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Forest Therapy at Careys Manor Hotel and SenSpa

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The healing powers of nature are well documented, but it’s not always easy to harness when you have a busy life. Fortunately, Careys Manor Hotel and SenSpa has bottled a little bit of natural magic in the form of their Forest Retreat spa break.

Forest Retreat Break

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One night’s bed and breakfast in a Knightwood Garden Room, a choice of one 60 minute treatment from: Bespoke Asian Massage, Essential Relaxation, Anti-stress Massage, Eminence Super Green or Willow Organic Sorbet Glow Facial; plus a Forest Therapy guide, robe, towel and slippers and full use of the facilities.

Knightwood Garden Room|Find out more

Located in the New Forest with its 300 miles of ancient moorland, shady glades, spectacular coastline and picturesque towns and villages, Careys Manor is surrounded by a natural ‘breathing space’.

As the sun filters through the trees creating dappled shade on the forest floor, it’s easy to see why the beautiful New Forest is the perfect place in which to wander quietly, breathe deeply, and let your cares fall away. The New Forest is ancient and has some of the rarest heathland in Europe. It is diverse and has easy walking tracks with plenty of places to simply sit and absorb the beauty.

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Being in the forest is not only good for the soul. Scientific research is now showing that just being outside in the fresh air can soothe stress, boost happiness and help fight disease.

Forest therapy, a concept from Japan that celebrates the healing and relaxing properties of the forest, is also known as ‘forest bathing’, and encourages spending time among the trees. It’s about soaking up the sounds, smells and colours of nature. Here are some of the positive effects a simple walk amongst the trees can have on the body:

  • Scientists have proven that sunlight can ease depression.
  • New research has shown that a walk in the forest can ease depression, stress and anxiety by up to 71%.
  • Traffic, polluted city air and crowded pavements are mentally exhausting. Walking in the calming countryside can relax the mind instantly.
  • Escaping the polluted air of the city can ease respiratory problems too.

So by combining the restorative powers of the great outdoors with relaxing spa therapy, Careys Manor has created the perfect prescription for a complete rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul.

Free-roaming donkeys on the New Forest heathland|Find out more

The central forest element of forest therapy hinges on a mindful forest walk. Meanwhile, treatments work with the goals of headspace and mindfulness. For example, use the experience showers in the spa or have an Ayurvedic Head Massage.

A guide to mindful walks for forest therapy:

  • Turn off your devices to give yourself the best chance of relaxing, being mindful and enjoying a sensory forest-based experience. Start by feeling the sensations in your body, how the earth feels underfoot, how the air feels on your skin, whether you are warm or cool.
  • Walk slowly all the while noticing the things around you.
  • Tune into your surroundings. Hear the sounds of the forest. Listen to the sound of leaf as it rustles, hear birdsong or squirrels as they scamper through fallen leaves and mulch.
  • Notice the trees, the texture of the bark, the shape of branches and leaves.
  • Notice how it feels to walk on different surfaces of the forest floor, notice rocks and stones, their shapes and hues. See the sky, its colour and how it affects the forest palette as it constantly changes.
  • Continue to heighten your awareness by noticing the small details in the forest such as different grasses and clovers, mosses, seeds, fungi and flowers.
  • If you become distracted, stop walking and start again when you have regained awareness.
  • Find a comfortable place to sit and continue to be aware of the sensations in your body and your surroundings.

From £169 per person (minimum two people)


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