The Refuge Garden
garden that can assist in repairing psychological and mental trauma, brain injury,
epilepsy and depression.
Many people seek refuge in their gardens for relaxation, healing and repair,
and have done so for many centuries all over the world. Indeed, it is well known
that many plants have therapeutic properties for different types of illnesses.
Yet rarely are gardens designed specifically and scientifically for the treatment
of illness and trauma.
The Refuge Garden has been designed to facilitate the natural recovery and
healing process for head injury patients, and also as a healing ecology for
other types of illness. It is a quiet haven for rest, repair and renewal.
The concept of the design is based on a very thorough research into the natural
workings and functions of the brain, which cannot be considered only from its
It is now becoming well known that the brain works by very small, though sometimes
very potent, electro-magnetic micro-signals, which pass through various 'neurone
circuitries' and 'wiring arrangements', which we assemble and put together ourselves,
by our experience and the decisions we have made. These are the thought patterns
which govern human behaviour.
These circuitries, across the millions upon millions of inter-connected nerve
cells, then become the filters and receptors by which we can recognise or give
credence to certain ideas, imagery and impressions, for instance.
When the brain gets damaged in any way - whether that is physical injury or
psychosomatic, psychological, mental trauma or depression, because these are
all injuries to the brain - the brain can no longer handle the same levels of
stimulant which it otherwise would be able to in its normal state.
is also known that the brain possesses the capability to regulate its own functions
as well as controlling and co-ordinating the countless processes at work within
itself. If a brain functions normally at say 80% and an injury occurs or a depression
hits, or there's mental trouble or divorce, then it can shut down and work at
only half its former capacity, at say 40%, and so it has to neutralise the other
40% which it cannot handle. It just simply doesn't have the same capacity and
endurance as it did before the injury, so it has to reduce its coverage of operation.
The brain works by passing micro-signals from one part to another through its
own circuitry and so the brain neutralises and equates part of itself, so that
the signals get diffused and can no longer pass around its circuitry.
But the problem then compounds, in cases of shock and trauma, because any further
electro-magnetic activity which the brain receives from all kinds of internal
and external stimulation cannot be stored or departmentalised, and blockages
signal which cannot be stored has no use and it therefore starts to toxify,
just like food which cannot be digested. One of the major problems for patients
recovering from brain operations, traumas or depressions is this toxic factor.
Now the brain will try and expel this toxic factor literally from head to toe
along the meridians of the energy system of the human polarity which work from
north to south. Thus, these energy toxins can be expelled and cleared out through
the feet, which is the principal outlet in the body for the discharge of electromagnetic
The Refuge Garden will provide a place of rest and relaxation where these toxins
are removed, and the more these toxins can be cleared out, then the quicker
the brain will be able to repair, rebuild and heal itself.
In particular, it is very alarming to know that many head injury patients also
begin to suffer from epileptic fits as a direct consequence of head injury,
which might well be caused by not having the opportunity to detoxify the poisons
which build up due to the incapacity to handle too much stimulation, which then
accumulates to such a state that the body has to, quite violently in some cases,
reject it out of their systems as a fit or seizure.
It is hardly surprising therefore that many epileptic patients recognise that
too much stimulation such as that caused by strong flashing lights can trigger
their seizures, and some patients even recall a 'flooding sensation' prior to
the onset of their seizure.
The other significant thing that happens in people when their brain is working
at a reduced capacity of say 40%, is that a person regresses along their years
of life back into a state of childhood which was the time when the brain was
last working at that capacity as it was developing, with the expansion and growth
of its circuitry being accumulated and put together from experience.
example, one of the reasons why children are fascinated and inspired by colour,
is that colour plays a very significant and natural part in how the brain becomes
coded and printed. The brain therefore can begin to repair and rebuild itself
through a re-engagement with the appropriate use of colour. The brain itself
will be directly aware of the colours it needs to re-engage with and will also
know which of its own colour circuitries have become damaged. Colour therefore
is all-important in the recovery process, and the whole of the Refuge Garden
is specifically coloured so that the patients can sit within the specifically
selected colours of the surrounding walls as an important part of the rebuilding
process. For instance, there are individual and groupings of colours which are
known to have therapeutic and calming influences on the brain.
It is also very important within the recovery process that the brain is caused
to start to stimulate the nervous system, rather than the other way around with
the nervous system stimulating the brain, so the whole ecology within the garden
is also designed to be sedatory to the nervous system to further facilitate
the recovery process.
The brain, therefore, has an extraordinary and awesome capability to heal itself
over a period of time although the process can be very slow if it happens at
all, except in very exceptional cases, because the ecology which most patients
find themselves in does not facilitate the natural recovery process. In fact,
it can often act against it.
The Refuge Garden, therefore, is uniquely designed to provide a natural ecology
of refuge in which the brain can begin to recover and re-establish. And the
first Refuge Garden, in Orbetello, Italy, has already received council funding
and planning permission. So the vision becomes reality!
Trevor Muir, Chartered Architect BA (Hons) Dip Arch RIBA.