Forest Bathing – A Must-Try Therapy for Healing and Wellness

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears, does it make a sound? That’s an old Zen koan, an unanswerable or paradoxical question used to go beyond the intellect and help open the student’s mind to greater internal truths of spirit and intuition. But you don’t need a Zen Buddhist master’s koan to benefit from the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing.

It doesn’t refer to sitting in a bubble bath in a grove of trees, although it definitely feels like it! Forest bathing is simply being in the presence of trees, doing nothing but hanging—not hiking, not taking photos with your phone, not talking. It’s simply being with the trees and letting your nervous system attune to their presence. The trees and all members of the plant kingdom are the highest consciousness on our planet; they instinctively know how to soothe us, how to heal us.

The Scientific Backing for Nature Therapy

According to an EPA survey, we spend 87 percent of our time indoors, plus another 6 percent in our cars. That doesn’t leave much time for the restorative benefits of the great outdoors.

One study showed that gallbladder surgery patients who just looked at trees through a hospital window had a faster recovery time.

The Japanese have spent millions of dollars to study the effects of forest bathing on the mind and body. A professor at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo measured human NK (natural killer) cells in the immune system both before and after forest bathing. NK cells respond rapidly against viral infections and protect against tumor formation; they are a vital part of a healthy immune system. During the week following a forest visit, NK cell activity increased significantly, and positive effects lasted for a month after a weekend in the woods, including less inflammation, improved mood, better ability to focus, more energy, and better sleep.

You know how the air in a forest seems fresher than city air? That’s because trees emit essential oils (called phytoncide) to protect themselves from germs and insects. When you inhale phytoncide, it improves the functioning of your immune system.

Another Japanese study measured stress factors before and after a 30-minute visit to a forest. They found lower concentrations of cortisol, blood pressure and pulse rate went down, there was more parasympathetic nerve activity (rest-and-digest system) and less sympathetic nerve activity (flight-or-fight responses). In other words, hanging out with the trees makes us humans less stressed.

Trees are not only good for your body, they are also good for your spirit. Another study showed reduced hostility and depression after being with the trees, or as one researcher put it, “therapeutic landscapes.”

As a regular practice, forest bathing can deepen your intuition, increase your ability to communicate with the land and various species, increase your life force, and overall sense of happiness.

Forest Bathing Clubs

In San Francisco, there are hundreds of members of the Forest Bathing Club Meetup who forest bathe once a month to take a break from the stress of constant technology—your computer and phone and invasive social media, emails, and texts.

There are even certified Forest Therapy guides.

Check to see if there are such clubs near you. If not you can go on your own – or use this as an opportunity to start your own and club and build a community.

Trees in Myth and Religion

Many myths from around the globe tell of a “world or cosmic” tree, where the roots, trunk and branch represent the underworld, earth, and the heavens. The bible mentions the “tree of life” as well as the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.” The Buddha reached enlightenment while sitting under a Bodhi tree. Druids worshipped in sacred groves of trees. And Kabbalists celebrate the 15th of the month of Aquarius (on the lunar calendar) as the birthday of the trees.

It’s said that even spiritual teacher, Krishnamurti, found his enlightenment in Ojai under a pepper tree.

A number of trees have always been regarded as sacred. The willow tree is associated with the movement of water and the moon, so priestesses of the Goddess Hecate of the Moon use willow water as part of their magic. Celts considered the oak, apple, birch, and ash trees as sacred, with the ash tree known for healing and enchantment. The largest yellow oak in the U.S. (in Oley, PA) is 500 years old and is said by the Delaware Indians to have the power to heal. The Bodhi tree of India is a symbol of Buddha’s presence, while the banyan tree with its unique aerial roots represents eternal life. The bible mentions the Lebanese cedar 75 times.

Take Advantage of Nature’s Free Therapy

Trees help us physically by providing oxygen and shade to the planet as well as shelter and habitat for animals. Like all living things, trees have an energetic vibration and aura. Their grounding energy comes from having roots that reach deep into the earth, and give trees their vibration of security and stability.

So bathe your body and spirit in the forest (or your local city park) as you mingle with the trees. Go ahead and have a moment and physically hug a tree. Release any negative energy (as well as all those EMF’s you absorbed from your TV/laptop/phone!) and let them travel down the tree’s roots and get recycled by Mother Earth. At the same time, you’ll absorb the nourishing energy Mother Earth sends up through the tree’s roots as you rest against the tree’s trunk beneath its leafy branches.

