Page 1

November 2017

Is Sleep Making




a Friend onDrugS


on the






Heart Health: what was your ancestors’ perfect diet?


My friend is on drugs - how can I help?

.....Dr Warrick Bishop.....................11

.....Susie Flashman Jarvis...............25



Discover why sleeping is making you fat. .....Dr David McIntosh....................14



Find out how exercise can make you more productive.

If you suffer from asthma this could really help you. .....Margarita Gurevich...................18


.....Kat Millar..................................29


Making sure you take care of yourself.

HIT can benefit fitness at all ages.

.....Megan McGrath........................21

.....Kusal Goonewardena...............32


Are all Pilates classes the same?


.....Michael Dermansky..................36



Understanding yourself and be who you are born to be.


Five Pilates exercises for post-pregnancy. .....Vanessa Bartlett........................40


How to be at peace with your body in a society which discourages you from doing so. .....Dr Kiera Buchanan....................45


Integrating mBraining and mindfulness into multi-mindfulness. .....Dr Suzanne Henwood & Grant Soosalu...........................48

.....Dr Matthew Anderson..............52


Caring for and nurturing yourself will reduce the stress and anxiety of parenting. .....Dr Ash Nayate...........................56


Creating a safe space when your child is overwhelmed. .....Deb Hopper..............................60


EDITOR’S NOTE Dear Friends Have you ever felt that you weren’t good enough? Perhaps even when you were young, someone made a silly comment about you and it became fixed in your mind. Perhaps you are a victim of an intentional judgement. Who dares to judge you and suggest you aren’t smart enough, not gifted, not clever, not creative? Perhaps these people are trying to cover their own inadequacies by trying to pull you down. Has this earlier judgement impacted on your feelings about your body image? The media and beauty industries play a huge role in determining body image deciding what is deemed ‘beautiful’. Images are published around the world with the sole motivation of selling you the next ‘beauty solution’. This image is reinforced through social media as people post their ‘perfect’ and ‘beautiful’ images whilst body-shaming is becoming all-too frequent. What an indictment on society when an individual is only deemed valuable and important because of their external appearance.

This month, I am thrilled to publish several articles discussing how a person is greater than their external appearance. Firstly, an article written by psychologist Dr Kiera Buchanan entitled Leaving Your Mark on the World, with another article by Dr Matthew Anderson Who Are You Born to Be? As well, there is a great article that will lead you to be your best self by Dr Suzanne Henwood, titled Being Present to Who You Are. Please believe that you are more than your body. Your worth, value and contribution to the world is based on so much more than just your external appearance.

Be Free. Kath x

TEAM GHG FOUNDER + EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kathryn Dodd DEPUTY EDITORS Dr Helen Dodd Dr William Dodd DESIGNERS Olha Blagodir Belinda Nelson Oleksandra Zuieva

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr Matthew Anderson Vanessa Bartlett Dr Warrick Bishop Dr Keira Buchanan Michael Dermansky Susie Flashman Jarvis Kusal Goonewardena Margarita Gurevich Dr Suzanne Henwood & Grant Soosalu Deb Hopper

Megan McGrath Dr David McIntosh Kat Millar Dr Ash Nayate ADMINISTRATION Maria Renagado Weng Yee Leong CONNECT WITH US:

© Antalya Developments Pty Ltd 2017 Any information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats), or from Antalya Developments Pty Limited or Kathryn Dodd, including by way of third party authored articles or discussions, is made available for readers’ interest only. The purpose of making the information available is to stimulate research, public discussion and debate. Readers are encouraged to undertake their own research and consult with professional advisors to form their own independent views about the topic/s discussed. The information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats) is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Readers should seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions regarding a potential or actual medical condition or the proposed use or decision not to use any particular product. Readers should not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it at any time, including because of the content of any information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats). Each of Antalya Developments Pty Ltd and Kathryn Dodd do not warrant, guarantee or make any representation regarding the accuracy, veracity, adequacy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of any information available on, or arising in relation to, the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats). Neither Antalya Developments Pty Limited nor Kathryn Dodd endorses the views of any contributing authors to the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats).


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ARTICLE INDEX ...........................................

Expert Health Articles


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HAPPY, HEALTHY KIDS VOL 1 From ‘The Health Specialists’ Series’

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Designed by Belinda Nelson

great health

Perfect Diet

Your Ancestors’

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Words Dr Warrick Bishop

Design Olha Blagodir SUBSCRIBE to GHG | 11

Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers over 3.5 million years ago. They ate animals, insects and they consumed a few greens. 10,000 years ago, agriculture gave us complex carbohydrates with grains, potato and yams. These complex carbohydrates are







carbohydrates or building blocks joined together.

1. Our ancestors had a hormonal response to make the best use of sugar, found in honey or sweet berries on the rare occasion that it made an appearance in their diet. That turned on a hormone called insulin, which is a storage hormone. Insulin changes the blood’s chemistry and it leads to storage of fat for a rainy day, particularly around

For some people who have an inheritable sensitivity to carbohydrates, these simple and complex carbohydrates can turn on a storage response that leads to an accumulation of bodily fat and also to a build-up of hazardous fat around the stomach and potentially in the arteries.

the stomach, but also in the arteries. 2. So, for some people who have an inheritable sensitivity to carbohydrates that causes a brisk insulin response, restricting carbohydrates is sometimes beneficial to reduce the rate of fat storage in the stomach and to reduce fat storage in






Complex carbohydrates, fat and insulin.


the arteries in particular. 3. If your doctor has identified that you are producing too much insulin, they might recommend that you reduce simple carbohydrates




carbohydrates. 4. Modern





available a large variety of simple and complex carbohydrates for consumption. So, under the advice and supervision of a physician, things like bread, pasta,

Complex carbohydrates are broken down to


simple carbohydrates in the digestive system.

sometimes kept to a minimum to maintain

Simple carbohydrates can be disaccharides,

a diet, that is better for that individual’s

such as SUGAR or monosaccharides, such as

heart health. This advice will depend on

GLUCOSE. If you think about our ancestors

the individual, their metabolic make-up,

3.5 million years ago, there wasn’t much

their energy expenditure and dietary

SUGAR in their diet.








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you make dietary changes then: • You need to find the motivation that makes the change a priority. It might be that you’ve got a wedding to go to in six months’ time and you want to be five to ten kilos lighter. Or, it might be that in two years’ time you want to have a holiday at a beach resort and wear a one-piece. It could be that you want to lose five kilos so that can play with your grandkids.


If your doctor has already suggested that

help you to identify a diet that works best for you.

