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Businesses of Banyule presents Julie Seamer, Heidelberg

A village approach to optimal health.

Heidelberg naturopath Julie Seamer moved away from a career in journalism twenty years ago, after using natural therapies to recover from partial paralysis (Guillain-Barré syndrome).

Far from a solo operator, Julie is passionate about a co-operative approach to physical and mental health.

In her initial consultations Julie uses a number of diagnostic tools to gauge how  every organ in your body is operating, which gives some hint as to why she calls herself an ‘investigative’ naturopath.

From full blood examinations in conjunction with your local GP, Julie includes urine analysis, iris analysis, testing of pH levels and assessment of hair, nails and tongue for markers of constitutional strengths and weaknesses.

Julie writes for natural health magazines, contributes to books and research and has penned her own first wellbeing book: “Your Body Is Your Teacher.”

This is coming soon from Montmorency’s Busybird Publishing.

It’s Julie’s first-hand experience of losing her partner to suicide that led her to focus on mental health.

“In Australia, suicide kills more of our men than the road toll, a tragic loss for families and our society.”

Julie understands that physical health, local business and mental health in the community are all intertwined.

“I worked for Your Business Angels, so I know what a difference even small levels of community support can make. Some of the individuals I met in that time were working 24/7 and on the brink of personal and emotional breakdown, and that support changed their lives. Whether it’s just getting your printing done locally, or from co-referring from within your neighbourhood – change happens from community outwards.”

Perhaps the most generous work Julie does in the community to address mental health and wellbeing, is in establishing the Banyule grief support group.

A small group of six meets twice a month at her warm and cosy clinic in Heidelberg.

“It’s very informal and it’s for any type of loss. It doesn’t have to be recent – perhaps you lost a parent when you were young? Or you could be divorced – that’s a loss. Or you’ve lost your job and sense of self identity  …. The group is about honoring life’s ups and downs, learning from our hardships  and growing”

Each member gets a chance to share their pains and their triggers, and resources, books and recommendations are then openly discussed among the group.

“Unless you’re religious, there’s no real ritual around loss. The group is really just about realising we’re all human and we all carry stuff.”

Julie also co-manages patients with four counseling, psychiatry and psychology clinics in Banyule.

“The psychology clinics see the physiological impact of trauma and they understand that my naturopathy work supporting a patient’s physical well-being is going to help improve a patient’s mindset” she says.

So how does this translate to someone seeking help for depression, for example?

“What I do is I address the nutritional deficiencies. So with Post Natal Depression, a mother’s zinc reserves may be bottomed-out because the baby has taken all the zinc from her body through development of the placenta, birth and breast-feeding. So you address that deficiency and she can feel OK again. I also work with pharmacists and GPs to co-manage any medication and support people’s personal choices  – I don’t believe in one over the other, we all work together.”

“It can take a village to optimise your wellbeing,” she finishes.

Yarra Street, Heidelberg