A study by Roger Ulrich, Ph.D. points out that attention to architectural details in a hospital setting, includingbuilding in elements of the natural environment, very significantly impact healing outcomes for patients. This includes having appropriate art, soothing music, and having plants around for a natural naturistic healing boost.
If you’ve ever had to stay in a hospital for any length of time, you can likely remember the agonizing blandness of those four white or grey walls, accompanied by tasteless curtains and a dreary window that often looks out over a parking garage or another building in a hospital’s complex. It’s enough to make a sane person crazy.
Form Vs. Function
Not only do more natural architectural details, like huge picture windows that overlook a park or forest, or large French doors that can open to let in an ocean breeze look great, they also add to a psychological peace that is absolutely essential for healing to occur. Even just angling a bed toward a window instead of toward a boring wall can make a huge difference.
Many patients are bed-ridden while staying in the hospital, and although they may want to get out in nature, they are unable to do so. Bringing nature to them, instead, not only soothes their nerves, but also aids in the healing process.
Adding beautiful, soothing music to an environment that pays attention to architectural details is another way to aid in the healing process. Instead of feeling like you are trapped in a mental ward when you have to get a tonsillectomy, you can feel more like you are visiting a spa. Experts in the field of neuroscience have discovered that music boosts mood, which changes how our body reacts to stress, and even ignites some interesting chemical responses to help it fight foreign invaders like viruses and unwanted bacteria.
On the nature-side of things, the American Psychological Association reports: