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Magee Rehabilitation has been providing Horticultural Therapy services to its patients for over 30 years. Horticultural Therapy uses plants, gardens, nature crafts and gardening activities to provide therapeutic and rehabilitation outcomes.  These are coordinated with physical and occupational therapy rehab goals as a team approach.

Horticultural Therapy has physical benefits including increasing strength through watering (increase water weight=increase strength) and lifting soil/potting media, using different sized pots and various sized plants.

Range of motion, balance and standing endurance can be gained in repotting activities with periods of sitting and standing.  Reaching for tools and supplies to maintain a task, may be done in a frontal or midline cross reach to improve bilateral integration.  Fine motor skills can be practiced in floral design or seed planting activities.

Sensory stimulation and improving cognitive sequencing skills is helped by Horticultural Therapy in patients with stroke and brain injury.  Patients can use a step method to planting with verbal instruction.  Patient's recall and being able to stay on tasks builds brain function.  

Horticultural Therapy provides emotional and psychological benefits to patients with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, stroke and amputations.  The responsibilities and accomplishments that are part of the gardening experience provide each patient with a sense of satisfaction and improved self-esteem.  Nurturing a plant redirects their focus of pain and offers a sense of pride. Tending a plant or garden, helps relieve the pressures and stresses of everyday life. Socialization during groups and discussing their plant/horticulture projects with others helps normalize a patient’s day.

Horticulture activities aid in the patient’s process of reintegration back into the community.  They may join garden organizations or initiate accessible community gardens, when they go home.

Horticultural Therapy introduces horticulture as a leisure activity…maybe for the first time and educates a patient on how they may garden at home, with accessible tools or raised beds.  

Magee Rehabilitation is the only rehab hospital, in center city, that provides a direct Horticultural Therapy Program and has a rooftop greenhouse.  The greenhouse is used by other Magee professionals for 1:1 patient time, including art therapy, therapeutic recreation, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, patient leisure activities and others.