By Matthew Sims
From fresh air to escaping the stresses of modern life, a group of Brimbank hikers discovered some of the benefits of a recent forest therapy walk.
International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance (INFTA) forest therapy guides Kerryn and Greg Cassidy led the two-hour forest therapy walk in Brimbank Park on Saturday, May 7.
Ms. Cassidy said the eight attendees enjoyed the event.
“The few hours spent on the walk went wonderfully and by the end the participants were relaxed and discouraged,” she said.
“Anxiety was a problem experienced by someone prior to the walk and after their own reflection in the last activity they said that had disappeared.”
Participant Mary said the experience led her on a “wonderful journey” within herself.
“I found the forest therapy experience a real mini-retreat for the weary body, mind and soul,” she said.
“It was fantastic to slow down and reconnect with nature and observe the smallest insect up to the tallest tree.”
The INFTA and Brimbank Council are organizing further forest therapy walks through November on the first Saturday of each month, with the next event on Saturday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The 2021-2022 round of 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 while relaxing and enjoying the forest.
It is suitable for all ages and people of different physical abilities and strengths.
Participants are encouraged to consult their GP or specialist if they suffer from a serious medical condition.