Nature and Forest Therapy Guides


Press and Media content creators are invited to contact ANFT founder M. Amos Clifford.

Why Being in Nature Makes You Smarter, According to Neuroscientists
Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan
Outside Magazine
June 2023
The scientific evidence is overwhelmingly clear: spending time outdoors boosts your brain function. So what are you waiting for?
Is Nature Deficit Disorder a Thing
Marcelo Gleiser
NPR Morning Edition
April 2018
A 2014 article from the United Nations states that about 54 percent of the human population lives in urban areas (more by now), a proportion that is projected to increase to 66 percent by 2050. By 2045, the report says, more than six billion people will crowd cities.
Children Find Peace in the Forest
Michelle Brenner
August 2018
Nature Deficit Disorder, a phrase coined by Richard Louv in his book, Last Child in The Woods, is used to describe the impact that urbanisation along with the technological era has had, in reducing the time children are having in nature, nearby nature. It is rare for children in the 21st century to have childhood memories of playing down the end of the street making go carts, tree houses, and playing till the stars came out, getting lost in make believe games that used nature, both human nature and the more-than-human-world of nature.
Meditation: The Trees of Your Life
Amos Clifford
Catching Zs: the Millennial's Guide to Mindfulness
June 2016
Meditation: The Trees of Your Life
Nick Zolfo and Zach Damon
Amos leads us in this guided visualization where we connect with a tree that we remember from our life's journey.
Amos Clifford on Shinrin-Yoku
Amos Clifford
Catching Z's: the Millenial's Guide to Mindfulness
January 2018
Today we’re excited to have Amos Clifford with us, Amos is a leader and pioneer in the field of Shinrin Yoku and has not only devoted his entire career to helping at risk youth, but has also written a book called, “A Little Handbook of Shinrin-Yoku”.
Forest Therapy Documentary, United States Segment
Korean Broadcasting System
October 2015
Korean Broadcasting System Documentary, US Segment
Walk in the Woods is Good for Your Health
WGN9 Chicago
June 2015
It’s a free and powerful drug – nature can help heal, de-stress and improve our mental health. It sounds simple, but there’s science to back up the claim. For some, all it takes is a walk in the woods.
Forest Bathers Tout Health Benefits of Immersion in Nature
CBS New York
July 2017
Eros in the Outdoors: The Healing Practice of Forest Bathing
Sharon Ann Wikoff
Blog Talk Radio
The Voice of Change welcomes Amos Clifford to speak on: Eros in the outdoors: the healing practice of forest bathing.
Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing)
Many Rivers
This presentation is an overview of Forest Therapy, inspired by the practice of Shinrin-yoku. Shinrin-yoku, also known as Forest Bathing, is a simple practice of mindful movement in natural settings. It emphasizes cultivating an intimate relationship with nature through direct sensory contact. Using the techniques of shinrin-yoku, we can very quickly enter into a state of intimate, deep connectedness.
The Medicine of Being in the Forest: Shinrin-Yoku
Jill Cloutier
Sustainable World Radio
March 2015
Episode 111: In this episode, I talk with wilderness guide and educator Amos Clifford about Forest Therapy or Shinrin-yoku. Also known as Forest Medicine or Forest Bathing, Shinrin-yoku is beneficial for your health and has been shown to increase white blood cell counts, decrease stress hormones, lower blood pressure, and improve people’s moods.
Forest Bathing: a Retreat to Nature Can Boost Immunity and Mood
Allison Aubrey
NPR Morning Edition
July 2017
When my editors asked me to report on forest bathing, I packed a swimsuit. I assumed it must involve a dip in the water.
Call of the Wild
David Gessner
National Geographi Explorer
January 2016
David Gessner meets with Amos Clifford to learn about forest bathing, a relatively new practice in which all of your senses are immersed in nature.
Health and Fitness Innovations: Walking through the practice of Forest Therapy
David Templeton
Argus Courier
February 2018
Writers as diverse as St. Francis of Assisi, John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Terry Tempest Williams, and Barry Lopez have all described the inspiring, mentally and emotionally healing power of spending time in the presence of nature. What is new about Shinrin-Yoku – the Japanese practice of meditating and rejuvenating in the presence of trees – is the somewhat hip and fashionable label “Forest Bathing.”
