NOVA Medicinal Garden
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Therapeutic Garden Element: Acupressure Walkway
The medicinal garden @ NSU has evolved to become the Therapeutic Medicinal Garden. In addition to the medicinal plant collection the garden itself has become healing. At its “heart” is a Reflexology (a process which stimulates pressure points on the feet) Pathway with a protocol-based arrangement of stones (called the HeartZone). This has been clinically proven to regulate circulation and blood pressure: based on an ancient Eastern study of healing oneself by walking on stones. A Yin/Yang pattern of plantings is centered on the pathway, representing the eastern philosophy of balance. The initial purpose of the garden -- to teach students the properties and roles of medicinal plants -- was expanded to include a therapeutic cobblestone walkway based on the principles of Chinese medicine & neural reflexology early in 2010. As Randy Eady, developer of the Ancient Walking to Primal Rhythms™ Portable Therapeutic Garden concept and consultant on the NSU project notes, "this aesthetic acupressure path is an adaptation to our modern society where shoes are worn throughout the day, people walk less and time is limited to enjoy outdoor barefoot exercise. Every morning in Asia, millions of people walk reflexology paths to enhance their well-being and to reduce chronic pain." Research lauding benefits of this acupressure concludes walking cobblestone mats regulates/lowers blood pressure, improves flexibility & enhances balance (Journal of American Geriatrics Soc, 2005).
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