Healing Power Of Nature

Central Florida Ag News|January 2020

Healing Power Of Nature
University of Florida Teaching Horticulture therapy by
Teresa Schiffer

In this technologically driven world we live in now, where information moves at the speed of light and we often feel compelled to keep up or fall behind, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the pace and complexity of modern life.

We all have our struggles, and we work to cope with them in positive, healthy ways. The University of Florida has instituted an innovative new program to help provide people with some tools to alleviate stress and help manage various physical and mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). UF is now offering an Introduction to Horticultural Therapy course as a first step towards a certificate program in the subject.

Horticultural therapy is one aspect of “nature-based therapy,” wherein participants make use of various aspects of the natural world for therapeutic purposes. This type of healing treatment is considered an alternative medicine in the U.S. and has a strong history in non-Western medical practice. The theory behind it is that throughout history, humans have been closely connected to the natural world. It was our home and provided us with all of our needs for many, many generations. Over time, however, and especially since the Industrial Revolution, humanity has grown increasingly estranged from our Arcadian roots. Some researchers and philosophers have suggested that this expanding rift between humans and nature is having detrimental effects on people’s physical and mental health.

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January 2020