Is there healing beyond the walls of a modern hospital? Healing Places looks at how different environments affect our physical, mental, spiritual, social, and emotional healing. It sets out four dimensions found in healing environments―natural, built, symbolic, and social―and applies these ideas to three places that achieved a lasting reputation for healing: Epidauros in Greece, Bath in England, and Lourdes in France. Gesler's engaging and innovative approach draws from a variety of fields, from geography and environmental psychology to medicine, sociology, and anthropology. Comparing these healing places to today's hospital, Gesler shows that place and healing are inextricably linked and advocates that health care should go well beyond biomedical solutions.
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Wilbert M. Gesler is professor emeritus of geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a visiting professor of geography at Queen Mary, University of London.Review:
Gesler brings important insights to our understanding of healing, making innovative connections between different kinds of environments in the process. He highlights the complexity of health, and the importance of understanding how healing takes place in, and is shaped by particular places. Healing Places demonstrates clearly that geographers have an important and original contribution to make in understanding health and wellbeing, both historically and in the present day. (Area)
Healing Places asserts emphatically and eloquently that place matters to health. The case studies provide fascinating evidence that links between healing and place are well grounded in history and are now being reconsidered in hospital design. This book will be important reading for researchers, teachers, and professionals with an interest in health care settings. [It] adds weight to a major shift in contemporary thinking: reassessing the links between place and health. (Robin A. Kearns, The University of Auckland)
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