A Rose is a Rose is a Therapy Session: The Art and Benefits of Flower Arranging
What’s more uplifting to the soul than a bright bouquet of beautiful flowers? Throughout the centuries, flowers have been the herald of spring, the symbol of true love and the perfect gift to cheer, celebrate or thank. The art of flower arranging is just as storied, from ancient Japan to the intricate “language of flowers” of Victorian times to today’s “red roses on Valentine’s Day” rules.
While we can all agree that receiving fresh flowers makes the heart happy (seriously, hand someone you care about a bouquet and see how their face lights up every single time), actually creating an arrangement of those beautiful flowers can be just as enjoyable while providing some inexpensive therapy and relaxation.
Roses are Red, Violets are Calming
Aromatherapy has been a big craze over the past several years, and there’s a lot to be said about the power of scent to calm the senses, stimulate the mind or energize the body. Floral arranging pairs the delicate and delicious scents of fresh flowers with the visual beauty of shapes and colors. And floral therapy takes it one step further, pairing different techniques to encourage participants to relax, be creative and express themselves.
Unlike floral arranging, floral therapy doesn’t necessarily follow a strict sense of rules to make the “perfect” bouquet. Instead, it focuses on the act itself, making the creation just as much a part of the art as the final result.
“With floral therapy there is no wrong or right,” says Sayeh Rafiei, owner of Galton Flowers in London. “It’s purely about bringing out and then capturing a person’s feeling on that day, involving both their emotions and their hands. The finished work becomes something they can take with them as a permanent reminder of how they experienced themselves on that day.”
Inspiration For Mind, Body and Soul
Ikebana, an ancient and traditional Japanese art, is a method of floral arranging that is designed to bring the creator in harmony with nature and the rhythms of the world. The practice sprang into being more than 600 years ago, and originally began as a Buddhist ritual of offering flowers to the souls of the departed. Over the years, it developed into an art form that is taken as seriously as sculpture, painting or other fine arts. Today, it blends the philosophical and spiritual to be a recognized therapy solution throughout the world.
On the mental health benefits side, flowers have been proven to positively affect a person’s emotional health, which can relieve depression, stress and illness. According to a study by Rutgers in 2010, flowers are proven to be a healthful, natural moderator of moods, particularly for seniors. Senior individuals who are around flowers on a regular basis have a heightened sense of community, improved memory and a significant reduction of depression.
Finally, on the physical side, floral arranging can be a relaxing and stimulating exercise that keeps joints supple and fingers nimble. Snipping floral wire, wrapping floral tape and carefully placing stems into foam or vases are a great exercise in spacial awareness and dexterity. It’s also rewarding to see the masterpiece build and come into fruition as elements are added or subtracted.
Your Own Masterpiece
One of the most perfect times to cheer someone with a bouquet of flowers is Mother’s Day. The week following Mother’s Day, we hosted a special Ladies’ Luncheon to honor our special ladies here at Melrose. Fleurs des Temps, a local florist, showed us techniques and tricks for creating a beautiful floral masterpiece. A beautiful and joyful time was had by all!