Joanna Bristow Watkins

ScienceBehindForestBathing

  • Forest Bathing+

    General Forest Bathing+ Information - see Harmony Shop for public session dates and to book

    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 

    Our Harmony in Nature Forest Bathing experience involves a slow exploration of woodland through our senses.  Cost is £35 per person for a 3-hour public session.  Rates for private sessions are negotiable.
    Forest Bathing has been proven to have ongoing health and wellbeing benefits.  Backed by global evidence-based studies, especially in Japan, Korea, and more recently in the UK, research (relevant study hyperlinked in each case) shows Forest Bathing has the potential to:
    We have been piloting some Forest Bathing sessions for the charity sector and we are currently running a 6-week course for Mind, Woking.  Initial feedback five weeks in, is excellent with many health improvements noted amongst participants.
    Joanna and Katie feel that with the growth in eco-awareness and the drive for greener businesses there is an opportunity for us as providers with minimal (even positive) environmental impact to be supplying regular wellbeing maintenance sessions to employers/employees including schools and teachers.  As Forest Bathing becomes more accepted within the NHS and charity sectors this can only help.
     

    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

    https://www.facebook.com/CuppaAndAChat/videos/1134876673567721/

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

    https://www.facebook.com/248959805155973/videos/2373335036220701/

  • Monday 9th - Sunday 15th May, Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK

    mhaw21 shared social 1080x1080 England 10 16 May 2021Monday 9th - Sunday 15th May is Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK, and the theme this year is 'Together we can Tackle Loneliness.'

    Sadly, the Covid-19 Pandemic and resulting lockdowns, won't have helped mental health at all, with loneliness and isolation a known cause of depression already. On the plus side, this last two years have put health and wellbeing in the public eye more than ever.

    Most of us have a natural affinity with nature - in fact the word 'natural' itself implies that! A simple therapy for a headache or low mood can be to go for a walk (or even sit and read) in a local woods or other beauty spot or even your nearby park and get some fresh air.

    Scientific evidence supports the findings that, amongst many other health & wellbeing benefits, Forest Bathing featuring mindfulness in nature, lifts the mood and reduces rumination. Meeting others with similar life outlooks can also help overcome loneliness.

    Forest Bathing 17th 22nd AprilForest Bathing involves enjoying the ambience of woods, with like-minded others, through shared mindful sensory exercises. Join us this month on the 9th at Cannon Hill (SW20) or 15th (themed on nature angels) or 22nd (standard session) at Harry Edward's Healing Sanctuary, Shere, where we will be running sessions with the added delight of any remaining bluebells), see our shop entry for Forest Bathing+ for all options.

    Forest Bathing+ is essentially spending time relaxing under the canopy of trees, the health giving benefits of which have been scientifically evidenced over the last 40 years, particularly in Japan. The home of Shin-rin Yoku (translated as Forest Bathing but literally meaning 'forest emersion'), Japan has over 60 forests designated for Forest Bathing use and it can be prescribed by their health service as a preventative healthcare measure for mental health and general physical well-being.

    Forest Bathing is also prevalent in South Korea, where overnight retreats and specific ‘trails of healing’ help stressed-out executives’ re-charge from their daily life under the health-giving canopy of an accredited woodland environment.

    The Forest Bathing Institute have been engaged in University studies in the UK to replicate empirical evidence that this lowers blood pressure and blood sugars, reduces stress and lifts mood as well as other physical health benefits. The study results are both impressive and convincing and it seems now the UK Government are ready to listen and get involved.

    We are starting our first 6-week series of Forest Bathing for the Woking branch of the mental helath charity Mind on Wednesday - in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Week. How fitting...

    Nature connection brings balance and wellbeing into our lives. 

    Through Harmony in Nature, Joanna & Katie offer a wide spectrum of events designed to nurture your welbeing and to connect with nature, and, through Harmony Healing, Joanna also offers a programme to connect with the moon cycle, as well as other ancient traditions. We hold monthly Full Moon Guided Healing Meditations£20. Book at the Harmony Shop.

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians, in the form of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 Egyptian Alchemy Healing. Featuring four online modules of Khemitology (Ancient Egyptology according to the indigenous oral traditions), Violet Flame of Amenti, Mindful Chakra Balancing & Essene Angelology.Missed sessions are fully recorded so that late registrations or are possible. Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 costs £266 and run about three times a year. the individual modules are stand-alone and cost either £88 or £66, hence the RSE 1 Package offers a cost saving.

    Other services
    Within Surrey, via Harmony In Nature, we facilitate Forest Bathing+ Sessions to help adults reconnect with nature and reap the therapeutic benefits. 

