Category Archives: Health Care

Back to basics with Bach Flower Therapy

Bach flower remedies is a system of 38 flower remedies that are said to correct emotional imbalances. Considered alternative medicine you can pick or choose what you like from this blog post but we thought it would be interesting to check out.

Doctor Bach(1886-1936), a British Doctor set out to research immunology but developed an interest in homeopathy and joined the laboratories of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in 1919. He felt dissatisfied with the way doctors were expected to concentrate on diseases rather than the people who were suffering them. Bach believed that illness is the effect of disharmony between body and mind and that symptoms of an illness are the external expression of negative emotional states.

In 1928 he began work on his own remedies made from plants and two years later at age forty-three he gave up his lucrative practice in London to pursue his vision. This boldness resulted in the 38 different types of Bach remedies. Each remedy is associated with a basic human emotion. Mimulus, for example, is the remedy for when we are anxious or afraid about something specific. Taking the remedy helps to overcome the fear and face it with courage.

The 38 different remedies and their bundled mixes are available in liquid form at most health stores, pharmacies and online. The Bach flower remedy most people know is arnica, a plant from the sunflower family, used to treat bruising, muscular strains, wounds and swelling.

The bundled mixes of remedies commonly y known as “Rescue Remedies” such as Rescue Sleep and the standard rescue remedy for stress and emotional imbalance are fairly well-known in Australia.

Rescue sleep is said to calm your restless mind providing natural relief of occasional sleeplessness caused by stress and repetitive thoughts. Active ingredients in the rescue sleep product include white chestnut to help ease a restless mind, star of Bethlehem for trauma and shock, clematis for the tendendency to pass out, cherry plum for fear of mind giving way or anger, impatiens for irritability and tension and finally rock rose for frozen terror and panic.

The standard rescue remedy is also a combination of 5 Bach flower remedies. Allegedly, beneficial when you find yourself in traumatic situations, such as, emergencies, after getting bad news, feeling impatient and irritated, feeling tension and pressure, before an exam or job interview and all other kind of situations where you find you lose balance mentally.

Rescue remedy is said to help you to relax, get focused and get the needed calmness. Dr Oz recommends rescue remedy for stress and it has been endorsed by many celebrities such as Jennifer Anniston, Selma Hyak, Cate Blanchett, Martha Stewart and Van Morrison. We’re not saying you should try it because the celebrities’ do we are just showing that it is not a product only used by alternative medicine or homeopathy supporters.

Although homeopathy has recently been slammed as scientifically implausible and theoretically week in recent media reports by the Sydney Morning Herald and other major metropolitan newspapers. However a draft statement by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council said homeopathy which uses a large range of animal, plant and mineral products should not be confused with herbal remedies.

At the end of the day you are free to make up your own mind on whether you take homeopathic medicines or not. We just like to educate you on what is out there in the healthcare world so you are better informed to make decisions about your own health.

References

BachFlower.com. 2012. The Original Bach Flower Remedies. Retrieved 13 November 2012 from http://bachflower.com/wordpress/?page_id=293

The Bach Centre. 2009. All about Bach remedies. Retrieved 14 November 2012 from http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/firstpag.htm

Medew, J. 2012. Alternative medicine crackdown. Retrieved 14 November 2012 from http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/alternative-medicine-crackdown-20120313-1uyiw.html

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First aid for everyone

No matter what you do, it pays to have first aid skills as you can’t learn it in an emergency. First aid is for everyone and no matter how good you think you’re knowledge is it is always best to refresh your mind or consider enrolling in a course.

I recently completed a St John’s two day introductory first aid course over a weekend. I thought I had a basic idea of what to do in an emergency situation by use common sense or just rely on calling an ambulance. However the course taught me some of the responses I thought were right weren’t and it gave me greater confidence in an emergency situation.

The introductory course covered how to respond to broken bones, cuts, conscious and unconscious breathing and non breathing casualties, allergic reactions, burns, asthma attacks amongst other situations.

The most important lesson I learnt was that even if you suspect a casualty has spiral or neck injuries if they are unconscious you must always put them into the recovery position. I always thought you would never move someone with suspected spinal or neck injuries however I learnt if they are unconscious their airways are at risk. Hence if someone’s airway is at risk then they risk not breathing which then means brain damage or death. If they are not breathing then you perform CPR.

The teacher of the course I completed told an awful story of one of her students who was present at an accident scene where the casualty was unconscious. Members of the public restrained him because he wanted to move the casualty into a recovery position. Very unfortunately the casualty died as his airway was blocked and if you don’t get air regardless of whether you have a suspected spinal injury you will be unlikely to live.

The other important take away I got was to remember you are a first aider which means exactly that. You do not do anything beyond your training or beyond what you feel comfortable and confident doing.

I would highly recommend the St John’s course for anyone whether it be for workplace use or generally knowledge for citizens. You can find out more about their courses at the following link www.stjohn.org.au or as always you can ask us here at Docmate!

References

St John, 2012. First Aid Training. Retrieved 6 October 2012 from http://www.stjohn.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14&Itemid=25

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Canterbury GP’s to get Free Text Messaging System

GP’s in Canterbury, New Zealand are being offered a free installation of Vensa Health’s TXT2Remind messaging system which is funded by the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB).

Around 40 per cent of practices in the Canterbury region already use the system which permits GPs to send appointment, screening and immunisation reminders in addition to key health messages directly to their patients over text message.

The two year initiative will also provide a monthly allowance of text messages at no cost and plans to have the system rolled out in 95% of practices.