Dr Warrick Bishop is a cardiologist with special interest in cardiovascular disease prevention incorporating imaging, lipids and lifestyle. He is author of the book ‘Have You Planned Your Heart Attack?’, written for patients and doctors about how to live intentionally to reduce cardiovascular risk and save lives! Dr Bishop can be contacted via website

• Whatever it is, your priority needs to be rock-solid for you. The more rock-solid that priority is, the easier it will be for you to follow through with your doctor’s dietary guidelines. You should document it for a while, but once you follow this guide for an extended period, you will not need to keep documenting it, because you will form the habit and you will keep going from there. • You need to understand that the positive consequences of that change are not immediate. This is one of the biggest problems with making any lifestyle change and maintaining it. So, for those of you who are tech-savvy, there is a free app available for iPad, iPhone and Android, called MyFitnessPal, which gives you an easy and effective way to keep track of your daily dietary intake. If your doctor has not recommended that you make any changes to your diet, or you haven’t yet had this conversation, it’s a good idea to raise this question, so that your doctor can GHG Disclaimer – please read



HAVE YOU PLANNED YOUR HEART ATTACK? By Dr Warrick Bishop, is an experienced cardiologist, with extensive training & expertise in CT coronary angiograms.

This book is for you, if you: • want to determine your individual risk level of a heart attack • want to reduce your risk of heart attack • believe prevention is better than waiting for an attack to occur • have high cholesterol and not sure about taking statins • suffer side effects from statins • find out if plaques are blocking your coronary arteries

Paperback Published: February 2017

RRP $34.99 NOW $26.95 Booktopia may vary prices from those published. Postage $6.95 per order AUST/NZ

Is Sleeping Making You


Words Dr David McIntosh 14 | SUBSCRIBE to GHG

Design Olha Blagodir

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ou have seen it on TV. You read it in

to get to work, drop the kids off at school,

the magazines. You eat too many

do yoga and if there are any stereotypical

carbs, you need to do more cardio.

generalisations, add that to the list too. Then

This food is super, that one is not. In fact,

sleep time comes along. Often this is what you

when it comes to weight gain and weight loss,

do when everything is done. There is no plan

everyone seems to be focussing on 2 things

or structure and if needs be, you will burn the

- diet and exercise. So, what if I told you that

candle at both ends with late nights and then

one variable that overrides both of these

an early morning to catch up. Sleep is a vital

when it comes to your weight, has nothing to

activity that is just one of those things that you

do with food and is more about lying about

just do. There is no plan.

than moving about? That variable is sleep and more importantly good quality sleep.


How does sleep make you fat? Well good quality sleep doesn’t. But bad quality sleep does. And in terms of poor


quality sleep, look no further than a condition

We spend a third of our lives sleeping. If you

What other health factors relate to sleep

look at your day time activities, you might


do one hour of exercise or so in a day. As for eating, that might be 2 hours of your time in a day. So, there is 3 hours of your time. Compare that to sleeping which should be about 8 hours. But how many of us take our sleep seriously?

called sleep apnoea to prove this point. Sleep apnoea is snoring that becomes so bad that you start choking in your sleep. This causes a stress response in the body that leads to high blood sugars in some people. This high blood sugar can then lead to a fatty liver and diabetes. Forget about eating carbs - your body is making carb levels (that is what sugar is) go higher. And this can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Poor sleep, which is what comes with sleep apnoea, makes you tired. When you are tired, you tend not to be as active. So, your desire and motivation to exercise can drop off. Now you’re putting on weight because you are tired. But wait- there is more! People with sleep

How do you plan your day? Think about that

apnoea, when their food seeking behaviour is

question for a moment. You plan what time

checked with special testing, start to develop

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food cravings for high calorie, low nutrition meals. You guessed it - fat making food. As if this does not sound like a recipe for getting fat, there is yet another problem that is the literal icing on the cake. Gut bacteria: both good and bad bacteria. It is a fascinating area of research and is worth investing some internet time learning about good and bad bacteria. The bad bacteria in your gut process food in such a way that it can make you fat. The good bacteria can process the same food in such a way that you don’t get fat. Now we all have good and bad bacteria in our gut and these need to be in balance. Guess what happens in those people with low oxygen levels from sleep apnoea? The bad bacteria love it and the good bacteria don’t. So, the bad bacteria multiply and you end up with fat making microbes feasting on your high fat food and raising your blood sugars and feeding your fat cells. None of this is good. Even if you are eating the right foods and exercising, your body system 16 | SUBSCRIBE to GHG




is not allowing your weight to budge in a hurry. So, what is the good news? Seeing an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist to assess your breathing for sleep apnoea, is a great place to start. Not all ENT specialists are involved in sleep apnoea management, so it is important to check first. They will assess your airway, look for blockages and discuss management which may include using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for adults, medication, surgery, diet, exercise and even some crazy things like blowing balloons!

Dr David McIntosh is a paediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist with a particular interest in airway obstruction, facial and dental development and its relationship to ENT airway problems and middle ear disease. He also specialises in sinus disease and provides opinions on the benefit of revision of previous sinus operations. Dr McIntosh can be contacted via website. GHG Disclaimer – please read

‘Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already’   – Dave Wills


Asthma in


Words Margarita Gurevich Design Olha Blagodir GHG Disclaimer – please read


sthma is one of the most common

Besides the above-mentioned options there

respiratory conditions, with the

are also several evidence-based and highly


effective physiotherapy treatment methods



Australia being one of the highest in the world according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Asthma affects 1 in 9 Australians and has a higher incidence in the female population. Statistics show that asthma is more common in males aged 0 – 14, however among those aged 15 and over, asthma is more common in females. While asthma is not a major cause of death it is one of the most common problems managed by doctors and is a frequent reason for the hospitalisation of children, especially boys. In 2000-01, health system expenditure on asthma was about $693 million, with more than 50% spent on pharmaceuticals. Common symptoms include the following: • breathlessness

available. These include SCENAR therapy, specialised exercise programs and breathing exercises. Let’s briefly examine each one in turn and see how they can assist patients with asthma. Please note, it is important to see your GP first, to confirm the diagnosis of asthma. 1. SCENAR Therapy This is an acronym which stands for SelfControlled Energy Neuro Adaptive Regulator. It is a small, hand-held device that can be applied to most problem areas. It works by improving blood circulation and delivering more oxygen to the affected areas, thus speeding up the recovery process. When it comes to asthma the mechanism of action involves dilating the respiratory airways which helps to relax the respiratory muscles and

• wheezing

allows more air to come in and out of the

• a tight feeling in the chest

lungs. The result is improved breathing.

• continuing cough

2. Specialised Exercise Programs

So, what can be done about it? Although

It is well proven that exercise is an important

asthma cannot be cured, with the right

aspect of a good asthma management plan.



