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Healthcare centers today face increased competition in terms of costs, quality, efficiency, and innovation. For that reason, it's more important than ever to distinguish your organization as a leading-edge healthcare provider.
One way to do this is through the incorporation of Integrative Spaces™, which can facilitate healing and create total patient satisfaction. The incorporation of an Integrated Space™ strategy provides a unique and exceptional outcome, assuring that your healthcare facility is one-of-a-kind. Here’s what you might expect:
• Be the place where more and more people will gravitate who are looking for alternative ways to heal • Be on target as the demand for more integrative healing becomes a regular request • Be a leader in integrative health and healing • Be part of a forward-thinking initiative that assures healing • Have the satisfaction that all levels of healing have been addressed • Take a proactive stand about addressing all needs of patients before they ask • Provide a place for people who are able to sense the difference between a healthcare facility that incorporates Integrative Spaces™ and one that doesn’t • Be known for independent thinking • Provide a remarkable space for healing
An Integrated Space is one that is in resonance with life. In other words, it is meaningful on all levels—-physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. An Integrated Space provides cues which can lead to positive experiences, feelings and thoughts—healing included.
The best way to achieve this optimal environment is through the intersection between the ancient principles of Feng Shui and the modern research behind neuroscience—-one speaking to the physical aspects of an environment and the other to the energetics of a space. Both merging to create a whole greater than the sum of the two approaches—-an Integrated Space.
The Finnish AIA Gold Medal award-winning architect, designer, sculptor and painter Alvar Aalto (1898 – 1976) believed there was an organic relationship between nature, buildings and man. This archetypal construct mirrors that of Chinese ideology which based the concept of Feng Shui on the heaven, earth, and humanity paradigm. When all three aspects were present and aligned there was congruence and cohesiveness. This would be a place where people could thrive.
It wasn’t enough to consider the aspects of the physical building (earth) and the requirements or needs of the people (humanity). Nature needed to complete the scope of the project. All along, the Chinese had been using nature as the determinant behind the construction of villages, palaces and grave sites.
Thousands of years later, Aalto proposed that good architecture took its excellence from biology as described by Malcolm Quantrill: “He sought an organic synthesis of his structures with their surroundings.”
Today, using Feng Shui principles, an Integrated Space uses nature as the determinant for everything from placement to palette, from fixtures to flooring.
Beale Endowed Professor of Health Facilities Design and co-founding director of the Center for Health Systems and Design at Texas A&M University Roger Ulrich, PhD, did many evidence-based tests which “convincingly suggests that patients experience less stress and pain if they can view nature and other pleasant distractions. Artwork can be effective in soothing stress and providing distraction from pain, especially when it depicts nature or people with emotionally positive facial expressions. Abstract, emotionally negative, or surreal artwork, however, appears to aggravate stress in some patients.”
In a later study, Ulrich determined: “A growing number of studies suggest that exposure to natural elements like water and trees—whether it is simulated or actual—tends to mitigate anger.” It seems that a natural environment reduces stress and anger and, more importantly, can improve a patient’s health.
How this data translates into the modern health-care environment is the scope of my work combining ancient Feng Shui wisdom with modern architecture and evidence-based science. This merger of separate modalities assists in the creation of an optimal space where patients will recover quicker and experience higher patient satisfaction.
By assuring that nature is a component in the design of a health-care environment, this will begin the creation of an Integrated Space—one in which a patient, staff, or visitor will feel less stress and more support for a whole and healthy life.
Feng Shui is not just for the home anymore; healthcare facilities are applying its principles as well. Long-time Feng Shui expert and Integrative Spaces specialist Carole Hyder is helping these facilities make the change by blending architectural concepts, design principles,…