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Health benefits

Recent research into the therapeutic benefits of Labyrinths has prompted administrators of public parks, houses of worship and healthcare organisations to integrate them into their buildings and grounds.

In the last decade in the United States alone, more than 200 labyrinths have been built in hospitals. Locally, Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney recently installed one within its grounds for patient care and rehabilitation.

There are many different therapeutic applications for the labyrinth apart from the general well-being of the community. Various researchers around the world have studied the effects of labyrinth use in medical settings, showing that the relaxation response brings slower breathing, a slower heart rate, and lower blood pressure (ref), and a reduction in the stress related to being ill, an improved attitude about coping with ill health, an interest in participating in treatment (ref)

In one specific US-based example, Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington DC has recently installed a labyrinth to help veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The labyrinth is also a powerful tool for dealing with grief – a way to walk your sorrow and begin to integrate it. There are schools using the labyrinth to help children deal with Attention Deficit Disorder. The labyrinth helps them 'centre' and calm themselves and concentrate for longer periods of time (ref).