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Choices, Mental Digestion and Your Well-Being

Our society is facing challenging times and we’re really not handling it well. Of course, there’s always been a strong element of ‘this is how it is, so you can fit in or suffer’ when people’s views collide. That has led to people being silenced or persecuted, This is happening in many areas of public life and we often see both sides trying to shut down the other in ways which I consider vicious and unhealthy for the well-being of individuals, and therefore society as a whole. Hopefully there can also be a measure of openness to reason, logic and a willingness to hold different views (even on important matters) and still be friends.

Let me illustrate this with an issue which I believe strikes at the heart of your right to make informed choices. Alternative health practitioners are increasingly being targeted by mainstream medical groups in an effort to shut down debate on the subject and control your choices. There are some oppressive forces acting upon our industry, even though the general public clearly appreciates the services and products that we have to offer. Some private health insurance companies are refusing to cover naturopathic and homeopathic treatments and it is only a matter of time before other alternative treatments are also excluded. As you know, we support western medicine and are immensely grateful for its many benefits and the ways in which it contributes to our health. However, we do not believe that any single form of treatment is right for everyone in all circumstances. What does this have to do with mental digestion and your wellbeing?

It’s quite simple, really! Obviously this issue, and some of the associated initiatives which stem from an overwhelming desire to reduce people’s choices have challenged my own vision of my role as a health provider: to increase people’s opportunity to take control of their health by sharing our skills and knowledge through publications and visits to the clinic.

As a result I’ve been upset over the unprovoked attacks, concerned by the anxiety and fear I’ve seen in other alternative health practitioners and unsettled by the possible future ramifications of this movement. I know I’m not alone. Maybe your profession isn’t being targeted like mine is, but many people are fearful about the future of the planet, their financial security, their relationships, their health, their children’s future… and are worried that things may only get worse. These fears and worries play out in your body… especially in your digestive system! They also play out in your mind.


Sulphur Crested Cockatoos by Anita Mertzlin

Here are my own principles for staying centred.

  • Know your limits and choose activities and courses wisely;
  • Be mindful of what is affecting you and how it manifests in your mind and body;
  • Keep life simple – there are always choices between complication and simplicity.

This is not an opt-out mechanism, it’s an opt-in mechanism. Opting in to the things which are really important to you.

I will finish with a wonderful quote from Henri Nouwan

Did I offer peace today?
Did I bring a smile to someone’s face?
Did I say words of healing?
Did I let go of my anger and resentment?
Did I forgive?
Did I love?
These are the real questions.
I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and in the life to come.
~ Henri Nouwen