An Open Letter to Trevor Evans, Federal Member for Brisbane

In light of the recent cuts to health care in this country, I signed a petition against the exclusion of complimentary therapies in private health cover. I received a response from my local federal member, Trevor Evans and I wanted to share my response with you here.
I know a lot of you are disappointed that you cannot get health rebates for my services, so the further exclusion of complimentary therapies is of great concern to me, because if you can’t afford to see me, how am I supposed to help you?
If you would like a copy of Trevor’s original email, I’d be happy to forward it to you, but for now, here is my response:

Hi Trevor

Thanks for taking the time to reply to this letter, I appreciate it.

As a nutritional medicine practitioner, my concern with the lack of governmental support for complimentary medicines is that because the government isn’t willing to provide such financial help, those with lower income are less likely to afford services that can prevent so many of the illnesses currently burdening the health care system. It is widely shown that diet and lifestyle alone can make huge difference for the prevention and treatment of conditions such as heart disease, metabolic syndrome, mental health disorders, diabetes, cancer, obesity, dementia, allergies, IBS, arthritis, etc, and when coupled with complementary therapies, that preventative effect is incredibly enhanced.

My struggle is a practitioner is that so many people I speak to struggle to afford my services (which are some of the cheapest in my industry), let alone the comprehensive testing and supplementation that goes along with it. With governmental support, complementary therapists would be able to improve the health of so many more people from a wider range of income streams, which would reduce the incidence and severity of illnesses I listed above, saving the government money in the long term. The last thing any practitioner (complementary or otherwise) wants is for their client to undergo surgery for a condition that could have been treated through the support of complementary medicines.

Nutritional medicine practitioners, naturopaths and the like provide one-on-one care that our GPs aren’t able to provide. We individualise our treatments, giving diet and lifestyle changes that suit a person where they’re at; their health status, their budget, their lifestyle. We spend between 30 and 90 minutes with our clients at a time and often are available for advice via email outside of these consultations. The way we practise is patient-centred care, always.

When our government isn’t willing to support medicine that not only provides essential support for so many individuals, but can improve the health of our population as a whole for the long term, I question what their motives are. I truly believe that by making complimentary therapies widely available for everyone it can not only improve our health and reduce the cost of surgeries and medications for our Medicare system, it could support small business and the purchases of locally produced, high quality supplements (keeping more of our money in the country), it could regulate the complementary medicine system to weed out so-called “witch doctors” who are often unqualified and unregistered, causing harm to vulnerable people (and our industry as a whole), and it could improve the basic skills and knowledge of growing our own vegetables, cooking and regular exercise to the whole community.

All I really want as a practitioner is to empower my clients to live the best life that I can, and I haven’t met a single complimentary therapist that I couldn’t say the same thing about them. We are all here to compliment the medical system; to prevent diseases created and worsened by diet and lifestyle choices, to support the body’s healing while pharmaceutical drugs have been prescribed, to provide support for the body, mind and spirit of every client (which provides a support system for those without one and keeps them accountable to their goals), and to educate and empower each person to understand and take control of their own health.

These are the reasons I signed this petition, in hopes that more of our representatives would understand why and how government support could bring so much good to our wider community and to our country as a whole. Complimentary medicines are still widely misunderstood in Australia, and seen as secondary to the conventional medical system, where really, if we had the support to work together in the complimentary manner we know is possible, the health of every Australian would benefit.

Thank you

Miranda Partridge

Nutritional Medicine Practitioner

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7 Quick-Fixes for Anxious Moments

Anxiety is one of those ‘life’ things that can kind of consume your whole world, if not your whole day if you’re not too careful. The fix – or really, the balance – comes from the long game; daily habits and rituals that have benefits for the long term.

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Yes, this is me a chubby bub, stealing my Mum’s food

But the thing is, if you’ve fallen off the healthy routine bandwagon for a little too long, these habits can sometimes feel too hard, too far and not enough to get you feeling “right” (even if, they probably would be bloody brilliant if you just did them).

The following are a few quick fixes for these moments to help you find you mojo, calm the storm and have you feeling just a bit more grounded and back inside your body, instead of floating around above your head. They’re methods that I use frequently to great results, and things I share in clinic at least weekly. Continue reading

Could your liver be the cause of your poor gut health?

The little-discussed factor in gut health.

The Liver and Digestive Health

When it comes to looking after your gut, I’m sure you’ve heard about probiotics and fibre, right? But did you know that looking after your liver can be key to ensuring your gut is working the way that its meant to?

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St Mary’s Thistle print by AgaFarrell

Your liver, the one responsible for detoxifying the body’s metabolites and the toxins you ingest, creates a digestive secretion called bile. Bile is the medium through which these detoxified products are released via the bowel, shifting them out of your system. It is created from bile salts that are transported from the liver to the gall bladder. Concentrated, stored and excreted by the gall bladder in response to the presence of a meal, bile enables us to absorb fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and some minerals. It also helps to maintain the optimum pH in the gut for our gut flora to grow and contains immunoglobulins that support the integrity and structure of the gut wall.

When should you start to worry about your liver and its effect on the gut?

Continue reading

When it comes to gender equality, should we be normalising period pain?

A couple of months ago I was scrolling through my newsfeed and stumbled upon a video of a news segment where they were discussing the idea of work leave for period pain. The woman proposing the change mentioned how common it is for women to have to use their sick leave for period pain and then not have enough left over for when they actually get sick.

Personally, I agree that it isn’t fair that women are taking sick leave in order to deal with pain associated with their period every month. But also, the discussion brought up a few thoughts that I’d like to share with you, because I believe there is a different way that we could be approaching this situation.

While I think is totally essential to normalise periods (and challenge people who get grossed-out by the sheer mention of a period on a regular basis) it deeply concerns me that we’re moving towards accepting things like debilitating period pain as a totally normal thing.

092495546efd2a994a2b8cfa64570fde.jpgNow, this isn’t me dismissing these symptoms, or anyone who experiences this pain. If fact, I believe that if you are experiencing pain once every month that has you bed-ridden, has you taking hard-core pain medications, has you doubled over in pain, gives you migraines that make you vomit and have to retreat to a dark room, or you experience irregular periods (varying one week to months apart), experiencing spotting, never-ending acne, very heavy or very light periods, breast tenderness or in some cases, find yourself suicidal in the lead up to your period;

NONE of that is normal.

And you deserve so much better than to be told to accept these symptoms as ‘normal’ every single month.
Continue reading

5 Things I Learned From Vegan Eating

The idea of going vegan for two weeks, to me, was incredibly daunting. I’ve had times in my life in the past where I’d mostly eaten vegetarian (for budgetary reasons, mostly) and even though I thought I was eating well, over time, my mental health declined, and I became more prone to anxiety and felt overall, pretty miserable.

Eating an animal source of protein usually improved my mood fairly quickly (within a day), so I associated good mental health with getting an animal source of protein in my diet most days of the week. The idea of eating vegan (for more than a meal here and there) scared the shit out of me – the last thing I wanted was to put myself at a higher risk of an anxiety attack, but all the while, I had found myself craving vegetarian meals since winter last year, and I always want to reduce my environmental impact on the world. It was a very confusing position to be in. Continue reading