Horticulture: The therapeutic effects of plants

Our body is a natural marvel and it is at its best form when it is surrounded by nature. And horticultural therapy facilitates to recreate that missing connection.

So, what is exactly horticultural therapy?
A horticultural therapy, unlike the regular therapy uses plants and gardening activities to engross an individual to accomplish specific recovery objectives, with the help of a qualified therapist. This form of therapy uses physical presence of flora to induce the human body to feel healthier, which eventually leads to an improvement in the mental state. The main aim of horticultural therapy is to aid the person to accept their inhibitions naturally and help them resolve whatever ordeals they are dealing with. It is an effective healing technique which can bring a purpose and a sense of belonging to the person.

How does it work?
This therapy encourages people to take up planting and gardening activities which creates a positive and a fulfilling ambience. It increases outdoor activities, concentration, motor skills, and regulates the heartbeats and blood pressure as well. Besides fostering psychological and physiological benefits, it also aids the person to boost communication in a social setting. There are certain group activities conducted which are specially designed to bring people together, which promotes the ethic of collaboration, friendship and respect. And obviously as horticulture is an opportunity to learn a new skill, it increases cognitive capabilities, happiness and self-esteem.

Who can participate in a horticultural therapy program?
Horticultural therapy is valuable for elderly, disabled, felons, and people suffering from mental disorders or terminal illnesses, and also for individuals recovering from physical trauma. But anyone can participate in the horticultural therapy to escape the maddening stress and tensions of the routine. It’s effective and safe for people of all background and ages. Apart from the fact that it uses plants to re-establish a sense of spiritual harmony, horticultural therapy is extremely inclusive about its learners. You will find that this therapy is practiced in various sorts of social settings such as hospitals, senior citizen homes, correction centers, rehabilitation homes, botanical gardens, foster homes, etc.

Are there any educational courses to be a professional horticultural therapist?
Unlike the past, horticulture in the present has evolved on a drastic level. There are many channels which have opened to make horticulture an accessible recovery program. If one is aspiring to become a horticultural therapist, there are many college programs and certifications for which one can enroll. As a horticultural therapist, individuals will get an opportunity to work in retirement centers, schools, hospitals, correctional programs, etc.