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Nature Helping Us Heal

December 1, 2016

Last week we had an unanticipated trip to the ER. While we were waiting for the doctor they pulled a curtain around us, and lo and behold it was covered in botanical prints! My husband pointed out that this might make for a good blog post, and it is a good example of using nature (or in this case representations of nature) in an effort to provide comfort in some way.

There was a landmark study in the 1980’s by Roger S. Ulrich that looked at recovery times for surgical patients. One group had rooms with views of trees and the other views of a brick wall.  Turns out the patients with the views of trees statistically had shorter hospital stays, and took fewer doses of narcotics for pain management, among other measurements of surgical recovery. So it makes sense that incorporating nature, or even representations of nature, in medical settings can be beneficial to all.

Ulrich, R.S. 1984 View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science 224: 420.

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