Make Your Vote Count

I hope you’re enjoying the school holidays so far. If you’re a teacher remember that the holidays are a great time to pop into our clinic for some relaxing, nurturing or recharging. I can highly recommend having a sauna before a massage on these very chilly days. Its heavenly. Would you believe we had a staff meeting in the sauna last week? We thought we might as well sweat out some toxins and burn up some calories while we were making important decisions and taking minutes. Nothing like multi-tasking.

I can also recommend bringing the kids into the clinic over the holidays for a mini session. If your child experiences anxiety or has trouble sleeping then you might like to trial a 20 minute Reiki, Kinesiology, Massage or Crystal Bed session. Over the holidays a 20 minute session is just $30. We do ask you (or them) to complete a questionnaire before the session and again a couple of days later so we can measure the outcomes. And if you have a child doing VCE then a Hypnotherapy or Kinesiology session can work magic to clear that exam anxiety and to help them focus, concentrate and remember. We love working with VCE students. It can make such a huge difference to their year.

Anyway, I’m really keen to do some more research on our therapies this year. This week I was sent a research paper published in 2014 in Advances in Integrative Medicine. It was looking at Naturopathy for treating anxiety and depression. It was a small study but the results were promising. The conclusion states that, “Preliminary evidence in this uncontrolled study revealed that naturopathic medicine may be beneficial in improving mood and reducing anxiety…. A future study involving a larger sample, using rigorous methodology is now required to validate this pilot data.” The Naturopathic treatment included supplements, herbal remedies, relaxation or meditation, exercise, sleep and lifestyle advice…. all the things that psychiatrist, Dr Chris Corcos, spoke about last Friday night in our “Re-Thinking Anxiety and Depression” seminar. Of course doing a big study with rigorous methodology costs money so I might have to do some research on how to fund some research!

Speaking of research, today I want to talk to you about politics. Last Sunday morning for the first time in my life I went to a political meeting. It was a pre-election meeting for the new Health Australia Party. This party is a refreshing new face in Australian politics and has the potential to change the paradigm in a whole range of areas. Their membership is growing exponentially.

I’ve taken an interest because apparently our current government is convinced that there is NO evidence that 17 commonly used natural therapies, including (Naturopathy and Massage) are beneficial or cost effective so they’re withdrawing health insurance rebates and will potentially withdraw funding for courses teaching these modailties. I’m not 100% sure what this means in terms of what the private health insurance companies will choose to do but the trend is disturbing.

I know you’re probably at saturation point when it comes to talking about the election but I’m going to talk about it anyway. I did the maths today and this is the 16th federal election that I’ve voted in. I must say that I’m a little jaded as I have seen more broken election promises than I care to think about. Without mentioning any names I’ve also seen certain governments run out of money because they spent too generously on welfare, education and health and other governments decimate funding to schools, hospitals and the environment while supporting big business. The pendulum just keeps swinging back and forth. And each time there is a change in government an extraordinary amount of good work goes down the plughole because the parties are so adversarial and polarised.

As I listen to the key players in this election campaign its clear that we are still stuck in the old paradigm. It seems that politicians can’t see the forest for the trees. They are so focused on “jobs and growth” or “spending on schools and hospitals” or “tax breaks and budget deficits” that they don’t see they big picture. They don’t see or perhaps don’t care that they are still funding a pharmaceutic, sickness based health care system, an outdated and unequal education system, unsustainable and environmentally damaging industries and unethical corporations. I believe it’s time to take a look at the big picture and for the shift to hit the fan. I’m excited and amazed by how many Natural Health practitioners and enlightened people are talking about the Health Australia Party.

Anyway, my main interest in this Party is their health policy. Apparently after conducting an “independent” review of natural therapies the outcome showed that these 17 modalities are not beneficial or cost effective:

Alexander Technique
Bowen therapy
Buteyko therapy
Massage therapy
Tai chi

Hmmm…. if you’ve ever benefited from any of these therapies and you would like to continue to have a choice then you might want to help the Health Australia Party have at least one voice in the Senate next Saturday. Just one voice would be awesome! At the meeting I really liked that the candidates said they’re not politicians and they don’t want to govern the country they just think it’s really important to have balanced representation when it comes to passing bills through the Senate. And by the way, they are not anti-vaccines, they are actually pro safer vaccine practices and protecting our right to informed consent regarding any medical procedures.

Of course the HAP (Health Australia Party) is not just concerned about health care, they have a vision of health in all areas of our society. Here are the 5 fundamentals they believe we need to build a healthy country.

Healthy People
Quality medicine for all people, with access to the best of proven natural and pharmaceutical medicine. Remove the influence of multinational pharmaceutical companies. Affordable medicine – using evidence from unbiased real-world clinical studies and targeted spending. Reform the health bureaucracy. Apply research funds wisely.
Build a health-creation system, not a disease-management system.

Healthy Economy
Ensure that big business, big unions and paperwork burdens do not distort the benefits of free enterprise. Support small business. Involve the Government where necessary for the good of the country. Genuine tax reform based on fairness and truth. No more preferential treatment allowing offshore income diversion.
Fair taxes on the wealthy, encourage the middle to progress, and support the poor and disadvantaged.

Healthy Environment
Embrace sustainable/renewable energy. Development must respect and protect the environment at all times. Place a premium on Australia being “clean and green”, and support sustainable agriculture. Eco-tourism to become a significant and continuing income earner for Australia. Respect all animals and protect endangered species.
Make our environment a major asset, where Australia is a safe and unpolluted place to live and to visit.

Healthy Democracy
Expose and reduce the influence on the national media of wealthy vested interests. Strengthen the national broadcaster and formalise fact checks. Make decision-making open and transparent at all levels of government.
Encourage all citizens to participate in the national discussion, and to value their vote.

Healthy Society
Australians are at heart a caring and compassionate people. High quality, affordable education for all will transform society and eventually eliminate intolerance and racism. Make being “an Australian” valued around the world.
Encourage all citizens to participate in the national discussion, and to value their vote.

Please make up your own mind regarding the House of Representatives but if want to have your right to choose natural therapies protected then this election is a great opportunity. Here’s a link to the HAP how to vote card…. We have a bunch of them at the clinic if you want to drop some in letterboxes or hand them out on Saturday.

I’ll get off my soapbox now… thanks for listening.

Have a great week,

Warm Regards,
Alison Burton
Health and Happiness Guru

Simply Natural Therapies
41 Tunstall Square
East Doncaster
VIC 3109
03 9842 7033