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Today I accompany a group of people who will carry out a two-day forest therapy treatment. Unlike the forest bath, which lasts only a few hours, the cure is a real stay immersed in nature, during which everyone can discover something more about themselves and the forest, benefiting from the therapeutic effects of the surrounding ecosystem . Care is made of silences, lights and shadows, colors, sounds, scents and above all emotions. The forest is a scenario in which interdependent organisms live, animals and plants. Everyone, following their own rhythm, tunes in to the elements of nature. The forest is the ideal place to stimulate all our senses, necessary to receive information on the environment. They allow us to distance ourselves or get closer, to conceptualize and discern. They help us in building our identity and our personality, sharpening our curiosity towards the outside world. The view is stimulated by the color of the surrounding vegetation. It is a chromotherapy session that takes place before our eyes, with a tone-sedative action. When we walk through the forest in the shade of green foliage, we expose our body to a series of electromagnetic waves called photons. These waves interfere with the cells of our body, sitting or stimulating them. The colors of short electromagnetic waves, such as the green of broad-leaved trees or the green-blue of conifers, have a calming effect on our body. The heart rate slows down, the nervous system regulates itself and the arterial pressure is balanced. The colors, as such, do not exist in the physical world. They are nothing but light energy. Green, so present in nature in spring and summer, symbolizes life and rebirth. If we look at the green leaves, we can see the center of the chromatic spectrum produced by sunlight. This meeting between the sun and the earth represents the central axis and favors a good mental and psychological balance. Through this color we can go to the discovery of the external nature as well as of our interiority. According to Vasilij Kandinskij, pioneer of Abstractionism, each color corresponds to a shape: blue is associated with the circle, green with the circle and the triangle. It is a confirmation of the tone-sedative effect of these two colors, since the circle has a calming action, while the triangle, being pointed, is more stimulating. In autumn the green gradually vanishes, to leave room for red and to yellow. According to the theory of opposites of Ewald Hering, in this chromatic mixture the eye perceives the gray color. In fact, it seems that the principle of persistence of colors modifies the perception and, after observing red and green leaves, if we close our eyes our brain will only see gray. This is perhaps why, in addition to the decrease in brightness, our mood tends to get darker this season. Furthermore, the red color is associated with the square, closed and rigid shape. When the green disappears completely, nature catches fire: the leaves turn red, yellow, brown or orange. If we look at the tops of the trees, the leaves will appear like a thousand candles that are consumed forming an immense brazier, before going out with the advent of winter. The warm colors of the leaves, combined with certain fruits like those of the hawthorn, bring a lively touch of red, decorating the forest. The trunks, dark brown or even white in the case of birch, are reassuring and restful. As we get closer we will notice the roughness or smoothness of their bark; even before touching them, we already know what feeling we will try to caress them. The forest also offers a large number of flowers: the white or pink ones of the horse chestnuts, the white ones of the cherry trees and the generally green catkins of the other plants. Looking at the trees that are transformed to every season, we discover a myriad of colors that change day after day, for the great pleasure of our organism. If the colors have a psycho-emotional resonance, even the forms that nature offers us act on our mind. our view is subjected to a large number of geometric patterns, lines, curves, triangles, circles, cones, spheres and even hearts. First of all, the vertical shape of the trunks reminds us that, like trees, we also stand upright between the earth and the sky. This verticality evokes life and good health, reassures us by giving us strength and confidence. Branches, ramifications, bifurcations and roots are all extensions of the trunk. Symbols of unity and mutual help, it is through them that the tree occupies its position in space.

Think of how good you feel under a broad and harmonious hair, and how instead you are less pleased with the sight of a flayed, fragile and fragile tree! The straight or horizontal branches evoke balance, while the twisted, hanging and bent branches the bass represent fragility and discomfort. The characteristics of the foliage are equally expressive from an emotional point of view. The deciduous trees have leaves with more feminine forms, pleasing to the eye for their smoothness and lightness. Conifers have bristly needles that instead recall the masculine side, roughness and strength, as in the case of black pine. But there are also conifers with more sweetened forms, such as the Aleppo pine, which give a more serene and less aggressive impression. The importance of the senses
Hearing is a particularly decisive sense for our forest therapy treatment, because it makes us understand how nature is alive beyond its apparent apathy. The forest is often appreciated for its silence. Now, if we allow ourselves a moment of pause and start to listen carefully, we will begin to hear a series of buzzing and rustling, like the fronds that rustle in the wind and that varies from tree to tree. Have you ever heard the rustling of the leaves of an aspen, an oak or that of the needles of a sheep moved by the wind? You will be surprised by the difference. If you stretch your ear, then you will surely hear the creaking of the branches, the buzzing of a nearby insect, the drumming of a green woodpecker, the singing of a bird, the chirping of crickets, the gurgling of a stream. Listening to the sounds of nature allows us to develop attention and concentration. Touch is a means of connecting directly to nature. The hand is our link with the environment. Our body feels a vital need to be connected to the reality that surrounds it, and the sense of touch is essential to learn more about the world. Exploration gestures help us to perceive and identify ourselves fully with nature. Children, in particular, are very sensitive to the discovery and learning of concave or convex, straight or curved shapes. Touch facilitates memorization and concentration. The sensations experienced in turn create new artistic emotions, important for cognitive development. As the parents caress a child, so we can caress a tree, touch the roughness of the bark of the willow or the linden with the tips of the fingers, the smoothness of the birch, the roughness of that of the fir. By touching the leaves with your fingers we learn to get in touch with the tree and get to know it better. The development of touch has the effect of reassuring and comforting us. Have you ever caressed a cheek with a tree leaf? The sensations change according to the essences, that is the tree species. Touch is a tool for contact between us and the tree. The tactile approach makes it possible to establish the physical contact that, in all probability, is the primary one. From the relationship that is established through touch, a comfort and a security arise that allow us to express ourselves with greater spontaneity, as if we were dealing with a person. After all, isn’t the first gesture we make when we meet someone shake his hand? The sense of smell directly stimulates the limbic system of our brain, also called the “emotional brain”. Have you ever noticed how the scent of your favorite dish that you spread in the kitchen stimulates your appetite or how a person’s smell will bring you certain memories? Our brain is capable of recognizing various smells. The sense of smell constitutes a gateway to the unconscious, and our emotions leave great freedom to the imagination. Nature offers us a thousand fragrances: flowers, mosses, mushrooms, but also aromas produced by vegetables, such as camphor or turpentine. Rubbing a leaf it is possible to smell the aromas that it jealously guards in its secretrical pockets. But these sweet scents are ephemeral, unless you can keep them in your memory. Taste gives us the opportunity to reconnect with memories and emotions. Through it we explore our primary survival instinct. Our taste buds provide information on bitter, sweet, acid flavors … and their perception is closely connected to smell. When we breathe out while we are eating, in fact, some particles of food present in our mouth are expelled from the nose, thus stimulating the olfactory receptors. Nature offers us many opportunities to taste its flavors: young leaves (especially beech, to eat in salads), the berries (blackberries, strawberry trees, wild strawberries …), the fruits (hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, faggiole …), the mushrooms (porcini, finferli …), the barks (like the change) from which a flour is made, the seeds like pine nuts.