    Currently, MP3 meditations and distant readings and healings are proving popular and we offer Harmony Healing Vouchers for any value for use on Harmony Healing services andHarmony in Nature vouchers for Forest Bathing vouchers (£35).

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    The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, then there will be frequent mailings. 

    To receive regular Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially. 

  • Training to be a Forest Bathing+ Guide - and be at one with nature, Guest Blog by Philippa Bassett

    Forest Bathing photo 2

    This year, Philippa Bassett trained to become a Forest Bathing+ Guide like Joanna. Her blog outlines the approach and appeal of Forest Bathing+ and her motivation for taking it up. Reproduced with her permission, here is her take on the delights of Shinrin-Yoku.

    This time last year, if you had asked me what my plans were for future courses, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have mentioned training to become a Forest Bathing+ Guide!

    However, after a year working with The Forest Bathing Institute (TFBI), I have learned so much about the science behind the benefits of practising Shinrin-Yoku (the Japanese term) for Forest Bathing+, that I am now on my journey to becoming a fully-fledged TFBI Forest Bathing+ Guide myself!

    Forest Bathing+ is essentially spending time relaxing under the canopy of trees, the health giving benefits of which have been scientifically evidenced over the last 40 years, particularly in Japan. Here, forest bathing is regularly prescribed by their NHS system as a preventative healthcare measure for mental health and general physical well-being.

    Forest Bathing is also prevalent in South Korea, where overnight retreats and specific ‘trails of healing’ help stressed out executives’ re-charge from their daily life under the health-giving canopy of an accredited woodland environment.

    Forest Bathing Bluebell WoodsBut this is not new to me. At some level, I feel that I am returning to my roots with Forest Bathing+. Having grown up by the sea in a rural part of South Wales, I spent a lot of time in the woods at the back of my grandparents’ house, where we used to walk under the woodland canopy to the local beaches. Climbing and playing in trees formed a large part of my childhood, and this connection has been re-kindled by attending Forest Bathing+ events. The feeling of calmness and relaxation following several hours of mindfulness in the forest is a great benefit to one’s general health and well-being.

    The catalyst for deciding to become a Forest Bathing+ Guide was attending the Mindfulness and Meditation Training which took place in mid-March, just before the Covid 19 lockdown. Due to the self-isolation restrictions, the theory behind Forest Bathing+ was conducted online, which gave me more time to focus on the benefits. During the course, I was really surprised to learn so many interesting facts about the science of ancient forests, their chemical structure, the wood wide web and many more fascinating nuggets of information.

    I am very interested in natural healing and healthcare having worked in this area for over 6 years. Learning about the natural healing ability of the forests and woodland reinforced my passion and I now feel committed to attracting more people, of all ages, to experience the wonders of immersive nature therapy and spend quality, mindful time in the beautiful woodlands and ancient forests that are such an integral part of the UK’s natural landscape.

    I would thoroughly recommend the Forest Bathing training to anyone who also has a passion for nature, the environment and general health and well-being.

    Photo credits: Forest Bathing images showing a track through a Surrey woodland and bluebell woods, taken by Philippa Bassett.

    *************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    As many of our Blog readers will know, Joanna Bristow-Watkins from Harmony Healing trained as a Forest Bathing+ Guide with TFBI in 2019. Joanna will be writing a future Blog about Forest Bathing, but when her colleague Philippa published this Blog, she sought permision to use it as her first Guest Blog.

    Forest Bathing Sessions bring harmony and balance into your life. Joanna and other qualified TFBI guides are now tentatively offering small group Forest Bathing+ Sessions at Newlands Corner (near Guildford) with additional social distancing and other protocols to minimise COVID risks. 

    Harmony Healing utilises the philosophies of the Ancient Egyptians to bring balance and harmony.  It was a key part of ancient Egyptian life to be connected with nature and all of the Deities represented manifestations of nature.  Even our own word 'nature' is likely to be derived from their word 'Neter' generally translated as God.

    A number of virtual courses are starting again this month, including Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Egyptian Alchemy Healing Level 1which is now fully available as interactive training modules, 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.If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities during lockdown, 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.

    To receive regular Blog updates (headed with a title detailing the occasion or event so that you can choose whether to open it or not), featuring New and Full Moon, meteor showers, eclipses and other meteorological events, interesting anniversaries, ancient festival dates plus notification of dates of numerological significance, sign up for the Harmony Healing e-newsletters above or at the top of any page of this Harmony Healing website. The nature of the Blog means that whenever there are several key dates in close succession, there will be frequent mailings. The sender e-mail address is (and the sender will show as Joanna Bristow-Watkins @ Harmony Healing). You may need to add this email to your safe list and check your junk filter initially.