by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  February 5, 2013 at 12:46 PM Health Watch
 Therapeutic Gardening
Therapeutic gardens are all set to make a difference to people's lives and heal them in better ways than conventional medicine. A now rapidly growing branch of alternative medicine, therapeutic gardening is a new way of healing, mostly catering to patients suffering from depression.

Therapeutic gardens are mostly found in special hospitals where natural therapies are encouraged and also in retirement communities and out-patient cancer centers. There are different types of therapeutic gardens including restorative gardens (for psychiatric patients), Alzheimer's gardens (for dementia residences), cancer gardens (for cancer patients), meditation gardens (for religious institutions and schools) and general healing gardens (for acute care hospitals and other healthcare facilities).

An American journalist Richard Louv, has researched on using nature and pets as a healing process. His research on 'eco-psychology' has clear evidence of the therapeutic value of plants, and has demonstrated how re-connecting with the nature can have improved effects on one's health, including reduced muscle tension and stress, and lowered blood pressure.

Patients suffering from chronic and/or post traumatic stress can benefit a lot from therapeutic gardening. Dr Cosmo Hallstrom, a psychiatrist in Chelsea, claims that gardening in general, provides distraction, which is vital for people suffering from depression.

When struck by depression, one attempts to isolate himself from the surroundings, which ultimately aggravates the condition by impacting the physical well-being. In such a scenario, turning to gardening could provide relief and distract one from the mental chaos.

Another reason why therapeutic gardening works so well is that, plants in general are known to produce life-giving oxygen. Abundance of oxygen in the blood actually heals the internal organs, purifies the blood, eliminates toxins and strengthens immunity, thereby speeding up the healing process.

So the next time you're depressed, get the shovel out and indulge in Mother Nature's blissful pampering.

Source: Medindia

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