The Healing Power of Nature

A few months ago we published a blog article entitled Lions, Tigers, Elephants, Alligators…Wild Things Help Children to Heal, about how animal sculptures created by artist Frederick Prescott are being displayed at hospitals and children’s health care centers throughout the country. The sculptures are proving great sources of entertainment amongst the children and families that attend the hospitals and centers, bringing smiles and laughter to places where it is most needed.

Blue Spot CowBlue Spot Cow: Prescott Studios

We recently read an article in Healthcare Design Magazine that, again, touched home for us here at The Souza Agency, and also has an interestingly similar theme to our previous article. Variation on a Theme: Facility Branding for a Midwestern Healthcare Provider by Mary Bamborough, IIDA, describes how creating an interior design theme can be a wonderful and stimulating environment for any health care facility. Bamborough describes the importance of “branding” for these facilities: in order to create a warm, inviting and positive interior space, which can help aid the healing process. The example for “branding” used in this article is nature, chosen for its many positive connotations to do with growth, life, and change: optimistic and encouraging outlooks in any health care environment. Bamborough uses the imagery of an acorn, which ultimately becomes a tree, providing a symbolical representation of life and growth.

blog-acorn-tree

Windflower Embroidery

Mary Bamborough is Director of Interior Design at GMB Architects-Engineers in Holland, Michigan. She was appointed by the Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to create the interior space for parts of the hospital and more recently the nursing home and rehabilitation center (Borgess Gardens.) Bamborough chose six specialty garden themes for the common areas in each of the 6 households, each boasting different atmospheric and rehabilitative qualities; Woodland Garden, Flower Garden, Spiritual Garden, Heirloom Garden, Enchanted Garden and the Tea Garden.

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Variation on a Theme

The garden theme was chosen because it provides many naturally therapeutic benefits and ideologies that aid patients in the healing process. The consequential benefits of gardening keeps a person rooted in the real world: what could get more real than nurturing the miracle of nature? Studies have also proven that getting green fingered can help alleviate pain and depression, promote self-esteem, build confidence, and restore self worth: as Bamborough says, “a garden offers a miraculous event. You prepare the soil, plant a seed, add water, and voila, a miracle happens – life.” Borgess Gardens sounds like a great place to rest, recover and restore oneself mentally and physically, by getting in touch with nature and creating life’s little miracles every day.

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Green Fingers: istockphoto

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