Episode #10 Forest Bathing- Combating Modern Society's Nature Deficit with Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, MD

Body of Wonder Podcast

In an accelerated world, with constant connectivity, it’s more important than ever to balance our technology dependence with time in nature. For the first time in human history, we spend the greater portion of our lives indoors. And, not surprisingly, feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression are on the rise.

Forest Bathing or Shinrin Yoku is a gentle technique which Japanese researchers have studied for nearly 40 years. It seeks to understand the connection between mental health and time in nature.

Dr. Victoria Maizes and Dr. Andrew Weil welcome Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, OB-GYN, medical director for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and author of Outdoor Adventure’s Guide to Forest Bathing.

Suzanne guides us through the experience of forest bathing and explains how spending time in nature influences hormones, blood pressure, and heart rate variability. She suggests ways to bring awareness and experience senses like smell, sound, and light. And no, you do not have to remove any clothing to forest bath. She also provides tips for listeners who live in urban areas or deserts.


Please note, the show will not advise, diagnose, or treat medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare provider for questions regarding your health.

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Andrew Weil, MD and Victoria Maizes, MD


Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller , MD, FACOG, FABOIM

Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, MD, FACOG, ABOIM, NCMP is a physician, author, wife, and mother who is board certified in both OB-Gyn and Integrative Medicine. Her personal, family, and professional experiences motivated her to explore integrative approaches to healing and wellness. As a result, she completed a fellowship with the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, as well as certifications in herbal medicine, Ayurveda, and meditation. She is certified as a nature and forest therapy guide and as a menopause practitioner by the North American Menopause Society.

She is the award-winning author of The Outdoor Adventurer?s Guide to Forest Bathing , and A Friend Like John, Understanding Autism . She is also the founder and creator of Trail Rx, a program providing parks and trail systems with mental and physical health prescriptions for their users. She speaks internationally about integrative medicine and nature therapy.

Suzanne has served as medical director of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, lead physician for Chopra Whole Health, and is currently Chief Medical Advisor for AllTrails. She practices at Honor Health Integrative Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Suzanne and her husband Joe are avid outdoor enthusiasts and lead workshops combining outdoor adventure and the mindful practice of forest bathing. More information may be found at her website, www.IntegrativeInitiative.com .

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