Whole Medicine Blog

Our blog covers the latest in holistic medicine with free expert advice from the Whole Medicine team

Each month we cover topics many Whole Medicine patients want to know more about including sleep, hypertension, stress management, gut biome and more.

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Nutrition and Immunity

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 21 July 2020
Nutrition and Immunity
COVID-19 is a novel virus, meaning it has never been in circulation within the human population before, therefore long term research isn't available on treatment options. However, good principles of nutritional medicine are likely to be supportive to strengthen the immune system. 

The immune system is a complex whole-body system that is mainly housed in the gut wall and through the body via the antibody system, white blood cells and lymph nodes. These collections of tissues are the source of our immune defence. When we are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals we know that this has a negative effect on the immune system.

Vitamin D is a remarkable vitamin that our bodies make from the sun. If we sun avoid due to fear of skin cancer, excessive indoor time or covering our skin we may be deficient in Vitamin D even in this sunny country. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a poorer immune response. 

Zinc has long been used as an anti-viral agent, however, it has fallen from "fashion" as more pharmaceutical medicines have taken its place. Zinc is currently being research in the ICU units in some Melbourne Hospitals. Zinc is commonly deficient as our soils are over-farmed and with the latest dietary trend heading to vegetarianism, we are finding a lot of zinc deficiencies. Zinc stores within the white blood cells and acts as a first-line defence against viruses. 

Vitamin C is a ubiquitous anti-viral agent and is a potent anti-oxidant used to mop up inflammation and cell debris caused by the immune system's defence actions. Vitamin C  also supports mucous membrane healing, which may play a role in the COVID-19 mechanism in more severe cases. 

Others lifestyle medicine interventions have all good evidence to support optimising immunity, such as adequate sleep, nature-based exercise, good air quality, stress management, and connection with those we love. Our immune systems are dynamic and provide an omnipotent healing presence inside all of us. 

So along with following the DHHS guidelines, such as social distancing, wearing a mask in public, restricting contact with others, avoiding crowds and washing hands frequently and vigorously, there may be some good evidenced-based interventions worth considering. For more information and individualisation please book an appointment and speak it through with your practitioner.
Posted in: Vitamins Preventative Medicine Men's Health Children's Health Chronic Illness Health and Well Being Family GP COVID-19  

Boost your immunity the natural way!

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 24 June 2020
Boost your immunity the natural way!
Never has there been more need, or more interest in natural ways to defend us against viruses, since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutritional medicine, such as Vitamin D, Zinc and Vitamin C have amongst the best evidence for bolstering our immune systems.

Zinc is a fantastic antiviral in its own right. It was used commonly in the past, prior to antibiotics, but in mainstream it is rarely used anymore.  It is not unusual to be deficient in zinc, even with a well rounded diet, as Australian soils are commonly in low supply. Zinc is rapidly used up in viral infections and when in low supply lead to recurrent or prolonged infections.

Vitamin D is a vitamin we make in our bodies from sun exposure. It is actually a pro-hormone rather than a vitamin. It is vital for immunity, brain development, and acts as a potent fat soluble anti-oxidant. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of COVID-19 infection, along with increasing the risk of more serious symptoms.

Vitamin C is also not officially a vitamin, it is chemical that is made in most mammals, but due to a "mutation" hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans, alongside guinea pigs, salmon and fruit bats no longer make it. It is a potent anti-oxidant and is anti-viral, anti bacterial and even antifungal. When the immune system is overwhelmed by infection, vitamin C is released from the white blood cells in massive amounts, it is used to support the white bloods cells and also assists in mopping up the inflammation caused as waste products of the immune defence.

Vitamin C in high doses can stop viral infections in their tracks.  Intravenous Vitamin C is a safe and effective treatment for overall wellbeing, liver detoxification support, immune support and inflammation. Speak with one of your Whole Medicine GP's about whether Vitamin C is something you would like to try.
Posted in: Vitamins Preventative Medicine Health and Well Being Family GP COVID-19  

The Transforming Power of Gratitude

Posted by Dr David Parsons on 24 June 2020
The Transforming Power of Gratitude
Last week my uncle was awarded an Australian Fire Services Medal in the Queen's birthday honours list in recognition of his 48-year career in the CFA. In a newspaper interview, he said, "It was a very rewarding job, I worked with fantastic people and I believed absolutely in what we were doing." I know he has a chronic debilitating illness, but the gratitude shown by this community recognition has transformed him, his life has meaning and purpose, despite his real physical suffering.

