Joanna Bristow Watkins


  • Forest Bathing+

    General Forest Bathing+ Information - see below for public sessions

    Experience how woodland can help your Physical, Mental & Emotional Health.

    Newands Corner

    To complement Joanna’s spiritual approach to wellbeing, Nature Therapy and Forest Bathing+ combine mindfulness with the beauty and tranquillity of ancient woodlands and local gardens.

    Harmony In Nature is run by Katie Robinson & Joanna Bristow-Watkins; both experienced & insured Forest Bathing+ Guides licensed by The Forest Bathing Institute.  Operating mostly in Woodland near Guildford, Surrey, they offer 2hr+ public & private sessions.
    Join us for an inspirational Forest Bathing+ session in local woodlands, where possible utiilsing ancient or semi-ancient sites. Calming, peaceful and yet intensely powerful, you’ll move slowly through a sequence of sensory exercises and deep meditations that lead to an enhanced state of mindfulness and reconnection with nature.

    All Harmony In Nature gatherings for Forest Bathing+ follow the current government guidelines and last a minimum of two hours. Costs from £30 (individual). Private bookings for taster and private sessions available, please enquire for bespoke private or corporate sessions.

    See below for more information on Forest Bathing or listen to our Brooklands Radio Forest Bathing podcast interview with Jill Bennett (8½ mins).

    For our venues and dates available, and to book a session, see the Harmony Shop Forest Bathing Sessions.

    Forest Bathing+

    Forest Bathing comes from the Japanese term, ‘Shinrin Yoku’, the process of immersing the human spirit under a canopy of trees. It was developed to mitigate the high levels of stress experienced by businessmen in crowded urban environments and combines mindfulness, meditation and gentle exercise within an ambient forest location.

    Ancient civilisations frequently venerated nature and gained insight and wisdom from their relationship with the natural world. Despite the fact that society is now more disconnected from the countryside, research supports the physiological benefits of Forest Bathing. Trees emit essential oils known as ‘phytoncides’ which have been proven to evoke relaxation and wellbeing. By immersing ourselves in ancient woodlands, we re-connect with nature and reinforce this relationship with the natural world.

    The Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI) has pioneered the addition of enhanced sensory exercises and deep meditations to create Forest Bathing+, which helps promote mindfulness and reconnects your body and soul to nature. Evidence suggests that Forest Bathing + can:

    • lower blood pressure,
    • decrease stress,
    • improve cardiovascular and metabolic health,
    • reduce blood-sugar levels,
    • enhance concentration and memory,
    • lift depression,
    • lead to better pain management,
    • increase energy,
    • boost the immune system by increasing the body’s natural killer (NK) cell count,
    • increases anti-cancer protein production,
    • facilitate weight loss.

    Jo at NCJoanna's interest in Forest Bathing

    Joanna grew up in an area dense with ancient woodland, and had the freedom to roam. Much of her childhood was spent playing in those woods with her sister, Fiona, largely unsupervised by adults.

    She feels their childish enthusiasm encouraged a love of nature, animals, and woodlands, which laid the foundations for much of her subsequent interests and work.

    Have spent 15 years + in senior management specialising in customer care and training, she was suddenly driven by a desire for inner peace and became interested in Ancient Egyptian philosophies and natural healing techniques.

    Forest Bathing+ felt like a natural progression. She trained with, and is fully certified, by the Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI), who initiate ground-breaking research on its physiological, immunological, emotional and mental health benefits.

    Image shows Katie (left) and Joanna (Right) in Newlands Corner, Guildford.

    Katie's interest in Forest Bathing

    From a young age Katie spent multiple family holidays walking, youth hostelling and being outdoors whatever the weather, particularly in the Lake District and North Yorkshire Moors, so Katie feels right at home with Forest Bathing.

    She has been on two survival courses, and loves learning which wild foods we can forage. She’s been self-employed for much of her working life, so she can do a mix of what she enjoys, which has included editing and dance instructing. 

    One of the most important things to her is managing her and her family’s health care with natural therapies, enabling them to be mainly independent of the mainstream. She advocates always doing your own research. The key components of her approach to health are nutrition, essential oils, homeopathy and walking amongst greenery; with visits to other practitioners as necessary.

    Nature Therapy and Forest Bathing+ Sessions

    Forest Bathing + can take place in multiple locations, but most of my sessions take place at Newlands Corner or in the grounds of the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, close to the picturesque village of Shere, near Guildford in Surrey.

    This Sanctuary focuses on Energy Healing which completely aligns with Forest Bathing+. All sessions take place in ancient woodlands and I will gently take you through a number of mindfulness-based sensory exercises and meditations that will enhance your appreciation of nature through all your senses.

    Having spent over two decades working with healing energy (my company, Harmony Healing, was founded in 1999) the importance of nature in health and wellbeing is obvious. I can also run themed sessions incorporating nature angels, which may give you a useful introduction towards spiritual mentoring and expansion, RSE® Egyptian alchemy healing and practitioner training.

