Natural Healing: Physical and Spiritual Healing (in a Powerful and Nurturing Setting)
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This thesis, Natural Healing: Physical and Spiritual Healing (in a Powerful and Nurturing Setting), examines how healing spaces in a clinical setting can influence the healing process of cancer patients undergoing treatment or who have been affected by the disease; providing a solution to incorporate both natural healing spaces and the necessary technological medical infrastructure. Cancer often challenges the mind, heart, and spirit of patients and families as deeply, if not more deeply, than it challenges the physical body. At present, doctors tend to focus primarily on the physical characteristics of their patients. Yet in each of us there is a rich mental, emotional, and spiritual reality that influences and even directs the course of our lives. Often, for both patients and their families, cancer brings this inner reality vividly to life and to the surface. If this inner reality is devalued or ignored by modern medicine, the effects can be devastating in the healing process. This thesis is about how architecture can be transformative of holistic health and healing. Nature and humans are interconnected with one another and should to be treated in a holistic way. The intent of this center is to help patients connect with nature to help aid in the healing processes. Nature has long been thought of as a source that can impact our wellbeing. Exposure to nature can not only make people feel better emotionally, but physically as well. Any environment a person is exposed to has the ability to either increase or decrease stress which in turn can impact our bodies. The things we see, hear, or experience can affect our moods and how certain systems in our bodies are working. Nature can also be soothing to people, we tend to find trees, plants, and water captivating which can distract us from physical discomfort. Architecture that incorporates nature can have an impact on its everyday users. Including such spaces, like healing spaces, in our healthcare system can have an influence on patient outcomes.