Research shows that time outdoors can improve immune system function, cognitive function (including memory and concentration), depression, and general stress levels (including reduced cortisol levels) in humans.
Natural Step Wilderness Experence (NSWE) is a primarily non-clinical program affiliated with Reflections Counseling Center designed to provide grounding and rejuvenating outdoor experiences in the central Ohio area and beyond.
Outdoor experiences provided currently include hiking, paddling (kayaking/canoeing), mindful outdoor meditative walks, and shinrin-yoku (forest therapy).
What is Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing?
Elizabeth Olate and Scott Sheets are trained in Shinrin-Yoku (forest therapy) by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides. This is a practice that was first developed in Japan in the 1980s and is currently widely used in the East as a form of preventative medicine performed and prescribed by Japanese healthcare professionals. Forest Therapy is essentially Shinrin-yoku adapted for Western cultures. It involves a guided calming small group or individual experience in a natural setting designed to help you open your senses, ground, and connect with yourself and the environment around you.
Scott Sheets works with Natural Step Wilderness Experience (NSWE) as a trained guide in Forest Therapy/Shinrin-yoku. In addition to guiding forest therapy walks with Natural Step, he is the Executive Director of the grassroots outdoor nonprofit organization Nurtured Seeds. Scott is certified in Wilderness First Aid, health coaching, and fitness programing. He has been working in community programming since 2011 through employment with YMCA of Central Ohio and Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. Scott has a particular love for canoeing, hiking, and camping.
When Elizabeth Olate is not working in her private practice (Reflections Counseling Center of Columbus, Inc.) as a psychotherapist, you will often find her outdoors. Elizabeth Olate completed her expedition guide training with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in the Pacific Northwest in 2017. Since 2016, Elizabeth has been leading outdoor mindfulness walks through Natural Step Wilderness Experience and was trained in Costa Rica by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides to become a Forest Therapy (Shinrin-yoku) guide. Elizabeth is certified in Wilderness First Aid and has a special love for hiking and backpacking.
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