Listen to the first in a series I'm hosting on Nature and Forest Therapy - the what, who, why and how.
My experience as a guide started in 1986 when I was a horseback trail guide in Jasper, Alberta, and then Australia. I felt so lucky to be able to work with animals and be in nature on a daily basis. My experiences during that time left an indelible mark on me. It's hard to put into words, but I remember riding through the forest one morning and thinking about how many people were sitting at their desks in office buildings in the City. I felt so grateful to be immersed in nature - especially as it was part of my job.
I went on to be a walking tour guide in Italy with Butterfield and Robinson, and although the emphasis was on eating and drinking, the effect that walking through the natural world had on my clients during these walks, was life altering for some. I was really interested in the relationship between people, nature and animals so learned TTOUCH, a series of unique bodywork, groundwork and functional exercises that helps create physical balance through good posture, relaxation and overall enhancement of trust. I assisted at horse and dog workshops and demonstrations, and worked one on one with horses and dogs in Europe.
Moving back to Vancouver, I realized there was something missing in my work. Almost immediately after I held this inquiry in my mind, I discovered Nature and Forest Therapy. Two months later, I was enrolled in the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy's training program to become a Guide. Scientific studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits from Forest Bathing, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and, for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition.
Nature and Forest Therapy guides build on those benefits and look beyond, to what happens when people remember that we are a part of nature, not separate from it, and are related to all other beings in fundamental ways. Through in-person and remote experiences I offer a series of 'invitations', that help awaken your senses to deepen your connection with yourself, with nature, and with others. This intentional practice is not just about healing people; it includes healing for the forest, river, or desert - whatever environment you're in.
I look forward to guiding you!
ANFT Certified Guide
Licensed End of Life Educator