However, a statement such as ‘exercise is

managed and controlled. The type of

beneficial for asthma patients’ is too broad

treatment will depend on the severity of

and needs additional clarification. When it

asthma but generally involves rescue inhalers

comes to exercising in the case of patients

to treat symptoms and controller inhalers that

suffering from asthma, it is important to realise

prevent symptoms. Severe cases may require

that there are some types of exercises which

longer-acting inhalers that keep the airways

are useful but there are also some which

open, as well as oral steroids.

should be avoided. Generally exercises which




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are tolerated best. These can include walking, Clinical Pilates and swimming. Besides





fitness, specialised exercise programs can also greatly improve the respiratory function. Clinical Pilates in particular is highly effective as the sessions are strictly monitored by a physiotherapist. For the exercise program to be specialised, it is important to use spirometry measurements. This will serve as an objective method to measure whether the exercise program is working. Spirometry should always be used during Clinical Pilates for asthma patients. It is important to note, however, that exercise can occasionally trigger a flare up of asthma, known as exercise-induced asthma. For that reason, it is important to consult with your doctor first, before starting any new type of physical activity. Make sure that you always have your asthma medication with you while exercising if it is part of your asthma management plan. 3. Breathing Exercises Breathing





improving the respiratory function. Your physiotherapist will be able to provide you with specific breathing exercises, some of which will be done during the session as well as some which you will be able to do at home. Prior to prescribing the exercises a thorough assessment should be carried out by your physiotherapist as an aid to diagnosis. This involves auscultation which uses a stethoscope 20 | SUBSCRIBE to GHG


include short, intermittent periods of exertion,

to listen to sounds that arise within the lungs and spirometry to measure the lung capacity for the volume and flow of air that can be inhaled and exhaled. The assessment will help determine what kind of breathing exercises will be most beneficial for you and will help to monitor your progress. In conjunction with your local doctor, these three physiotherapy programs can be part of a good asthma management plan.

Margarita Gurevich is Senior Physiotherapist and uses Clinical Pilates, SCENAR Therapy & other evidence-based techniques, including Real Time Ultrasound and McKenzie Treatment. Margarita





women’s health (including incontinence) and gastrointestinal issues. Margarita may be contacted via her website.

Time for Me More

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Words Megan McGrath

Design Olha Blagodir SUBSCRIBE to GHG | 21

busy we are. In fact, the busier we are, the more conscious we need

to be about the space we are creating for ourselves. We lead full-on, busy lives and the one thing we never seem to have, is time for ourselves. Finding as little as 10-20 minutes a day of uninterrupted ‘me time’ can seem like an impossible task. Our lives are so over scheduled that sometimes life can feel like one long to-do list. Let’s face it, once you’ve raced off to work, dropped kids to childcare, sport or music, then made a meal and everything else that goes along with running a house, there doesn’t seem to be much time left over for anything else - least of all you! Lack of time for ourselves often leads



e all need ‘me time’ no matter how

to feeling tired, frustrated, overwhelmed and off balance. When we take time for ourselves to do the things that we enjoy, relax or even do nothing at all, we end up happier, healthier and feeling much better. Taking time for ourselves allows us to renew, heal and create reserves of energy and peace. So, it’s about time that we do not feel guilty about taking some time out. We need to be a bit kinder to ourselves for the sake of our sanity. Whilst wearing the many hats of mother, wife, daughter, aunt, sister, coach, colleague and friend, I have learnt that I must value my own needs. This for me may take the form of meditation, a run or a relaxing bath. By




practising this self-care as a ritual in my day, it

Taking a little time refreshes and reenergizes

ensures that I have what is required to give my

you. It allows you to think more clearly

best to the people in my life.

and make better decisions. Other benefits

What is ‘me time’?

can include sleeping better and reduced irritability, anxiety, fatigue, stress and sickness.

‘Me time’ is NOT doing chores or clearing

And when you do this, you come back to

emails! It means different things to different

your responsibilities with greater focus,

people. It could be reading a book, having a

commitment and enjoyment.

cup of tea in the sunshine, a dinner out with friends, trying a new recipe, an exercise class,

How to make ‘me-time’ happen.

a walk, a massage or even some quiet, still

It can be quite a challenge to find time for

breathing - anything that makes you feel good

yourself. Unless you plan it - ‘me time’ can

and that you enjoy.

easily fall off the to-do list.

Prioritise yourself. If you are used to putting others first it’s hard to prioritise yourself and not feel guilty about it. Consider an aeroplane when we are told to put on our oxygen masks first before attending to others. The idea clashes with our instincts. What does it really mean? Simply put: If you don’t put your mask on first, you won’t be there for all those other people, when they need you. You will be unconscious. The same applies to us. Our natural tendency is to do first for others, because we are caring, loving, nurturing, responsible, supportive and competent people. However, just like the oxygen mask, we need to take care of ourselves, so we can effectively take care of the people we love. ‘Me time’ is good for you.

• Commitment to self. Overcoming the feeling that ‘me time’ is selfish and that in fact it’s a necessary dimension of selfcare is the first step. When you are tired, stressed and pulled in too many directions, it is impossible to give your best to all that you must accomplish. • Prioritise your time. Do you check your emails constantly? Answer personal calls in the middle of a work-day? Spend time mindlessly scrolling through social media? Does this waste your time? If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to prioritise your responsibilities and gain more time that way. • Learn to say ‘No’. Practice makes perfect but it is okay to say no to things that you don’t really want to do, need to do and don’t value. • Plan for it. Unless you plan for it, in your

Taking some ‘me time’ is vital in protecting

very busy, over committed life, it is likely to

our physical, mental and emotional health.

fall of the ‘to do’ list. Be pro-active about

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you would an appointment or a meeting. • Commit to a minimum of 10 – 20 minutes a day. Do something that you enjoy or maybe do nothing and that allows you to let go of responsibility. • Create a daily ritual. This might be a bath, going for an evening walk, getting up early to meditate or have a quiet cup of tea alone. Build it into your day and make it something you look forward to. No matter what ‘me time’ means for you, it shouldn’t be at the bottom of your to-do list. Creating room for down time is something we should all be doing to stay healthy and 24 | SUBSCRIBE to GHG


fitting it in. Schedule the activity, just as

happy. Exercise, nutritious food and plenty of sleep are vital for good health, but ‘me-time’ is another essential element in your day.






supporting and empowering women towards achieving healthy, balanced and fulfilling lives. Megan has a Health Science degree, is a professional accredited Wellness Coach, a certified Fitness Trainer and Founder of

Chasing Sunrise – a Health and Wellness Consultancy. GHG Disclaimer – please read


rug Addiction:

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How Can I Help? Words Susie Flashman Jarvis

Design Olha Blagodir SUBSCRIBE to GHG | 25


is so hard to help someone on drugs,

and construct a plan together. The addiction

especially if they are in denial. Addiction

will certainly be affecting the wider family

is something that is often kept secret,

and friends and the impact on them can be

making it difficult to confront someone who

something that you can speak about. If they

is caught in its grip. It has many layers, all

have children, you are entering a whole new

hidden under deception. In fact, addicts

arena. There are legal implications regarding

usually believe the lies they tell themselves

their safety and you will need to consider this.

and others. So, the challenge is to find a way to break through the veneer to find the person underneath.

