Environmental theory of healing

The environmental theory is based on taking care of the environment we surround ourselves whilst we are convalescing or recovering from sickness. The purpose of this is to be in suitable surroundings that enable us to reach health goals, restore to optimal health and cure illness.

The environmental theory was developed in the 1800’s by the famous nurse Florence Nightingale that continues to influence modern health care practices today.

There are ten major concepts involved with the Environmental Theory that are crucial to biological and physiological processes to return to optimal health. These concepts will be different and unique to each of us. I have provided some ideas under each concept that can assist with convalescing and healing.

1.     Adequate Ventilation and warming

Basically, good clean air and staying warm. This may mean having an air purifier and having warm clothes or it could be that you take a holiday or move to a warmer climate near the sea (as I sit here thinking of looking out at the ocean in robe)


2.     Light and noise

This may consist of dim lighting and no noise or a light bright room and soft music or meditation in the background to initiate the healing process. For some they like company and listening to others talk.


3.     Clean environment

Cleanliness and convalescence pretty much go hand in hand and are crucial to healing. Make sure you are not breathing in mountains of dust and dirt. Washing your hands frequently. Remove all toxins and health hazards also.


4.     Health of houses

Living in a sick house is not conducive to your recovery from illness. If you have mould or breathing in toxic chemicals this will not help you.


5.     Bed and bedding

If you are unwell and spending time in bed you want this to be comfortable, clean and non-toxic (read more on the dangers of foam mattress and pillows)


6.     Personal cleanliness

Besides keeping hand and body clean the products you use are vitally important. Ensure you use organic and natural products and keep up with your oral hygiene as tooth decay can impact your health by increasing your risk of heart disease and weaken your immune system.


7.     Variety

Vary your environment by spending some time in sunshine or going for a car ride to see different scenery. See a variety of different practitioner’s and try a variety of treatments. What is healing for you? A massage, bath, acupuncture, meditation, herbs, food, exercise, sleep, a health psychologist.


8.     Hope and advice

Keep a positive mindset and seek advice on how to best convalescence this may be planning an activity each day to do a little more than the day before. Seeking counselling, listening to meditation talking to a positive friend.


9.     Food

Eating a variety of foods to maximise your recovery such as easy to digest foods and fluid. This may consist of soups, stews, smoothies, porridge. Drinking plenty of filtered water.


10.  Observation

Check in on yourself and observe what is happening to your mind and body. Are there parts of your body warmer or cooler than others? Do a body scan and feel parts of your body that are tense, tight, sore. Notice and observe your breathing is it shallow or deep?


Convalescence and the environmental theory are crucial concepts to both recovering from illness and truly healing our mind, body, and souls.

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