Decades ago, a pioneering study became the basis for our understanding of how flowers and plants influence results. The study found that “surgical patients assigned to rooms with windows facing a natural scene had shorter postoperative hospital stays” than those in rooms with windows that faced a brick wall.
A faster recovery time was not the only benefit; patients in the garden view rooms took fewer painkillers and received fewer negative comments in the nurses’ notes, indicating that patients may have been more satisfied with their hospital experience than their “brick wall” counterparts.
Since that study, several others have emerged supporting the idea that people exposed to plants or the natural environment recover more quickly from stress, showing better psychological, emotional and cognitive health.
Plants improve pain tolerance – Flowering plants are even better
While most patients will not have the benefit of a garden view, pain tolerance can be significantly improved by the presence of plants in the room. The same study concluded that “adding plants with flowers had more positive effects on pain tolerance time, pain intensity and pain anguish”.
It was discovered that a complementary approach to routine analgesia is that the images and sounds of nature reduce pain when patients are shown before, during and after flexible bronchoscopy procedures.
It is a simple truth that patients often rise when they receive a gift of a flower arrangement or plant next to their bed. But the psychological effect on his healing continues beyond those first moments. Researchers in several studies evaluated the impact of nature and plants on health, and concluded that “the interactions between people and plants provide a physiological reduction of stress.”
It is important to counteract sources of stress “with positive distractions that have calming effects to stimulate and stimulate healing during hospitalizations.” Seeing nature or having plants present has been considered an effective positive distraction that can provide extensive involuntary attention, increase positive feelings, block or reduce worrying thoughts, and promote stress restoration. ”
Compared with those in rooms without plants, patients in another study expressed greater satisfaction and more positive feelings about their hospital rooms. According to the study, “the introduction of plants and flowers in a hospital ward during the recovery period had a positive influence that is directly related to the health outcomes of surgical patients.” Patients exposed to plants had significantly less need for analgesics, better physiological responses, lower rates of pain, anxiety and fatigue “.