Gardening is often thought of as an active activity: planting, weeding, landscaping. However, that’s not the way Candace Rebuck, a recreational therapist at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Institute, sees it.
Candace views gardening and time spent in gardens as an incredibly therapeutic and rehabilitating measure that can truly help patients recover from whatever life has thrown at them. As a Firesoul, Candace sees her role as someone who “Advocate for gardening in a rehabilitation setting,” and her work at her Sacred Place does just that.
Candace’s Sacred Place, the Healing Garden, is a unique environment. It helps to teach patients how to deal with the physical challenges they face and how to use the skills they learned in rehabilitation to thrive.
“We use our garden as a therapy modality, a place to simulate community reentry and learn new healthy leisure lifestyle skills.”
The Healing Garden uses a myriad of innovative techniques combining nature and physical rehabilitation, which enable its patients to truly recover and succeed. At the Healing Garden, various textures of pathways enable patients to grow used to walking on different kinds of surfaces. There are different tools available to help patients, regardless of physical disability, tend to the garden.
The act of gardening not only increases confidence in one’s physical ability but also heightens patients’ mobility, endurance, muscle tone, and so much more.
“The most rewarding part of my job is seeing patients improve, [learning] a new healthy leisure lifestyle skill, and [returning] to the community.”
Photo credit: Maureen Porto.