Natural therapy service soon to be offered at Wanganui Hospital
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Wanganui Hospital is to join the handful of New Zealand hospitals now offering a natural therapy service for those keen to receive therapies and treatments very much focused on spirituality and the healing and strengthening of the mind.
 
It’s a significant step for emergency medicine physician Chris Cresswell and Māori health director Gilbert Taurua who joined forces some months ago to look at whether it would be viable for Wanganui Hospital to offer such a service to its community and, to seek the support of the Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) management team.
 
Dr Cresswell has a long-held interest in natural therapies which he says provide treatment options that are complementary to conventional treatments.
 
Therapies offered at Wanganui Hospital natural therapy service will include Māori healing, Christian prayer, massage, Reiki and meditation training. 
 
Mr Taurua says given Whanganui’s high Māori population he’s delighted that a Māori healing clinic will be available. While a small number of New Zealand hospitals are offering such clinics, he believes the Whanganui one will be part of New Zealand’s first ever, multi-model natural therapy hospital service.
 
Wanganui Hospital’s natural therapy service will not incur any cost for the WDHB or the tax payer and only a minimal cost for users who will be asked to make a koha (voluntary donation) if they can.
 
The currently unused Te Piringa Whanau building next to Te Awhina has been set aside as the venue in which people will attend appointments with a range of natural therapists wanting to provide a complementary health service.
 
Dr Cresswell says before that can happen everyone wanting to provide treatments will be interviewed and vetted and hospital staff only will be invited to attend the initial three-month trial due to begin in late July.
 
To mark the launch of the service, an early morning blessing will be held at Te Piringa Whanau on Monday 23 July at 7.45am. The service will be led by local kaumatua John Maihi and Wanganui Hospital chaplain Rev Graham Juden.