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Apr 28, 2017

Forest Therapy by Kerry Walker

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir

In recent years it is becoming more evident that communities are disconnecting with nature while spending more time indoors and connecting to technology. At the same time evidence is emerging on the healing powers of nature and that spending time in nature, especially forests, has many positive health effects. If you regularly take walks in nature or spend time amongst the trees in Brigit's Garden, you may already be aware of the benefits of nature.

Shinrin-yoku

Some of the most interesting evidence of the health benefits of nature is coming out of Japan, and revolves around the popular practice of 'Shinrin-yoku', also referred to as 'forest bathing' or 'forest therapy'. The practice was introduced in 1982 in by the Forest Agency of Japan to encourage a healthy lifestyle and decrease stress levels. Forest bathing has now become a recognised relaxation and stress management activity in Japan, and it's popularity is spreading worldwide.

Health Benefits of Forest Therapy

Forest Therapy walks are gentle guided walks that enhance wellbeing through sensory connection in nature. Participants are guided through grounding, relaxing and centering exercises in deep relationship with the natural surrounding environment. It is a researchbased intervention for supporting healing and wellness through immersion into natural environments. Studies have shown that being in nature can have a wide array of positive health benefits; including lowered stress, increased creativity, a boost in immune system functions, reduced blood pressure, increased energy and improved sleep.
In Forest Therapy we say that : 'The Forest is the Therapist, the Guide opens the door.'

Forest Therapy walks will soon be starting in Brigit's Garden. For more information on Forest Therapy walks you can contact Kerry on 0877042098 or downtoearthgalway@gmail.com


Kerry Walker from Down to Earth Forest School is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide through The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy: www.natureandforesttherapy.org She is currently Co-Facilitating 'The Art of Living Wild' course with Carol Barrett. This is a creative journey for adults where forest therapy will be one of the tools used to support the group in connecting to their senses and deepen their connection with nature.


Accommodation Close by

(for Friday and/or Saturday night)

In Roscahill Co. Galway- 5 mins drive from Brigit's Garden

Rockfield House B&B, www.connemara-galway.net 091 555586

In Oughterard, Co. Galway: 10 mins drive from Brigit's Garden

Camillaun Lodge, www.camillaun.com 091 552678
The Boat Inn, www.theboatinn.ie 091 552196 (family rooms from €78)
Ross Lake House Hotel, www.rosslakehotel.com, 091 550109
The Connemara Lake Hotel, www.theconnemaralakehotel.com 091 866016
Oughterard Hostel, www.oughterardhostel.com 091 552388

There is plenty of other accommodation listed at www.discoverireland.ie Follow links for accommodation and search for Moycullen or Oughterard.

Please spread the word, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!! Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!

Slán go fóill :)*

Location

Driving along the N59 from Galway city you will pass through a small town called Moycullen. Follow the festival traffic signs.

A few kilometres after this you will reach the small village of Roscahill. You will then see a brown heritage signpost on the left hand side of the road with Brigit's Garden name on it pointing to Turn Right. Take this right and the entrance to Brigit's Garden is on the left approximately 2km from this turn (after the community centre and church on the left hand-side).

For those using GPS or Google Maps, they may direct you turn right at Connemara Motors but it is more efficient if you continue onwards with the festival traffic signs.

GPS Coordinates for Brigit's Garden:N: 53.38558   W: 9.2131

Please pay attention to the signs for the overnight carpark and day carpark during this event.


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