You may be a work colleague who has become aware of the problem. It may also be influencing their work. This will give you

Having worked as a therapist for many years,

another way of confronting it. Usually drugs

I have often had to challenge unhealthy

start to take their toll by affecting time keeping,

lifestyles that involve addictive behaviour.

work output, relationships and self-care. In

For me, it is easier to do because I have a

some organisations, there is support in place

professional relationship with the client. I

to help staff. Coaching or counselling may

usually know a great deal about the client,

be available and if accessed, would enable

often more than family and friends and so can

them to discover the root cause behind the

see clearly without the hindrance of intimate


relationships getting in the way. So how can you help your friend with addiction? It will depend on some factors: • How close are you? • How robust is your relationship? • How honest are you with your own struggles? • How open are they to receiving support? It is difficult to challenge someone about being on drugs, if you don’t have a close relationship, as they will most likely become defensive. If






discussing delicate subjects. It involves stating something in a manner that gives the person something specific to reply to. It is very important how you phrase your questions. Try these: • I have noticed that you are not eating well, why is that? • I am concerned about you, I think you are taking drugs. What would help you? • You seem to have lost your zest for life, what can I do to help you?

you are concerned and know someone who

What, why, who, when and where questions,

is closer to the person than you, maybe it’s

are open questions and require more than a

best to speak to them about your concerns

yes or no answer.


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If you have been honest with your friend about your own life, then you are better placed to just speak up. They are less likely to think that you see yourself as superior to them, if they have been a sounding board for you on occasions too. Initially, it would be best if you found out what avenues there are to support them and maybe you could offer to attend with them. There are groups that deal with specific addictions, Narcotics Anonymous (NA) for drug takers, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for alcoholics. There are some differences between NA and AA, as alcoholics tended to be pure alcoholics and addicts are pure addicts, but in the current world of substance abuse, crossaddiction seems to be a bit more prevalent, so choosing what program is right for you, is important. See this site for more information on NA and AA. There are also Recovery Groups run in churches based on the same 12 Step Programme GHG Disclaimer – please read



that AA and NA use. These groups are for everyone, not just Christians and they work with all addictions. In the end, the only way to help someone on drugs is to confront them, while still believing in them as people. Don’t let it become the elephant in the room. If you know for sure that they are in trouble, take a deep breath, take all the information you have on support groups etc, as well as your concerns, then bite the bullet. Only a true friend can speak the truth.

Susie Flashman Jarvis is an accredited counsellor, speaker and ambassador for the charity Restored working towards bringing an end to violence against women. Susie’s novel At Therapy’s End tackles the issue of domestic abuse. She is based in the UK and is available for skype sessions. Susie may be contacted via her website. SUBSCRIBE to GHG | 27



xercise Improves

Your Productivity

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Words Kat Millar

Design Olha Blagodir SUBSCRIBE to GHG | 29


et’s face it. No matter how much we read

exercise can assist in mental clarity throughout

about the benefits of exercise, many of

our entire life. A study in the Journal of

us still struggle to do it. It’s not always

Experimental Psychology, demonstrated that

easy to find the motivation needed to leave an

walking triggered a burst in creative thinking,

important task that we’re working on, get into

with the average creative output rising 60

our active wear and get a workout done.

percent when a person was walking. Also, when

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Many people struggle to fit in exercise, despite knowing the vast amount of benefits. So, what can we do? One thing that has helped me a lot is to realise that exercising brings greater levels of productivity.

you exercise, the brain releases serotonin that helps you feel better and improves your state of mind, making any stresses of work easier to handle so you’re more likely to be more productive. 2. Exercise can increase your energy. Exercise enhances your body’s ability to

Here are three ways that exercise helps you

transfer glucose and oxygen throughout your

be more productive:

brain and body, so it increases your energy

1. Exercise





function. Exercise increases blood-flow to the brain, improving circulation and focus. Years ago, I remember studying for some important exams and constantly feeling that I wouldn’t get everything done. But I remember telling myself, ‘It’s just half an hour out of my 24 hours’. I always came back to my study feeling clearer in my mind. Exercise increased the blood-flow to the brain and improved circulation and focus. I noticed that by sticking to my routine, I would think faster. Exercising throughout exam-time was a great lesson for me in the importance of keeping up the routine. I continue to remind myself of this when I’m tempted to miss a workout.

levels. Having more energy helps you feel more awake while you’re working, which can help you perform your tasks to the best of your ability. Many of my clients report that when they are exercising regularly, they are sleeping better. Remember - it doesn’t have to be a long session. If you don’t have time to put in a full workout each day, make small changes to your lifestyle, such as walking during your lunch break and taking more stairs. 3. Exercise can help you get more done. Devote 1 hour to exercise – or even 30 minutes – and it means that I get MORE done! I sometimes feel tension when I have urgent deadlines between getting work done and taking time for self-care and movement. I want

As a person ages, the body generates fewer

to exercise because it feels so good, I know

and fewer brain cells (a process called

that my body loves and needs it – but I also

neurogenesis). However, a habit of regular

feel stretched in every direction and it’s easy to


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that really helps, is reminding myself of the ‘quality over quantity’ concept. I may feel that sitting at my laptop for 12 hours is going to be the best way to get my work done. But what if I sit there for 11 hours instead and devote 1 hour to exercise – or even 30 minutes.


means that in the hours that I am at my desk, I get MORE done! This is a concept that makes sense. Even though it’s not always easy to implement, if I can convince myself that I will get more done by taking time to work out, then I will prioritise. And experience proves that this is true. If you are using your brain a lot during the day, you want to look after it and keep it sharp. Our brain needs a rest just like the rest of our body does. When you exercise, you change your focus from one activity to something completely different and the brain loves the change.


want to postpone it for tomorrow. One thing

The evidence is hard to deny. A habit of regular exercise can help you improve your brain function, increase your energy and get more done. So, it does not matter how busy you are, find a way to fit some movement into your life today!




owns to



Results people

Training, transform

their health, mind & body. Since 2003, Kat has helped thousands of people achieve their goals. She’s a coach, speaker, awardwinning figure competitor, fitness lecturer & NLP practitioner. Her passion helps people achieve life-changing results & fulfillment, with a range of programs for holistic health & body transformation. Contact via Kat’s website or



SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE. - John Medina, Brain Rules.

Training Benefits High Intensity: Words Kusal Goonewardena

Design Olha Blagodir



do with aiming for ‘personal bests’ or other

Intensity Training (HIT) continue to

measurements, just reaching 85% intensity.

be discovered. The main difference

Any exercise is fine – running, cycling,





between High Intensity Training (HIT) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is that HIIT workouts are high intensity exercise such as an all-out sprint followed by a period of recovery. If you do not allow your heart rate to recover, your HIIT workout becomes a HIT workout.

swimming, skipping, or rowing. Because it’s 85% of your own capacity, you can never outgrow it and you can never be too unfit to participate. As your fitness improves your performance will improve, but getting to 85% will always be a challenge which rewards your body.

