Plans for Maori health clinic in Man­gakino

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Open­ing an al­ter­na­tive Maori Health clinic in Man­gaki­nois on track to open in a few months.

Co-or­di­na­tor Ana­hera Ped­er­sen­has been busy work­ing through the fi­nal details with kau­matua be­fore the of­fi­cial launch.

As a Maori health ad­vo­cate for the com­mu­nity and Ngati Tu­uwhare­toa Ped­er­sen said some­thing had to be done to close the huge gap for Maori.

‘‘I see it here all the time that they are not well and I’m here when we have our dead peo­ple on the marae and ninety per­cent of th­ese ill­nesses are pre­ventable.’’

‘‘It’s a tragedy. It’s time we looked out­side the square and in­cor­po­rate all in­dige­nous tra­di­tional heal­ing.’’

She be­lieves most dis­eases are pre­ventable and finds it dis­heart­en­ing that al­ter­na­tive medicine isn’t taken se­ri­ously.

‘‘The main sys­tem we rely on is main­stream. It’s con­cern­ing.’’

Ped­er­sen made the move to fo­cus on nat­u­ral medicine af­ter she found her pre­vi­ous job wasn’t work­ing on solv­ing the dis­par­ity with Maori.

Em­ployed by Lake Taupo PHOAS a lifestyle coach based at the gym in Man­gakino, Ped­er­sen pre­scribed nu­tri­tional and fit­ness pro­grammes.

‘‘Thank good­ness for so­cial me­dia. There’s a huge aware­ness of peo­ple want­ing some­thing.

‘‘The peo­ple that won’t take it on board is main­stream. They’re the one’s that have strug­gled with it.

‘‘This is go­ing to be the first for Maori and that’s what they’ve been look­ing for.’’

Ed­u­ca­tion will be a big part of the clinic’s kau­papa with work­shops taught by a range of prac­ti­tion­ers.

Nat­u­ral ther­apy will work with the mind, body and soul us­ing herbs, plants and mas­sage which is com­mon with in­dige­nous cul­tures.

Ped­er­sen is pas­sion­ate about ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple on the changes in the food, land and teach­ing cop­ing mech­a­nisms to deal with stress.

A re­source li­brary will be on site and the ma­jor­ity of the books and dvds have been sourced over­seas.

Ron­goaa her­bal prac­ti­tion­ers and Miri Miri, mas­sage ther­a­pist will be one of many ser­vices avail­able.

Ped­er­sen will also use Ayurveda Indian ther­apy in her ses­sions.

‘‘Your em­pow­er­ing peo­ple. At least they’ve got an op­tion and at the mo­ment they don’t.’’

Ana­hera Ped­er­sen is us­ing the cul­ture and nat­u­ral health al­ter­na­tives to help Maori make pos­i­tive choices.

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