Posted in Health and Well Being

Is your inner critic letting you down?

Posted by Caroline Hales on 4 June 2018
Is your inner critic letting you down?

Self-talk can be described as that continuous narrative that occurs between the conscious and subconscious levels of our mind and body. It is a part of the mind that rarely shuts down, and is so familiar that we often aren't aware of these thoughts.

The messages can be benign, positive or negative in nature, and are experienced in our physical body as comfortable or uncomfortable sensations.

Our habitual reaction is often to shut down uncomfortable thoughts and sensations because we believe they may have negative consequences. Our desire for self-preservation leads us to assume that comfort is the safer option. We tend to experience these habitual reactions more acutely when we are about to say or do something outside of our usual routine or comfort zone, and they can manifest as an increased volume and intensity of negative mind messages, as well as physical body sensations such as tension, anxiousness, or a foreboding feeling that something bad is going to happen.

A simple way to work with these habitual patterns of thoughts is by bringing awareness to the body's sensations and movements -  our jaws, shoulders, stomach and back can tighten - as a response to the mind messages that are being filtered through. Rather than trying to figure out the content of the messages, we can simply begin to witness what is occurring, use breathing patterns to purposely relax our physical body tension, and harness the power of our mind to calm and assure ourselves that, right now in this moment of time, we are safe. This simple practice can have a profound and uplifting effect on the mind-body.

Negative self-talk becomes more engaged when we judge ourselves as having made a mistake, get things wrong, when we think that life should be any different to what it is right now. It can be a habitual response to turn inward and berate ourselves. Being gentle and accepting that part of being human is to make mistakes, get it wrong and to remind ourselves that often we can learn so much from these times, can reduce the intensity and hold of these negative thought pasterns.

Making a choice to speak to ourselves with positive self-talk, i.e. reassuring words and affirmations, bringing our self into the safety of the present moment with kindness. This reassuring response can contribute to building self-confidence, self-belief, and can calm our emotional reactions and support us through difficult times.

Remembering our innate goodness as a human being, engaging in deep breathing exercises, and using reassuring self-talk, offers a chance to move on faster, make amends, and to make new positive choices.

Self-talk is one of the topics that we will be covered in Caroline Hales and Dr Michelle Woolhouse's upcoming Courageously Me Women's Retreat, running from 27th - 31st August 2018. Caroline and Michelle share a passion for empowering women, and together they offer a unique blend of Western and Eastern healing methodologies and philosophies, many years of professional expertise, as well as many years of intensive spiritual and personal development work. For more information, or to book your place in this retreat, please email or call 1300 651 211.

Posted in: Women's Health Health and Well Being  

The flu jabs have arrived

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 28 May 2018
The flu jabs have arrived

Some facts

Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent the spread of influenza in the community. Every year the virus adapts to it's environment, meaning the vaccine needs to adapt too to maintain its virulence. 

Last year the 2017 flu season was with worst we have seen in years, prompting new recommendations for the community. 

The flu vaccine doesn't contain live virus, so you can't get the flu from having a flu shot.

Taking good quality probiotics along side your vaccine has been shown to improve the immunity you get from it.

When is the right time to get the flu shot?

The government are concerned that because of the hype from last year's flu season, people are getting the flu shot too early. If you get the shot too early your immunity may start to wane in the early spring, just when the virus is starting to develop new strains and new defences.

So when is the right time to get a shot?  Now is the perfect time to get your protection up to date.

Is there anything else I can do to help protect me from the flu?

People with chronic disease are more likely to get the flu, so it makes sense to try to be as healthy as can be, eating a whole-food plant based diet, regular exercise, good sleep habits and optimising nutrient levels go a long way to supporting your internal immune system.

Who is eligible?

Eligible for all over age 65 and those with certain chronic conditions, speak to your doctor. For a full list if eligibility click here.  At Whole Medicine we are bulk billing your flu shot appointment, however there is a fee of $20 for the vaccination if you aren't eligible for a free one.

Will I feel poorly after I get the shot?

Some people report feeling a mild cold like feeling for a few days after the flu shot. To prevent this try taking some extra vitamin C and zinc both before and after the vaccination, this will help you get back on track quicker.

Where do I get it?

We stock the vaccine in clinic, so simply make an appointment by calling 5986 4229 or book online.


Posted in: Women's Health Preventative Medicine Men's Health Children's Health Chronic Illness Health and Well Being Family GP  

Courageously Me - A Wellness Retreat for Women

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 27 April 2018
Courageously Me - A Wellness Retreat for Women

Courageously Me - A Wellness Retreat for Women

5 Day Retreat 27th - 31st August 2018

Don't miss this opportunity to replenish your body, mind and soul with healthy eating, meditation, yoga and insightful self-help techniques.  Be quick as spots are filling fast, our previous retreat was a sell-out.

Join facilitators Dr Michelle Woolhouse and Caroline Hales for five days of personal-exploration, reconnection and self-empowerment.  Michelle and Caroline are two women with different styles and life experiences who have a shared passion for empowering women. Between them, they blend and offer the wisdom of Western and Eastern healing philosophies, many years of professional expertise, and extensive spiritual and personal development work.