Why HIT exercise regime is so compelling? High intensity training benefits people of any fitness level. The only requirement is lifting the intensity of your exercise to 85% of your capacity during an exercise. It has nothing to






High intensity training is ideal for women who are busy with family, careers, study and life generally, because it only requires a few minutes at one time. High intensity training is the perfect complement to other low and mid-intensity exercise. Regarding frequency, just three to five times a week, has been shown to make a difference. A






University of Science and Technology found positive results from four minutes of vigorous exercise three times a week. Participants in these studies showed a 50% improvement in their aerobic capacities after 12 weeks. Other benefits include increased stamina and reduced chances of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. The only caveat is that anyone with a heart condition or health issues, needs to be cleared by a doctor. While only a short amount of time is required to reach 85% capacity, this indicates that you are just a step below going flat out which means, the HIT exercise regime is not easy.



recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology about a 105-year-old French amateur cyclist, Robert Marchand, who boosted his fitness after incorporating high intensity training. This is a bombshell because boosting aerobic fitness after middle age has always been thought difficult, if not impossible. There’s no doubt Mr Marchand is an outlier with extraordinary genetics. Reports say he has avoided any major physical ailments to date and does not require any medications. He has a good diet and a positive outlook. While doing some physical work throughout his life, he wasn’t big on exercising until retirement, when he started cycling regularly. High intensity exercise: what is the effect on VO2 max? The study was engineered by a professor in exercise science, Veronique Billat, at the 34 | SUBSCRIBE to GHG


We, at Elite Akademy were stunned by a

University of Evry-Val d’Essonne in France, who found older athletes could increase their VO2 max if they exercised intensely. (VO2 max refers to the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise). Professor Billat had never tested a centenarian before. After testing for general fitness, professor Billat developed a program which required the 105-year-old to train at a leisurely level for 80 per cent of his training. ‘Leisurely’ is defined as the equivalent to 12 or less on a scale of one to 20, where 20 is unbearable levels of exertion. But for the remaining 20 per cent, the cyclist was required to increase the intensity to a ‘difficult’ level, which is described as equal to 15 or above out of 20, to significantly raise the heart rate. After two years under this program, tests showed that Mr Marchand had a VO2 max that was 13 per cent higher than it had been two years before. It was equivalent to that of GHG Disclaimer – please read

fitness improved in his 100s. This inspirational story shows high intensity training has no shelf-life. Whether you’re 30, 50 or 70, juggling careers and family, semiretired, a fitness fanatic or reluctant exerciser, those few minutes, a few times a week, can be powerful for long-term health. Key points: 1. Boosting aerobic fitness after middle age is possible. 2. It’s difficult to find a more powerful example of high intensity training than the 105-year-old who is becoming fitter! 3. High intensity training can benefit anyone.


a healthy 50-year-old. This was proof that his

4. It is great for those who are juggling many commitments and struggle to find the time.

Kusal is an experienced physiotherapist who consults via his clinic, Elite Akademy

Sports Medicine. He believes passionately that





positive results in three sessions or less. Kusal has authored books including: Low Back

Pain – 30 Days to Pain Free and 3 Minute Workouts, currently available via Wilkinson Publishing. When not consulting, Kusal is is a lecturer, author, consultant and mentor to thousands of physiotherapy students around the world.

Pilates Classes The Difference in


Words Michael Dermansky Design Olha Blagodir GHG Disclaimer – please read


ilates is in demand and something people look for when joining a gym, but it’s hard for group instructors at the

gym to provide a personalised program to many participates. So, how do you receive the real benefit from a Pilates program? Pilates exercises are much more a principle, than doing a specific exercise or using a specific machine. The Pilates exercise equipment, the Pilates reformer is a tool, just as any other piece of exercise equipment. The choice of exercises and how you do the exercises will make a difference as to whether the exercises are effective for you. What is the best way to start on this program? Start an individual program with a qualified Pilates






a or

health exercise

physiologist trained in clinical Pilates. They will assess your individual needs, checking your joints, muscles to determine your strengths initially with your local doctor to have a health risk assessment whenever you commence a new exercise program. The best programs will have the following elements: 1. Your individual needs. Each exercise will be based on your needs, addressing the areas in your body that need strengthening.

GHG Disclaimer – please read


and weaknesses. It is important to check 2. What is the desired outcome? A good program will involve exercises addressing these needs for your best outcome. 3. Different areas of the body will be checked. It may not just be your core that needs to be strengthened. In fact, it may be weak gluteal muscles (the group of three muscles which make up the buttocks) or poor upper body postural muscles.


You will be taught good technique and control under supervision to ensure you are doing the exercise properly. 5. Supervision. Supervision is very important on an individual basis, with a properly qualified instructor. This should mean you are minimising your risk of injuring yourself and getting the most benefit from your Pilates program. 6. Considering Injuries. If you have injuries, these need to be considered. In a group class, it is impossible to check every individual for any pre-existing injury, but on an individual basis, a properly qualified instructor should understand the injury and know how to modify the exercise so that you achieve your goal, but do not aggravate your injury.


4. Technique and control.

In summary: • To get the basics right and receive the best long-term outcome start with an individual, one-on-one program with a properly qualified Pilates instructor. • If you decide to join a Pilates group class later, you will have knowledge of the basics and be aware so that you can work to your original plan.

Michael Dermansky is a Senior Physiothera­ pist and Managing Director of MD Health Pilates. Michael has over seventeen years’ experience of treating clients from all walks of life, from six-year-old children up to the age of 92. Michael can be contacted through his


‘No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no


for living


  – Alan Watts

E xercises Post-Natal Words Vanessa Bartlett

Design Olha Blagodir


uring the nine months of pregnancy and birth, your body goes through significant hormonal and muscular

changes that need to be re-strengthened and built up once again. With my 11-weekold baby, I’m certainly feeling it’s a slow process to get my body strong again. But it is an incredibly rewarding experience being a mum! If you have just had a baby it is important that you do the correct exercises to help strengthen, rebuild





muscles to avoid muscular imbalances when picking up your baby, feeding and holding them.

1. Sit down or lay on your back. 2. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale lift and tighten your pelvic floor (as if you are stopping wee mid flow). 3. Hold for about five seconds, then release. 4. Repeat 5 to 10 times 3-5 days per week. 2. Toe taps. This is great to start to re-building abdominal strength without putting excess pressure on your stomach (NB – avoid crunch-style movements post-natal especially if you have muscle separation.)

So here are my top five post-natal exercises you can do once your doctor has approved you to exercise again: 1. Pelvic floor lift. This is super important, as the baby would have been pushing down on your abdominals and pelvic floor girdle during the pregnancy. By doing this exercise you will avoid having to rush to the toilet or wetting your pants when you sneeze!

1. Laying on your back, draw tummy in and lift pelvic floor. 2. Lift one leg to 90-degree angle off floor, exhale and keep tummy flat. 3. Then lift up the other leg to the 90-degree angle. 4. Inhale, tap one foot gently to the floor, exhale, bring that leg back up, maintaining your core strength.

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5. Feel as if a belt is holding your muscles in tight around the waist, do not let shoulders lift or ribs pop out. 6. 10 taps on each side. 3. Pointer with side extension.

