Friday, October 12, 2012

this week in podclub

"The Science of Healing Places"

I think i've always known, or at least had the idea that some places are more healthy and healing than others.  Kind of like, when I can't give a literal meaning of a word because I only know what context to use it in.  I know that I feel better when surrounded by order and beauty.  I know that when I'm in a room with too much clutter, or just something small has been moved in a room that I'm normally comfortable in, i will feel that chaos inside and the stress will start building up.  I know that I can stand on the shores of any beach, feet in the sand, staring into the waves, losing time completely while letting the stress of living be pulled out by the tide.  These are things I've felt, but this podcast revealed to me just how powerful the healing of our brain and spaces can be. 

I'm not going to pretend that i keep my house organized and clean.  I know i feel better when it is clean, but i don't have the energy to keep it that way.  There is one room that i keep just so.  The living room, has huge windows that look out into a pasture with two horses in it.  In the morning i get up and open these windows.  The sun floods in and immediately picks up my mood (as only the sun can do).  My cat, who loves when i open them, hears me pulling them up and races into the room, leaping full speed onto his little cat perch, sometimes slamming into the wall or window in his excitement.  This also improves my mood (as only a soft purring bundle of spunk can do).  After this i can sit and drink some coffee or tea while soaking up the morning sun.  This wasn't the plan though.  I should have known (I was, after all, the little girl that liked to lie stark naked on the floor in front of the open windows of my childhood home).  I've moved quite a bit since then from tiny place to tiny windowless place.  So when we moved here i decided i'd put my music room downstairs.  I had visions of playing my guitar and then relaxing with a book in that room.  I made it simple and inviting.  I ended up sitting in our empty (we didn't have nearly enough furniture for this house) light filled living room, next to the window with nothing but a book and some classical music playing on my phone.  I guess that means the place that will make me feel the best is simple and light, with lots of windows.  I don't like TV's in that space, and its actually a battle because I'm not the only one that doesn't like the basement, which is where we normally keep it.  Its calming and healing when my cat comes and cuddles up to me in that space and I can feel him breathing and purring.  Even if he is just trying to push me out of "his spot" or get as close to it as he can...

The science part of this podcast was amazing to me.  I'm not even going to try to recount any of it because my brain doesn't retain things like that, but I will say if they continue on researching and implementing their findings in places like hospitals it could be a complete game changer for not only patients but also people working there.  Currently hospitals are sterile, cold, uninviting.  I don't see that changing for the majority of them any time soon, but maybe, with research like this, maybe some day we can go to a place that doesn't make us feel more stressed the second we walk through the door.  Maybe there will be rooms that encourage healing with their design and decorations.  Maybe the changes will help doctors and nurses who work long hours, not get burnt out and continue to treat their patients as human beings instead of an obstacle they have to get through before they can get the hell out of there.  Maybe.  This podcast gave me a little hope in a department I currently have very little in.  Change, however, is slow, so for now i'll have to content myself with making healing spaces in my own life.  


  1. Light makes all the difference doesn't it? And now I feel like you and JIll have something vital to happiness that I don't have...cats!

    Um, when did you lay around in the nude? Did you get up in the middle of the night or something?

    Also, I cannot tell you how happy I am to have you in Pod Club!!

  2. cats have healing properties all of their own :) and light, yes, absolutely necessary.

    are you saying you don't remember me running around naked all the time? i'll admit the laying on the floor in front of the windows part was usually when there weren't many people in the house. i'm pretty sure i remember you telling me, in a very disgusted tone of voice, to go get some clothes on...
    once i was older though, i still did it fully clothed whenever i was home alone.

  3. Yay! Welcome to podclub, thank you for joining! I love reading everything you write and I like that we both mentioned cats in our posts.