Take time away from your usual responsibilities to relax, recharge and refocus at this transformational five-day retreat.

Located in the peaceful and conducive environment of the Yarra Valley Living Centre.

Pricing starts from $1690 for a shared room, (depending on your choice of accommodation), and covers all elements of the program, including delicious plant-based wholefood meals, snacks, teas and dandelion coffee.

Our last retreat was a huge success. A snippet of some of the brilliant feedback we received:

"As woman we tend to take care of everyone but ourselves and this retreat has awakened in me the importance of taking the time to care for myself and I would recommend this retreat to any woman who needs to reconnect and replenish herself within a wonderful cocoon of sisterhood."

"The weekend was full of good company, lovely food and then especially the very informative information on meditation and how it relieves stress.  How to use this tool in everyday live and how best to get the most out of every moment. Michelle and Caroline are wonderful in their caring attitude and I am looking forward to any other upcoming events you may have."

Read more feedback from our retreats here.

Want to find out more:

Posted in: Women's Health Health and Well Being  

Health trends and how lifestyle medicine can help

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 18 April 2018
Health trends and how lifestyle medicine can help

Why Whole Medicine GPs combine evidenced-based, non-drug therapies with general practice.

There's no doubt over the past 100 years our medical needs have changed. We die less of pneumonia, accidents and epidemics like polio or diphtheria. Instead, we succumb more to diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia.

What's more, recent research confirms the underlying cause of these killer diseases is chronic, low grade inflammation as a result of poor lifestyle. That's why lifestyle medicine is at the foundation of our practice at Whole Medicine.

Why our practice is different

We believe good medicine takes time.

It's difficult to teach and support you through lifestyle change or address a health condition in a 10-minute consult. That's why our first appointment is longer because we want to get to know you and help you explore all of the integrative aspects of your health.

Once we understand your health status, we can equip you with ways to optimise it. To help, we offer two types of new patient appointments.

  1. 30-minutes for straightforward needs or someone simply looking to engage with a good GP.
  2. 45-minutes for those who want to explore a particular issue.

A longer appointment is the cornerstone to better health outcomes. An investment in your health, we think you will agree, is money well spent.

Follow up appointments and ongoing treatments designed with you in mind

  • The most common follow up appointment is 20-minutes. This is longer than a standard GP appointment because we don't want you or your doctor to be rushed when it comes to optimising your health.
  • We also have a "quick and sick" appointment for those days when you need a brief check in. This is more in line with what you might expect at a standard GP clinic.

How we help you to be well

To achieve your best health results, we use as much evidenced-based, non-drug therapies as possible. This may include practical skills, lifestyle interventions, counselling, nutrients, herbs and other things like breathing techniques or special exercises. We still use general medication when needed and often it's the combination of medication and lifestyle interventions that help you reach the best results.

This holistic approach is best when we see you for your acute care needs, chronic illnesses and general medical issues.

Our team takes care of all the prevention screenings and always helps you understand why we do things. After all, information and knowledge is power!

Making a digital difference

We have recently updated our website to share all the details you need including our fee structure, services, doctors and opening times. You can book online at anytime from anywhere.

Check out other blog posts covering many of the topics our Whole Medicine patients want to know more about:

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Posted in: Women's Health Preventative Medicine Men's Health Children's Health Skin Health Chronic Illness Health and Well Being Family GP  

Boost your immunity this Winter

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 27 March 2018
Boost your immunity this Winter

Flu season is fast approaching and the new flu vaccination is coming soon. However, there is more that can be done to boost your immunity this winter than relying solely on the vaccine.

The flu vaccine will offer you some protection from the potentially serious effects of the influenza virus, but most of us will simply suffer from the common cold or other viruses like rhinovirus. So, the flu vaccine does nothing to protect us against this more common but admittedly less severe infection.

For some it seems like a virus type infection lasts for weeks if not months, especially if they work in an environment like a child care centre or have small kids attending childcare.

By focusing on improving your nutritional intake and boosting the numbers of good bacteria- you can do a lot to strengthen your immunity.

Many people don't realise that 2/3 of our immune system is located in our gut walls, and the gut bacteria play a major role is adapting to viruses and producing all the good chemicals that we need to fight them off properly.

Latest research shows us that these fantastic little bugs can help strengthen our immune response, lower inflammation and even help protect us from cancer.

So how do we make sure we feed these little guys right?

The keys factors to support the health of our guts, is by lowering sugar rich foods, lowering fried and saturated fats and increasing the diversity and amount of fibre in our diets.


Foods like legumes, vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds and berries should make up the bulk of our intake and will support the growth and diversity of these bugs to strengthen our immunity.

When people suffer from a prolonged viral infection, this can play havoc on their overall nutritional load, so we often see people suffering from nutrient deficiencies; by fixing these and supporting the immune system even more with certain foods, herbs and supplements, we see patients return to health and make sure the rest of the winter is illness and as importantly antibiotic free.

At Whole Medicine we have an in-house dispensary which is stocked with leading nutritional and herbal supplements.  These supplements are required to be prescribed by your doctor.

Talk to your doctor about what more you can do to help boost your immunity this coming winter?

Posted in: Women's Health Preventative Medicine Men's Health Children's Health Health and Well Being Family GP  

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