(El Jardin de Sanacion)
are a respite for mind and body.
A healing garden can be designed for patients with specific illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, or it can be simply a place where family members go to find comfort and solace. A healing garden can be a place where terminal patients can make a spiritual connection or a blind person experiences relaxing sounds and touches plants with soothing leaves.
The idea of a healing garden is not new. Healing gardens have been in existence since the Middle Ages in the 12th century. The Zen Garden in Japan is a good example of an ancient healing garden. Although there are no plants in a Zen Garden, the lines in the sand encircling the one boulder invokes a peaceful and contemplative feeling.
Today, healing gardens are coming back into vogue. Medical research has proven that aromatic plants, plants with different textures, and plants that are particularly colorful stimulate the senses, and decrease stress in the body. Examples of plants that are usually put in a healing garden include: gardenias (aromatic), lamb’s ear (texture), and azaleas (colorful.)
Other elements that are usually part of a healing garden are: water features, seating, soft music, ambient lighting, winding paths.
A healing garden could be placed anywhere, but it would especially benefit a nursing home, an assisted living facility, a hospital, a rehabilitation facility, or a place where injured soldiers are recovering from war wounds or the trauma of war.
Two healing gardens in Atlanta - One is adjacent to Piedmont Hospital, and the other one is located in a facility that caters to patients with Alzheimer’s disease on North Druid Hills.
Lastly, healing gardens are a green solution for a very stressed, overworked, and fast-paced society. What better way to reduce anxiety than to walk around in a peaceful setting, experiencing sights, sounds, and aromas that are healing a person’s mind, body, and soul.
Based in Atlanta, Olivia Munoz Mickalonis is a service connected disabled veteran, a landscape architect and an expert at creating healing gardens. To contact Olivia, simply use our ASK THE EXPERT box at the end of this page.
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