FX Medicine

Home of integrative and complementary medicine

Naturopathic Volunteering with Lauren Lacey

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"We have two hands; one for helping ourselves and one to help others".

Lauren Lacey has long been entrenched in the art of giving-back. She is a volunteering veteran with countless hours in locations all over the world clocked up in her lifetime - a passion she blends around her full time work commitments and being a mother to two beautiful boys.

Together with her husband, they head up Involvement Volunteers International, a non-government organisation (NGO) that helps facilitate programs in places such as India, Fiji, Nepal, Cambodia, Bali, The Philippines and most recently, in Greece to aid in the emerging refugee crisis being experienced there.

Lauren singlehandedly assembled 30+ practitioners spanning the integrative, allied and medical health modalities to travel to Greece and work within the refugee camps to address concerns such as malnutrition, breastfeeding, wound care and illness.

Covered in this episode:

[00:49] Introducing Lauren Lacey
[01:47] Just returned from volunteer work in Greece
[02:15] How the volunteer program in Greece evolved
[03:57] What was the scope of the aid provided?
[07:43] Challenges with multiple cultures & building trust
[10:08] Managing safety and security concerns
[14:43] The work of the local NGOs
[16:31] How was natural medicine accepted?
[18:43] How Lauren's volunteering has progressed
[20:22] A huge learning curve: 1st emergency-type work
[22:23] How helping can sometime create other problems
[22:50] Identifying frank deficiencies 
[23:40] Differences in food quality vs. Australia
[25:40] Gender bias in treatment
[28:49] Donated goods received
[31:20] Logistical challenges of transporting donations over
[32:32] What health professionals can be involved?
[34:03] Taking the family volunteering
[34:56] What was the most surprising thing about this experience?
[36:07] Planting and gardening for food and medicine
[37:44] Helping people find happiness in their days
[39:33] Plans for the next trip to Greece
[43:12] Thanks to all the volunteers and donating companies

Additional Resources

Involvement Volunteers International
Naturopathic Practitioners Network
Endeavour College: Massage Therapy at the Alfred Hospital Cardiac Wellness Program
IsoWhey Wholefoods
Naturopaths without Borders Podcast



Naturopathic Volunteering with Lauren Lacey from FX Medicine on Vimeo.


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FX Medicine Podcast
FX Medicine is at the forefront of ensuring functional and integrative medicine gains the recognition it deserves and ultimately establishes itself as an integral part of standard medical practice. Hosted by Dr. Adrian Lopresti, Dr. Michelle Woolhouse, Lisa Costa-Bir and Emma Sutherland, our podcasts are designed to promote research and evidence-based therapeutic practises, acting as a progressive force for change and improvement in patient health and wellbeing.