The air is perfumed with natural aroma of moss, rainwater and bark. The gentle breeze feels cool on the skin and with every conscious inhalation we come one step closer to nature, so that for a short time we become one with the environment.
These days, we are increasingly exposed to stress and time pressure. Our body and soul therefore need more relaxing breaks to promote proper balance. What better way than taking a bath in the forest? Yep, you read that correctly, a forest bath. Martin Kiem offers guided forest bathing in Parcines from April to October. As a coach and psychologist, he specialises in nature and forest therapy as well as meditation and mindfulness.
We met up with him for an interview:
Forest bathing is becoming evermore popular. Why?
Today, we humans are moving further and further away from nature. Over 50 percent of the world's population lives in cities, the average adult in the western world spends over 90 percent of his or her life in rooms and over ten hours a day in front of a screen. The way in which we structure our lives today means that we hardly have any interaction with nature at all. And yet in spite of these statistics, most people feel a strong innate desire to reconnect with nature.
What exactly is forest bathing?
Forest bathing is an attempt to connect with nature through various techniques and exercises and thereby reduce stress. Breathing in the forest atmosphere, known as “Shinrin-Yoku,” originated in Japan where local people frequently make use of such techniques.