A place for natural remedies.
Article Type: Letter to the editor
Author: Gulley, Ann
Pub Date: 04/01/2011
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: April, 2011 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 3
Accession Number: 255086045
Full Text: It was great to read Richard Harman's article on integrating medical and natural health in last month's Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand (p26-27). For many nurses and allied medical personnel, the use of natural/alternative/complementary health is a controversial topic. I have been a nurse for 40 years and for the last 20 years have worked in primary health (accident and medical). When my children were young they were constantly sick with upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and the complications of these, even following their tonsillectomies.

I was guided towards homeopathy by a relative (also in the medical field) to see if this could improve my sons' health issues. I was impressed with the results and then saw the effect of Arnica on a child's hand crushed in a door frame at my home one evening. Having worked in accident and emergency (A & E) for many years, I decided I wanted to know more about a medicine that could, within 30-45 minutes, stop a child screaming and prevent bruising and tissue damage so effectively, it was not necessary to take the child to a doctor. The mother, also an A & E nurse, was amazed as well.

In 1996, I graduated from the Auckland College of Classical Homeopathy (now part of the South Pacific College of Natural Therapies) and run a homeopathic clinic two to three days a week and nurse part-time. I am a tutor at the college and an executive member of the New Zealand Council of Homeopaths. Membership data can provide evidence of nurses, midwives and GPs using homeopathy, either in private practice or as part of their medical practice. As a homeopathic practitioner, I am constantly amazed how a well prescribed homeopathic medicine can positively change a client's health problem, eg recurrent URTIs.

I believe we need to have an open mind on the use of complementary/alternative medicine, especially with the documented number of people now using natural health products--many over the counter. I also believe it is important people are treated by qualified and regulated practitioners, even under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act, if and when possible. It is the aim of many complementary bodies to become regulated and one of the objectives of the National Health Council of which homeopaths, naturopaths, medical herbalists--to name a few--are affiliated members.

Firstly, however, these therapies need to be positively accepted by doctors, nurses and allied therapists and not criticised, so people feet free to, not only choose complementary health options, but able to discuss these options openly with all those involved in their health care.

Ann Gulley, RN, AdvDipHom, Auckland
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