Horticulture Therapeutic Benefits – Using Healing Gardens For Therapy

Horticulture Therapeutic Benefits – Using Healing Gardens For Therapy

By: Susan Patterson, Master Gardener
Image by miriam-doerr

Using garden therapy is a great way to heal nearly anything that ails you. There’s no better place to relax or become one with nature than in a physical therapy garden. So what is horticultural therapy and how is it used? Let’s learn more about healing gardens for therapy and the horticulture therapeutic benefits they provide.

What is Horticultural Therapy?

Essentially, it is using gardens and plants to help with physical or emotional healing.

The art of using plants as tools for healing is not a new practice. Ancient civilizations and various cultures throughout time have incorporated the use of horticultural therapy as part of a holistic healing regimen.

Horticultural Therapeutic Benefits

The horticulture therapeutic benefits for people with physical, emotional, mental and social challenges are numerous. Professionals cite that people who successfully grow and care for plants tend to be more successful in other aspects of their lives.

In addition to stimulating the senses, garden therapy tends to release stress, alleviate depression, improve creativity, promote pleasant emotions, improve motor skills and reduce negativity.

Patients recovering from illness or minor surgery who have been exposed to healing gardens for therapy tend to recover faster than those that have not been exposed.

Where Are Healing Gardens Used?

Using garden therapy has gained much attention in the United States recently and has always been embraced by eastern cultures. Horticultural therapy centers are popping up all over the country in response to a growing recognition and acceptance of natural therapies.

Natural health centers often employ horticultural therapists, as do nursing homes, group homes, hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Patients who are recovering from orthopedic and reconstructive surgeries regain mobility and strength in a physical garden setting.

Healing gardens for therapy offer patients a place to relax, regain strength and allow their bodies, minds and emotions to heal. With more people becoming interested in non-invasive methods of treatment, healing gardens and horticultural therapy provides a safe and natural alternative to conventional treatments.

Creating a Healing Garden

Everyone can benefit from a healing garden, and they can be easily incorporated into any landscape with ease. Healing garden designs vary depending on use, and many plans are available online or in print. Before constructing a healing garden, be sure to draw up a detailed plan and visit a few healing gardens locally to get an idea of what plants and hardscape features are included.

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