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March/April 2018

snoring affects Health


Child birth



all Tired the





PREVENTION OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE New diagnostic tests to detect heart attack risk in those with no history

Dr Warrick Bishop




HOW SNORING AFFECTS YOUR HEALTH Snoring can cause chronic diseases, but can be corrected & reduced Dr David McIntosh


WHY AM I TIRED ALL THE TIME? Discover the many factors & treatments that cause daytime sleepiness Dr Tammra Warby


PREVENTING TYPE 2 DIABETES WITH EXERCISE Are you at risk of becoming a diabetic? Jennifer Smallridge



EATING DISORDERS & THE ELDERLY Eating disorders are often discovered in older people Dr Kiera Buchanan





ESSENTIAL RELATIONSHIP SKILLS Passionate relationships and how to draw closer to one another Dr Matthew Anderson




KEEPING THE SPARK ALIVE Several strategies to help relationships keep the spark alive Merie Burton




HOW TO BOUNCE BACK AFTER GIVING BIRTH Tips on how to recharge your energy levels after childbirth


CORRECT TECHNIQUE WHEN EXERCISING Often the benefits of exercise are wasted with incorrect techniques

Dr Suzanne Henwood & Anwen Robinson


TIPS FOR PARENTING TODDLERS PART 1 Be patient, choose your battles & let your toddlers grow

Margarita Gurevich & Justin Balbir


ELEMENTS OF A GREAT TRAINING PLAN Maximise your time & achieve the results you’re after

Leanne Allen

Kat Millar



LAUGHTER IMPROVES HEALTH Find out why laughter is the best medicine

Dr Jenny Brockis


TRAUMA & ITS EFFECTS There is always hope & you can make it through any event Susie Flashman Jarvis


A MENTAL RUT CAUSED BY WORK Take responsibility for what is happening to you & create the life you want



Leanne Allen






Kathryn Dodd

Hello Friends


I am constantly amazed at how that little things over time have such a huge impact. I call this the power of 1%. For example, when it comes to nutrition does it really matter if a sugary dessert is eaten? Well not really, but if this becomes a regular habit then over time this will be a problem. What about exercise? Will it really matter if you choose not to exercise one day and instead put your feet up and watch the TV? Well not really, but again if inactivity becomes a habit then that’s where the problem begins.

Dr Helen J. Dodd Dr William A. Dodd DESIGNERS

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Weng Yee Leong Maria Renagado CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Leanne Allen, Dr Matthew Anderson, Justin Balbir, Dr Warrick Bishop, Dr Jenny Brockis, Dr Kiera Buchanan, Merie Burton, Michael Dermansky, Susie Flashman Jarvis, Margarita Gurevich, Dr Suzanne Henwood, Anwen Robinson, Dr David McIntosh, Kat Millar, Jennifer Smallridge, Dr Tammra Warby CONNECT WITH US:


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In life there are many examples of where one small choice does not make a big impact. However, consider what happens when many seemingly inconsequential decisions accumulate over several months or years and particularly over a life time. The results are either a flourishing life or one that is constrained by ill-health and sometimes even ruin. So, remember each decision impacts not only your life but also the lives of those around you. In this issue of Great Health GuideTM there are some great articles highlighting the power of 1% with practical lifestyle tips in ‘Preventing Coronary Heart Disease’, ‘Why am I Tired All the Time?’, ‘Preventing Type 2 Diabetes with Exercise’ & ‘How Laughter Improves Health’. So use the simple yet powerful principle of 1% in your life and apply one tip from the articles in this issue of Great Health GuideTM. Here’s to your best health

Kathryn x

© Antalya Developments Pty Ltd 2018 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).






CoronaryArtery Prevention of


Dr Warrick Bishop



Great Health


the article in the last issue of Great Health GuideTM, I discussed methods of Gauging Your Heart Attack Risk. In this article, I discuss new methods with tests specifically used to diagnose and thus initiate treatment prior to the first heart attack. This is called primary prevention of coronary artery disease. Secondary prevention, i.e. treating the consequences of coronary artery disease, is also discussed.

1. PRIMARY PREVENTION OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE. Primary prevention of coronary artery disease involves patients who have either not yet had a problem or who have not complained of any symptoms of coronary artery disease. While these people may be at high risk because of a range of indicators, such as elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, diabetes or smoking, they do not display any symptoms nor have they been identified as having a heart problem. Nevertheless, it is important to realise that these patients may carry an increased risk. The treatment for that risk, prior  to an event, is  called primary prevention. The problem is that best practice in primary prevention of coronary artery disease is more difficult because it is not well defined at present.

