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Natural Awakenings Austin

The Wonderful, Healing Power of Gardening

Mar 29, 2017 05:23AM

by Jodi Phillips

Plants and trees have been worshipped, adored, admired and looked upon with devotion. Avid plant gardeners even go so far as to name them and treat them like a member of the family. These beautiful beings are the sustainers of the earth, and this earth includes us; therefore being mindful to our connection will not only improve our health, but also give back to the life that creates ours.

Every person, animal, tree and illness literally exists is as a spirit. Moreover, this spirit can be accessed, engaged or encountered in ways that bring about positive change to enhance the quality of life, relationships and health. Considering the importance of eating healthily, getting plenty of rest, engaging in appropriate exercise and having solid emotional support, that list also includes a regiment of appreciating and participating in some way with nature. Learning how to garden is a great start to improving oneself.

Nature is healing. We all love being in nature because everybody knows it dramatically reduces stress, soothes and can heal a wide range of physical and mental ailments, increases positive emotions and gives the opportunity to connect as spiritual beings. Everything in the outer universe is a reflection of our consciousness and our body. Wellness and being aligned with nature will only strengthen and improve one’s physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Realizing that we are an integral part of everything is the first step to healing; plus, it just makes us happy.

There are a multitude of documented studies that show how powerful the healing effects of nature can be. It also develops self-confidence and individual empowerment, as well as key physical, cognitive and social skills. Nature has been known to help with dementia, brain injuries, visual impairments, mental health, physical health, autism, trauma and even weaning off toxic drugs or medications. Horticulture practices and gardening are effective for everyone from children to elderly, to those suffering from trauma or sickness. Here are a few examples of how nature and gardening contribute to good health:

Physical: Gardening is a great way to increase motor skills and stay active, especially at times when one might otherwise be sitting.

Cognitive: Regain and strengthen ability to make decisions, start and complete tasks, increase concentration and find and apply new skills to daily life.

Social: Provides community and common goals that are shared with others. Trust and communication become established, and commonalities between individuals are expressed.

Psychological: Nature and gardening give people a sense of anticipation and accomplishment. Nature is a very nurturing being in times of sorrow or happiness, weakness or strength. Plants can give an individual a sense of worth and reaffirm that nobody is ever really alone.

This is a very symbiotic relationship to have with plants, and understand the power that is all around us. By embracing nature and participating with plants, one ultimately embraces the self and can feel its restorative effects. Plants are such extremely intelligent and spiritual beings that have a huge responsibility to sustain life, but they can be sensitive, too. Sometimes people forget that these are live beings and depend on humans to get them established and acknowledge their healing power. They will usually gravitate to what the good caregiver likes, so if that person likes classical music, then they will too, or if one likes blues and bluegrass, then they will dance to that. Keep in mind that plants, like humans, have a vascular system that transports water and minerals throughout their bodies. They communicate and support one another and possess seven senses. Biologist Daniel Chamovitz is Tel Aviv University’s director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences, and his career is groundbreaking in discoveries in the biology of plants. His book, What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses, teaches more about these beautiful creatures all around us. People embrace plants for different reasons, whether it’s the vibration and energy that is all around us; ancient beliefs that plants are sentient and possess a soul; or that they are so darn pretty and make people smile. Do not be scared to learn new garden skills, as nature does not judge. Plants will unveil their appreciation of human efforts, and in turn we can develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of nature.

Jodi Phillips is a Certified Horticulture Therapist and Health Coach proudly healing the Austin area for more than 14 years. For more information, call 512-826-8889 or visit

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