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How to "Optimise your health"

Last year when I was starting to get a grip on having Lupus and learning to manage my health better I wrote an article for 'Permaculture magazine' -and this was published recently. In the article I explain how I use permaculture to help me make maximum use out of the limited personal resources I have.

Permaculture is an integrated design system for incorporating nature’s patterns into our homes, gardens, economy, and personal lives. I studied it for 3 years before I was diagnosed and was pleased to find that it worked whether I applied it to my garden or my health.

I thought you might like to have a read as it offers some of my tips for anyone with limited health and energy, so here's the link to the online version:

10 Replies

Very interesting Dryad - thanks for posting. Funnily enough we're off to stay at a farm in Worcestershire the weekend after Easter where they run courses on permaculture so I'm hoping I'll be able to see it in action there. I am trying to manage my condition as naturally as possible (actually primary sjogrens although had always previously been told it was lupus . . . consultant explained it in terms of a spectrum which I found an interesting concept . . . but that's another story!). So far I've gone wheat-free and have also gone as organic as possible - both food, cleaning materials and toiletries. I'm trying to stay off the immunosuppressants that my doctor is very keen for me to take and see if there are natural solutions to dealing with my condition. Do you have a blog about what you are doing as I would love to follow you if you do :)


. . . think I've found your blog when I clicked through to your own website! Am now reading away . . . x


Great! Good to hear that you know about permaculture, it's still a little bit unknown in this country, but awareness is quickly growing. I love gardening, it's something that keeps my spirits up, there's nothing so hopeful and a garden! I also love the way the same ideas can be transferred to human systems too.

My facebook page if you are interested is:


I totally agree with you about the therapeutic effect of gardening! I feel very anxious and panicky for much of the time but I find the simple tasks in the garden give me a feeling of release. I also love visiting other gardens or even walking through woods - it's one way I can experience a true feeling of peace and joy. I also take pleasure in making my surroundings inside a comforting and relaxing place to be - I'm really tuning in to the thrifty way of existence: last year I 'upcycled' my old Argos pine sideboard by buying a cheap dresser top on ebay and turning the whole thing into a lovely painted cream dresser (it did take me just about all year to get it finished but that's fatigue for you!) - I also painted a bookcase, an old nightstand for my daughter's bedroom and picture frames. I love finding old things in charity shops - I love my old lloyd loom chair that sits in my daughter's room filled with teddies. I have found some lovely blogs about vintage crafting and upcycling, gardening and thrify living and I find even just browsing through these very inspirational. This year I am going to try more handcrafts too - my hands permitting (sadly juvenile arthritis in my teens means I have swollen fingers and a loss of dexterity).

I have got sweet peas growing but need to get planting more seeds over the next few days . . . let's hope Spring will spring into action very soon!


I love the sound of your up-cycling projects they sound really creative and very uplifting too! I also like to do a bit of that. It's very satisfying to create something new from something old. I also benefit from a walk in the woods, I find my nervous system calms right down and it's sometimes just what I need -especially at the moment! I hope Spring comes along soon -this winter feels never ending. Although this means that I've also escaped UV flare ups so far!!

Keep up being creative.. I'm sure it's very healing on many levels! It's worth working around the aches and pains in my hands and wrists for the sense of uplift in my spirit :-)


Thank you Dryad - really interesting, I will be looking at your webiste soon.


Have just read your article and it all makes good sense!!


How very interesting, will certainly do some further reading on this subject.


Great website! I shall use it - and send it on ..many thanks. xxx :)


Thanks for all your comments :-)

I've just posted a version of it on the Lupus UK Facebook page, but I had to remove the past paragraph. This was about how in my experience drugs can act like pesticides on the body and put it out of balance, but that I still have to use them at times when the inflammation is too bad. Paul from Lupus UK thought that some vulnerable people might make a dangerous decision to stop their medication if they read that and misunderstood, so I omitted it. Better to be safe, and Lupus UK would be responsible for stuff posted on their page that might lead to a misunderstanding.

However I still stick by my paragraph, for me Lupus in not life threatening and I don't get it attacking my heart or kidneys, so I am lucky in that I have a choice to take the drugs or not. I know so many others are not so lucky and have no choice but to take them. The other techniques I use to manage my energy levels are still useful to all Lupus patients though.

I hope you are all doing ok with the never-ending winter? I'm now finding that my energy is very low and I'm having to take it easy. I feel rather 'under the weather'! It has it's advantages; so far I've not had much photosensitivity to worry about this year, but I know that the cold gets into the joints and at time's I've had to carry around a hot water bottle!

Stay warm everyone xx


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