The power of plants to increase attentiveness and wellbeing

T here is some interesting research about the benefits of being around plants – including increasing attentiveness, lowering blood pressure and increasing feelings of wellbeing. They can remind us that there is always growth, under the harshest of environments plants will often still thrive. They remind us to care about our environment and they make our air cleaner. On a simple level, I think they are pretty and make us smile. 

There is something nourishing about being in nature and nurturing plants definitely helps us feel connected.

I bumped into a friend today and she was telling me about a cool little local Grey Lynn business called Sill Life – beautifully sourced plants and hand made and hand painted pots, a great combination. The clinic is filled with gorgeous plants so it inspired me to create a similar environment at home. Now with three new plants in our house I can attest to feeling pretty good.

It’s easy to see why the guerilla gardening movement started and why it has such a following, there is some magic in transforming neglected and often bleak urban spaces in the dead of night with plants and flowers for people to wake up to. These days, the movement tends to be more about connecting people through gardening and bringing communities together to care for the gardens created which can only be a good thing.

Plants and gardening are often used as metaphors for life. People are described as blossoming or blooming (while pregnant). We put down roots, we reap what we sow. For me, the metaphor most aligned with craniosacral therapy is being grounded. When we feel grounded we have the foundation for health and growth.

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow

Audrey Hepburn

Footnote: For anyone unsure about their ability to keep a plant alive, some of the easiest / hardiest plants to have indoors include spider, jade and succulent plants. Even I have managed to keep these guys in good shape.

 

What do you believe about your ability to heal

The way we think, feel and talk about our bodies and our health can have an impact on how we feel about our health issues, how we respond to them, how we recover from them and how we heal.
There is a lot of research about the impact of the power of the mind including positive psychology and neouroplasticity (The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.) I believe our inner beliefs about ourselves can also impact on our ability to heal.

Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease
Hipocrates

A couple of examples for you. We can sometimes believe an issue that we currently have, that we may have had for a long time will always plague us. We are hopeful of a minor improvement rather a wholesale change. People will talk about their dodgy back or their weak stomach. I have done it myself. I used to talk about my gammy sinuses as being my weak spot and I even believed that everyone had a ‘weak spot’. I never went anywhere without tissues and had regular painful sinus infections. I couldn’t actually imagine not having them I was so used to them. Another thing people sometimes talk about is the fear or expectation of health issues that may impact them in the future.

I am not negating hereditary factors for disease or the cycle of emotions that go with being sick and in pain and I have been there. Nor am I suggesting that if people just put a ‘smile on their dial’ their health problems will instantly go away. During our lives we may be exposed to an array of illnesses and injuries and health issues which will need a variety of supports and treatment.

What I am suggesting though is there is another way to think about ourselves and our health that will support us to recover, heal and thrive. This is not new or radical thinking but it does require another way of being. Helena Popovich an Australian Physician, author and speaker talks about the language we use in the healthcare system and how it can be overwhelming for some people. She describes how terms like, ‘eradicating the disease’ or ‘fighting infection’ can leave people feeling like their bodies are a battleground.

Finding health can be much more empowering. Recognising what is working well even when we are feeling terrible can be a huge relief, from having mobility to comfortably breathing and eating. Believing that we have the strength and inner health to face obstacles is vastly different from feeling like our bodies are failing us.

Sometimes we don’t have the head-space and sometimes we all need help to get started or to maintain our health. Craniosacral therapy creates the space for this using your body’s natural ability to heal or to feel balanced. Ultimately, our body is an amazing healing device and will go to great lenths to heal.

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