4. Bridge and Inner thigh squeeze. This is great to work your butt, core and strengthen inner thighs. Get a small firm pillow or chi ball to place between legs for inner thigh resistance

You may have done this throughout your pregnancy and it is great to continue this as part of your regular routine. This will help you build your balance and strength while reconnecting you to your abdominals and back strength.

1. Lay on back, feet hip distance apart. 2. Press hips up off floor while pushing arms down into floor beside you. 3. Squeeze into pillow or ball 5 times, then lower spine to floor. 4. Repeat 10 – 15 times slowly, squeezing butt each time. 1. On hands and knees – knees under hips, hands under shoulders, deep breath in

5. Diamond tricep press.

and out drawing in tummy, set shoulder

This is great to start toning arms and working

blades towards each other.

upper back strength, plus stretch to help with

2. Stretch right arm forward, left leg


straight back in line with body off floor, maintaining balance and tummy in. 3. Slowly move arm and leg outward to 45-degree angle without moving shoulders or hips (keep torso steady). 4. Return arm and leg to centre, control down to floor and repeat other side. Repeat x 10 each side. 42 | SUBSCRIBE to GHG

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2. Hands





forehead, arms in diamond shape also on floor (elbows slightly to side). 3. Inhale, exhale, draw tummy in off floor, squeeze glutes (butt). 4. Gently press hands into floor as you push away from the floor, straightening out arms (note – only go a short way up to start with. As your tummy rebuilds and you don’t have muscle separation, continue up higher if it feels OK on your back and abs without the tummy popping out). 5. Control your body back down slowly, keeping abdominals strong with slow movement the whole time. Be kind to yourself after having your baby and remember that it takes at least several


1. Lay on tummy, legs slightly apart.

months to fully get back to previous prematernity shape. This of course depends on your pregnancy and birth. Ease into these exercises and add in some regular walking to boost your cardio fitness as well. When you take care of your body, you will also find a more balanced mental state for dealing with those late-night feeds for the baby too!

Vanessa Bartlett has 14 years’ experience in the fitness industry and has appeared as a presenter for TVSN, The Morning Show and co-hosted a community TV Lifestyle show. In 2013, she was part of a group award for ‘Innovation in Healthcare’ and is on a mission to empower people to become educated in holistic health practices, powered by Pilates. See Vanessa’s website for further information.




our mark on The World Words Dr Kiera Buchanan

Design Olha Blagodir


clearly remember my first stretch marks. I

imprinted with words such as ‘skin elasticity’

was in my early teens when I noticed two

and ‘prevention’, my initial insecurity was

thick pink stretch marks on my right hip that

catastrophized into full-blown terror, as I was

extended beyond the waist line of my pants. I

introduced to a woman’s need to control and/

remember going to my mother to show them

or conceal her body’s imperfections.

to her. I suppose I must have been feeling insecure and in need of some reassurance. I remember however being presented with a bottle of Bio Oil and instructed to massage it into my stretch marks every day. Body insecurity and body dissatisfaction. Given my mother had likely experienced the same body insecurity that she now witnessed in her eldest daughter, I presume her intention was to spare me from developing the ‘flaws’ that later became the object of her own body dissatisfaction. Alone with my newly-discovered flaws and this bottle of oil,




Although this memory is recalled easily and vividly (suggesting it was a pivotal time in my formative years), today, my stretchmarks couldn’t be further from my awareness. In fact, I was only reminded of this memory through my participation in a recent interview on the topic by the Daily Telegraph. After sharing my professional opinion on the ‘trend’ of cellulite, stretchmarks and other flaws being posted on social media, I later reflected on my personal experience. I curiously explored the factors I share with those I sit across from in my office on a daily basis which predispose me to the same insecurities that I help others with. I contemplated the factors which buffer these predisposing factors and allow me to be at peace with my body in a society which discourages me from doing so. Finally, I gave some thought to the response that the 14year old version of myself needed to hear in such a vulnerable time in my life.


If I could go back in time and respond to that


a warm embrace and tenderly tell her this:


called ‘stretchmarks’. They’re a very normal


insecure young girl, I would envelope her in “Dear girl, those marks you’ve discovered are part of growing. In fact, most of your friends who are going through puberty, will also have them. Despite what you’re about to be taught GHG Disclaimer – please read




by the world, there’s no way of stopping them or getting rid of them, nor is there any reason to. Worrying about such blemishes will not change them, it will only make them a much bigger part of how you define yourself, all the while, distracting you from your true value”. Now, as a psychologist working in the field of eating disorders and body-image concerns, I encourage other women to do just that: • to find a purpose beyond their weight on the scales or the reflection in the mirror. Contrary to what the weight-loss and diet industries will have us believe, we have little control over our appearance. We do however, have control over what we focus on and how we choose to define ourselves. So, to you as the reader, I challenge you to consider this:

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MEANINGFUL THAN ANY MARK LIFE WILL LEAVE ON YOU. What impact could you have on the world, if you invested the time, effort and resources that you currently waste on your appearance? What a world we could have!

Dr. Kiera Buchanan is a Clinical Psychologist and a Health Psychologist as well as the Director of Centre for Integrative Health; a





preventing and treating eating disorders, weight concerns and body-image issues. Kiera is also on the Executive Committee of the Qld Eating Disorders Advisory Group and the Australian and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders. Kiera may be contacted via website





An Inner Balance

Words Dr Suzanne Henwood & Grant Soosalu Design Olha Blagodir GHG Disclaimer – please read


indfulness is incredibly popular

potential. So, I approached the co-developer


of mBraining, Grant Soosalu to co-write this






education, in work, to reduce stress,

find calmness, enhance learning or improve performance. The research is growing to show how effective mindfulness can be, to help you manage your life on a day to day basis.

article to give another perspective. Integrating mBraining and Mindfulness into Multi-Mindfulness. So, what would multi-mindfulness look like and feel like? How can we bring greater

What is Mindfulness?

awareness to our heart and gut, as well as to

Mindfulness is incredibly simple and gentle. It is not really a technique, more a way of being that you cultivate and learn. Mindfulness is all

our thinking? What would life be like if we had calmness and presence at all levels of intelligence?

about being fully aware, here and now – not to

Mindfulness is all about being fully here and

change anything or to judge – just to notice in

now, experiencing and attending to all that

the moment. And it takes practice.

is in this precious moment, noticing without judging it, right or wrong, just experiencing,

What is mBraining? mBraining




accepting and appreciating all that is. It’s about field



development and understanding developed by Grant Soosalu and Marvin Oka. They have developed a set of techniques, called ‘multiple Brain Integration Techniques’ (mBIT), which puts this new knowledge and theory of mBraining into practice, using your multiple brains – head, heart and gut. Is mindfulness missing its full potential? As a Master Trainer and Master Coach of

systematic appreciation and understanding. It comes from an intention to be fully awake, fully present in your body with a deep sense of interoceptive awareness (a measure of body awareness and the internal state of the body, for example a persons’ awareness of their heartbeat). So, what is Multi-Mindfulness and how we can create a daily practice? 1. Getting started.

mBraining (using your multiple brains – head,

Becoming aware of your breathing is a great

heart and gut), as well as being a Mindfulness

way to start a mindfulness practice. A multi-

facilitator, I (Suzanne) was curious if both fields

mindfulness practice is no different. Sitting

could be integrated into Multi-Mindfulness

in a comfortable position, put your attention

practices to enhance awareness even further.

on your breathing. Not with the intention of

I was curious to discover the way Western

changing it, but just noticing and experiencing

mindfulness has brought us to a ‘head based’

it more fully. Noticing the speed, the depth,

mindfulness and that it might be missing its full

the rhythm.