More Americans are Choosing Spirituality over Religion
Kallen Digges
Good Men Project
January 2018
Only 54% of U.S. adults think of themselves as religious – down 11 points since 2012 – while far more (75%) say they are spiritual, a figure that has remained relatively steady in recent years. This is a recent finding from the Pew Research Center. 75% of Americans identify as spiritual people. So, the majority of the country do not necessarily despise a higher power. Being spiritual can have a different meaning for many people. I subscribe to Deism, which comes from the root word, deity. Simply put, I believe in a deity.
Branch Out
Gemma Hartley
We've always know that being in nature has serious health benefits.
Forest Bathing is the Next Big Thing in Beauty
Brianne Hogan
March 2015
Spending time relaxing in forests, otherwise known as “forest bathing,” is a new back-to-basics spa treatment that’s all the latest rage.
Is Forest Bathing Better than Xanax?
Kristen Tice Studeman
Yahoo! Lifestyle
April 2015
When people think of relaxing, many know going outside helps. But could bathing outdoors be the most relaxing activity of all?
Mountain Xpress: The Art of Forest 'Bathing' Comes to WNC
Nicki Glasser
River Link
Last year David Kendall, who lives near Max Patch in Pisgah National Forest, found himself on a balcony in a Tokyo high-rise. “It was night, and you could see all the lights out [in the city], and there were these huge circles, big patches of black where there was no light,” he says.  Kendall learned that these dark areas were the sacred forests surrounding Shinto shrines and that, according to his Japanese host, “They’d always been there; the city grows around them.”
Hello, Tree!
Katja Schroffenegger
Stories from South Tyrol
October 2017
Forest bathing’s all the rage right now – but what’s it actually all about? Hunting down clues in the forests of South Tyrol.
Walk in the Forest to Heal Oneself
fractal enlightenment
I have always been a nature lover, who appreciates spending time outdoors and soaking in the positive energy of the green surroundings. There is a popular practice in Japan called ‘Shinrin-yoku’ which means ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’ also known as ‘forest bathing‘.
If You Don't have a Forest Nearby, Your Backyard May Still Help You Feel Better
RE Resources Team
April 2017
It's called "forest bathing," but it is probably not what you think. The practice has nothing to do with leaving your tent and sprinting to the cold shower supplied by a campsite facility. It also is not frolicking sans clothing through a woods, although we're not saying that wouldn't be fun.
Being There: Forest Bathing and River Walking
Lorraine Duvall
Adirondack Almanack
July 2017
We just completed our nature therapy training in May,” Helene Gibbons said when I met her last week at Origin Coffee in Saranac Lake. “We learned how to guide people to open their senses to the forest, to become immersed in the sights, smells, sounds and textures of the natural world.” As Helene is a yoga teacher, I saw how she could apply similar principles to meandering through the woods. She’s been guiding students through yoga poses and leading them into meditation for years.
Forest Bathing More Than a Stroll in the Woods
Cassandra Szklarski
The Canadian Press
June 2016
TORONTO — It's no secret that a walk in the woods can be great for boosting your mood.
Shinrin-Yoku: A Walk in the Woods, Japanese Style
Ann Matturo Gault
The Japanese know a thing or two about stress. But in pite its culture of long working hours and its famously crowded cities (more than 128 million people live in the country, which is the roughly the size of California), living harmoniously with nature is a quintessentially Japan trait.
Guided Nature Therapy Walks – What are They?
Crann Og Eco Farm
Nature and Forest Therapy originated from the Japanese Shinrin Yoku or ‘Forest Bathing’. It was formally developed only in the 1980’s when the Japanese realised that their peoples’ health suffered from stress related diseases. The Japanese culture is well known for their appreciation of nature’s beauty and related wellness for their people!
Forest Bathing: Regular Visits to the Woods Can Offer Health Benefits
Jennifer Mulson
OutThere Colorado
November 2015
Much can happen when you commune with a tree, breathe in the smell of a stream and watch a bumblebee scrounge for pollen. The Japanese call it shinrin-yoku, which translates to forest bathing or forest therapy, and it comes with a host of healthy benefits.
