The Healing Garden: How Nature Provides a Powerful Medicine for Healthcare

Posted by on Jun 2, 2023 in Behind the Design
The Healing Garden: How Nature Provides a Powerful Medicine for Healthcare

The benefits of nature have long been known to help promote healing and well-being for both the mind and body. In recent years, more and more healthcare facilities have taken on the idea of incorporating nature-based elements into their healthcare environments in the form of healing gardens. These areas of nature can help to combat the feeling of being closed off and disconnected from the outside world that many hospital patients and visitors are feeling.

Respite and Relaxation

A healing garden can offer a sense of escape for those who need it most, or just a beautiful place of respite for caregivers and families. It can be designed to be a place for relaxation or contemplation, as well as provide visitors with access to greenery, fresh air, and sunlight. Studies have shown that the sight, smell, and even sound of nature can have a powerful positive effect on people’s well-being and mood, even during times of illness. In addition, the calming of the natural environment of a healing garden brings a sense of tranquility and comfort that can aid in the healing process.

Stress Reduction

The physical environment of a healing garden is ideal for providing emotional support for both patients and their caregivers. Providing an area of beauty and nature within a healthcare environment can help to reduce the stress and discomfort that is often felt there, thereby creating a more pleasant and healing atmosphere. Having access to such nature can also reduce patient recovery times as well as decrease pain and depression.

Restorative Environment

The use of healing gardens in healthcare facilities is not just about providing beauty and relaxation, it is also beneficial to the environment, with areas of native plantings often incorporated into the design. Planting native species can provide necessary habitat for wildlife, as well as serve as a safe place for our feathered friends to congregate. This can create a restorative environment for all, creating harmony both for people and nature alike.

Healing gardens in healthcare facilities offer countless benefits – from helping people to cope better with the stress and anxiety of a hospital environment, to improving the local environment. Nature has the power to heal and aid the body and mind in powerful and meaningful ways, and the addition of healing gardens in healthcare settings is a wonderful way to take advantage of this.

About the Featured Image

New Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX: Parkland remains one of the busiest public hospitals in the nation, with more than 1 million patient visits each year. Every aspect of the new Parkland hospital was thoughtfully planned to enhance the patient experience but still preserve safe, quality care. Their wellness garden was part of that plan. Learn more.

Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped modernize healthcare organizations locally, regionally, and internationally, improving patient experience and outcomes. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff

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