Gardening for people with epilepsy and other disabilities
Since last March I had become an ardent fan of gardening. Although I had planted my first lady finger plants at the age of 12 and later, at the age of 14, planted some Chinese Choy Sum and Kang Kong, I never really ventured seriously into vegetable planting.
Last year signified my serious pursuit and longing for a mini backyard vegetable plot. From my planting experience of my young days, I knew in heart that gardening would be the best form of therapy for all my body aches.
Most epilepsy anti convulsant drugs have a side effect of depleting calcium in a patient's bone mass. My calcium level is in the osteopinia zone according to my annual blood test result. For this, I need to have extra intake of calcium supplement and Vitamin D in order to prevent my calcium level from falling nearer to the osteoporosis zone.
I must say, morning gardening is the best form of exercise for me so far. Morning sunlight provides me free of charge (FOC) Vitamin D. Squatting, bending, weeding, loosening of earth, repotting, kneeling and watering activities had all my body muscles working to the max, as a result, my body aches over the months had gradually diminished to my great delight. My calcium level has also improved with my latest test result indicating a border line normal level. Amen to God.
For my spiritual life, I get closer to God in the morning quiet hours. I always pray and give thanks to God for His healing properties associated with gardening. Such great gifts that God had created and offered to us, I encourage each and everyone to start venturing into gardening of any kind. I can assure everyone who does gardening work will reap positive benefits and great satisfaction, especially when it is harvesting time.
For people with disabilities, gardening may help to improve:
Communication and social skills – from being involved in groups and community activities
Fitness – gardening is a great physical activity
Confidence – gardening helps to develop a range of new skills
Wellbeing – gardening is a great way to relax and reduce stress levels
Physical ability – through improved motor skills
Nutrition – gardening provides an opportunity to learn about healthy food
Knowledge – it’s a chance to learn about the environment and nature
Enjoyment of life – gardening is a wonderful leisure activity where tasks and routines can be varied and shared.