Thursday, March 24, 2016

Horticultural Therapy

I've become maybe a *little* bit obsessed with horticultural therapy lately. I mean, saving the environment and helping people emotionally at the same time is pretty awesome, right?  Plus, I recently learned about this incredible type of bacteria in soil that actually makes you happy.  People don't often think soil equals elation, but Mycobacterium vaccae "mirror[s] the effects" (Gardening Know How) that antidepressants have on neurons. It sounds a bit crazy, but the whole process is actually rather simple: the bacteria is inhaled or touched, cytokine levels rise, and serotonin is produced.  This, in turn, causes you to feel good, focused, and centered.

Doing more research on garden therapy (because I love research), I learned that it was used for soldiers after World War I and World War II, and it's used today by organizations like Greenfingers, which brings gardening projects to hospices in the UK.   As a practice, horticultural therapy falls under the broader field of ecotherapy, which, as the name implies, uses nature therapeutically. In a world where everyone's online and indoors all the time, there's a bit of a "nature deficit," and it's incredible what spending a little time outside can do for mental (and even physical) health.

<3 Frances

1 comment:

  1. This goes so well with your posts about bibliotherapy! Thank you! Your book and song recommendations always make my day. <3