Forest Bathing
Sparrow Gardens
March 2017
The Japanese have a practice of spending time in the forest called Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing” which focuses on the physical and psychological health benefits of being out in nature. In today’s modern society where most of our time is spent indoors, we have lost our connection with nature. The only time many people are outdoors is to run errands after work, and then they are frequently distracted by technology (Pokemon Go, running with headphones, phone conversations, texting, etc.). Forest bathing, on the other hand, focuses on just being in nature - no goals, no Fitbit, no power walking, no hiking - just relaxing and taking in the smells and sounds of the forest.
Walking in the Forest Is Better for You Than You Can Imagine
Daniel Krieger
A Plus
May 2015
They say we ought to slow down from time to time to stop and smell the flowers. That sounds great in theory, especially for those of us moving at hyper speed, but the logistics of it are another matter.
The Healing Power of Nature
Rebecca Lawton
September 2017
he longer the trip, the more healing occurs,’ says the geologist Peter Winn, who has been leading expeditions down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon since the 1960s. ‘Healing happens for people almost without exception
Iowa Tree Huggers Find Peace in New Trend of Forest Bathing
Mike Kleiv
Des Moines Register
March 2017
It might seem weird, but get over it, said guide Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller. I hugged the tree. It was weird. Cold and hard. But a calmness eventually arose in me. I did some heavy petting of the bark. It felt right. I got over it. It didn’t cure my head cold, but on this guided two-hour slow walk in the woods called forest bathing, it cured the modern ills of a cooped-up, stressed-up life.
Forest Bathing Offeres Rejuvenation. Will it Catch on?
Erin English
Sports One Source
March 2017
Upon first hearing the term ‘forest bathing,’ most people can’t help but imagine themselves in some stage of undress, dipping into a mountain stream under a canopy of evergreens. In fact, the practice has nothing to do with immersion in water.
Forest Bathing: A Walk in the Woods to Shed Worldly Woes
Sarah Sekula
USA Today
February 2017
When we arrive at Aguas Arriba Lodge, a cozy hideaway in the heart of the Patagonian Andes, we don’t waste any time. Our cheerful guide, Julie, spreads out a map of the surrounding land — packed with glaciers, thick forests and aquamarine rivers — and talks about the dozens of hiking trails. Her enthusiasm comes as no surprise because this happens to be one of the trekking capitals of the world.
The Healing Power of Forest Bathing-And Where to Try it Right Now
Erica Bray
August 2017
Destination spa retreats, a long-time sanctuary for those seeking to relax and recharge, are finding new ways to sooth the anxiety-riddled among us. Along with an expanding menu of massages, facials, scrubs and yoga comes a new offering: forest bathing
Forest Bathing: a Retreat to Nature Can Boost Immunity and Mood
NPR: Giving Compass
July 2017
A forest guide “helps you be here, not there,” says Amos Clifford, a former wilderness guide with a master’s degree in counseling, and the founder of the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy, the organization that certifies the guides.
I Went to a Forest Therapy Session and It Wasn't Weird at All
Clarissa Wei
the Bold Italic
Janary 2017
We’ve come to an opening in the Monrovia Canyon trail. A bed of fallen leaves pads the ground, and the air smells of subtle decay. Ben Page, my guide, invites me to let the forest be my guide. I am skeptical. As an avid hiker, I already spend considerable time with nature, and I’m not entirely sure what this therapy session will involve.
Shinrin-yoku: the Practice of Forest Bathing
Julie Hale
LA Yoga
October 2017
For as long as I can remember, the forest has been a place of healing for me. As a child I would gravitate to the woods for hours. As an adult in this modern multi-tasking world, it has been harder to keep up the habit regularly. I mean, really – if you go outside, you should be exercising and checking your watch to hit that magic number of 10,000 steps. Right?
Forest Bathing: free medicine, no swallowing required
Melati Citrawireja
New Sincerity
November 2017
In case you missed it, forest bathing is a form of stress-reducing therapy that first began in Japan (called ‘shinrin-yoku’) and is taking off all over the US. No bathing suit required here – all you need is a little bit of time to play in the woods.
