"Sometimes we hug trees," Iowans try forest bathing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

"Sometimes we hug trees," Iowans try forest bathing

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HIAWATHA (KWWL) -

We've all heard the term  "tree huggers."

But one group in eastern Iowa is taking that term to the next level.

These days, it can be hard to step away from technology and the stress of everyday life.

One  group in eastern Iowa is turning to forest bathing.

It's a guided two-hour slow walk through nature.

Forest bathing focuses on getting really close to nature  and using your senses.

For example, for sight, participants will use magnifying glasses to look at things up close or pay close attention to how different plants are moving. 

For sound, they'll cup their hands around their ears to hear better.

And for touch, they'll literally put their hands on the ground or water, and even hug a tree

I asked tour guide, Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiler what she would say to people who think this is strange or weird.

She says you can't judge it until you give it a try. 

"I think we spend so much time indoors and much time plugged in; we forget that what heals us is all around us," she said. 

She also says people need to take a step closer to nature, and remind themselves how much it can heal or calm them.    

The next time Suzanne will be leading a forest bathing walk will be at Prairiewoods on Monday May 15th from 6 to 9 p.m. She'll also be leading one on Tuesday April 18th from 6 to 9 p.m. 

Suzanne says she will do a forest bathing session at Jester Park on June 8th. Click here to learn how to reach out to Suzanne and learn more about forest bathing. 

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