For one moment, no need to do anything, just be. 😊

Interested in learning more about natural and holistic approaches to health? Your greatest source of truth for your wellness is yourself and your intuition (along with some accurate information). Register for this free webinar with Deborah to tune up your Medical Intuition abilities >>


5 Things You Need to Know About Your 8th Chakra

You probably already know a bit about the seven chakras that are focal points of energy on your body. But did you also know that there are more than a dozen more chakras beyond these seven? No kidding! These higher or spiritual chakras are the links between your personality and your higher self, and when activated, allow you to access to an expanded universe, increase your spiritual awareness and compassion, and free yourself from the weight of karmic residue.

Ideally, your chakras are open, moving energy in and out between your personal energy field and the larger unified field. With proper self-care and maintenance, you can keep your energy flowing and prevent your chakras from becoming blocked by emotional baggage. Journaling, meditation, and working with an energy healer are all good ways to keep these energy centers clear and open, so you can move on to opening the spiritual chakras.

The first spiritual chakra is located approximately two feet above your head. If you’ve ever seen paintings depicting holy figures with circles of golden light around their heads, you’ve seen a visual representation of the love and light that flows from activated higher energy centers. But this glow is not only available to holy men. Here are the five most important things to know about what activating your 8th chakra can do to help you live a truer,

  1. Connect to Your Higher Self

    Your 8th chakra is the doorway between your immortal soul and your earth-bound personality. When I teach students how to activate their 8th chakra, I teach them an exercise that leads to a meeting with their higher selves. If you’ve done the requisite self-work—through meditation or energy healing or other methods—you should be able to talk to your higher self and ask her the questions you most want answered. Your higher self can give you access to the Akashic records, help you find your true life purpose, and remind you that you are a perfect being made of love and light. Opening your 8th chakra and stepping through the veil that separates your earthly self from your eternal soul will open your eyes to the vast space beyond physical plane boundaries.

  1. Clear Your Karmic Residue

    Karmic residue sounds pretty gross, and it lives up to its name. It’s the leftover karmic energy that builds-up after lifetimes of clinging to the same patterns. These tired and worn-out routines keep you rooted to this planet. Since your 8th chakra is the gate that leads to the divine, it is the last chakra that holds the human information that is not needed or desired in the expanded universe of an opened 8th chakra. Residual energy sticks around, waiting for you to clear it out once and for all before you move on to connect with your higher self and beyond. Activating your 8th chakra can help you shed those patterns that keep you reincarnating and are not useful any more, release that icky karmic residue, and connect with the greater spiritual universe that starts with your higher self.
  1. Uncover Spiritual Gifts

    As your connection to the greater spiritual community grows with an activated 8th chakra, your awareness expands, and you may find that you develop new abilities. Perhaps you’ve always been intuitive, but with an open 8th chakra, you’ll discover your powers of intuition increasing. Other latent talents may reveal themselves as you continue to widen your 8th chakra, including astral travel, telepathy, clairvoyance, and even energy healing. At first, these new capabilities may seem overwhelming, but please don’t worry! Your higher self would never bestow these gifts upon you unless you were ready. Taking healing courses or other spiritual workshops, and working with an energy healer or other type of spiritual teacher can help you control, manage, and develop your newfound abilities.
  1. Learn Your Soul’s Purpose
    The 8th chakra is like the record room for your soul’s contract, which is another way of saying your life purpose. Your soul enters this world with a goal, which has to do with learning lessons in order to evolve. Your soul’s purpose is always clear to your higher self, but may not be as obvious to your personality once it incarnates onto the physical plane. It takes the activation of the 8th chakra to get in touch with your higher self enough to be let into that record room for a glimpse at your soul contract.

