Forest bathing to regain energy ahead of the festive season

A few days ago, London Mums Magazine reporters set out on a forest bathing walk in Richmond Park. This type of bathing did not involve a swimming costume or water it was purely immersing yourself into nature. The whole concept was lead by Janine Gerhardt, a nature expert of the Forest Bathing Institute, who helped you to relax your mind and appreciate natural beauty. Switching off phones, getting your mind to slow down, taking shorter steps, using our eyes to capture different scenery and engaging with bird noises and other natural sounds.

Forest bathing and tea ceremony including Oliver Proudlock and model wife Emma Louise Connolly picture by london mums magazine

Throughout our immersive experience we were “bathing” in the energy and clean air of Richmond Park.

Forest bathing broadly means taking in, in all of one’s senses, the forest atmosphere. Not simply a walk in the woods, it is the conscious and contemplative practice of being immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of the forest. It was developed in Japan during the 1980s, and in 1982 Japan made this form of mobile meditation under the canopy of living forests a part of its national health programme. 

 

“In Japanese we have a word for those feelings that are too deep for words: yugen.

Yugen gives us a profound sense of the beauty and mystery of the universe”

Dr Qing Li, on Shinrin Yoku.

Benefits of forest bathing 

Forest Bathing is the English translation of the Japanese term ‘Shinrin-yoku’. To better understand this entire concept more accurately, it means ‘spending quality time, under the canopy of trees, in a forest, for health and wellbeing purposes’. Japanese experts have collected lots of data to show that Forest Bathing can:

  • Reduce blood pressure 
  • Lower stress 
  • Improve cardiovascular and metabolic health 
  • Lower blood-sugar levels 
  • Improve concentration and memory 
  • Lift depression 
  • Improve pain thresholds 
  • Improve energy 
  • Boost the immune system with an increase in the count of the body’s natural killer (NK) cells 
  • Increase anti-cancer protein production 
  • Help lose weight.

Just what we all need!

Tea ceremony with healthy Christmas Tea 

This whole event was hosted by Pukka Herbs who has recently launched the ‘Organic Winter Warmer’ Christmas tea that can compete with Fortnum & Mason at a fraction of the price. They brought along herbal experts who talked to us about medical plants and herbs (like plantain and dandelion) we are surrounded by and can find in our backyard.

Together with special guests, Made In Chelsea’s Oliver Proudlock and model wife Emma Louise Connolly, we then experienced a group tea ceremony enjoying the new caffeine-free seasonal blend including the finest festive flavours – orange and citrusy lemon with hints of ginger and cloves.

The spice that I could taste the most was Star Anise which added a Christmas feel to the whole experience. This ‘Winter Warmer’ tea naturally lifts the mood, which is what we need ahead of the festive season. 4 of these tea bags are enough to make a winter warmer mulled wine

Petersham Nurseries tea room in Richmond

Petersham Nurseries pictures by London Mums magazine collage of brunch in tea room

To finish off the cleansing we were spoilt with a luxurious brunch at Petersham Nurseries in Richmond which included fruity granola, whipped fromage frais, sourdough, lashings of butter, tomato mixed herbs with a baked egg, plenty of organic teas, freshly squeezed orange juice and pear juice. 

Stepping into this beautiful location is a unique experience in its own right. A destination that excites senses and provokes positive thoughts; a place of aspiration and inspiration. Did you know that Petersham Nurseries was founded by the Boglione Italian family in 1997?

Gael and Francesco Boglione moved their young family from central London to Richmond. Their new home, Petersham House, overlooked a local plant nursery, which had been carved out of the grounds of their Queen Anne home in the 1970s. This is not a normal coffe shop or tea house. Being immersed in nature, having tea at Petersham Nurseries is a forest bathing experience in its own right. 

 

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