Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should I wear?

    Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, and shoes that are appropriate for walking on natural surfaces (the forest floor, dirt paths, grass, etc…) Dress appropriately for the weather; remember, you will be moving very little, so don’t count on additional body heat from physical activity. In summer, wear sun-protective clothing, sunscreen, and a hat. We try to avoid being in the blazing sun for long periods of time, but be aware of your personal sensitivities to the sun and heat. On rainy days, wear waterproof rain gear. Umbrellas are not recommended, as holding one can become a distraction.

  • What should I bring?

    The less you bring, the better. Leave behind your phone, camera or any other distractions, so that you can be fully present in the experience. You will be sitting or lying on the ground at various points, and blankets, mats, or other appropriate materials will be offered to you by the guide; there’s no need to bring your own. You can certainly bring water, especially if the weather is warm, but you will not likely be dehydrated from physical exertion. If you have any medical issues or meds that you need to keep with you at all times, please let the guide know in advance and on the day of your Forest Immersion Experience.

  • Where did this idea originate?

    Shinrin Yoku, the OG, was developed in the early 1980s in Japan, during the rise of the technology boom. We know intuitively, and it has been proven scientifically, that connecting to the natural world is good for us, and sadly we are in a time in human history where we are gradually losing that connection. Shinrin Yoku was developed by Japanese public health professionals as a response to the negative health impacts that have accompanied these shifts, recognizing that simply spending time in the forest to see, hear and feel nature around us is good for our health.

  • What’s the difference between Shinrin Yoku, Forest Bathing, and Forest Therapy?

    They are all basically the same. Forest Bathing is a rough English translation of Shinrin Yoku. As medical research continues to build a body of evidence about Forest Bathing’s health benefits, and efforts are being made worldwide to standardize the practice as a tool for increasing health and wellbeing, the term Forest Therapy has started to be used more frequently. Forest Immersion DC is Toby’s take on Shinrin Yoku or Forest Bathing, focusing specifically on the environmental and geographical context of DC and the surrounding areas.

  • Isn’t Forest Bathing just a walk in the woods?

    While a walk in the woods is also great for your health and wellbeing, Forest Bathing is a very different activity. In fact, it may take some getting used to the first time- it involves less exercise and more sensory awareness, helping you connect more intimately with the natural world. There are no “goals” associated with Forest Bathing- It’s not a nature lesson or a physical fitness challenge; just being in the moment is enough. An intentionally slow and magnified focus on nature is the key to the rejuvenating effects of Forest Bathing. Forest bathing sessions take several hours and may cover less than a quarter mile.

  • What’s involved in a Forest Immersion Experience?

    The Forest Immersion Experience is a small but impactful journey that awakens your senses through an authentic connection with nature. Your guide will welcome you and lead you on a gentle walk through the forest, inviting you to get out of your head and into your body through several sensory activities that heighten your internal and external awareness. The experience closes with a tea ceremony using foraged plants, literally internalizing the experience and taking it with you.

  • What makes the guide qualified to lead a Forest Immersion Experience?

    Toby is certified by The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT). The Association provides an intensive course and practicum to certify Forest Therapy Guides, ensuring professional delivery of a safe, enjoyable, and immersive sensory experience. Remember, the guide is a guide, not a therapist– the forest itself provides the therapy.

  • Sure, it feels good to unplug and relax in the woods for a few hours, but is it really good for me?

    There are many health benefits associated with Forest Bathing, and scientific evidence is building every day. The sense of awe that often comes from being in nature, the biological properties of the plants around you, and the ability to let your brain rest and recover all combine to provide documented physical and psychological health benefits. For specific scientific studies and results, please visit ANFT’s “Learn about the Science of Forest Therapy” page here. (

  • How often should I do Forest Bathing?

    Connection to nature is so important to us as a species, and increasingly urban lifestyles remove us from the forests we lived in and relied upon for thousands of years. Any time you spend back in the forest, whether it’s on a Forest Immersion Experience or simply going for a walk, is time well spent.


Reconnect with your forest roots and find your place in nature again.