    Garden Therapy sessions are also available for private and corporate bookings, either in your own garden (if suitable) or in a beautiful garden setting in Surrey.

    Contact me for group and corporate Forest Bathing+ and Nature Therapy sessions. Blog updates, with seasonal activities, are emailed out to Harmony Healing subscribers.

    Whilst undertaking the mindfulness sensory exercises during the session, participants will be asked to refrain from talking to each other (and avoid other distractions such as mobile phone use) so that all participants can gain the full benefits from the surroundings. Do come along with a friend provided they are keen to adopt the rules (and not seeing it a general catch-up). Please contact me on  with queries.

    DOGS: Regrettably we cannot accept dogs on our Forest Bathing+ sessions unless they are trained Guide Dogs.

    INCLEMENT WEATHER: We operate in all weathers (we just request that you wear appropriate clothing) except winds exceeding 30mph due to safety reasons.

    Private Forest Bathing Sessions are available.

    Listen to our podcast interview on Forest Bathing with Jill Bennett from Brooklands Radio

    For more details about Forest Bathing:-

    See my 8.5 minute chat with Fiona Mason of Cuppa Time

    See Emma Reed's reaction after her Forest Bathing+ Session with Joanna

  • Sunday 21st March, International Day of Forests

    International day of ForestsSunday 21st March is International Day of Forests, sponsored by the United Nations. The 2021 theme for International Day of Forests is "Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being." 

    Forests are home to more that 60,000 tree species; comprising about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.

    In fact, 1.6 billion people are directly dependent on forests for their shelter, food, medicines, income and energy. Alarmingly, we are losing around 10 million hectares of global forest annually (the size of Iceland) and this is said to accounts for 12-20% of greenhouse gas emissions thought to contribute to our climate change.

    Whilst some have retained a strong affinity with nature, many have become disconnected. Ancient civilisations venerated the natural world, gaining much wisdom from observing in nature. Contemporary research is now highlighting the physiological benefits of time spent in natural surroundings. Trees emit phytoncides, which we are now refining into essential oils into the atmosphere, which have been proven to encourage relaxation as well as other wellbeing benefits. By engaging with natural forest environments, we can re-connect with nature, renewing our relationship with our natural habitat and appreciating any wildlife within it.

    As a qualified Forest Bathing+ guide, I am delighted to see Forests being recognised for their wellbeing benefits and valuable biodiversity and efforts being made to protect dwindling international woodlands. 

    Forest Bathing is the traditional translation of the Japanese term ‘Shinrin Yoku’, which refers to immersion under a canopy of trees. Practised for over 30 years to alleviate high levels of stress felt by Japanese executives in busy urban districts; Forest Bathing combines meditation and mindfulness with gentle exercise; all within an ambient forest environment.

    Offering a unique chance to reconnect both with nature and with ourselves, there is growing evidence that Forest Bathing can:

    • Reduce stress
    • Regulate blood pressure
    • Improve metabolic and cardiovascular health
    • Improve anti-cancer protein production
    • Support weight loss
    • Increase concentration and memory
    • Lower blood-sugar levels
    • Lift depression
    • Alleviate pain thresholds
    • Improve energy levels
    • Boost the immune system by increasing the body’s NK (Natural Killer) cell count

    In the UK, the Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI) has added sensory mindfulness exercises including a 'treelaxation' and group sharing opportunities all within ancient woodlands, to pioneer an enhanced experience known as Forest Bathing+.

    See you soon in Surrey Woodlands?

    We are now able to take bookings from April onwards, and I am offering a 3-hour session within the private grounds of the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary (close to the picturesque Surrey village of Shere) on Saturday 17th April and a 3-hour session at Newlands Corner (a beautiful AONB - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - in Ancient Woodland near Guildford) on the 22nd April.  Both events cost £38.32 per session and are bookable through Eventbrite.

    We are so lucky to have woodland making up around 25% of our landscepe here in Surrey. If you aren't local to us, make an effort to go and connect with your local woodlands and beautyspots and naise awareness for the need to appreciate our natural resources. It takes hundreds of years for woodland to build their ecosystems and create an effective communication network; it's a misnomer that we can make up for cutting down established woods with a few newly planted trees.

    If you run a local meet-up or social group and are looking for professsional speajers (virtual or in person when venues re-open), please contact me if you would like a presentation on Forest Bathing.

    Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. If you would like to experience one of our spiritual offerings (meditation, reading, 1:1 healing, a Forest Bathing+ session or a full mentoring course), why not ask for a Harmony Healing gift voucherfor a birthday or other celebratory occasion? 

    A number of virtual courses are now ready, details on Harmony Healing Virtual Events. Currently, due to Coronavirus, most events will be virtual hence distant readings and healings are proving popular. We don't recommend giving a reading or healing to another person, without first checking whether it would be welcomed.

    Joanna offers distant intuitive readings (past life and/or aura readings) and distant 1-2-1 healings and virtual healing circles. We also have meditations available.

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