Wellness centre offers health overhaul
The mainstream healthcare system doesn’t deliver for many patients because it is reductionist by nature, says medical herbalist Ange Palmer.
Palmer, also a yoga teacher, has founded the ‘‘Wellness Movement’’ in Nelson with former physiotherapist, Penny Olsen, to help people attune their mind, body and spirit.
The pair are among 15 health practitioners, offering services from dance to counselling and naturopathy, who have come together in the city centre to provide ’’a new model of healthcare.’’
The Wellness centre is based in the Anstice’s building on the corner of Trafalgar and New St, and opened its doors in August.
Olsen and Palmer wanted to provide somewhere for people to go as much to prevent illness, as to deal with ailments.
‘‘The current medical system is really stretched and it’s just dealing in that acute phase, and we’re offering the before and after support for that broader wellness,’’ movement teacher Olsen said.
‘‘The mainstream system is limited by time and resources, so it’s offering a whole bunch of extra tools for people to be empowered within their own health,’’ said Olsen, who teaches restorative exercise; ‘‘a new look on exercise and movement.’’
‘‘We all know that we need to move more, but it’s not limited to that one hour that you do in an exercise class.
‘‘I teach a system of understanding the body and how body parts move, and how you can start to address some of the weak bits to build a resilient body’’’ she said.
Many of us had lost sight of how sedentary our lives had become, according to Olsen.
‘‘The variety of movement that we get in our day is very limited. So from my perspective it’s about finding those parts of you that aren’t moving and getting them moving again so that you can age well.’’
The centre’s practitioners were trying to embrace a principle of ‘holism’, said Palmer.
‘‘It’s not about one symptom or one health issue, it’s the big picture, and a big part of that is about movement.’’
‘‘We’ve both worked at Nelson hospital and seen people who’ve come through operations, particularly hip and knee replacements, and there’s a very clear difference between people who have kept themselves moving well and how they recover from a major joint replacement operation, and those who haven’t kept that up,’’ she said.
As a herbalist for the past 15 years, Palmer says herbal medicine, a tradition dating back hundreds of years, was increasingly backed up by research and science.
‘‘We use a number of different plants to address the whole person rather than a certain health issue.’’
‘‘So if a woman came to see me because she had painful periods, I might be addressing her circulation, to get more bloodflow into the uterus, I might be addressing her hormone balance, working with her liver, which is about getting hormones through the bloodstream more efficiently.
‘‘It might be that she’s stressed and tired and that she needs herbs that can help with that.’’
More information can be found about Nelson’s Wellness movement at http:/ /www.wellnessmovement.nz/
Founders of Nelson’s Wellness centre, Ange Palmer, left, Penny Olsen.