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More healthcare facilities embracing horticultural therapy

Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2010

A growing number of healthcare facilities—from hospitals, to elderly care programs, to mental health institutions—are embracing "horticultural therapy" programs that use gardening as part of their treatments, the Wall Street Journal reports. The moves come at a time of increased public acceptance of alternative medicine, combined with interest in "green" practices of all kinds. A number of studies have already indicated that just looking at plants or nature can help alleviate stress, perceptions of pain, and improve mood among patients. More recently, studies have gone further to indicate that the act of gardening can also have dramatic and restorative effects on health, the Journal reports.