A Non-Traditional Wellness Weekend in Sonoma County - The DownLO
Give Forest Bathing a Try
As a response to being overworked, forest bathing is a federal program in Japan, backed by scientific research on the psychological and physiological benefits of being in nature. They believe in the program so much they’ve integrated it into their national healthcare system. In Asia, you can actually get a prescription from your doctor to spend time in a nationally designated healing forest accompanied by a guide who will check your cortisone levels, show you how to slow down, take your biometrics before and after, and measure the effects.
Slowly gaining popularity in the US, the idea, albeit on a much smaller scale, is a way to practice mindfulness. While there’s no actual bathing involved, forest bathing is symbolism for bathing our senses. You can try it at Red Car Winery on a guided, meditative walk through the vineyards. Wine is one of the few food products that’s an expression of the land, so it symbiotically goes with a program designed to be one with the earth.
A nature therapist will prompt you to take in the sounds, smells and feelings of the environment as you move throughout the vineyard, intentionally and sometimes annoyingly slow to stop being so end-goal oriented and to focus on the “journey not the destination.”
Did You Know? People spend less than 5% of their day outside, and as screens and Zoom become more prevalent, our bodies become even more out of balance. This is an exercise to conscientiously decide that not everything needs your attention immediately, and to note the physiological effects of being in nature with the goal of returning to a childlike state of wonder.