When I was younger, I was irritated by my grandmother finishing every story with "We have a lot to be thankful for". With some hindsight, I can see that gratitude was important to her long life and wellbeing. How else do you handle young children when your husband is away for six years at war? And after this flood, fire and a mouse plague on the Wimmera farm. Her gratitude gave her perspective and the pluck to keep ongoing.

Here at Whole Medicine, we might suggest some evidence-based strategies to allow you to be self-aware, hopefully, develop some perspective on your life and cultivate positive emotion. Research finds, 'gratitude contributes to several physical and psychological health benefits such as better cardiovascular and immune functioning. The strength of gratitude has spiritual benefits as well, such as a feeling of interconnectedness with life, a general sense of responsibility towards others and reduced emphasis on material goods' (VIA, 2020). Importantly, expressing thankfulness in your relationships is like 'emotional glue', enriching your bonds, boosting your wellbeing while elevating those around you.
Posted in: Chronic Illness Health and Well Being Mental Health  

Positivity in the time of COVID-19

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 27 April 2020
Positivity in the time of COVID-19

3 million Australians are living with anxiety or depression

And this number is probably growing by the second. We are living in the most uncertain times in living history and this is bringing up uncomfortable feelings for many in our community. It is well known that excessive stress negatively impacts our immunity; this is yet another reason for us to embrace effective stress management skills.

There has never been a better time to explore our vulnerabilities, our uncomfortable emotions and the courage that comes from being supported.

  • Learn new skills.
  • Develop new ways to cope, and support ourselves.
  • Develop long term strategies for optimal mental health.
  • Increase our self-esteem and self-compassion.
  • Improve our productivity.
  • Learn relaxation skills.

To support people and to help those affected harshly by this pandemic, Dr. Michelle Woolhouse is conducting a 6-week online group consultation relating to anxiety management.

Thorough exploration of the scientifically validated whole person approach to anxiety management.

  • 7.5 hours of contact at a regular time each week.
  • Maximum of 10 people only per course.
  • Cutting-edge science and insight on the areas of the mindfulness, the body-brain, and self-compassion.
  • Practical tools such as breathing exercises, and other mindfulness-based experiences.
  • Experiential exercises including guided awareness practices such as body awareness and other awareness-based skills.
  • Receive a recording of the guided meditations done throughout the course.

Next Course:

  • Wednesday 9am -10.15am
  • May 6th - June 10th 
  • Via Zoom meetings
  • Only 10 spots available
  • You will be sent a zoom link, please arrive about 5 minutes before starting

Please note that there is no out of pocket fee for this program.  To book please call reception on 03 5986-4229

Posted in: Preventative Medicine Health and Well Being Family GP Mental Health COVID-19  

What is Shared Obstetric Care?

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 23 April 2020
What is Shared Obstetric Care?

Many people ask us this. Shared care is when pregnant women chose to share their ante-natal care between an experienced GP and their chosen hospital. The benefits of using GP lead shared care is the opportunity to develop a long-lasting and warm relationship with a GP that takes you beyond the pregnancy into breastfeeding, postpartum care and not to mention making sure the baby's health is well looked after too and possibly even the Dad!

Dr Preveena Nair is a registered shared care GP associated with Frankston Obstetrics. Recently she had her second baby and is passionate about sharing the journey with her patients. She is known for her warmth and compassion and will support you through all of the twists and turns needed for a healthy and vibrant pregnancy journey.

There is no need to drive to un-necessary hospital visits, when you can receive some of your care in the quiet and safe practice of Whole Medicine.

For you safety and care: social distancing, including temperature checks, cleaning and triaging are all in operation at Whole Medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted in: Women's Health Health and Well Being Family GP Pregnacy  
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