My name is Tammy Chatfield and my identity is not limited to but is inclusive of being a Kamilaroi woman, woman, daughter, aunt, health practitioner, Doctor of Chinese Medicine, artist and teacher. Each day life presents itself with new and sometimes old lessons that allow for growth and expansion of my sense of self and belonging.
This paper looks at an alternative mechanism of explaining the prevalence of chronic diseases within the Aboriginal Australian Community. Historically disease has been explained through the lens of a very Western medical diagnosis based model. This has allowed for the possibility of narrow, restricted and stereotypical diagnosis and treatment within this community whilst neglecting possible alternative causes and treatments. In addition to this, emotions are often neglected in this approach. I will examine the alternate view supported by Traditional Chinese Medicine that attaches emotions to particular body organs and systems, the associated function and disease presentations. The provision of this information will engage Aboriginal Australian’s in a way that enables them to make a more considered, self-determined holistic approach to their health care.