“There is scientific evidence of Nature’s positive influence not only on the mental well-being of the sick, but also on the success of the therapeutic process”.
Dr Vibe-Petersen, head of internal medicine at the Center for Cancer and Health in Copenhagen.
From the window of her hospital room Nora Bertolotti saw a tree. It was nothing special: ‘a few stunted branches beside the ring road’.
Yet when you are immobile in a bed, anything that takes your mind elsewhere helps. ”
I used to spend my time looking at it. Then they moved me to another ward. Outside, only scaffolding, it was like being in prison. I had been fighting the disease for weeks, but I never felt as bad as I did at that moment”.
From “GUARIRO’ IN UN GIARDINO” by Laura Traldi, for D di Repubblica, 23 February 2013.
A positive mental attitude can help the patient fight and overcome cancer.
Oscar Carl Simonton, one of the pioneers of psycho-neuroimmunology, doubles the average survival expectancy of patients with his approach, according to American statistics. His is a psycho-oncological method that teaches how to experience illness and treatments in a more constructive way, increasing their effectiveness through better management of stress and emotions. The use of combined relaxation and visualisation techniques reduces side effects and enables positive emotional pain processing, significantly improving quality of life.
American researchers Kathy Hathorn and Upali Nanda came to the conclusion that in hospital, patients feel better at the sight of paintings representing Nature, compared to abstract paintings. In fact, if you are feeling stressed and in a bad mood, an abstract painting forces you to make an extra effort to interpret it; moreover, as it does not represent any precise meaning, it can also arouse feelings of negative interpretation.
Setting a context with natural images, accompanied by sounds in the background, can significantly reduce the perception of pain and relieve anxiety.
“There are many studies proving that exposure to green increases the level of serotonin in the human body: it means an extra boost of energy and an antidote to depression.” Dr Roberta Dehman Hershon, founder of the American association Hope in Bloom.