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Dr Natalie Girling - the importance of palliative care, an often misunderstood specialism of medicine and why cold water swimming brings her so much joy.
Episode 1523rd April 2021 • Tipping The Balance • Katie Hickey
00:00:00 00:40:16

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Today we hear from Dr Natalie Girling. Natalie is a palliative care doctor, a cold water swimmer and a mother of three young children. Natalie came close to quitting her career in medicine but she was able to find joy and fulfilment in her profession when working in the field of palliative care.

Natalie previously worked as a GP and she remarks that, “Working in palliative care gave me the things that I’d wished being a doctor was all about.”

We discuss the often misunderstood specialism of palliative care and how actually accessing palliative care early on in the course of a non-curable disease can improve not only your quality of life but also increase life expectancy in some cases.

Natalie shares how she enjoys being able to spend proper time with her patients and focussing on the mental wellbeing is one of the most crucial elements of her role. It seems like this is certainly one area of medicine that the mind body connection is well recognised.

Natalie reflects on how working in palliative care has taught her to "not take a single day for granted, value things, enjoy people and to “not sweat the small stuff.”"

Natalie is a fellow sea swimmer and cold water enthusiast and she explains how the cold water immersion is like an intense exercise in mindfulness when you really can only focus on that moment and the tingling sensations all over your body. We discuss the benefit of having that quiet time outside, surrounded by nature and away from the stresses of family life.

As well as cold water swimming, we discuss what else she likes to do to try and tip the balance in favour of her mental health.




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