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Editorial: December 2010

Inner Permaculture

This month MWPN is delighted to carry the first in a new strand of articles on complementary healthcare (by Ian Watt), and how important is may become in the challenging future we face.  There is a lot of interest in holistic approaches to health, both from within Transition Town groups, and as part of any Permaculture Design Course.  To put the issues in context, I quote from a senior NHS professional who is also a practising homeopath, and coordinator of holistic medicine at an end of life care centre in a major UK hospital:


“As an insider doing integrated medicine in an NHS environment, what I do is becoming increasingly popular. This of course provokes a territorial opposition from a small but vocal faction of the medical establishment, but on the whole I find them very receptive.

The NHS, as we know it, is imploding. It was held ransom to big pharmaceutical interests and sold off in bits to private concerns long before this government started to get their hands on it. I do think that radical reform is needed, but I'm doubtful the current approach will do anyone any favours, least of all the most vulnerable in our society, whom ultimately we should be protecting. Having said that, I'm not sure how an alternative should be implemented either!

Either way, the lack of sustainability has been recognized at ground level.  At the moment, the message from our executive team is to think outside the box and try to deliver health care for less money. They have not however, provided people with the tools to do so, so at the moment everyone is trying to do the same thing for less money and consequently morale and quality in care is pretty much rock bottom. It really couldn't get much worse! In fact, what is great is that integrated services such as mine are thriving in a climate where we are barraged with bad press.”

I hope this whets your appetite for more from this incisive thinker – because we have commissioned some very practical inputs from her in 2011.  This promises to be a series of complementary therapy angles relating primarily to cancer and end of life care, but with obvious transferable insights for health generally. The series will include nutritional support, self-help techniques (from Rescue Remedy to tissue salts to relaxation and breathing exercises), homeopathy, and the use of aromatherapy oils (including which ones to avoid with cancer), and advantages of diffusers and aromasticks.

The reach of Permaculture is extending all the time.  There is good work going on in education too, with the Welsh schools initiative on teaching Education for Sustainability and Global Citizenship – see Jane Powell’s article in our Guest writers section. The new buzzword on the block is Integral Permaculture – based on the thinking of philosopher Ken Wilber: for an introduction to how the theory of everything enriches and expands Permaculture to include the necessary personal and societal evolution necessary for Permaculture and Transition to succeed holistically – see Brad McManus’s scholarly introduction to the subject this month.

And now the Welsh Assembly Government is going for broke In joined-up thinking – all aspects of the environment will now be looked at with a comprehensive Natural Environment Framework, instead of being studied piecemeal through many different departmental lenses.  Can integration be seeping in? The emerging Permaculture Cymru – our own forthcoming Permaculture Trust for Wales – has registered an interest with WAG for its consultative process on this, as has Mid Wales Permaculture Network.

Next editorial update from MWPN HQ expected end January 2011, but news and events are constantly updated, sometimes in the middle the night! Keep them coming in. What a service…

Roz Brown

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