Why You Need to Try Forest Bathing
Dr Oz
Forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku, originates from Japan and was established in 1982 as an innovative approach to addressing and even preventing modern-day ailments and stressors. In the last two decades, the practice has gained traction and is now primed to be the next big wellness trend. We spoke with M. Amos Clifford, the founder and CEO of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT) and Suzi Minor, an ANFT-certified Forest Therapy Guide at L’Auberge de Sedona resort to demystify the misconceptions of forest bathing and discuss its promising benefits.
Why Forest Bathing is the New Trend
Vegetarian Times
July 2016
Taking a walk in the woods and soaking up the lush scenery, clean air, and supreme quiet of a forest could do more than refresh your mind and recharge your energy. Thanks to a do-it-yourself therapy known as forest bathing or shinrin-yoku (a Japanese term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere”), spending a few serene hours in the woods may give you a long-lasting health boost.
Urban Biophilia: The Tree Diaries
Pamela Turczyn
New York Free Spirit Journal
July 2015
n short, Forest Bathing involves walking leisurely in a treed setting while mindfully tuning into one’s senses. In A Little Guidebook of Shinrin-Yoku, Amos Clifford says, “In addition to the mechanism of aromatherapy, the forest environment bathes us in many other healing influences.
The Woodland Medicine of Forest Bathing
Tiffanie Wen
NH Magazine
July 2017
Leave my devices behind? That’s definitely what Amos Clifford, founder and director of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, advised me to do before taking my first solo walk in the woods. But there are bears out here, I can’t help thinking to myself. And I have a terrible sense of direction.
How to Forest Bathe At Work
Beth Salmon
Bodhi Tree
As the work of humans becomes increasingly urban-bound and technology-driven, so is our need to reconnect with nature. It’s no wonder that the increasingly popular therapy of shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” was developed by the forestry service of Japan, a country where nearly 91% of the population is concentrated in urban areas, yet also contains some of the world’s most beautiful, lush forests.
What is Forest Bathing?
Kelley Rawlsky
Enterprise News
October 2017
Now that Jack Frost kicked my vegetables and herbs to the curb, how and where am I going to get my people-plant therapy? I have house plants, like most folks, but they become to resemble furniture that require dusting and other regular maintenance. They don't bring me the same joy as growing edibles.
Forest Bathing Embraces Healing Properties of Nature
Cassandra Szklarski
CTV News
June 2016
It's no secret that a walk in the woods can be great for boosting your mood. But a burgeoning group of nature enthusiasts say it can do much more -- including strengthen immunity, lower blood pressure, increase your ability to focus, and ultimately lower health-care costs if done regularly.
Forest Bathing: a Retreat to Nature Can Boost Immunity and Mood
Allison Aubrey
July 2017
When my editors asked me to report on forest bathing, I packed a swimsuit. I assumed it must involve a dip in the water.
The Ultimate Stress Antidote that Costs Nothing
Mark Johanson
June 2016
Scottish literary giant Robert Louis Stevenson wrote that it’s “not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”
Inside The Genius Japanese Practice That Boosts Your Immune System & Eliminates Stress Instantly
Leigh Wingus
Originally from Japan, forest bathing—or shinrin-yoku in Japanese—isn't what it sounds like. Yes, it involves a trip to the forest, but you won't be stripping down and jumping into a serene lake surrounded by larger-than-life trees. Instead, it's a meditative moment or walk spent immersing yourself in all the forest has to offer: clean air, peace and quiet, and immune-boosting benefits.
Forest Bathing, a Mindful Walk in the Woods
National Post
September 2016
In Japan, it’s called “shinrin-yoku,” which translates as forest bathing. It’s the practice of immersing yourself in nature to improve your well-being, and interest in the concept is growing, with spas, resorts, retreat centres, gardens and parks offering guided “forest bathing” experiences.
What are Mood Walks?
