness programs facilitates a way of life that moves clients toward optimum vitality, and awareness


Earth Education

Offered under focuses on sharing knowledge from the Earth, I speak for the plants.

  • Wildcrafting Herb / Foraging Walks

  • Herbalism

  • Foraging Wild Edibles Series

  • Plant Identification

  • Plant Based Workshops (decor, salves, and more)

  • Community Presentations

  • Gardening with Nature's Intelligence

  • Invasive Plant

  • Native Plants

Public events are run throughout the seasons and can be scheduled for your private groups.

Organizations & Corporate Bookings

Forest Therapy Elgin partners with organizations to offer a regenerative experience for your members, employees, or clients.

  • Wellness Days

  • Retreats

  • Group events

  • Festivals

I am happy to work with you to custom-design a session or a program to meet your needs.



The Tea Ceremony

A final Invitation to Connect with Nature

At the end of our walk we come together for one last Invitation to connect with nature. In this ceremony or ritual we come together to greet one or a few of the plants from out walk and to give back to the Earth for her gifts.

Along the walk I will forage a plant that is safe to consume and brew an infusion, or tea, for us to physically experience with our now open senses.


I will begin this journey by acknowledging that I am exploring on aboriginal land that has been inhabited by Indigenous peoples from the beginning. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here and thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land - for thousands of years.

I acknowledge the aboriginal peoples, the Anishinaabek (Ah-nish-in-a-bek), Haudenosaunee (Ho-den-no-show-nee), Lūnaapéewak (Len-ahpay- wuk) and Attawandaron (Add-a-won-da-run, who have been the guardians of this traditional territory now covered by the Upper Canada Treaties. We recognize and deeply appreciate their historic connection to this place. We also recognize the contributions that the Indigenous peoples have made, both in shaping and strengthening this community in particular, and our province and country as a whole.

As settlers, this recognition of the contributions and historic importance of Indigenous peoples must also be clearly and overtly connected to our collective commitment to make the promise and the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation real in our communities, and in particular to bring justice for murdered and missing indigenous women and girls across our country.