Stephen's journey towards Forest Therapy has deep roots that trace back to his early childhood experiences near the Alps. Living in such proximity to this awe-inspiring natural landscape imbued his formative years with an intimate connection to the outdoors. From the crisp mountain air to the comforting embrace of forest canopies, his everyday life was intricately entwined with the rhythms of nature. These rich experiences cultivated within him a profound respect and deep-seated reverence for the natural world. The mountains and forests of his childhood instilled in him valuable lessons of resilience and harmony, and these principles would later profoundly influence his therapeutic practices and philosophy. As Stephen grew, so did his fascination and appreciation for the nurturing power of nature, leading him to integrate this wisdom into his professional life.
It was during his continuous professional development that Stephen discovered the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or 'forest bathing'. This concept, introduced to the world by Tomohide Akiyama, resonated deeply with Stephen. It echoed his own belief in the therapeutic power of nature, which was rooted in the thousands of years our ancestors spent living in harmony with the natural world. This understanding has shaped Stephen's adoption of Forest Therapy in his practice. As an experienced practitioner, Stephen guides clients to reconnect with the natural environment, allowing them to experience the tranquillity and comfort it offers.
Forest therapy isn't simply a mere leisurely walk in the woods, it's an opportunity to form a deeper, symbiotic relationship with the natural world. It is a chance to listen, observe, and interact with the forest, becoming attuned to its rhythms and soaking up its healing energies. This therapeutic approach offers considerable health benefits: it can help regulate blood pressure, activate the body's 'rest and digest' system to foster relaxation, and even enhance the immune response by increasing natural killer cells. Studies have shown that forest therapy can also alleviate stress, improve mood, increase energy levels, and improve sleep quality.
The sights, sounds, and smells of the forest can help to distract from pain or discomfort, and the general sense of peace and tranquillity can aid in reducing anxiety and depression. By offering a peaceful space in the verdant expanses of Bristol, Stephen aids his clients in tuning into their inner tranquillity and deriving the benefits of forest therapy.
Stephen believes deeply in the transformative powers of nature. He conducts his forest therapy sessions in the ample green spaces of Bristol, sharing these beneficial experiences with clients. Beyond his professional life, Stephen enjoys exploring diverse natural landscapes, often accompanied by his family. This personal connection to the natural world fuels his passion and enriches his professional practice.
In Stephen's practice, the depth of his training meets the passion he carries for forest therapy. He harnesses the tranquillity of Bristol's lush landscapes, transforming these green spaces into therapeutic sanctuaries for his clients. Within the calm embrace of Bristol’s natural scenery, he creates a comforting space for his clients to pause, breathe, and reconnect with their natural rhythms.
His goal is not just to alleviate immediate distress but to help foster a lasting harmony between the individual and the ebb and flow of nature. This connection opens doors to enhanced emotional well-being and peace.
Inviting individuals who grapple with life's various challenges - from stress and anxiety to dealing with grief and transitions - Stephen accompanies them on a path of self-discovery and healing. Together, they tap into the healing powers of nature, making every forest session a journey of profound transformation.
Park, B.J., Tsunetsugu, Y., Kasetani, T. et al. The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. 2010
Hansen MM, Jones R, Tocchini K. Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017
Li Q, Morimoto K, Nakadai A, et al. Forest Bathing Enhances Human Natural Killer Activity and Expression of Anti-Cancer Proteins. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology. 2007