Hugging a Plant Could Reduce Your Pain

– Did you know that taking care of plants can help reduce chronic and acute pain?plants reduce pain

According to a study, 79 patients with chronic low back pain and fibromyalgia participated in a four week pain management program. One group participated in treatments with plants and one without plants. The patients with plants were with the plants for 7, one-hour sessions. The group with horticultural therapy had a visible reduction in physical pain and an easier time managing their pain. (Source: Could Houseplants Improve Indoor air Quality in Schools?, P. N. Pegas , C.A. Alves, T. Nunes, E.F. Bate-Epey, M. Evtyugina & C.A. Pio, Pages 1371-1380 | Published online: 24 Oct 2012).

Another study tested people’s pain tolerance by having them submerge their hands in ice. There were 198 participants, and some were in a room without plants, and some were in a room with a similar decoration with plants. Those in the room with plants were willing to hold their hands under ice water for more than five minutes. (Source: – 2010 study).

Exposure to flowers and houseplants was also found to reduce symptoms of depression and help with mental well-being. (Yao W., Chen F., Wang S., Zhang X. Impact of Exposure to Natural and Built Environments on Positive and Negative Affect: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front. Public Health. 2021;9 doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.758457.).

Other benefits to having plants include purifying the air, reducing stress, boosting mood, improving concentration and lessening allergies.

So, get a plant and give it a big hug and lots of love. And your plant could pay you back in spades.



Kathryn Trojan, NP

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