My wish would be that no one would ever need to spend time in a hospital. I've been there, and even with the best of nurses and doctors, hospitals are drab, unwelcoming and scary.
There is an ever growing body of research that supports the theory that specific types of art work used to decorate a hospital can speed up the healing process. One study sponsored by Eli Lily showed that patients preferred to see art on the walls. But it needs to be the right genre of art. When surveyed the preferred to see landscapes, and animals, scenes of everyday life with abstract images coming in as the least preferred. Abstract art is ambiguous and is often interpreted negatively, especially if you are under stress, as you would be in a hospital.
The idea of the importance of art to well-being and the benefits in health care design is not new. Research has been conducted for several decades. The past decade has seen a rise in more therapeutic design of health care facilities. Art work can be used not only to be aesthetically pleasing but to also produce a calming atmosphere. It can be used to inspire and to help orient patients to their surroundings.
I am hoping to see research that shows we can use art work to keep us out of hospitals. If we can use it to calm us in our homes at the end of a long day or in office settings to provide calmness at work it would stand to reason that it would benefit our health. Maybe by meditating on a nature scene we can lower our blood pressure. I've said it before and I think it bears repeating, go for a walk in the park, decorate you home with calming photos to help you stay healthy. But if you do need to go into a hospital I hope it is one that uses art to create an environment that will help in your healing process.
Nature Deficit Disorder is not an actual medical diagnosis. Rather it is a phrase that Richard Low coined in 2005. But it does aptly describe how our brains and bodies are reacting to a disconnect from nature. And it is also something that is being recognized and addressed worldwide.
What are other countries doing to help their populations connect with nature and de-stress? East of Seoul, South Korea is the Saneum Healing Forest, complete with health rangers and wooden platforms for yoga. This is one of three healing forests, but 34 more are planned by 2017.
Both Japan and Germany have versions of natural therapy requiring patients to either walk for extended periods through forests. In Japan this is referred to as forest bathing. In Germany they practice Kneipp therapy which involves exercising in clearings within the forests.
We can give ourselves our own form of nature therapy on a small scale in our homes. Homes with numerous or large windows to let in an abundance of natural light are great. Houseplants and photographs of nature scenes are another way we can easily incorporate nature into our daily lives. Scheduling time to take a walk in a local park or just get out into your yard, if you have one, can give you a mini nature break too.
If you are working with or if your are an Interior Designer incorporating some aspect of nature into your designs can be included in your plans. However you do it find some easy ways to bring de-stressing elements into your home.
Hi. I am Cheryl of Cheryl Day Photography. Stay tuned for my regular blog posts to keep you updated on what I am doing.