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ATMS Member Interview.

I have a diploma in remedial massage with an advanced diploma in flower essences and a qualification in lymphodema management. I have a nursing background and trained as a nurse in New Zealand in 1979. In the early nineties I received a reflexology and aromatherapy qualification.

My unique position came in 1991.1 had just qualified as a remedial massage therapist and MBM therapist and immediately began work as a remedial massage therapist using Western Australian flower essences in Western Australian hospitals. I became a member of the pain and stress management teams in several hospitals and delivered lectures to administration teams and allied hospital staff. I was called on to help patients with break-through pain and stress (either pre or post operatively). I worked with clients in oncology, cardiac intensive care, mental health and maternity as well as acute orthopaedic wards and general surgery.

My husband was also trained in the same modalities. We became a team. We were on call for over ten hospitals at the time. We worked with ways to deepen our understanding of stress and pain using natural approaches within a medical model. It was a beautiful experience as I brought what I had learned and loved into a place that was challenging. This was both difficult and inspiring at the same time.

I love working with natural medicine as I feel it is very empowering for the clients whom I have seen over the years.They get renewed hope and respond positively to new approaches to improving their health. I love the results I get with the therapies I use.The ultimate test of course for clients is how responsible they want to be in the health journey. There are many and complicated reasons why some clients need more time than others to reach their goals.

Health evidence and outcomes are constantly changing. I would encourage anyone starting out in a natural medicine career to follow their passion and to keep abreast of the latest evidence and scientific approaches to health. Never be afraid to ask questions. Science is constantly changing and one day a particular approach may be used in medicine and then through renewed research another or better approach is favoured. Listen carefully to your clients.

The future of natural medicine is an exciting one. As a first world country our health status is one of the best in the world. As a natural health provider I find I am constantly hearing stories of problems associated with the medical approach. I often find I need to buffer what some health providers have said and feel confused by my role as advisor and listener.

The battle between the medical and natural approaches seems to be becoming a political one. This battle has led me to believe at this time that research and evidence are important tools to work with. I have recently joined the ATMS-sponsored N-of-1 trial and I have learnt a lot working with the academics from Southern Cross University. I encourage anyone who sees this opportunity to take it.

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Author:Balinski, Angela
Publication:Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
Date:Mar 22, 2017
Previous Article:The Spark in the Machine.

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