Donna Neale-Arnold is the natural health practitioner behind the Red Rose Healing Centre.
Donna Neale-Arnold is the natural health practitioner behind the Red Rose Healing Centre. Jonno Colfs

Finding a place for natural therapies in the Rose City

PROVIDING a bridge between traditional medicine and natural therapies is the goal of a Warwick organisation who offer Southern Downs residents health practices beyond the more conservative model.

In late 2016, the Red Rose Healing Centre sprang from the roots of a need to establish a collaboration between natural therapists working in the Rose City.

Centre founder Donna Neale-Arnold, herself a homoeopath and holistic counsellor, said she wanted to open a facility where she could practice and invite other therapists to build their own profiles.

"It's been tough,” she said.

"I've had limited success, as many practitioners prefer to practice from home and it's been a struggle to encourage them to join us here.”

Mrs Neale-Arnold said there had been many positives in the first 15 months of operation.

"There's been a lot of networking and a lot of benefit in getting to know therapists and their areas of expertise,” she said.

"This has allowed me to start building a referral pathway.

"It's been really encouraging to have Kathryn Walton Consulting join the centre, as well as Montrose Therapy and Respite Services who are a mainstream disability support service.

"More mainstream organisations will help reduce the stereotypes and stigma surrounding natural therapies.

"It's not everything, but it certainly has its place within the healing dynamic.”

Mrs Neale-Arnold said she hoped to see more collaboration between traditional medicine and natural therapies in the future.

"The plan is to see a work-in between hospitals, doctors, mental health and natural therapies,” she said.

"Referrals between the different health organisations.”

Mrs Neale-Arnold said Warwick people became more interested in natural therapy the more they were exposed to it.

"It's about understanding and blending natural therapy with mainstream medicine,” she said.

"It's becoming more popular all the time and in part its effectiveness is due to the fact people are given the tools to continue their own therapy at home.

"By way of meditation, mindfulness, diet, aromatherapy, exercise and others.

"Once people are exposed to it, they love it - I did a Harvesting Health workshop with farmer's wives and it was a great success.

"They realised they understood most of the information passed on and loved that is was packaged in a way they could take it home.”

Mrs Neale-Arnold said natural therapy had a way to go to catch up to the popularity it was afforded in urban centre.

"We still get called quacks and dolphin-huggers, but I believe there are enormous benefits in natural therapy,” she said.

"It's assisted me personally with amazing success over the years.

"I wouldn't continue with it if I didn't believe in it.”

David Leech convenes a meditation class each Friday at the centre.

"It's more about giving people a quiet place to relax,” he said.

"Some people are searching for something a little different, that compliments traditional medicine and the visits to their GPs, and the centre offers that,” he said.

"It's a rather frenetic age we live in, so sometimes the opportunity to stop and put things in perspective is needed and appreciated.

"It's important to have a place like this in town where people can find that personal and pastoral approach to health.”

For anyone interested in finding out more find Red Rose Healing Centre on Facebook.