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3. Moving attention to the gut. Now move your attention to your abdominal cavity. Again, spend two minutes paying attention here. Place your attention deep down into the softest part of your belly and just notice what you notice. Maintain an intention of curiosity, gentleness and calmness, an openness that is accepting of whatever you notice, feel free to just notice whatever you notice. These three actions are the basics of MultiMindfulness. It is as simple as that and a starting point for taking back control. To bring you back to a quiet stillness, an equilibrium, an inner balance and an awareness from which







breathing. 2. Moving attention to the heart. Now move your attention to the area around your heart. You can even place the flat of the palm of your right hand over your heart area, so you can physically feel your heart-beat with your hand. Just notice what you can feel and what you can sense from the heart. Again, the intention is not to change anything here – but just to listen and feel deeply to be aware of the intelligence that is your heart – to become conscious of this beautiful area of your being. Spend two minutes listening and feeling deeply into your heart, being conscious in your heart. 50 | SUBSCRIBE to GHG


you can be even more deeply conscious and allow wiser choices to emerge to bring equilibrium to your life as you re-enter daily reality. Do get in touch and let us to know what differences you have discovered using MultiMindfulness.

Dr Suzanne Henwood is the Director and Lead Coach and Trainer of mBraining4Success.

Grant Soosalu is a co-developer of mBraining. Suzanne is also the CEO of The Healthy Workplace and a Master Trainer and Master Coach of mBIT (Multiple Brain Integration Techniques) and can be contacted via her

website. GHG Disclaimer – please read


BORN TO BE? WHO ARE YOU Words Dr Matthew Anderson

Design Olha Blagodir

sculptor of all time was asked, how he could have possibly

created his massive and magnificent 17-foottall sculpture of David out of an immense block of marble he answered, ‘I simply chipped away everything that was not David’. What could this simple sentence mean for your life? It has the potential to awaken you to the true work of art that is your own essential self. You have a magnificent David, or Janice, or Susan, or Bob or (your own name) in you…if you will simply chip away everything that is not really you. The trouble is many of us identify with the chips rather than the work of art. And this is not a trivial trouble. It is trouble that shapes, defines and ultimately limits every single aspect of your



hen Michelangelo, the greatest

life. When identifying with the chips, they can dictate who you marry, how much money you make, what work you do and how you really feel about yourself. Our self-image is extremely important. It is crucial to how we see our possibilities and options in life. Some examples are: • If you have a very high IQ but see yourself as average intelligence, you will not follow a career path that is unworthy of you. • If you see yourself as unlovable, you will find relationship partners that treat you that way. • If you have wonderful creative talents but see yourself as the ‘loser’ your father






the artist you were born to be. These are only a few examples of identifying with our flaws instead of a work of art. Therefore, each of us would do well to take the time and effort to re-evaluate who we think we are and who we were born to be. In fact, each person is born with a particular purpose and a variety of gifts that support it. Each of us is a work of art that begs to be discovered and displayed. Once this occurs


thought you were, then you will never be

Dr Matthew Anderson, Doctor of Ministry specializes in counselling. He has extensive training and experience in Gestalt and Jungian Psychology and has helped many people successfully navigate relationship issues. Dr Anderson has a best-selling book, ‘The Resurrection of Romance’ and he may be contacted via his website.

we can make our own special contribution to this world. Remember there are no throwaway individuals. Every one of us has value and usefulness and we are each unique and special. Here are a few questions to ask yourself: 1. Do you believe that you are a wonderful work of art? 2. Do you identify with the chips and flaws in the art? 3. How would your life change if you accepted your true artful being? 4. Are you aware of your life purpose and the gifts that support it? Just remember that you were born for a purpose and you have been given gifts and




Dealing with Difficult People in Your Life: • especially at work • help you stay calm, serene & sane • with proven strategies & techniques • improve communication skills • know when it’s time to walk away Find your own path to serenity

talents to support that purpose. Do not stop


Published 2016

until you know that purpose and accept your gifts. No other task in your life is more important or more meaningful.


Now $40.50 Booktopia may vary prices from those published. Postage $6.95 per order AUST/NZ

Kidz Matters



Through Anxiety


Words Dr Ash Nayate Design Olha Blagodir GHG Disclaimer – please read


you’ve ever experienced anxiety, you

The reality of parenting is that worry will

know how debilitating it can be. Anxiety

happen. Instead of trying to wrestle it into

is more than just stress. It’s a chronic,

submission, we can simply recognise and

pervasive type of stress that permeates every

observe that worry is happening, without

facet of our lives. It clouds our thinking and

judging or shaming ourselves for it. This

overwhelms our emotions. It’s agitating, yet

step alone often provides tremendous relief,


because we’re no longer expending all that

Parenthood puts us at a higher risk of anxiety. The risk is even higher for those of us with pre-existing vulnerabilities. And it’s not just in the early weeks and months - sometimes, the symptoms don’t surface until years later. The symptoms of anxiety come and go. We may go for weeks or months without any issues and then the symptoms may flare up unexpectedly. The unpredictability itself can be a source of worry. No matter where we are in our parenting life and at which end of the anxiety spectrum we are, there are several ways we can alleviate our feelings of stress and improve our mental wellbeing. 1. See the worry. Most of us are very good at worrying. Worrying about kids, our partner, family, work, education and more. There’s always something new to worry about, no matter how old our children are. Many people view worry as a ‘bad’ thing, because it feels uncomfortable. We may have trained ourselves to ignore it, suppress it, or distract ourselves away from it. However, the healthy way to deal with worry isn’t avoidance. Instead, it’s to work with it and improve the way we manage it. GHG Disclaimer – please read

mental effort into battling with our feelings. It opens the door for us to view our situation with more objectivity, so that we can do something about it. 2. Slow down. When we’re stressed or anxious, our thoughts become turbo-charged. They don’t slow down until the worry stops, or until we actively teach them to slow down.

breathing and prayer. The purpose of these activities is to slow down the thoughts, which makes it easier for us to think clearly and more calmly. Even simply closing our eyes and counting our breaths will slow our down thoughts. There’s no rule around this - except to do whatever is sustainable. Something is better than nothing, whether it’s 30 seconds or 30 minutes. The right practice is the one that works for you and which you can maintain for the long run. 3. Unload the schedule. Our hectic schedules are like rocket fuel for our turbo-charged thoughts. Everything on our to-do list adds to our mental overload, so we’re wise to decide where we spend our time and energy. While every event may seem


