Horticulture therapy is also known as gardening therapy. It is unsurprising that horticulture therapy has become significantly popular over the past few years.
Even the clinical approach to this therapy is not new and has been around for decades. This therapy effectively treats people suffering from mental stress and depression. But to engage in it, you need to understand what horticulture therapy is.
This blog presents a beginner’s guide on “What is horticulture therapy?” to make you understand better.
Overview Of Horticulture
Horticulture is the practice of doing garden activities on a short scale. It has been in practice for ages. The garden activities include growing crops or plants to maintain a green & clean environment.
Moreover, horticulture’s primary goal is to improve people’s lifestyle and protect the environment.
What Is Horticulture Therapy?
Horticulture therapy helps people to shift towards plant-based activities like gardening. It helps them to achieve particular treatment goals, such as mental illness. Gardening is one of the best ways to enjoy various healthy lifestyle activities.
In many studies, we have seen the healing effects of horticulture therapy on patients, including patients with visual impairments, weaning off toxic drugs, and physical health.
Professional horticulture therapists perform this therapy. They prepare specific garden activities to meet certain goals of treatment with fantastic outcomes. The therapy is beneficial for everyone, from children to the elderly. People suffering from sickness or trauma, whether mental, physical, or both, should take part in these activities.
Benefits Of Indulging In Horticulture Therapy
Horticulture Therapy uses gardening and plants to promote the well-being of an individual. It has been a helpful remedy for mental health issues. Here are some of the benefits of horticulture therapy:
Helps To Reduce Stress
Studies have shown that spending more time in a natural environment can improve how the body reacts to stress. If a person is suffering from emotional stress, health concerns, and loneliness, gardening can help them. Spending time in nature provides you with more calmness and positivity.
Helps To Reduce Pain
When you spend time in nature, it helps to reduce pain. Spending more time in nature may keep the individual away from unpleasant feelings. Doing gardening is a natural pain-relieving activity for those suffering from long recoveries and other physical issues.
Gives You a Feeling of Empowerment
Spending more time doing gardening gives a sense of control. When you deal with some kind of addiction, it impacts your self-esteem and loved ones. But nature can help you with this and show you the positive results. Moreover, doing things yourself gives you the confidence to live in nature. For instance, when tomatoes ripen and flowers bloom, you feel like achieving something.
Helps to Improve Mood
In recent studies, we saw that horticulture therapy helps to improve an individual’s mood. In one study, one group of patients participated in horticultural therapy and another in education classes. As a result, those who have participated in horticultural therapy have reported an improvement in mood change. But, for those who have participated in education classes, their mood remained unchanged.
Support Good Nutrition
Growing on your own may encourage you to eat healthy food and start growing crops at home. Moreover, using fresh herbs in the meal adds flavor and maintains a good appetite. For instance, adding grown herbs like mint to water for drinking may motivate people to drink more water in summer.
How Horticulture Therapy Came Into Practice?
For ages, people have been doing gardening activities so that they can calm themselves. Individuals enjoy these activities because they get a relaxing feeling.
In the 1800s, Dr. Benjamin used horticulture to treat mental illness. It was the first modern use of horticultural therapy, which had been used on individuals suffering from mental illness. Dr. Rush had also seen an increase in positive outcomes of gardening in individuals suffering from mental illness.
Horticulture Therapy Session
The horticulture therapy session begins with a conversation on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Individuals who have taken part in it get a quick tour of the garden. Moreover, the tour is all about horticulture’s educational and recreational aspects. They also show the participants some different elements of the environment that can trigger their senses.
After the end of the tour, participants can do gardening activities. For example, potting and dividing houseplants, tending, and starting seedlings.
How Can Horticulture Therapy Benefit Children?
The development of school gardens is undoubtedly beneficial as a classroom resource. It also contributes to the well-being of the children. When children interact with nature, it helps them to enhance their lives. According to educators, horticulture therapy provides children with valuable tools for life. Moreover, they have also seen that children having behavioral issues may learn new skills because of gardening.
With improvement through gardening, new growers can calm their feelings. Also, children who perform gardening can boost their confidence in them.
Additionally, we can see that it can help the little ones overcome mental issues. By looking at all the beneficial points, we must consider gardening activities for the children. These will help them learn about nature.
How Can Horticulture Therapy Benefit Adults?
Horticultural therapy is a popular and proven therapy that helps to keep depression away. It is very beneficial for adults in many ways, whether they enjoy gardening at home or living around nature. It enhances the physical, cognitive, and emotional life of an adult.
Here are some of the benefits that are especially helpful for adults:
It may be counterintuitive to say that working with soil can help adults get rid of the pain. It may also include those suffering from joint pain or arthritis. At the same time, doing gardening makes you less likely to think about your pain and aches. It has also been seen that hospital patients may recover sooner when exposed to nature. Also, they often ask for fewer painkillers at the time of their recovery.
Being Physically Active
Doing gardening is the best way of being physically active without realizing it. Watering, playing, pruning, and weeding are all activities that need physical movements. Moreover, when adults engage in these activities, this can keep them fitter and promote well-being.
Most of us are aware of community gardens, which provide the space to do gardening, socialize, meet, and chit-chat with other gardeners. Horticultural therapy provides the opportunity for gardeners to gather at a lovely place and connect.
The above information shows that horticultural therapy has many positive benefits. It is a useful tool that helps the human body physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. There is also an ancient Chinese saying, “If you want to be happy for a lifetime, be a gardener.” Now, after many centuries, science is proving these words true. So, ensure you are exploring the outside world, embrace the beautiful flowers, and get your hands dirty with the soil.
If you liked the above blog on “What is horticulture therapy?”, stay connected for more. You can also join our community of people who have benefitted from horticulture if you love being around plants and nature. Connect with Fall and Fallow today!