Hello, I'm Justine and welcome to Forest Bathing Made In Britain.
When I first found out that we humans spent almost 10 million years living within a forest environment and only 11,000 outside, it totally blew my mind. That’s the equivalent of a football pitch vs a one pence coin.
And it got me thinking - what does that say about us? Has the change suited us? Has it worked well for us and for the planet we live on?
To me, it suggests we're at home in the forest. We've just forgotten how to connect with it. And perhaps, with all of nature. And therein lies our problem as a species. We're stressed. We can't switch off. We struggle to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. We're addicted to our phones, despite knowing this drains us and we don't know how to be fully present with ourselves and each other anymore. We're increasingly becoming an indoor species. In the UK we spend 90% of our life indoors. And, on average, we dedicate eight hours a day to looking at screens. As a result, our increasingly domesticated lives are having a negative effect on our health.
My own search for answers to these problems was to look for ways to reconnect. The more I learn, the more I realise that in nature, lies healing. Answers to the future lie in the past, with the techniques we've lost through the confines of modern living. In a nutshell, I believe that meaningful, outdoor experiences such as Forest Bathing have the potential to change our lives and the destructive path we've found ourselves on. I know it has mine.
I am a CPD-certified Shinrin-yoku Practitioner, awarded by the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine (INFOM). I am not, however, trained as a therapist. The belief of every Forest Bathing organisation around the world, as it is mine, is that the forest is the teacher and I simply facilitate of the experience you’ll have with me. The sessions I run are based on my certified training, as well as my own experiences of learning to connect with nature. What you'll find is that no one Forest Bathing experience is the same. Each one is unique. I have grown up outdoors, playing in the mountains of Wales and the seas of Cornwall. I am someone who has a curiosity for life and adventure and for uncovering lost ways to help us feel and operate at our best.
Alongside Forest Bathing Made In Britain, I am the founder of a wellbeing agency called The Life Adventure which works with UK government departments to set and improve their wellbeing strategies and programmes. I am also a Verifier for the London Healthy Workplace Award, which helps employers make their workplaces happier and healthier. I also run a B Corp certified company called The Happy Prize Company, which creates unique experiences for well-known brands to use as prizes, rewards and incentives. Along with that, I crowdfunded a not-for-profit community project called the Selsey Sea Bathing Society in Selsey, West Sussex, which seeks to encourage people back into the sea to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, increase confidence and help alleviate the pandemic called loneliness. I'm just in the process of training to be a Conscious Connected Breath coach and my vision is to bring breathwork together with forest bathing to heighten the connectedness people will experience both with themselves and nature. For me, the two together are the most powerful combination there is for optimum wellbeing.
I am one of life's seekers and Shinrin-yoku has captured my heart and my imagination. I'd love to share it with you.