Forest Therapy

Sent on behalf of Blake Ellis (Ecotherapy Program Manager) and Josh Trout (Kinesiology Professor)

Forest Therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, or “Forest Bathing.” Forest Therapy is a simple, guided, immersive experience in a natural environment to promote the well-being of both people and the land. Forest Therapy is an opportunity to slow down and experience the natural world through your senses.  During your guided immersion, a certified guide will offer a series of invitations to deepen your sensory experience and assist you in finding your own authentic way of interacting with the land. There’s no right or wrong way to do it; just come and be yourself. It’s all welcome in the forest. Forest Therapy experiences finish up with tea made from wild-foraged forest herbs and snacks.

Proven health benefits include:  

  • Reduction in cortisol and adrenaline levels. 
  • Enhanced immune system function by increasing the production of natural killer cells. 
  • Improved respiratory and cardiovascular function. 
  • Decreased anxiety and depression. 
  • Improved mood, focus, academic performance, and creativity. 

We hope you can join us and experience valuable tools for mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being!  

Click on the dates linked below to sign up for a guided Forest Therapy experience.

  • On Campus – wheelchair accessible
  • Off Campus
    • Saturdays from 9:30-10:45 a.m. (April 2nd and April 16th)
      • Feel Better, Feel Good, Feel Wonderful: Forest Therapy for Individuals Facing Severe Illnesses & Their Families at Cedar Grove Trail with Emiliano – wheelchair accessible.
    • Sunday, April 3rd 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. : Forest Therapy at the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve with Liz.
    • Sunday, Apr 10th 1:30-4:00 p.m. : Paradise Lake with Dan. 
    • Thursday, April 14th 7:00-9:00 p.m. : Full Moon Forest Bathing at the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve with Dan.
    • Sunday, April 24th 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. : Forest Therapy at Cedar Grove Trail with Josh – wheelchair accessible.
    • Saturday, May 7th 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Forest Therapy at the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve with Liz.
    • Saturday, May 13th 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. : Full Moon Forest Bathing at the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve with Josh.

Resources for You this Week

Here are some resources to support you during these next 10 busy days.

  • There are still plenty of spaces available for the “45 Minutes of Mindfulness” meditation sessions today in BMU 210 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Please RSVP here if you plan to attend.
  • The WREC has opened their “De-Stress Fest” to faculty! You are welcome to go to the Wrec this week to recharge (even if you’re not a member). They’ll have farm animals to pet today from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., free acupuncture tomorrow from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., and several other events all week. They are also leading a free Yoga class in the Anthropology Museum on 12/12 at noon (they’ll bring yoga mats).
  • Meriam Library 459 (The Rose Garden Room) will remain open through 12/20 as a reading/writing/grading space for all faculty from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. There will always be hot coffee, decaf, hot tea, and even snacks for you.

Best wishes to stay in good health!

Physical Activity = Fulfillment

If I offered you a pill with decades of research showing it helped to increase energy, reduce bodyfat, increase muscle, improve sleep quality, increase flexibility, enhance overall quality of life, improve cognitive function, and reduce the chances of experiencing heart disease, stroke, and cancer, would you take it? What if I said that the pill was free and the main side effects were improved self-esteem and significant reductions in depression and anxiety, would you take it (sounds like an infomercial I know)?

There is something that does all this and more  – and the only investment required is a little bit of your time. The name of this medicine is “daily physical activity” and it is the most effective way to improve and/or maintain your health. If you’re more motivated by potential negative consequences, consider that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that physical inactivity (i.e. a sedentary lifestyle) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death for adults in the U.S.

Fortunately, Chico State has several low or no-cost opportunities for you to be physically active in a fun and safe environment:

  • 3WINS Fitness is a free exercise class run by Kinesiology students on MWF 8:30-9:30am on the Yolo field (see attached flier). It is open to students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the Chico community with no cost or obligation.
  • Noontime Fitness is a program for any campus employee (no students) interested in using the weight room or fitness area in Acker Mon-Fri 11:50-12:50 for $50/semester (includes summer and breaks). Contact Mitch Cox for more info or to sign up.
  • Free Qigong and Meditation at lunchtime Mon-Thurs for all campus employees and students.
  • Join the Wrec for $215/semester (includes summer and breaks).

If you’re motivated to be physically active and want to learn more about wellness, attend a free wellness workshop on October 11 from 11-1 with Dr. Dominique Gummelt (wellness coach and Chico State alumna). Details forthcoming.

Don’t forget to register for the CELT conference next week.

What did i miss?

  • Dear Professor, I cannot be in class on Tuesday night because I am rushing a Greek organization and we have an event.
  • Hello teacher, I need to reschedule my presentation on Monday because I will be out of town for an athletic competition.
  • Hi, did we do anything in class on Thursday? I was sick.

It is that time of year when you are probably being inundated with requests to adjust your schedule or help a student make up for lost time. Some of you are reading your email and thinking “Do I have to? Unsurprisingly this issue is complicated, but my office has been doing a little legwork to help faculty deal with attendance issues in higher education.

The first and most important thing to remember is that the vast majority of students who miss class do so because of legitimate reasons and are looking to get a high quality education while balancing other commitments. There are students who are looking to take advantage of your willingness to accommodate, but they are an exception rather than a rule. First, let’s sift through the reasons students miss class and what we can do to accommodate.

Greek Life: Most fraternity/sorority events take place in the evening hours after most classes have concluded, but not always. Even so, many of us teach in the evenings and must resolve requests to miss class. Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Program Coordinator Malcom McLemore was unequivocal when he told me “We do not encourage or imply that missing class for any event is beneficial.” I appreciated his sharp response. Rescheduling class around social events sends an odd message to both Greek life students and other students in the class that is inconsistent with the academic mission of the University.

Athletics: Chico State is the proud sponsor of a great many intercollegiate student athletes and their success is a point of pride for many of us. Sometimes participation requires travel that results in missed classes. In a conversation with Faculty Athletic Representative Jim Morgan I learned a couple things about how the programs negotiate this conflict. First, these problems with intercollegiate schedules are predictable and students are encouraged to find course schedules that line up well with their athletic schedules. Second, as a faculty member you should receive a letter with a roster, and a schedule from the student at the start of the semester. Third, ultimately the decision resides with the faculty member as to what constitutes a sensible accommodation.

Health: We all get sick and most of us are quite accommodating when students have physical or mental health issues that prevent them from coming to class. Health Center Director Deborah Stewart mentioned a few things in our conversation that faculty members should keep in mind. First, a sick student is often also a stressed student who is worried about missing class time. Second, if the Health Center is unable to see a patient they may still issue a note recording the “student reported being sick” but this is not necessarily validation of illness. Whether accommodations are made ultimately resides with the faculty member. One thing to keep in mind if you take a hard line on attendance, do you really want a classroom full of sick students?

Students also miss class for other reasons from bereavement to forgetfulness. It is impossible to have course policies that govern all these areas, but I would encourage you to insert language into your syllabus about sensible accommodations.

Got an idea for a tip? Send it my way!