In our previous blog post, we wrote about the survey that was conducted in September in three European cities, Leipzig, Vienna, and Louvain-La-Neuve. To conduct this survey, 224 participants were invited to sit through an experiment where their wellbeing was measured before and after exposing them to one of three different forest settings with contrasting species diversity levels, or an urban control setting.
To thank the volunteers who participated in the study, we contacted forest bathing guides in each city to take the participants on a 45-min forest bath ‘teaser’, accompanied by some herbal or fruity forest tea and snacks. Judging from the participants’ feedback, most people really enjoyed themselves – even those who were sent to the urban condition (on a parking lot)!
Working together with our forest bathing guides Anne, Carola and Gabriele was such an enrichment for the study. Not only did we get the chance to give something back to the volunteers who participated in the study, we further exchanged insights and thoughts about the myriad of ways through which biodiversity potentially endows a forest bathing experience. Be it through an enhanced stimulation of our senses or increased thermal comfort, we seem to really be at the beginning of understanding how biodiversity might be linked to human health. And this implies that we need practitioners with experience in the field who are willing to share their point of view on explanatory models linking biodiversity and health with researchers. Research, on the other hand, might then help to more concisely identify those forest bathing practices that are most beneficial for human health. This would be a win-win situation!
The collaborating forest bathing guides were also pleased with the day, as they got to pamper the participants with all the forest has to offer with the help of their senses.
Watch and read more about the experiences of the collaborating forest bathing guides, Anne Bolle, Gabriele Brandes, and Carola Gaunersdorfer below.
Anne Bolle, Forest Therapy Practitioner, Les Bain de Forest
You can contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gabriele Brandes, Psychological counseling and Nature Coaching
“Forestbathing in Leipzig
The event of Forest bathing in Leipzig/Auwald as a retreat for all participants who took part in
the study of Dr. FOREST was a great success in my point of view and it was, concerning to the participant’s statements, one main reason to take part in the study.
In all reflecting rounds, participants stated positive feedback, pointing out the actually felt positive effects of Forestbathing, even though it was a “short version” of Forest bathing.
There is undoubtedly an important relationship between Forestbathing and Biodiversity. Not
only is it an esthetic aspect i.e. different kinds of plants, trees, water causes that promise a
pleasant scenery and a variety of deciduous trees and conifer that spread the specific
forest scent due to phytoncides – terpenes and isoprenes -, but as evidence base studies
the show, there is positive effectiveness in health promotion, prevention, and rehabilitation of
various diseases such as depression, anxiety, diseases in the respiratory and cardiovascular
system and neurological diseases. When looking at positive psychological effects of nature on human well-being it is worth mentioning the Biophilia Hypothesis. ”the Biophilia Hypothesis suggests human identity and personal fulfillment somehow depend on our relationship to nature.” (Jordan, Martin, 2005 in Nature and Therapy).
I consider the Dr. FOREST EUROPE project as an excellent conglomerate to invest in an
international research of:
– further psychological effects, as we all need O2, less air pollution the reciprocal process of human beings mental and physical health and nature is evident
– retimbering and natural retimbering which consequently implies the development of
animals also those that can cause diseases, plants, and berries, all that is important
for the FFH, fauna-flora habitat.
– A Biodiversity that helps human beings to recover”.
Contact Gabriele at email@example.com@admin
Carola Gaunersdorfer, founder of Waldbaden Akademie
“My name is Carola Gaunersdorfer and I was asked to lead the forest bathing workshops in Vienna. As the founder of the Waldbaden Academy in Austria, it has been important to me since 2019 to bring people closer to forest bathing and thereby bring them more in contact with nature and themselves.
The positive effects of the forest on health and psyche cannot be overlooked. You come out of the forest as a different person as you went into it.
I think that high biodiversity of the forest is important in order to intensify these effects on humans, since high biodiversity can provide more sensory impressions. Hig biodiversity also makes an important contribution to the protection of species in the animal and plant world.
In order to be able to prove these effects, it is absolutely necessary to do research in this direction, which is why I find Dr. Forest an all-round successful project and I am very excited to see the results of the studies.
You can find more information and dates for training as a forest health trainer, guided forest baths and short breaks on the subject of forest bathing and mindfulness at www.waldbaden-akademie.at”.
Auf Deutch: Mein Name ist Carola Gaunersdorfer und ich durfte die Waldbadenworkshops in Wien leiten. Als Gründerin der Waldbaden Akademie in Österreich ist es mir seit 2019 ein Anliegen den Menschen das Waldbaden näher zu bringen und sie dadurch mehr in Kontakt mit der Natur und sich selbst zu bringen.
Die positiven Auswirkungen des Waldes auf die Gesundheit und die Psyche sind nicht zu übersehen. Man kommt als anderer Mensch aus dem Wald, wie man hinein gegangen ist.
Ich denke, dass eine große Biodiversität des Waldes wichtig ist um diese Effekte auf den Menschen zu verstärken, da eine große Artenvielfalt mehr Sinneseindrücke lieferen kann. Durch eine große Biodiversität wird außerdem ein wichtiger Beitrag zum Artenschutz in der Tier- und Pflanzenwelt geleistet.
Um diese Auswirkungen nachweisen zu können ist es unbedingt notwendig Forschung in diese Richtung zu betreiben, deshalb finde ich Dr. Forest ein rundum gelungenes Projekt und ich bin auf die Ergebnisse der Studien sehr gespannt.
Nähere Informationen und Termine zur Ausbildung als Waldgesundheitstrainerin, angeleitete Waldbäder und Kurzurlaube rund ums Thema Waldbaden und Achtsamkeit findest du unter www.waldbaden-akademie.at
You can contact Carola at firstname.lastname@example.org