Glasgow's Dear Green Place Phenomena
Last updated: 3.36pm, Thursday 13th April 2023
Following on from a previous blog looking at how we can all improve our brain health and to mark National Stress Awareness Month, Senior Physiotherapist Eilidh explores the new Green Space phenomenon and how plants and being around nature is good for our mental and physical wellbeing. Maybe its time for us to bring the outside inside the clinic?
Oh, how my life had changed. My Friday night, after putting my daughter to bed, is now to pour a wee glass of vino, grab my notebook and settle down, at 8pm sharp with one of the most important men in my life...Monty Don!!!
Plant sales, specifically indoor plants, have skyrocketed since lockdown and this has prompted lots of research into what the are benefits to our health when we are exposed to plants ... and boy do we benefit.
We all know getting outside, fresh air, and light activity (like gardening, walking in parks and green spaces) is good for us but plants and trees are now known to offer so much more. This has sparked the ‘Green Space’ revolution.
Let’s start with the obvious. Most modern medicine can be traced back, finding its roots (no pun intended) in nature, derived from plants and natural substances. But before you head out foraging and concocting weird and wonderful potions, it’s even easier than that.
Recent studies have shown that lots of the plants around us naturally release chemicals that improve our mood, lower our blood pressure and even increase our pain tolerance. Just being around them and breathing is medicine enough. (It’s part of the reason that we give flowers to people when they are sick or grieving.)
It’s been well documented that patients who either have plants in their hospital rooms or, even easier, have a room with a view of a green space...yes just looking at plants, actually reduces the hospital stay and accelerates their recovery.
We aren’t talking about turning you all into botanists. But simple things like positioning your desk so you can see a tree, shrub, or plant can improve your mood, attention span and productivity. They reduce stress and can really have a positive knock on to your physical well being. Now this is a problem for us in the clinic as being 'underground' with no direct sunlight or maybe not...
We now know that our brain generates similar benefits (to a lesser extent) even when the plant is fake.
In the clinic, we are very much lacking in ‘green space’ but I desperately want to explore the options to create our own wee jungle so we can all benefit from this phenomenon even in the basement of the stadium.
One of our other physiotherapists Louise is also very keen on this idea! Last year she visited the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and sent us some amazing pictures. Her husband Ally is the founder of Ocean Plastic Pots (Ocean Plastic Pots) a sustainable small business here in Glasgow which makes plant pots from recycled fishing net and rope washed up on Scottish beaches. See if you can spot the pots around the Clinic!
If you don't wanna 'fake it', here's a guide to snapshop of some of Glasgow's best Green Spaces...