When to Let It Go (Chronic Stress)
When to Let It Go (Chronic Stress)
When to Let It Go (Chronic Stress)

When to Let It Go (Chronic Stress)

Are you holding on to past stress? How the effects of stress and trauma on the mind and body may be more than meets the eye.

Last Updated: June 22, 2022
Contributor: Meghann Shantz

Meet an artist who broke her back and supported her healing with sound, a doctor who studies how stress affects the next generation, and an expert in forest bathing who describes the healing benefits of being surrounded by nature.

Explored in this episode

  • The impact chronic stress can have on your body in the short and the long term
  • How sound therapy can support a healing process
  • The positive impact a walk in the forest can have on our ability to manage our emotions
  • The importance of examining our own definition of healing
  • The differences between stress, anxiety and trauma
  • How we can rewire our brain to help decrease anxiety
  • The ‘language of invitation’ and how it can open the doors of perception
  • The phenomenon of ‘biophilia’, or why we are drawn to the natural world

Voices in the conversation


Sara Auster

Sound Therapist and Meditation Teacher

When we think of finding a cure, we think of making disease go away, but that’s not what happens when we heal.

Sara Auster is changing the way the world is engaging with sound and the act of listening. As a sound therapist, meditation teacher, and artist, she has been a driving force in bringing sound baths to contemporary culture.

Using a holistic approach to well-being with the transformative power of music and sound, her carefully crafted experiences allow sound to be used as a tool to access meditative states, support self-inquiry, cultivate deep relaxation, and inspire meaningful connection and change.

At the age of twenty-three, Sara was working full-time as an artist and musician in her New York City studio when the floor collapsed leaving her back broken in 4 places and temporarily paralyzed. Her physicians at the time told Sara she would live a life of chronic pain, limited mobility, and prescription drugs.

This diagnosis led Sara to embark on a journey of recovery from physical and emotional trauma. By way of this healing process, she created a uniquely approachable method based on over a decade of study in psychoacoustics, yoga and meditation, and a lifetime of experience in music and art.

Work from her album, Namora, is featured on this episode. Find out more about recorded versions of her sound baths.


Dr. Diane McIntosh, MD, FRCPC

Psychiatrist, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

One of the most powerful predictors of having a happy, mentally-well child is to love them.

Dr. McIntosh is a clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia and has a community psychiatry practice in Vancouver. She is extensively involved in continuing medical education programs to colleagues nationally and internationally, with a focus on rational pharmacology. She has a particular interest in the neurobiology of mood and anxiety disorders and ADHD.

Dr. McIntosh is the editor of book, Stress: The Psychology of Managing Pressure, and the author of numerous clinical and research papers. She has published blogs in the Huffington Post, focusing on mental health issues. She is the co-creator of SwitchRx, the online psychotropic medication switching tool, designed to support seamless prescribing in busy clinical practice.

Her research in the field of epigenetics shows how the stresses we encounter in our lives, particularly in the form of trauma, can change how our genes are expressed. These genetic expressions can then impact our children before they are born. Dr. McIntosh shares her insights into how we can positively impact the future by making changes to our stress and how we deal with traumatic experiences today.


Amos Clifford

Founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides & Programs

The guide is not a therapist: the forest is the therapist and the guide opens the doors.

One of the leading voices for Forest Therapy in the United States, Amos Clifford is a proponent of the power of shinrin-yoku—the Japanese concept of forest bathing. He started his career as a wilderness guide before founding Turning Point Youth Services in California, where he developed a program to connect troubled teens to the healing power of nature.

Amos’ personal story of recovery speaks to the the importance of identifying and releasing hidden stress that could be negatively impacting your health. He believes the solace he finds in nature is available to all of us, as long as we open our eyes to the calming power of connecting to the trees by breathing, slowing down and making our time in the forest intentional.

Amos has written many books, including A Little Handbook of Shinrin-Yoku . He is Founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, a project linking nature connection with health care globally. He holds a B.S. in Organizational Development and a M.A. in Counseling from the University of San Francisco.

Meghann Shantz, The Host of Well Now
Meghann Shantz
The Host of Well Now

Managing Editor at Saje Natural Wellness, Meghann Shantz brings her personal story of healing and a love of storytelling to Well Now – a podcast born out of a desire to help us all discover the hidden side of health and how to achieve wellness. She draws from her experiences navigating western and alternative medicine to heal her anxiety and physical injury to connect with guests about their own stories of overcoming physical and emotional challenges.

Naturally curious and on a quest for meaning, Meghann holds space for the raw expression and authentic stories of her podcast guests, believing that our world would be better if we chose to honour other people’s journeys and processes without judgement – and believing in the power of telling your story.