One of my most favourite environments is the traditional ryad in Morocco. One of THE loveliest hotels I’ve ever stayed in was in Marrakech. I especially like the internal courtyard, with a fountain, and in the one where I stayed, there were orange trees growing there. Every late afternoon, traditional musicians would sit and play in the courtyard and we’d drink mint tea while relaxing in the alcoves.
So, I was particularly taken by this piece on the Guardian’s website about doctors playing music to their patients in Turkey
“It’s complementary treatment. Without having to prescribe additional drugs, five to 10 minutes of a certain musical piece lowers the heart rate and blood pressure. ”Medieval hospitals were built around a courtyard with a fountain. The sound of the water, the colours of glass windows, the intensity of the light, the types of flowers and plants – all of it was part of the complementary treatment of patients,” Sönmez explains. “We are thinking of changing the light in the intensive care unit to pink,” he adds with a smile. “Pink light has a soothing effect.”
Here’s my vote for re-learning what those medieval hospitals got right! Too often “progress” and “modernity” means rubbishing the past and losing so much valuable knowledge. Imagine how health care could be transformed by this kind of attention to both the environment and the arts, and not reducing our focus to a materialistic concept of the body.