2. SECONDARY PREVENTION FOLLOWING A HEART ATTACK. Traditional approaches to coronary artery disease tend to focus on secondary prevention or on treating the consequences of coronary artery disease. The symptoms of coronary artery disease include shortness of breath, chest pain on exertion or acute coronary syndrome, which is a set of symptoms that arise DISCLAIMER

due to decreased blood flow in the coronary arteries. There is no question that secondary prevention is beneficial in reducing the rate of recurrence of a subsequent heart event. The data around secondary prevention of coronary artery disease is very strong and I do not believe there is any need for alternative interpretations or strategies regarding secondary prevention at this stage.

My objective in my own practice is to identify ways to avoid the first heart event. GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 7

Great Health

Heart imaging provides clear information about the state of an , individual s heart. I believe that current primary prevention practice has scope for significant reevaluation, particularly in our approach to risk assessment of individuals  before they even have a problem. In fact, to me, preventing the chest pain or the heart attack in the first place is the Holy Grail of preventative cardiology.

Invariably I receive the reply,

When discussing risk factor assessment in coronary artery disease, it is extremely important to be clear about the difference between  association  and  causation. Regularly, I need to tell patients that they have cholesterol build-up in their arteries.

When we evaluate the risk of an individual in primary prevention of coronary artery disease, we use associations that have been demonstrated in population studies. This presents an inherent problem because risk may be low for the population, but it is 100 percent for the


• ‘But Doctor, my cholesterol is fine’. • ‘But Doctor, I exercise regularly’. • ‘But Doctor, I eat healthy food and keep my weight down’. • ‘But Doctor, I don’t smoke’.


Great Health individual who then goes on to have an event. While individual screening using stress-testing does have some merit, it will only identify problems too late in the process of cholesterol build-up in the arteries. One of the key tools that I use in primary prevention is the latest technology available to scan the heart. Heart imaging provides clear information about the state of an individual’s heart. It is used to inform a management strategy based on exactly  what was seen to be happening in the arteries, rather than a best guess based on a populationbased  probability  of what might be going on.  Cardiac CT imaging will lead to a conclusion that the features observed on the scan are either low, intermediate or high-risk features and this information can then be used against traditional risk variables to facilitate the most accurate computation of an individual patient’s risk. By combining the cardiac CT imaging and risk information of the patient, I believe that the best-informed management strategy for the primary prevention of coronary artery disease in an individual patient, can be achieved.

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. DISCLAIMER

Editor ,s choice HAVE YOU PLANNED YOUR HEART ATTACK? By Dr Warrick Bishop

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 Paperback

Published February 2017

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

Snoring How

Affects Your Health ––– Dr


David McIntosh –––


Great Health


noring. It is a noise made because there is problem with airflow through the nose and throat, into the windpipe and the lungs. While many people think of it only as a social problem and they get sick of hearing their partner making noises, it is important to discuss how snoring affects your health and realise that snoring is a sign of airway obstruction.

Think about it in this way. Snoring is a noise made because you are choking on the inside. It is a restriction of airflow that negatively affects your health. If someone was to come into your bedroom every night and start choking you, you would not tolerate this for too long. Snoring is the same thing though, at least in terms of the disruption to your breathing.

SO WHY DO PEOPLE SNORE? Well before we get to that, one very important point about snoring is, that snoring in adults and snoring in children is very different. When it comes to children, the research shows very convincingly that children who snore or even just mouth breathe, are in big trouble, far more than adults are. We talk about sleep apnoea sometimes, which is where you stop breathing at times during your sleep, but while that is a sign of the beginning of health problems in adults, sleep apnoea in kids is a sign of an even worse problem.

SO, LET’S TALK ABOUT CHILDREN FIRST. In the mainstay, most children will snore because of a problem with their tonsils, adenoids, or hay-fever (that itchy runnynose may be a sign of more than just a nuisance). Children who snore are more DISCLAIMER

likely to grind their teeth, sleep walk, sleep talk, wet the bed, have dark circles under their eyes, wake up tired, be cranky and grumpy during the day, have trouble concentrating, have behaviour problems, have symptoms suggestive of ADHD, mouth breathe, be quite emotional, struggle at school, have memory problems, develop problems with their listening, get ear infections, have high blood pressure and the list goes on.

Snoring is a noise made because you are choking on the inside. GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 11

Great Health


Look for mouth breathing, snoring and all of the other problems listed above.

The stereotype is the big fat man (because ladies do not snore, right?) who falls asleep without much effort and is quickly snoring so loudly that the neighbours are starting to complain. While being overweight is certainly not a good thing for many reasons and it certainly increases the chances of snoring and sleep apnoea, but it is not the only cause.