The TEXT2Remind System is administrated by Pegasus Health, the not-for-profit organisation that manages over 100 practices in Canterbury. The system however is available to any general practice providing primary healthcare and has been endorsed by the primary healthcare organisations in the region.

At DocMate we think this is a great initiative in the way forward to bringing the healthcare industry online and up to speed with other industries. It looks like our little brother New Zealand is getting ahead of the game with this move. To date no Australian State health boards have followed suit. We love all things to do with innovation particularly when it comes to digital healthcare. We are excited by this move from the CDHB and will keep you abreast of any health boards around Australia that follow CBDH’s move.

References

McDonald, Kate. 2012. Canterbury GPS to get free text messaging system. Retrieved
Thursday 20 September from http://www.pulseitmagazine.com.au/index.php?
option=com_content&view=article&id=1146:canterbury-gps-to-get-free-text-messaging-
system&catid=49:new-zealand-ehealth&Itemid=274

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Australian e-Health Scheme has the support of doctors

As part of the National Health Reform, the Government is investing $465.7 million over two years on the eHealth scheme which aims to “provide a new way of managing health information online that will make it more accessible to Australians who chose to sign up with the system, and their chosen healthcare professionals (Department of Health and Ageing).”

The Department of Health and Ageing describes the eHealth scheme as a “gateway to Australia’s personally controlled electronic health.”  By registering for an eHealth record you can see a secure online summary of your key healthcare information. You can control what goes into your eHealth record and who is able to access it. The Government believes “over time an eHealth record will help put you at the centre of your own healthcare.”

The Sydney Morning Heralds health correspondent Mark Metherell , reports that although the rollout of the scheme is still months away it has “locked in the support of doctors.” Metherell advises “the government has won the agreement of big doctors’ groups, including the Australian Medical Association, to new arrangements that will allow doctors to claim as much as $100 from Medicare for collating health records with their patients.”

Although inevitably there is and have been teething problems and criticisms, the medical professions backing of the reform is a positive step for Australia. Compared with a similar scheme in Britain which is failing to gain healthcare professional and the public’s approval we are doing well (Jones & The Independent).

So the doctors are on board but what does the everyday Australian think about the scheme? We are interested in knowing as there seems to be very little polls and information published to gage public opinion.

Join the conversation today and let us know your thoughts on the eHealth reform and how you would like to see your relationship with your doctor improve.

References

Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (2012). eHealth. Retrieved 25 August 2012 from http://www.yourhealth.gov.au/internet/yourhealth/publishing.nsf/Content/theme-ehealth#.UDhKFKD_nyI

Dearne, Karen (2012). Sceptics warn of risks and inadequacies in shared e-health records system. Retrieved 25 August from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/government/sceptics-warn-of-risks-and-inadequacies-in-shared-electronic-health-records/story-fn4htb9o-1226412887806

Jones, Allen (2012). Only one in four back NHS reforms. Retrieved Tuesday 21 August 2012 at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/only-one-in-four-back-nhs-reforms-6804616.html

Metherell, Mark (2012). Doctors agree to update practices to share ehealth data. Retrieved 25 August 2012 from http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/doctors-agree-to-update-practices-to-share-ehealth-data-20120823-24oxm.html

The Independent (2012). Only 12 per cent of GPs back NHS reforms. Retrieved Tuesday 21 2012 from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/only-12-per-cent-of-gps-back-nhs-reforms-7620961.html

Australia vs Britain in eHealth reforms

All patients in England are set to have online access to their personal GP records by 2015 according to the National Health Service (NHS).

“The internet has revolutionised how people shop, bank and travel, and for too long the NHS has not been a part of that,” states Health Secretary Andrew Lansley (publicservice.co.uk, 2012).

Jeremy Laurance of The Independent UK, reports “ministers believe that giving patients more control over their records will encourage them to be more active in caring for their own health and make them better able to monitor the performance of their GPs (as GPs are expected to keep more accurate records knowing patients will have access to them).”

Laurance reports that The British Medical Association has had some opposition to the move warning online access could lead to security breaches, patients coerced into releasing information or becoming upset when viewing upsetting information without support.

GP’s opinion of the NHS reform to make health service users better off has dropped from 23% to 12% in the two months since the NHS reform was announced, according to The Independent UK.

Support amongst the public hasn’t been strong either with The Independent UK’s Alan Jones reporting only one in four people support the reform, according to a trade union study from February 2012.

Australia, compared to Britain, is ahead of the game. The Department of Health and Ageing already has an eHealth program in place a “gateway to Australia’s personally controlled electronic health (eHealth).”  By registering for an eHealth record you and see a secure online summary of your key healthcare information. You can control what goes into your eHealth record and whpo is able to access it. The Government believes “over time an eHealth record will help put you at the centre of your own healthcare.”

Although we are ahead of the game we still need to work on patient and GP awareness of the system and continue to move forward with ongoing healthcare IT advances.

Here at DocMate one of our highest values is innovation. We welcome the move of records going online as a positive step in the modernising of the healthcare industry. Although we acknowledge that the proposed reform involves intricate policy and details which need to be discussed with GPs and the public to incorporate their feedback to make it a successful and mutually beneficial strategy.

We are a small part of the migrating the healthcare sector online to reduce time and cost to consumers by strengthening doctor/patient relationships. To book an online appointment today click here.

References

Australian Governmnet, Department of Health and Ageing (2012). Welcome to eHealth.gov.au. Retrieved 21 August 2012 from http://www.ehealth.gov.au/internet/ehealth/publishing.nsf/content/home#.UDLuGaD_nyI

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