Seniors group hears about plant therapy from Homewood expert

Sharon O’Sul­livan introduced guest speaker and manager of horti­cultural therapy at Homewood Health Centre in Guelph Mitchell L. Hewson at the June meeting. 


Twenty people attended a presentation and workshop on nurturing the mind, body, and soul through horticultural ther­apy. Hewson guided them through the meditative and heal­ing properties of a singing bowl that vibrates with the es­sential energy of the person holding the bowl. Each person tapped the bowl, then answered the question “My heart and soul sing when I … ” It reflects one’s a spirit, weaknesses, hurts, concerns. It could almost be magical.

Next, they shared a fav­our­ite scent and Hewson high­lighted the properties and bene­fits of each one and the way it could make them feel and how they could relate. Many of the audience the scent of flowers and cooking odours and left out the scent of humans and ani­mals.

They were given a sample of a mixture of essential oils to soothe their souls, enliven their spirits, cleanse their hands, and rejuvenate their faces. Hewson believes headaches are real and pain is real. He shared another concoction of mint and laven­dar that would stimulate heal­ing.

Hewson is a great believer in the natural nutrition and hea­ling powers of vegetables and foods, with broccoli, blueber­ries, and salmon heading the lists. One of his recipes calls for salmon filets to be mari­nated for two hours in a blend of one cup of orange juice, one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and one tablespoon of fresh thyme. Bake.

Everyone made their own herbal vinegar using nine herbs, then created their own herb garden. He believes that plants grow with positive vibra­tion and asked everyone to write a word on their plant stick. Some chose words like love, melody, quiet, and trust. It was quite the refreshing day, a time to sit back and enjoy the scent of lavendar still lingering on their minds.

Hewson travels around the world learning and promoting his plant therapy. He actually has worked with trauma pati­ents, even soldiers returning from Afghanistan. He tries to steer them from the trauma in their lives through scent thera­py. Once the trigger scent is found, he finds a corresponding scent to ground them and keep them mindful, staying in the moment, which in turn leads them on to better things in their futures.

Hewson thinks all people need to be respected, under­stood, and appreciated. That may not include love, but trust allows you to let down your guard and truly experience the sense of joy. You know, a smile really does warm the heart. So keep smiling and embrace life. Reinforce enthusiasm and keep in a state of perpetual posi­tivity.

What would work best, words of praise, dark choco­late, or lavendar?

 The workshop is part of a series of the Garden for Life Project sponsored by the North Wellington senior council and funded by the New Horizons for Seniors program  of the federal government.