Therapy gardens can take as many forms as the plants within them, the end results are the same-healing spaces that bring comfort and peace to those who use them. The reshaping of your environment can promote prevention of health problems. Therapeutic gardens and horticulture therapy are a great part of a holistic approach to any recovery.
Healing Garden Ideas:
1. Use lush, colorful planting that is varied and interesting
2. Use flowering plants over several seasons to mark the seasons and provide a sense of cyclical rhythm throughout the year
3. Use trees whose foliage moves easily and creates noise even in a slight breeze.
4. Use plants and other devices (such as feeders and birdbaths) to attract birds and butterflies.
5. Use a harmonious variety of plant textures, forms, and colors.
6. If possible, add a water feature. Moving water creates a soothing sound and can create a psychological screen that helps the restoration process.
7. Provide meandering paths where possible to encourage strolling and reflection on elements in the garden.
8. Select paving surfaces that accommodate wheelchairs if needed.
9. Nighttime lighting allows the garden to be used or viewed after dark.
10. Movable chairs or benches placed at right angles provide for more social interaction.
11. Provide a variety of shelter and exposure so that the garden may be used in different seasons.
12. Provide one or two memorable sculptures.
Given that the potentially frightening specter of cancer and its treatments may innately erode a person’s feeling of control, it is essential that cancer patients, in particular, feel a sense of mastery over their environment—and, in turn, the disease—at every step of the treatment cycle. Research shows that people who feel a measure of control over their situation are typically better able to cope with stress and have better health.
Dawn Bradford Lange: Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer. We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
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