Wellness environments, if designed correctly, can promote harmony of the mind, body and spirit.
As the baby boomers are beginning to age, they want cutting-edge technology and a wellness environment instead of a sick environment. A carefully designed facility can not only promote healing. Still, it can reduce patient anxiety, improve staff morale and efficiency, and create a less stressful environment for doctors, practitioners, staff, patients, and clients. It can have a marked improvement in terms of quality of life.
A patient coming into a facility and noticing a disorganized, chaotic environment will associate it with trauma, and their stress level will increase. A noisy or confusing environment causes stress hormones that further suppress a patient’s immune system. We can reduce the anxiety a patient experiences by combining lessons from spa and hospitality design and creating relaxed, healthy, supportive environments.
Creating a more mindful approach to the design of these environments would involve the following:
It is essential to design clear circulation and signage for visitors so they don’t become stressed out finding their way through the medical environment. Effective and clear circulation paths for the new visitor are critical, and they will help everyone navigate, especially in the larger and more complex facilities.
Nurturing Waiting and Visitation Areas
A special kind of space that ideally looks on to nature provides a moment of detachment for guests or patients so that they can relax and ease their minds. These social rooms can provide a meeting place for support networks like the patient’s immediate family, so they can all be together. It’s essential to give these areas of collection or gathering spaces that are inviting and conducive to conversation. Additionally, there is more need for quiet, in-patient rooms with individualized personal spaces with adjustable light and heat levels and views of the outdoors that aid the healing process.
Create a Positive Distraction Through the use of Design Aesthetics
A carefully designed, inspiring environment can help a client or patient to forget his own personal worries and concerns and reflect and find joy within a relaxed atmosphere. A healthy distraction from personal issues can lead one to a more inspired and peaceful place. Obagi Skin Health Clinic in Beverly Hills contains an indoor/outdoor water element, interactive video displays with soothing blue accent colors on furniture and fabrics, and warm pear wood throughout.
We’ve said in the last post that “nature nurtures”. Taking 3 to 5 minutes to experience or view nature increases pleasant feelings and decreases patient stress and fear. To view a landscape painting or a larger window view of a garden space beyond can be very effective.
Increase the Connection to Nature
Interior healing gardens that provide a connection to nature with skylit spaces offering natural light enhance healing. Natural light can counteract depression, adding a therapeutic quality to the experience with the absorption of Vitamin D and the physical warmth that one feels relaxing in the sunshine.
In conclusion, a growing amount of data promotes the benefits of a carefully-designed healing environment where design and decor actually improve and promote the healing process of the mind, body and spirit.