Posted in Skin Health

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  

Skin protection

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 20 February 2018
Skin protection

Plus, tell-tale signs of when you need a GP to check your skin.

As beach-side residents, we all know the importance of protecting our skin from dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation during summer. After all, overexposure to UV rays while at the beach, playing sports or even visiting fruit farms and wineries can cause wrinkles and skin and eye damage. It can also lead to skin cancer.

In fact, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in every three Australians diagnosed before age 70.

Furthermore, anyone can be at risk of developing skin cancer 9.2 per cent of people diagnosed with melanoma are aged under 40, according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data.The issue is, Australia has the highest UV index in the world, and it's the UV radiation in the sunshine that causes your skin to burn. There is UVA and UVB, which both cause skin damage and increase the risk of developing both common skin cancer and melanoma. However, UVA penetrates your skin much deeper.

When sunburn can occur in as little as 15-minutes and will continue to develop for 24 to 72 hours after exposure to the sun your best form of skin protection is to follow Cancer Council Australia guidelines:

  • Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  • Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ (or higher) sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards, or after swimming, exercising or towel drying. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
  • Slap on a hat broad brim or legionnaire style to protect your face, head, neck and ears.
  • Seek shade.
  • Slide on some sunglasses make sure they meet Australian Standards.

Dos and don'ts of Vitamin D
If you are concerned this method of skin protection will prevent you from meeting your vitamin D requirements don't be.

Dr Michelle Woolhouse, Whole Medicine founder and principal GP, says vitamin D requirements are not as hard to achieve as people think.

"While sun exposure is important for good health, the harms of UV radiation in Australia far outweigh the risks of vitamin D deficiency," she says.
"For most people, adequate vitamin D levels can be reached through regular incidental exposure to the sun."

During summer, when the UV reaches damaging levels, a few minutes of sun exposure on either side of the peak UV periods before 10am and after 3pm is enough to get your vitamin D fix.

When to check your skin
Regularly checking your own skin for changes is essential, while an annual examination by your GP is recommended no matter what your age.

Keep an eye out for:

  • Any crusty, non-healing sores;
  • Small lumps that are red, pale or pearly in colour;
  • New spots, freckles or any moles changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of weeks to months, especially those dark brown to black, red or blue-black in colour.

If you notice any changes, act quickly and don't worry, you're not alone Cancer Council Australia data shows GPs have more than one million patient consultations per year for skin cancer.

To book a skin check at Whole Medicine call 03 5986 4229 or visit our convenient online booking portal. Our doctors are qualified to perform minor skin surgeries including biopsies (removing a small sample of tissue for examination). We also have access to the best specialists, hospitals, procedures and investigations. P.S. Check out the SunSmart App, which lets you know when you do and don't need sun protection, making it easier to be smart about your sun exposure all year round.

P.S. Check out the SunSmart App, which lets you know when you do and don't need sun protection, making it easier to be smart about your sun exposure all year round.

Posted in: Skin Health Health and Well Being Family GP  

A 2018 New year message from Dr Michelle Woolhouse

Posted by Dr Michelle Woolhouse on 9 January 2018
A 2018 New year message from Dr Michelle Woolhouse

"It is always a special time, when a new year opens up to us all. As we say goodbye to the challenges and good times of the previous year, we start to look ahead with possibility, commitment and hope. Just before Christmas, the staff of Whole medicine (nee Peninsula Holistic General Practice) gathered together to do just that; say goodbye to the old and welcome in the new. Many patients over the Christmas period have been positively commenting on the new website, the new sage green branding and signage and have been asking us why we decided to change the name. So let us tell you all the reasons why...

We decided to change the practice name and update the website (www.wholemedicine.com.au) because we wanted to be more committed to the whole person and the whole community. Over the years we have been focusing on our expanded approach to medicine, which was becoming so popular, people were travelling from all across Victoria and even across Australia to come to see our GP's. Even though this is a humbling indication of how valued we are, we felt we were not able to service these patients well enough because of the distance and inadvertently we were jeopardising the accessibility to the clinic for our dedicated, local patient base. We also felt unable to service all the needs of our local patients, for example our patients felt unable to access our services when they needed a pap smear or were acutely unwell and would therefore need to go elsewhere.  We don't think this is good medicine, as it is beneficial for patients to have a doctor who understands all their needs, one who they can see when they are acutely sick, one who can look after the whole family and help them navigate all the screening and prevention interventions they need to do.

The other issue for our patients was our accessibility points: What we discovered was that even though we believe in offering a time honoured system of medicine- this meant many local families felt that the 60 minute new patient appointment and associated costs were too much to justify if they were not significantly unwell. We wanted to change that too.

So, we as a group discussed these issues at our meetings, over coffee and around the tables over the preceding months. We talk about what good medicine meant to us, we talked about the importance of integration and we talked about what our values were as doctors and as a business. These discussions lead us to make some changes that we hope will help us to be the best medical group to help service our local community and stay committed to the Whole person model of care we are all so passionate about.

The changes we have made:

  1. New and more affordable access points to the clinic so that we can accommodate your children, your family and increase our reach to the locals that want to be a part of this expanded and integrative approach to health care.
  2. We have decreased our new patient appointment times and fees to suit a whole range of different people's needs.
  3. We have a stronger focus on community medicine, such that we have zoned the clinic and give preferential access to those on the Mornington Peninsula.
  4. We have dedicated 100K to chronic disease management and wellness coaching to help you achieve your health goals.

So this is why Peninsula Holistic became Whole Medicine. So along with the new name, comes a new approach, new accessibility, new commitment and new innovations.

Whole medicine is dedicated to helping our community  be well, because we know a strong and healthy community will strengthen the health of the individual too.

Welcome to Whole Medicine, and make 2018 your year to Be well...

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

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