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Therapy on the Trails

Sometimes, clearing your mind also means freeing your body from its normal routine. For therapist Nicole Shannon, the power of time outdoors can be healing and deeply powerful. Below, she tells us all about her Trail Sessions, where traditional therapy intersects with exercise and relaxation on hikes.

Trail Sessions Therapy sends your therapy on a hike. It adds the vast benefits of the outdoors to those of traditional psychotherapy. It puts your healing of mind and body in motion. Wellness of body and mind are so closely connected, that engaging your body in the healing of your mind naturally accelerates results. The trail becomes a dynamic work space for your body and mind. I encourage letting go of technology to embrace the natural beauty around us while doing physical activity. Trail Sessions Therapy was developed out of the belief that one’s emotional health is closely tied to their connection to nature and time spent outdoors. The ground beneath your feet will center you. The direction will unstick you from where you are stuck.

The trail hiking therapy sessions emphasize the distance you cover emotionally. It will focus on your strength and empowerment. Every step is a manifestation of your progress, every inhale is energy, every exhale is letting go of what does not serve you.

While the trail can seem daunting and steep you will not walk it alone. You have already shown courage by reaching out and putting yourself on the trail. I will help you find your footing, overcome obstacles and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and those around you. You will hike into a stronger and better you.

You set the pace and I will match it. Slower, meditative walks allow for clearing of the mind and free-flowing contemplation. Faster, power sessions facilitate targeted break-throughs and emotional responses. Trail Sessions Therapy adapts seamlessly and instantly to your ever evolving path to growth, wellness and healing.

If you’re interested in booking a session with Nicole, email nicole.shannon.lcsw@gmail.com for rates and more information.

Gardening: Planting Seeds of Growth During Cancer

Google “gardening and cancer“, and you’ll be amazed at the long list of overwhelmingly positive results. At FFLB, we love practices that restore peace to both mind and body. While the list of benefits named by cancer patients is endless, here are some of gardening’s most impressive accolades:

3 in 4 gardeners surveyed said that gardening helped them manage feelings of depression and sadness during treatment, while over half of gardeners in another survey found more energy as a result of gardening during treatment. A third of gardeners in that survey also noted that gardening helped them manage weight gain in response to treatment.

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Via weblogs.com/baltimoresun

The vast options for gardens’ contents also act as healing. If a patient doesn’t feel up to maintaining a full garden, a pot or windowsill box can still be beautiful daily treats. A garden might also act as a memorial for a loved one or friend. Whether you plant vegetables to encourage healthy eating or aromatic herbs to bring peace, gardens can provide something for every aspect of your journey with cancer.

If you don’t have a green thumb, gardening can still enhance your journey. Restorative gardens, sometimes specific for cancer patients, are designed using therapeutic techniques and activities. Patients and their loved ones can find mental peace in these gardens, often with opportunities like art therapy, meditation and yoga. Some gardens even have “plant-free” sections for patients who must avoid allergens. This article lists some of the best restorative gardens in the world. Nearby, be sure to try City of Hope in Duarte’s Argyros Family and Japanese Gardens. They look peaceful and calming! Although they aren’t specifically for cancer patients, The Huntington Gardens and Descanso Gardens make great healing spots right near FFLB.

City of Hope's Japanese Gardens

Want to plan your own garden? We suggest you plant lavender, rosemary, oregano, carrots, spinach or wildflowers. They’re all easy to maintain and beautiful, too!

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via Filcker/woodleywonderworks