Yoga got me out of the dark tunnel of depression. But the policy makers are not convinced

Yoga got me out of the dark tunnel of depression. But the policy makers are not convinced

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Dajana Wilkinson started this petition to Professor Brendan Murphy

Your health fund has probably already advised you that from April 1 they will no longer pay benefits towards natural therapies. Some of these therapies include aromatherapy, pilates, yoga, tai chi, naturopathy, iridology to name just a few disciplines. I encourage you to check the whole list with your health provider. You will be as shocked as I am.

The change is occurring because Professor Brendan Murphy, the Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government “found no clear evidence to demonstrate effectiveness of these services”.

Professor Brendan Murphy, what about thousands of people whose health improved after accessing these natural therapies?

Why should you and I care about this? Because chances are YOU or someone YOU DEEPLY CARE ABOUT has benefited enormously from one or more of these natural therapies. The proof is in the people that these natural therapies help!

Let me share my personal story:

In 2010 I gave birth to my first child. She was a beautiful healthy baby girl. I was a new mum, with no idea how to even change a nappy. I took my mothering role very seriously and the first few months I was doing great. The post birth high was still keeping my spirits up.

But then about 6 months into motherhood my self-doubt crept in. Sleep deprivation kicked in. I wanted my old (pre- baby) life back. Felt guilty for wanting my old life back. I found myself crying at the smallest thing. Started to believe that I was inadequate as a mother. Felt like a failure if my daughter didn’t settle. My personal relationships suffered. I became angry, withdrawn and just didn’t feel like myself. There were days that I wished I was dead. To say the experience was awful is an understatement.

My husband  gently and lovingly pointed out to me that perhaps I should speak to our GP about this. I knew deep in my heart what was going on here. I’ve read enough about it to recognised the symptoms within myself.

Off to the GP I went who did a questionnaire on me and determined that yes, I in fact was suffering from Post Natal Depression. He assured me it was very common and normal and that 3 to 6 months of mild anti-depressant should fix things up. What the heck?? Anti-depressants? No way, I said. I have read multiple journals demonstrating that managing Post Natal Depression (and many mental disorder for that matter) with pills only is not an effective long term solution. And it just FELT WRONG.

My GP then suggested counselling. And yoga. Yoga, I asked? Yes exercise can act as a mild to moderate antidepressant, he said. Yoga has a mediation/mindfulness focus and this is great for people with emotional and mental disorders. Yes, please let's try Yoga!  If there is no evidence that Natural Therapies work, then why are doctors recommending them? My doctor then referred me to an excellent psychologist who taught me Cognative Behavioural Therapy. I attended therapy for 6 months and felt better. But still not quite right.

I discovered a local yoga class and attended once a week. This is when true transformation happened. I gained perspective of my situation. I gained clarity.I was able to cultivate love and gratitude in my heart once again. I started to enjoy my baby girl. I embraced being a mum. I accepted and welcomed the permanent change that parenthood brings. Life was worth living again. And I got my mojo back!

No pills. Yoga got me out of the dark tunnel of depression.

I accept that in some circumstances anti-depressants are necessary to manage mental health disorders. But there are just as many cases where natural therapies such as yoga, pilates, tai chi, naturopathy to name just a few will have a profoundly beneficial effect on people’s mental wellbeing. Numerous studies support this as well as people’s experiences. I AM A LIVING PROOF.

I now attend pilates as well as Bikram Yoga and regularly see my naturopath to manage my mental and physical health. Having my health fund contribute to the costs of these therapies make it possible for me to access them. Otherwise with the cost of living creeping up, I  like so many of you out there will simply not be able to afford these natural therapies. THEY WORK!

So please I ask you to support this petition to continue to let Health Funds contribute to these beneficial natural therapies. If this change goes ahead WE WILL ALL BE adversely affected.

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At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!