If you doing nothing else this week, try to forest bathe
Recent studies have found that time spent among the trees can lower cortisol levels, slow your heart rate, and lower blood pressure. in addition, trees also produce phytoncides which can reduce stress levels, increase sleep quality, decrease anxiety and generally make you feel a whole lot better. So guess what I'm doing? You got it in one - I'm planning to re-locate our home hot tub into the woods.
A walk on the wild side
With the exception of hot tub bathing, there are very few things more relaxing than a stroll through a forest or woodland. If you have never tried it I can really recommend it, because it is very therapeutic. We are lucky to have our own woods next to the house. And I've spent many an hour riding along the paths, wandering between the trees and throwing sticks for our precious Tilly to fetch. The peace and quiet is really calming after a long day in the van and the walk, with the birds singing and huge lungfuls of fresh air, definitely helps to clear my mind.
What is Shrinin-yoku?
As with most wellness and well-being therapies, 'shinrin-yoku' is Japanese (it literally translates to ‘forest bath’). I read about it, quite by chance, a few weeks ago. Because of my forays into the woods I can understand how and why people can benefit from reconnecting with nature.
taking in all the sounds, scents, colours, shapes, structures, surfaces, impressions, representations, and emotions awoken in that open, free space.. we bathe in the energy of the forest.
Extract from Shinrinyoku-united
Solitude and sanctuary
In France it's not unusual when buying a rural property to suddenly find that you are now the proud owner of a few acres of woodland. It has its advantages and disadvantages when it's adjoining the garden; free, well-managed wood supply for the wood-burners, an abundance of kindling for the BBQ and for firing up the hot tub. Cool shaded walks in the summer...
On the downside, although woods don't need much looking after and can be left to go wild, you really do need to maintain several paths. It's also good to have a few clearings where you can sit in complete solitude and sanctuary, catch glimpses of the wildlife and watch the woods changing with the seasons. Other than that, I can't say anything bad about it. Maybe I have been unknowingly practicing Shrinin-yoku all these years. Now I have it in my head to clear a space for the hot tub I'm keen to start mine and Tim's new project.
Another interesting tale
Purely by coincidence, one of our recent deliveries took us to yet another beautiful area of the country - Pousthomy. And do you know what? We have been travelling France for well over two years now and the scenery never ceases to amaze me!
Phillipe and Lynda's home - Le Gouty Retreats - is one of those places I could quite easily move to. It has forests, open spaces, views across the hills. Well now it also boasts a divine Burford Deluxe hot tub in a perfect position, where the happy hot tub owners can gaze out across the stunning landscape - total escapism.
The ideal location for the tub was at the top of their garden. Fortunately, when we arrived they had arranged for a farmer friend, Jean-Claude, to meet us there with his tractor. If it hadn't been for his help, we might still be there, trying to manoeuvre the tub into position.
Perfect place of retreat
Le Gouty Retreats covers approximately 6 hectares, is surrounded by nature and located in the heart of a national park. There are no neighbours, which means you can completely escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The 'locals' are wild deer, badgers and foxes that live in the forest. Buzzards and eagles patrol the skies and you will be mesmerised by the hummingbird moths that busy themselves amongst the flowers. Sounds like bliss, doesn't it? Well, it really is.
And perhaps more so because Phillipe is so passionate about the forest's healing energy; how we can all learn and benefit from it. He has always wanted to work in this sector and is now a specialist in forest bathing. Just talking to him about the environment and how it can help people emotionally, physically and psychologically was mind-blowing. It has certainly got me thinking about how to focus my senses, take more notice of my surroundings and appreciate them so much more.
If you want to find out more about the power of Shinrin-Yoku, check out the reviews on Le Gouty retreats. And when you book a visit, tell Phillipe and Lynda that Nicola sent you.
Get in touch
On that note, I think I'm going to head into the woods for a stroll and see if I can locate the perfect new home for our beautiful hot tub. Thanks to Phillipe's enthusiasm I have a newly found interest in forest bathing. So now I need a place where I can immerse myself in nature, as well as in the warm, soft bubbles of the hot tub.
One thing's for sure, we'll have a plentiful supply of logs too, which is one less thing for Tim to do. He's so lucky that I am always thinking about ways I can help him out. Team work makes the dream work.
And if your dream is to own one of our eco-friendly, wood-burning hot tubs, visit the website, drop me an email or just pick up the phone. Have a great weekend and Happy Hot Tubbing!