The Healing Force of Nature During Hospice


Step outside at Our Lady of Peace Hospice in spring and summer, and you’ll experience the serenity and healing power of flowers, trees, and flowing water. For many OLP patients and families, nature is therapeutic. Going outside and breathing fresh air and feeling the sun on their faces reduces stress and anxiety. The color and fragrance of the gardens and the sound of wildlife provides an escape to tranquility and peace.

According to Psychology Today:

  • Nature is the purest pathway to inner peace, and it recharges one’s energy and renovates the personality.
  • A study showed that when participants were exposed to nature scenes, their brains lit up with empathy and love.
  • Researchers suggested that a nature view helps patients tolerate pain.

Experience the calming power of trees and plants

Dr. Qing Li, a professor at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, found that trees and plants emit aromatic compounds called phytoncides that, when inhaled, can spur healthy biological changes in a manner, similar to aromatherapy.

Experience the calming power of water

Water is a powerful source of health and well-being. Knowing this, patients who enter Our Lady of Peace are given a spa bath to transition to our care. And, families are encouraged to step outside and sit by the waterfall flowing to our pond near our front entrance. Looking and listening to water sounds is calming, which is why people sometimes listen to them to fall asleep. 

Remember to breathe

According to Science Daily, it’s long been known that meditative mindful breathing helps with various health conditions, including pain. Mindful breathing focuses your attention on your breathing—to its natural rhythm and flow and the way it feels on each inhale and exhale. Imagine the calming power of mindful breathing in an outdoor sanctuary of sights, smells and sounds.

Care at Our Lady of Peace is physical, emotional, and spiritual. Our groundskeeper, Juan Perez, makes sure our outdoor spaces bloom and grow for patients and families because they play a vital role in easing stress and anxiety. If only for a few moments, they can provide a pathway to peace. Thank you, Juan for your green thumb and dedication to the healing outdoor spaces of Our Lady of Peace.