John LaPuma M.D., board-certified in internal medicine, shared in the Children and Nature Network Bulletin that the late neurologist and author, Dr. Oliver Sacks, was a true believer in the power of nature to heal. Sacks, who would take his patients to gardens whenever possible, described two patients for whom nature was literally the best medicine.
One patient, a friend of Sacks’, had moderately severe Tourette’s syndrome. The condition forced hundreds of grunts and tics daily. But one day when the two men were hiking in a desert, his friend’s tics had completely disappeared. Sacks wrote that “the remoteness and uncrowdedness of the scene, combined with some ineffable calming effect of nature, served to defuse his ticcing, to “normalize” his neurological state, at least for a time.”
Another patient, a woman with moderately severe Parkinson’s disease, was frozen and immobile when indoors. But outside, she was mobile and agile on terrain, and in a rocky garden.