The Healing Garden belongs to the category of holistic therapies based on integration between material and spiritual world. There is not division within us between mind and body, and gardens, preparing mind to the beauty, peace and quietness, are able to instil a well-being feeling that leads to a general health improvement. There are several scientific reasons why a garden is able to cure, some of them concern mystical-religious aspects and traditional symbolisms, which identify gardens as that places where divine, transcendence and philosophy meet each other, but are mainly aesthetic and sensory aspects (colours, shapes, scents) that allow to this particular kind of green spaces to carry out their therapeutic task.
Design elements involved a healing garden mainly concern aromatherapy and chromotherapy. The olfactory stimuli acts on the limbic system which processes and regulates emotional reactions and behaviors, also playing an important role in the formation of memories, and long-term memory. Fragrance generate feelings which subside aggressiveness, and bring comfort during disease.
Aromatherapy is a practice based on the therapeutic potential inherent in essential oils derived from plants and classified in “notes” according to the olfactory impression that each of them generates.
Top/head notes: Oils derived from fruits. It is characterized by a vibration that moves upward by stimulating the mental plane. It has an energizing and refreshing effect very good for intellectual activities. It is distinguished by a rapid and dynamic frequency.
Middle/heart notes: Oils derived from stem, leaves and aerial parts of the plant, such as flowers and petals. Intense and sensual, they tend to balance body and mind acting on emotions/affectivity. They have an intermediate vibration.
Base notes : Oils derived from bark and roots. Hot, slow and heavy, it has a very low vibration that connects us to the earth through stabilizing, relaxing and sedative action.
The sense of smell is not the only one involved in a healing garden and sight can be amply satisfied and stimulated, causing consequent beneficial effects, by the light and the colors from which the entire garden is permeate. The therapeutic effect of colors on human body depends from the oscillating nature of our cells. Disease consist of a dis-harmony of the vibrational rhythm of cells and colors have the ability to re-balance them. Indeed in chromotherapy, besides the psychological and emotional positive effect of colours, it is also possible to observe a physical benefits as ill organs are able to “select” colors, absorbing exclusively those whose wavelength is necessary to restore their balance.
Red (hot energy) : Stimulation, excitement, energizing, will-power. On the physical body it acts on heart, circulation, blood pressure, nervous and glandular activity, liver, nerves, senses, muscles and lungs.
Orange (warm energy) : Release, serenity, enthusiasm, joy, optimism, positive feelings. On the physical body it acts on thyroid, stomach, heart rate, lung expansion, spleen.
Yellow (warm energy) : Happiness, sense of wellbeing, extroversion, lucidity, focussing. On the physical body it acts on blood (cleanser), digestion, intestine, nervous system.
Green (neutral): Renewal, hope, development. On the physical body it increases vitality, restores fuctional balance and it is antibacterial.
Blue (cold energy): Peace, serenity, harmony, calm, relaxation and stress relieving. On the physical body it acts on the nervous system, blood pressure, respiratory rate and heart beats, throat, teeth, skinre, It is freshing and analgesics.
Indigo (cold energy): Meditation and intuition. On the physical body it acts on sensory organs such as eyes, nose, ears, parathyroid glands, It has anesthetic and hemostatic effect, is refreshing, astringent, blood purifier and tonic.
Violet (cold enetgy): Spirituality, inspiration and imagination. On the physical body it acts on white blood cells, spleen, bones, skin and heart.
Healing gardens can improve and support our wellbeing acting positively during situations of stress, tension, inflammation, anxiety, depression, dissociation, degenerative symptoms, burnout and improving the quality of our own lives. Nature teaches us to face life and its difficulties with love, patience and trust and to prevent deseas trough balancing and harmony, and strengthening our etheric and physical body.
[Credits: ©Cristina Pandolfo. No permission of copy and reproduction without the author’s consent]