There are many ways to relax and unwind, and certainly nature is known as being a good source for that. One of the more unusual ways is with guided forest therapy.
89.1 WEMU’s Lisa Barry takes you into the woods with the area’s only certified forest therapy guide...hidden in plain sight.
Samano, who underwent six months of training to be a forest therapy guide, says the walks involve a lot of listening and sharing.
She mainly offers suggestions for your guided forest therapy walk, which she says is about opening up to experience of the senses and connect with the environment in new ways.
C.J. Johnson from Pittsfield Township enjoys the special walks. She says she was looking for something non-traditional after 20 years of traditional therapy where she says she hit a plateau. Johnson says she finds the experience somewhat challenging.
Inspired and based in Shinrin Yoku Japanese forest bathing, but incorporated with some American practices and American flavor, Samano says there is proof that forest therapy works.
After a walk through the woods, which typically takes up to two and a half hours, there is a tea ceremony. There’s tea made with homegrown mint and sage and a moment of gratitude.
Being one of only three forest therapy guides in the state certified by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, Cayla Samano says it’s a calling for her and something she loves to share…not just hidden in plain sight, but in the forest as well.
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