Forest Therapy in mountain gardens

By: Michael Fox

A beautiful sunny day on Tambourine Mountain and friends Laurie and Kate, join me to experience Forest Therapy in the tranquil setting of Tamborine Botanic Gardens.

Our generous and well organised guide, Danielle Drew, briefed us under the trees by the lily ponds before leading us off on paths weaving through trees.

Danielle explained the origins of Forest Therapy in the Japanese practice of forest bathing. Forest Therapy has since been expanded and strengthened with evidence-based research.

I came to the experience a little skeptical. So I was particularly interested to learn about phytoncides “volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or “essential oils” given off by trees. These chemicals have natural antimicrobial and insecticidal qualities that protect the tree from germs and parasites.” Research shows that these compounds also have health benefits for us, providing amongst other things, anti-inflammatory and antidepressants benefits.

Immersing us in this forest chemical factory, our guide led us through a series of exercises to help us slow down and open our senses: hearing the cicadas, feeling the breeze on our skin, the fresh scent of the forest. Introducing ourselves to a tree seemed a little airy-fairy but it definitely made me slow down my thinking cutting out distracting thoughts and making a mandala from leaves required me to work with Laurie, to get over my illogical resistance, to produce something special.

Our generous guide even knew the perfect way to round off the experience: a picnic and Lemon Myrtle tea ceremony under the trees.

Our event was part of the final test for Danielle to achieve Forest Therapy Guide certification and launch her business.

In the mean time if you are keen to do a bit of forest bathing you can contact Danielle via email:

About Mt Gravatt Environment Group

Mt Gravatt Environment Group is restoring a unique piece of Australain native bushland only ten minutes from Brisbane CBD.
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