Mood Walks
Shinrin-yoku (森林浴) is the Japanese practice of “forest bathing” or immersing oneself in the atmosphere of the forest for relaxation and health care. Rooted in scientific research, forest therapy is proving to be the most effective antidote to our modern, technology-driven lifestyles
Adirondack Forest Bathing
Adirondack Riverwalking
Picture it now: You are walking through an evergreen forest on a bright spring day surrounded by bird songs. You feel the warmth of the sun on your skin as you watch green shoots springing up from the ground. You feel the mystery of the forest. Your Adirondack Forest Bathing guide is allowing you to slow down, helping you open your senses to a new way of experiencing nature.
Forest Bathing in California
California’s latest wellness trend has its roots in Japan. As a reaction to constantly buzzing smartphones, dull office cubicles and endless late nights at the office, Californians are now turning to the Japanese therapy of shinrin-yoku to destress – namely, the art of forest bathing.
Forest Bathing Harnesses Nature to Boost Health
Kathleen Doheny
August 2017
On a recent morning in late July, Ben Page leads six hikers about a quarter-mile into the Angeles National Forest about an hour north of Los Angeles. As they walk on winding paths under maple trees and past bubbling streams, he asks them to gather in a circle, stand, and notice the sights, sounds, and smells surrounding them.
Training as a Nature and Forest Therapy Guide
Gabrielle Young
Walking by Nature
October 2016
Last week, I was very privileged to be among the first eight people in New Zealand and Australia to be trained as a Nature and Forest Therapy guide by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programmes.
The Woodland Cure: Why a Good Walk May Just Be the Answer to What Ails You
Elaine Gusac
American Way
May 2017
For a city person, the pace of life out here can take some getting used to. I’ve come several states to explore the tangle of trails at Blackberry Farm resort, which abuts Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and minutes into my first trek I nearly rear-end my guide, Hope Parks, who has paused to study a neon-striped millipede. We stand and sniff the wintergreen scent of a teaberry leaf and listen to the song of cicadas that fills the air on this cool summer morning.
Forest Bathing: Outdoor Experience on a Different Level
Jackie Rainford Corcoran
Big Sky
September 2015
Most of us who live or vacation in southwest Montana know intuitively that spending time in nature is good for the mind, body and spirit. Now there’s science to prove it, thanks to a cultural trend in Japan called Shinrin-yoku, which translates to “bathing in the medicine of the forest” or “forest bathing.”
More Than a Walk in the Woods
Alexandra Malloy
February 2017
Naturalist and Sierra Club founder John Muir once said that in every walk with nature, one receives far more than he or she seeks. Mounting interest in the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, which translates literally to “taking in the forest atmosphere,” or “forest bathing,” would seem to indicate that people are increasingly taking Muir’s sentiment to heart.
I Tried a Three-Day Forest Bathing Trip-Here's What That Was Like
Gemma Hartley
Women's Health
November 2016
My first clash with depression and anxiety came five years ago, after the birth of my son. Since then, I've learned to keep my symptoms in check by meditating and getting outside every day (whether or not I feel like it).
The Health Benefits of Shinrin-Yoku
Gina Zammit
May 2015
There’s a reason women are willing to fork over a hefty amount of their paycheck for a day at the spa. The payoffs—uninterrupted zen, luxurious pampering—are worth the price. But what if we told you that you could indulge closer to home—and for way less money?
Forest Therapy Guide Explains the Healing Power of a Walk in the Woods
A. Pawloski
August 2016
If we spend time in forests — just being present and using our senses to connect with the forest — there’s quite a wide array of healing benefits.
Forest Bathing at Osmosis
Michael Stusser
Osmosis Blog
April 2016
Beyond our daily routines and to-do lists the world goes on with or with out us. The world of nature is generating its serene healing energy abundantly all the time if we could simply open ourselves to receive it
Sonoma County's Amos Clifford Guides Japanese Practice of Forest Bathing
Derek Moore
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
December 2015
emoving his sandals, Amos Clifford walked barefoot over a bed of golden brown leaves blanketing a trail at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.
Forest Bathing is Latest Fitness Trend to Hit US
Meeri KimOver thousands of years of human history, we have effectively become an indoor species.
Washington Post
May 2016
Shinrin-Yoku: The Japanese Practice that Could Transform Your Day
Nicole Frehsee
June 2014
Japanese researchers have found that leaving the civilized world behind for a few hours could be the healthiest thing you do all day.