There are many ways to do this, such as deep

critical, this may not be the case. Of course, it would be wonderful to do ALL the things, but for some activities, the stress that it added to our lives isn’t worth it. The phrase ‘know thyself’ is appropriate here. It’s important that we know what we find meaningful in life, e.g. being at our child’s hockey games, restoring motorbikes or active involvement in the school council. Then we can start skimming off the activities that aren’t aligned with those priorities. 4. Say ‘No’. This can be a tricky one for parents because: • we want to be involved • we want to be helpful • we want a life rich with experiences.


commitments and relinquish the very activities that we need to keep ourselves physically and emotionally healthy. Activities like eating nourishing food, enjoying physical activity, cultivating positive relationships, having a creative outlet, getting adequate fresh air and sunshine and taking a rest. We can live a rich, meaningful life without over-committing ourselves. We can make space for the things that are important for us, so that we feel more fulfilled by doing fewer of the unnecessary things. Perhaps most importantly, we can fully embrace our role as protector and nurturer of our families, while

GHG Disclaimer – please read


We take on too many responsibilities and

also caring for and nurturing ourselves. Hopefully, by simply adding even one of the points above in our busy lives, will reduce your stress and anxiety levels during parenting.

Dr Ash Nayate is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in brain function and resulting behaviour. Ash has almost 15 years’ experience working with children and families, supporting them to feel happier, more confident and resilient. To contact Ash please visit her

website. SUBSCRIBE to GHG | 59


verwhelmed: A Child’s Safe Space Words Deb Hopper

Design Olha Blagodir


avigating through the day as a child

sources. Mental or emotional overwhelm –

can be an exhilarating, yet daunting

feeling that the demands of a task are way

process. There is the fun and joy

too difficult, or sensory overwhelm – with

of play, friends and family. There is also

factors of the environment being too much

the challenge of meeting new people, the

to handle. Examples of sensory overwhelm

social challenges of interaction with play, the

might include too much noise, glare or too

environmental challenge of coping with noise,

much light, not liking the feeling of touch of

lights and movement at preschool, school

some objects such as tags in shirts, seams in

or at the supermarkets. Just as adults, if the

socks or messy glue.

challenges outweigh our capacity, children can experience stress and overwhelm. The signs of overwhelm are exhibited

How to create a safe space when your child is overwhelmed.

differently between different children but

When a child shows signs of overwhelm, it’s

may include:

important to provide a safe place. This might

• needing to take control of situations that may be seen as being bossy or dominant in play • meltdowns and crying • ‘behavioural’ issues, whining, clinginess or oppositional behaviour. These signs or clues that your child may be overwhelmed may be shown more at home, at school or both. Many children can ‘hold it together’ at preschool or school, but once safe at home, they feel safe and their emotions overflow. Other children find the preschool/ school environment overwhelming and their stress cues/signs are more pronounced at school. Either way, it’s important to be a detective and notice the signs of overwhelm and once identified, put a plan of reducing this stress before it escalates.

be a physically safe space, or it may be simply verbal acknowledgement that it looks as if things are difficult. Five top ways to reduce overwhelm for a child may include: 1. Create a physical space in a corner of a room at home or in the classroom such as a small tent. A safe space could include cushions, fidget toys, favourite books, a bean bag half-filled so they can nestle in and feel safe, a heavy blanket, calm music and fairy lights or oil timers or oil toys. This can be called the safe space, or create a fun name for it that your child owns. 2. Have a conversation about the reason why they may feel overwhelmed. Tell them you want to help them, but that you need some clues as to why they feel this way and

It is also important to be aware that overwhelm

then tell them you can help think of some

may come from a combination of at least 2

ways to make things easier.

GHG Disclaimer – please read


Kids Technique Model to help kids map and point out how they are feeling. A visual map helps them to identify how they feel and having them being able to communicate about this, can relieve some stress and worry. 4. Give them verbal permission that if they are feeling sad, overwhelmed, angry or mad that they can come and tell you, or that they can take themselves straight to the safe place.


3. Use a visual chart such as the Just Right

educators to understand the underlying reasons of

why children struggle with





processing difficulties. Deb is the co-author of the CD Sensory Songs for Tots, and author of Reducing Meltdowns and Improving






Technique Model. Deb can be contacted via her website.

5. Empower your child or the children you work with to know that having feelings and emotion, including being overwhelmed is



normal, but that there are ways that we can help change how we feel, including using a safe space as in point 1 above. As parents, carers and teachers, we tune in to the needs of the children in our life. However, sometimes we can become a little disconnected or busy and not notice the cues of overwhelm. Creating a sensory safe space is one strategy that can be used to help children cope with overwhelm. Teaching a child to


The Just Right Kids Technique by Deb Hopper

Teach your child: • to understand & recognise emotions • to learn to control emotions & behaviour

have more independence in knowing their

• to reduce tantrums & meltdowns

emotions and experimenting with strategies

• to be able to sit in class, listen & learn

to reduce stress, is a great life skill that will be

• to feel happy, safe & emotionally secure

well used through to adult hood.

PLUS: FREE “Just Right Kids” Circle Self-regulation model to print & stick on your fridge & BONUS of Deb’s web training videos.

Deb Hopper is an Occupational Therapist, author and workshop presenter. She is passionate about empowering parents and 62 | SUBSCRIBE to GHG


Published 2016

RRP $21.95 Now $20.80 Booktopia may vary prices from those published. Postage $6.95 per order AUST/NZ

‘The woman who does not require

validation from anyone is the most

feared individual on the planet’   – Mohadesa Najumiou

© Antalya Developments Pty Ltd 2017 Any information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats), or from Antalya Developments Pty Limited or Kathryn Dodd, including by way of third party authored articles or discussions, is made available for readers’ interest only. The purpose of making the information available is to stimulate research, public discussion and debate.  Readers are encouraged to undertake their own research and consult with professional advisors to form their own independent views about the topic/s discussed. The information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats) is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Readers should seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions regarding a potential or actual medical condition or the proposed use or decision not to use any particular product. Readers should not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it at any time, including because of the content of any information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats). Each of Antalya Developments Pty Ltd and Kathryn Dodd do not warrant, guarantee or make any representation regarding the accuracy, veracity, adequacy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of any information available on, or arising in relation to, the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats).  Neither Antalya Developments Pty Limited nor Kathryn Dodd endorses the views of any contributing authors to the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats).

Great Health Guide: November 2017  

Featuring fantastic articles about great health such as 'Your Ancestors' Perfect Diet', 'Is Sleep Making You Fat?', 'Physiotherapy In Asthma...

Great Health Guide: November 2017  

Featuring fantastic articles about great health such as 'Your Ancestors' Perfect Diet', 'Is Sleep Making You Fat?', 'Physiotherapy In Asthma...