17 May 2017
Should doctors prescribe gardening? Some experts think so…
How would you feel if your doctor prescribed you gardening?
Last year, a report from the influential King’s Fund think-tank urged the NHS that doctors should prescribe gardening far more often, particularly for patients with mental health problems, patients in the early stages of dementia, and patients undergoing cancer treatment.
The benefits of social prescribing
Schemes like this would fall into the category of ‘social prescribing’, which focuses on a patient’s mental health and wellbeing as much as their physical health. Promoting community bonds and reducing social isolation have been proven to reduce a patient’s need to see a GP or attend A&E, as well as improving their wellbeing.
The report’s author, David Buck, said that “social prescribing schemes, by their nature, vary considerably but generally provide a way for GPs and other primary care professionals to offer or signpost to non-clinical referral options instead of, or alongside, clinical ones”.
Gardening and mindfulness
One of the main reasons why gardening is considered to be beneficial for mental health is because it allows for a state mindfulness. Mindfulness is the state of achieving a relaxed and open awareness of your thoughts and sensations moment by moment. Mindfulness is to be fully present in that particular moment, and not to be overwhelmed by the future. If you’re at your most relaxed when gardening, then mindfulness is probably why.
Less time doing garden chores, more time gardening!
One reason why many people struggle to garden is because it’s often confused with outdoor chores. Mowing the lawn isn’t gardening. Raking the leaves isn’t gardening.
Artificial grass can take this stress out of gardening, meaning less time mowing and more time spent actually enjoying gardening! Get in touch to discover how Wonderlawn can work with the existing nature in your garden today!