Earthwalk Ways

Darlene Rollins
The mission of the Forest Therapy Institute is to make this region a showcase for Forest Therapy health and recreation programs
Forest Therapy is a relaxing recreational and therapeutic activity led by Forest Therapy Guides and once learned can be practiced on ones own, in beautiful natural areas, especially healthy forests. The Forest Therapy Guide uses guided exercises that help focus the participants attention on the sensory experience which heightens our pleasure in the sights and sounds of nature and activates the parasympathetic and right cortical brain areas increasing relaxation, creativity,and positive mood and decreases in all the stress hormones, blood pressure, heart rate etc. This has been studied in Japan extensively and more recently in the US. It is very enjoyable for people of all ages and is great for families and small groups, people with PTSD and ADHD, business and organizational retreats. This region would become a showcase for this program increasing tourism and community use of the abundance of wonderful, accessible natural areas in this region. The Forest Therapy Institute would offer programs, train others to be Forest Therapy Guides and maintain a website that would feature and rate the regions accessible natural areas for Forest Therapy values and would list and describe any specialties of trained Forest Therapy Guides. The Forest Therapy Institute would interface with the regions recreational, environmental and health/wellness communities and the Earthwalk Retreat to offer the first Forest Therapy Base for these trainings and programs. The Forest Therapy Institute is currently operating on a for profit basis as it applies for 501c3 non-profit status which is deemed a better way to achieve the regional expansion of this program and its beneficial effects for the community.