    After your 8th chakra is activated and open, don’t be surprised if you begin to feel like you need to shift your focus, especially if you have spent years ignoring your true passion. That nagging voice that tells you to follow your true path is really your higher self offering guidance, nudging you to get to work on whatever your soul is meant to do while in this body at this time.
  1. Experience Divine Love and Spiritual Compassion

    When you start to understand that you are truly a soul living temporarily in a physical body rather than a body with a soul, your capacity for deep compassion and divine love begins to blossom. As the 8th chakra expands and this knowledge is fully absorbed, you become more spiritually compassionate because you now know that everyone else is on the same journey. Each soul plays its own important role in the interconnected community we’re all a part of, and by activating your 8th chakra and peeking at that huge spiritual tapestry, you experience true unity, which is followed by unconditional love from the Divine. Once you feel the power of divine love, you will reflect that love in your actions and it will spread like ripples in a pond. Imagine what the world could be like if everyone had golden halos from their open 8th chakras beaming love and compassion. It starts with you.

If you’d like to learn more about your 8th Chakra, watch this video. You’ll also want to check out my Secrets of Chakra Wisdom course, an on-demand course you can move through at your own pace.


Blessings for a New Beginning

“And suddenly you just know…It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”  

—Meister Eckhart

September makes a perfect time for new beginnings. Your spirit recognizes the coming of a fresh new season. The relaxation of summer is fading and the excitement and promise of new challenges begins to take shape ahead. Coming soon is harvest-time, a time of centering and gathering and achievement. Remember the back-to-school feeling of stepping forth in new shoes with a clean slate and high hopes for yourself? You may not be going back to school this fall, but doesn’t your spirit still long for the new adventure that represents?

Here’s how I’m feeling this September and I am thrilled to tell you about it. I feel the rise of a great love and also an overwhelming gratitude. I feel incredibly blessed to be where I am and doing the work that has been given to me. I have my purpose and my path in the work of energy healing. As a Master Healer, I am privileged to teach an ever-increasing community of loving hearts who want to heal themselves and then the world. Their spiritual expansion fills my heart with joy and carries me further along my path as we heal and thrive and grow together. Hope and happiness and peace lie ahead for us all as we join forces to make our world a better place.

What an exciting prospect! The healing power that you have within is infinite. You can begin your healing within, and as your consciousness awakens and expands, it will begin to radiate forth and touch all those around you, your community, your world. Isn’t it a dream worth pursuing—to heal, thrive, and grow beyond all the boundaries and barriers you may have imposed on yourself?

More and more people are awakening to their own healing gifts, finding their amazing power for love, forgiveness, and gratitude. More and more people are stepping into the light and becoming the healers they are destined to be. What is your gift? Have you developed it to its full potential? How are you using your unique life force to heal the world right now? And if not now, when?

What are your plans for a fresh start, a new beginning, a real renaissance for your spirit in the months ahead? Here are some steps you can take to ramp up your own program for healing your world:

Be Empowered by Nature. A simple walk in the park, the fields, the woods, or on the shore will allow you to observe and enjoy the nurturing, healing force that is Nature at work. You are a part of that natural energy that colors the leaves and drives the wind, the sunlight, the rush of sparkling water.

Build a Community. Find a band of fellow students who want to study and explore the power of loving energy to heal our world together. Notice how some people make you glow in their presence? Gather up those kindred spirits and spend some time working on your mutual expansion of mind and heart.

Meditate. This mind-calming, soul-soothing activity is spreading like the light of the sun at the dawn of a new day. I overheard a lady say in a restaurant last night, “It’s pretty much the best thing you can do—for anything you want to accomplish.” A sweet understatement for the most important way to create a solid spiritual foundation for your power to heal yourself and your world.

Journal from Your Heart. Ask for the wisdom and the courage to search deep within and tell it truly. Journaling can help you bring forth your true purpose through manifestation. You can call to you the people, opportunities, and experiences your Higher Self is guiding you to discover

Learn to Give and Accept Unconditional Love. If you hope to heal yourself and your world, you will need to work with the kind of love that created you, the world, and everything in it. We come from the Divine Love that is the Source of All. That love is the wavelength we need to be on for all the good we wish for—for ourselves and others—to appear.

I hope you join me in making this September the season of new beginnings for your body, mind, and spirit. Your gifts are needed for the future of our world. We are one vibration, one field, one energy, with love as our connection. How mindful are you of the healing influence you could have on the world? As poet Mary Oliver asks, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

And if you’d like to know if this is actually the ideal time, astrologically, for you personally to have a new beginning, consider booking a private Vedic Astrology session with one of the world’s most renowned experts on the topic. Book a call with Dr. Sisira and see what the stars have in store for you >>