Researchers found that bacteria found in soil actually help activate brain cells that could produce serotonin. It's an incredible addition to the sense of presence and attention that gardening can bring. Gardening has even been used as therapy in several different populations. Garden lovers often say that gardening is therapy, and that the evaluation might be truer than you think.
Gardening improves physical health and produces homegrown nutritious products, but its therapeutic benefits go beyond that. From relaxation and stress relief to formal therapist-led programs, mental and emotional well-being receive welcome improvements along the garden path, 1.Why does gardening seem to be so beneficial to health? Combines physical activity with social interaction and exposure to nature and sunlight. Sunlight lowers blood pressure and increases vitamin D levels in summer,42 and the fruits and vegetables that are produced have a positive impact on the diet. Working in the garden restores dexterity and strength, and the aerobic exercise involved can easily consume the same amount of calories as would be spent in a gym.
Digging, raking, and mowing lawns are particularly calorie-intensive; 43 there's a gym outside many windows. Social interaction provided by community and therapeutic garden projects for people with learning disabilities and poor mental health can counteract social isolation. In addition, it has also been reported that the social benefits of these projects may delay symptoms of dementia44 (an effect that could be partly due to the beneficial effects of exercise). Patients recovering from myocardial infarction or stroke find that exercising in a garden, using paretic limb restriction therapy, for example45 is more effective, enjoyable and sustainable than therapy in formal exercise settings.
For some patients, gardening can even lead to employment. There are also successful plans involving volunteers to help seniors who cannot manage their gardens, and both the volunteer and the owner benefit from social interaction and products and a shared interest. We partner with supportive housing communities and rehabilitation cooperatives to design, build and maintain therapeutic gardens. Gardens serve as a key component in individual treatment plans and play an essential role in the healing process.
Gardening has always been recognized as a form of therapy. At one end, there are professional horticultural therapists who work in the Enabling Garden at the Chicago Botanical Garden; at the other, there are gardeners who simply escape from street noises or spend time in the company of growing things. Next, a master gardener at the Chicago Botanical Garden talks about gardening as therapy. While the initial inspiration for this project came from my personal reflection that gardening is a beneficial experience, an evidence base supports what is generally described as horticultural therapy.
Whether you're spending your time in the garden enjoying the results of someone else's efforts or digging with a shovel and hoe, gardens and gardening can help bring peace and healing to lives. Interacting with nature, even simply observing trees or visiting garden-like environments, can have spectacular therapeutic results. Similarly, anxious people often feel overwhelmed, and gardening can be a good way to gain a sense of control. A recent Mintel survey for charity Thrive, 34, which enables social and therapeutic horticulture, showed that among people with disabilities, a quarter considered gardening as a hobby.
Enthusiastic gardeners argue that producing one's own food is a great tonic in several ways, but specifically this project was interested in the benefits of increasing exercise, increasing knowledge and skills, and improving diet. Benjamin Rush, a prominent physician and signatory of the Declaration of Independence, documented that gardens and garden excavation were important factors in the recovery of patients with mental illness. In addition, while trying to control other people is invariably an unsuccessful exercise, you are more likely to manage to control your beds and borders, which can make gardening a particularly satisfying experience. Just like in outdoor gardens, seeing the green plants indoors can lift your spirits and a sense of well-being.
For the millennium, a small central garden was created between the buildings of St Thomas Hospital; another at St George's Hospital was successfully commissioned by Harold Lambert (FRCP). Visitors to private garden centers and gardens, such as those participating in the National Garden Plan or those managed by the National Trust, are increasing. Cackling can be heard from far beyond the brick walls of the private garden, hosting a session of Laughter Yoga Atlanta. .