Midwest Forest Bathing LLC
GUIDED NATURE / FOREST THERAPY WALKS
woodland • prairie • garden • park • indoor
What is Forest Bathing?
Forest Bathing. Shinrin-yoku. Forest Therapy.
Many names for the practice of spending time in nature
for the purpose of
enhancing health, wellness, and happiness.
The incredible wealth of benefits that result from spending time in nature isn’t limited to the forest. The Midwest offers a wide range of beautiful natural areas. Parks, prairies, gardens, beaches and woodlands can provide perfect settings for immersing oneself in nature. Even indoor conservatories host incredible green spaces.
A nature therapy walk led by a certified guide is a unique way to experience and reap the benefits of time spent in these natural areas. By moving at a slower pace and through a series of simple invitations, one may observe nature more closely, engage all the senses, let go of stress and be more present in the moment. Participants may feel a deeper sense of relaxation and connection with the natural world, as well as with themselves.
Scroll down to view some of the many benefits of nature therapy.
"The forest is the therapist.
The guide opens the doors."
- M. Amos Clifford
The Benefits of Nature Therapy
It's Good for You!
Research has shown that spending time in nature
reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Reduced levels of cortizol can reduce the risk for
heart disease • high blood pressure • obesity • diabetes
skin conditions • asthma • arthritis
Research has also shown that reconnecting with nature
can boost the immune system
reduce inflammation • improve mental health
improve concentration • improve short-term memory
restore mental energy • sharpen thinking and creativity
Early stages of research are also underway to study the connection
of time in nature and the production of unique while blood cells that
may have cancer fighting properties.
"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” - John Burroughs
About a Nature/Forest Therapy Walk
A nature/forest therapy walk may be conducted in just about any natural area. They may even be adapted to time indoors.
Walks generally cover little more than half a mile. They may be as short as 1 hour or as long as 3-4 hours, depending on your preference. For participants to get the most out of the experience, a minimum of 2 hours is suggested. Walks are usually held in areas with relatively level terrain in order to provide accessibility to individuals of all abilities. Trails are accessed by your guide prior to the walk.
Nature therapy walks are not hikes but are slow paced, mindful, sensory walks that help one relax, be present in the moment and reconnect with nature. During a guided walk, participants are offered a series of invitations that they may use in their own way to explore their surroundings. Sharing circles may often be used between these activities to offer participants the opportunity to share their experience if they wish. A light tea is served at the conclusion of all walks.
Having a certified guide conduct a walk has been compared to attending a yoga class versus watching a yoga video.
Welcome! My name is Janie Macomber Grillo and I thank you for visiting my site.
For me, being in nature has always felt like being at home. When I was little, playtime was spent outdoors; our family vacationed in the Adirondack Mountains and frequently spent time at the farm where my mom had grown up. Yet, my greatest connection to nature has been through gardening. It's in my genes! Everyone in the family gardens. While I didn't always enjoy yard chores, the cultivation of my love for digging in the dirt began at an early age. Through the years as I established my own gardens, my personal library of plant knowledge grew. It expanded even further when I designed, installed and maintained a sensory butterfly garden at an equine-assisted therapy facility. In 2003, I began working in the green industry and continue to work seasonally for a wholesale plant nursery in St. Charles, IL. For over 18 years, it has been my pleasure to speak on butterflies, native plants and gardening, giving presentations to organizations of all sizes such as garden clubs, garden centers, trade shows, etc.
How I became a nature therapy guide.
For many years, through my volunteer work and employment in the green industry, I have witnessed first hand the positive effects that time in nature has on individuals. I had read articles, reviewed studies and heard speakers share hard data on how time in green spaces positively affected one's health and well being. Then at a Nature Rx event in 2018, I learned about guided nature therapy walks. I was hooked. I knew it was what I wanted - needed to do. In 2019, I enrolled in the world’s leading standards-based training and certification program for forest therapy guides offered by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT). Training included 8 days of intensive training followed by a 6 month mentored practicum.
Let's take a walk!
I live in St. Charles, IL and am happy to discuss guiding walks throughout the central Midwest. I am also available for a one hour presentation on the topic of forest bathing.