Therapeutic use of horticulture and horticulture combined with other modalities is becoming more prevalent throughout the health and wellness industry. The therapy is offered with a wide variety of remedies, including traditional, complementary, integrative, and alternative therapies. Integrative and alternative medicine therapies provide their benefits through the use of multiple modalities including but not limited to energy medicine, movement and exercise, light therapy, kinesiology, guided imagery, aromatherapy, music therapy, tai chi, and prayer. These modalities offer alternative treatments for the mind, body and spirit. Horticulture and horticulture therapy combines these modalities and therapies and is increasingly being used to treat patients with stress, insomnia, panic disorders, phobias, addictions, chronic pain and other health issues. There are no human studies demonstrating the efficacy of horticulture and horticulture combined with other modalities, yet a number of research studies show the efficacy of these modalities.
Most modalities used in combination with horticulture and horticulture therapies are designed to target specific physiological systems within the human body. While the modalities can be applied in separate sessions or in combination, the number of sessions required to achieve effective results varies among patients. Of all modalities currently available for use in combination with horticulture and horticulture therapies, the modalities that show the greatest support are kinesiology and movement, kinesiology and guided imagery, and exercise and light therapy.
Kinesiology, also known as bioenergy medicine, is the use of muscle testing (kinesthetic awareness) and reflexology (bioenergetic therapy) to identify the cause of a health issue and to treat it by adjusting muscle imbalance. An example of kinesiology is muscle testing to identify the source of a chronic pain and treating it by removing the restriction, or adjusting the patient's muscle tone to allow the body to heal itself. When used in combination with horticulture and horticulture therapies, kinesiology is recommended to be used first in most cases as it can help identify potential sources of the health issue and offers a method to effectively treat the issue. This practice of kinesiology is often used in combination with energy medicine techniques.
Bioenergetic therapy is a set of complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies that work by affecting the bioenergy of the human body. Through this approach, the patient's body is rebalanced and the energy flow within the body is reestablished. Bioenergetic techniques include: bioenergetic healing, bioenergetic therapy, bioenergy medicine, chiropractic, energy medicine, neurospinal therapy, myofascial therapy, skeletal alignment therapy, therapy, structural/physical, tissue mobilization, vitalization, and Reiki. Bioenergetic therapies are based on the premise that bioenergetics, or the movement of bio-energy in the body, is the source of all illness and disease. In a healthy body, the bio-energy is considered to be healthy, and the condition of the body is said to be in equilibrium. Illness occurs when there is a disruption in the energy flow in the body and the tissue is no longer working properly. The process of health restoration, or rebalancing, is accomplished by restoring the proper flow of energy in the body using a variety of therapeutic techniques, including bioenergetic therapies. Bioenergetic therapies are commonly used to address the whole body and therefore may be used in combination with other therapies.
Motion and exercise in combination with horticulture and horticulture therapy offer several health benefits. The current standard of care for preventing and treating health issues is exercise combined with dietary changes. Many of the benefits offered through movement and exercise are due to the health effects of exercise itself and the way it improves cardiovascular function, decreases risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure and lowers levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides. Movement and exercise can improve cognitive function and memory, induce and enhance the immune system, release endorphins and natural opiates and reduce anxiety and depression. The health effects of exercise also include reduced body weight, enhanced strength and flexibility, reduction of risk of injury, improved emotional state, and improved energy levels. It is suggested that the practice of exercise should be started at a minimum of thirty minutes three times per week, but should be increased to forty-five minutes five times per week as appropriate. It is recommended that once exercise is initiated, the practice should be continued in order to achieve the maximum benefit.
The practice of exercise in combination with horticulture and horticulture therapies can benefit patients with cognitive impairment, stress, pain, chronic illness, and all types of pain and mental health disorders. Currently, the recommended length of treatment is three to twelve months. The duration of treatment is based on the frequency of the application and intensity of the application. When treating a patient, a series of sessions may be offered to gradually increase the number of sessions and/or intensity of the sessions. Due to the cumulative effects of treatment, exercise in combination with horticulture and horticulture therapies is most effective when repeated over a prolonged period of time.
Light therapy can also be used in combination with horticulture and horticulture therapy. Light therapy consists of treating the patient with the use of light. Light therapy can be applied in the form of phototherapy or photosynthesis. Phototherapy, or the use of light to treat a patient, has been used to treat skin conditions, rashes, allergies, migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and many other conditions. Phototherapy has been used to treat patients in the use of a therapy lamp to deliver a uniform source of light. Phototherapy has also been used as a combination treatment with healing touch, tai chi, and horticulture. Phototherapy is a form of light therapy that uses the patient's own sunlight to deliver the light. The treatment is administered in a controlled manner, providing the patient with a uniform light source while allowing the patient to be outside during daylight hours. Light therapy has a number of positive effects on the human body. It promotes sleep, relieves anxiety and depression, and activates the nervous system.
Tai chi is a form of body-mind practice combining physical and mental movements to cultivate health. Traditional Tai