Any Successful Programs Working With Stroke Victims And Language Problems Gardening is Good Therapy

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Gardening is Good Therapy

Many of us garden just for the joy of it. But did you know that across the country, the healing aspects of horticulture are used as an adjunct to therapy or treatment?

Although it may seem like a new concept, garden therapy has been around for decades. For example, the Garden Therapy Program at Milledgeville Central State Hospital and regional hospitals in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Rome, Thomasville and Savannah has been helping people through gardening activities known as social and therapeutic gardening for more than 40 years.

So what exactly is social and therapeutic gardening (or garden therapy)?

Growth Point (1999) vol. 79, p. According to the article “Your Future Begins Here: Practitioners Chart the Way Forward” from 4-5, horticultural therapy is the use of plants by a trained practitioner to achieve specific clinically defined goals. can be met. “…Therapeutic gardening is a process by which individuals can promote well-being through the use of plans and gardening. This is achieved through active or passive participation.”

Although the physical benefits of garden therapy have yet to be fully realized through research, the overall benefits are almost overwhelming. Horticultural therapy programs for beginners result in increased elf esteem and self-confidence for all participants.

Social and therapeutic gardening also develops social and work skills, literacy and digital skills, a sense of general well-being and opportunities for social interaction and independence development. In some cases, it may also lead to employment or further education or training. Obviously, different groups will get different results.

Groups recovering from major illness or injury, those with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and mental health problems, older people, offenders and drug or alcohol abusers can all benefit from the therapeutic aspects of horticulture provided through specialist therapy programmes. In most cases, those most affected are vulnerable or socially excluded individuals or groups, including the sick, the elderly, and those held in secure settings such as hospitals or prisons.

One of the important benefits of using social and therapeutic gardening is that traditional forms of communication are not always required. This is especially important for stroke patients, car accident victims, cerebral palsy, aphasia, or other illnesses or accidents that interfere with verbal communication. Gardening lends itself easily to those who lack communication skills. This in turn builds teamwork, self-esteem and self-confidence, while also encouraging social interaction.

Another group that clearly benefits from social and therapeutic gardening is those who abuse alcohol or substances and those in prison. Teaching gardening not only becomes a life skill for these individuals, but also provides a wide variety of additional benefits.

Social and therapeutic gardening gives these individuals a chance to participate in a meaningful activity that produces food while building skills related to responsibility, social skills, and work ethic.

The same applies to juvenile offenders. Horticultural therapy as a professional horticultural curriculum can be a tool to improve social engagement while developing improved attitudes about personal success and a new awareness of personal readiness.

The mental benefits don’t stop there. Enhancing decision-making and self-control are common themes reported by staff in secure psychiatric hospitals. Reports of increased confidence, self-esteem, and hope are also common in this environment.

Prison staff also noted that horticultural therapy improved inmates’ social interactions, as well as improved understanding between project staff and inmates who shared outdoor working conditions.

Interestingly, studies conducted in both hospitals and prisons consistently list improved relationships among participants, community integration, life skills, and ownership as real benefits for participants.

But in addition to creating countless emotional and social benefits, the health benefits of being outdoors, breathing fresh air, and being physically active can’t be overlooked. In most studies, participants noted that fresh air, fitness and weight control cannot be ignored here.

Although he has not found an honest reason, studies have shown that humans have an innate attraction to nature. What we do know is that being outdoors creates feelings of appreciation, serenity, spirituality and peace. It seems that just being in the garden is restorative in itself. Active gardening only enhances these feelings.

With so many positive benefits to gardening, isn’t it time to get out and start tending your garden? The next time you kneel down in fresh soil to pull weeds or plant a new variety of vegetable or flower, think about the peace you feel when you are outdoors in your garden. May the act of gardening calm and invigorate you. Experience the positive benefits of tending to your own garden.

If there is someone in your life who could benefit from garden therapy, contact your local health department to learn more about programs in your area. Enjoying gardening will not only help you bond, but will also create numerous positive mental and physical benefits for both of you.

So, take up gardening today for both your physical and mental health. You will enjoy the experience so much that you will thank yourself immediately.

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