By Matthew Sims
From fresh air to escaping the stress of modern life, a group of Brimbank walkers found a number of benefits from a recent forest therapy walk.
International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance (INFTA) forest therapy guides Kerryn and Greg Cassidy conducted the two-hour forest therapy walk at Brimbank Park on Saturday, May 7.
Mrs Cassidy said the eight attendees enjoyed the event.
“The few hours that were spent on the walk went wonderfully and by the end, the participants were relaxed and destressed,” she said.
“Anxiety was an issue that was being experienced by someone prior to the walk and upon their own reflection in the final activity, they said that had gone.”
Participant Mary said the experience led her on a “beautiful journey” within herself.
“I found the forest therapy experience a true mini retreat for the tired body, mind and soul,” she said.
“It was fantastic to slow down and reconnect with nature and observe the tiniest insect to the tallest tree.”
The INFTA and Brimbank council are hosting further forest therapy walks on the first Saturday of each month until November, with the next event scheduled on Saturday, June 4 from 11am until 1pm.
The 2021-2022 round of the Brimbank Community Recovery Grants supported the program.
Forest therapy is a research-based public health practice of guided immersion in forests with the aim of promoting mental and physical health whilst relaxing and enjoying the forest.
It is suitable for all ages and people with different physical abilities and strengths.
Participants are encouraged to consult their GP or specialist doctor should they suffer from any major medical condition.