The newly opened Family Centre for Natural Medicine has created a health hub at Coast where locals can work with a range of practitioners to improve all aspects of their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Set up by homeopath Kate Fitness, the centre has two consulting rooms where clients can work with Kate, naturopath Kerry Morris and counsellor Chris Brennan. Several other practitioners work with the centre, practicing either from the new premises or from their own homes in the local area.

Naturopath and acupuncturist Lynda Wharton is part of the team alongside Lezette Fowles-Reid specialises in ConTact C.A.R.E which helps release pain and trauma created by sudden bone impact and injury.

The Family Centre for Natural Medicine also offers a homeopathic dispensary, one of only two in Auckland, which is open six days a week. Reception is staffed by Izabelle Kavanaugh, who is also a nurse and will do medical and blood pressure checks, and student Darcy Brennan, who helps out after hours and Saturdays.

Kate says the Covid-19 pandemic has created a surge of interest in natural health and wellbeing as people look to boost their immune systems. “It’s given people the opportunity to think about making sure they are healthy before they get sick,” she says.

A healthy immune system not only ensures people feel well and have maximum energy, it also helps fight off viruses.

Natural health practices focus on the whole body and Kate and the team work together to create individualised wellness plans for their clients.

One of the advantages of having a range of practitioners in one spot means they can consult with each other and attack health issues from different angles to ensure people get the best advice. “It might take all of us to make sure you are completely healthy but usually you are only working with one or two practitioners,” Kate laughs.

Intolerance testing can be part of creating that overall health solution – the centre works with Carlene Arnold, from Intolerance and Me, sending client hair samples to be analysed. The team can then interpret the results to provide extensive information about intolerances and sensitivities, heavy metal and toxin loading and other state of health indicators.

This information can then guide a personalised wellbeing plan, ensuring people are only taking supplements they really need.

Kate focuses on mental health issues. “I love working with stroppy teenagers and hyperactive children,” she says. She also supports adults dealing with stress, anxiety and severe depression and people recovering from a head injury that has altered their behaviours.

“Homeopathy is the only natural medicine modality that addresses what’s going on inside your head.”

She has seen clients experience great results from treatment, sometimes in a matter of weeks. A woman walked into the clinic when they opened after the Christmas break reporting she felt completely overwhelmed and deeply depressed. Three weeks later she was a different person, planning family events and coping well with life.

Kate has lived on the Coast for 13 years and says going sailing on the Weiti River is her personal wellbeing remedy.

“I love it here. It’s a fantastic mix… you are just 40 minutes from the city centre but part of a unique, amazing community.”

She says the Coast complex has proved to be the ideal location to open The Family Centre for Natural Health.

She is enjoying collaborating with other businesses that bring a strong health focus to Coast. “We often send our clients to Hardy’s or Life Pharmacy to buy off-the-shelf products and they refer people to us.”

Kate is working with local gyms to offer people wellness packages that incorporate all aspects of health and wellbeing.

Having a presence in the town centre also raises awareness of natural health practices and their benefits.

“It’s been a super stressful year. A lot of people need a lot of support at the moment. They often come in and say, ‘I’m so glad you are here. We really needed this on the Coast.’”

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