If you’re an adult and your partner says that you snore and stop breathing, it is not to be ignored. Get a referral from your GP or dentist to see an ENT to check your airway. The sooner things are found, the better your sleep and health will be. Remember snoring affects your health, so take action today.

In adults, we check for a deviated nasal septum, i.e. the middle part of the nose that is internal and prone to getting broken from trauma such as from fighting, playing footy and the like. Other conditions that contribute to snoring are allergies and sinus problems, large tonsils again, swollen tongues and swelling of the oesophagus due to reflux of food while lying down. With adults, snoring is more of an issue from a social point of view, as their bed partner tends not to be interested in putting up with a noisy partner for too long. In adults, apart from the social issues, snoring affects your health quite significantly. We are talking about high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, visual loss, memory problems, car accidents, poor concentration, headaches, jaw joint problems and the list keeps going. Impotence is on the list too, so men should take it seriously!

WHAT TO DO ABOUT THIS? First and foremost, do not ignore it. Go check on your children. Listen and look for 10 minutes every night, for a week. 12 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

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 has written ‘Snored to Death’ and can be contacted via website. SUBSCRIBE


Why am I

all the Time?

––– Dr


Tammra Warby –––


Great Health


you wake up unrefreshed, reach straight for the coffee and constantly fight against falling asleep during the day? Perhaps you ask yourself, ‘why am I tired all the time?’ While it’s normal to have a dip in energy in the afternoon, it is not normal to be overwhelmed by a need to sleep and simply feel tired all the time. This is particularly important when fatigue interferes with normal activities, such as eating or driving.

Tiredness, fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness will often need a careful history and examination by your local doctor to determine the cause. These can include lifestyle factors, medical disorders and sleep disorders that can affect both sleep quantity and quality.

SLEEP QUALITY AND QUANTITY. Sleep quality and quantity are both important to feel refreshed. In the previous issue of Great Health GuideTM, insomnia was discussed. I already mentioned things that can interfere with sleep such as caffeine and alcohol. In addition to avoiding these factors, a dark, quiet bedroom is best to prevent sleep quality being adversely affected by too much light and noise. Remember that sleep quality will suffer with too high a room temperature, so particularly in summer keep the bedroom cool, if you can.

LIFESTYLE FACTORS. In the 24-hour culture we live in, it is common to be very committed, including raising children, working full time, being available after hours and taking on extra activities. Hence the quantity of sleep may be the first to be sacrificed to fit it


all in. In this case, it becomes important to know yourself. If you were to sleep uninterrupted, how much sleep do you really need in order to wake refreshed and not struggle through the day, tired and exhausted? Check to see if you are cutting this amount of time out of your sleep, so that you can take on extra activities. Most adults require between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Less sleep can also occur in the setting of shiftwork, as long shifts will often shorten the amount of time available for sleep as well as make it more difficult to sleep at times we are usually awake.

Most adults require between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 15

Great Health

DEPRESSION AND FEELING TIRED ALL THE TIME. Depression itself, which we will explore further in an upcoming article, can also lead you to feel tired all the time. This can be coupled with the lack of motivation and interruption to sleep, particularly waking early in the morning and being unable to go back to sleep. Depression partners with things like irritability and loss of enjoyment in normal activities, as well as feelings of hopelessness and isolation. If these feelings occur in the setting of insomnia, for longer than two weeks, always discuss them with your family doctor. The stigma around mental health is really being reduced now and these conversations are always better to have than to remain suffering in silence.

OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNOEA SYNDROME. Daytime sleepiness that affects the ability to stay awake while driving or operating equipment is always a concern. In obstructive sleep apnoea, the airway collapses during sleep and the resulting decrease in available oxygen, causes the brain to attempt to wake the person multiple times to restart their breathing. This results in an interrupted and lighter sleep pattern and excessive sleepiness during the day. Untreated, obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome can increase pressure on the heart, with increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. It is also associated with a higher risk of road accidents. The good news is that if sleep apnoea is detected and treated correctly, there is an increased quality of life for those affected. Risks for sleep apnoea 16 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

include excess weight, large tongue, large neck circumference and snoring. Alcohol will often worsen the symptoms.

OTHER MEDICAL DISORDERS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO FEELING TIRED ALL THE TIME: 1. Restless legs syndrome. Restless legs syndrome is an abnormal crawling sensation in the legs only relieved by moving them, which is often worse at night. On occasion this coincides with having an iron deficiency and can also be treated with medication. 2. Teeth grinding and sinus problems. Other problems that interrupt sleep can be, having very bad allergies, hayfever or grinding the teeth excessively during sleep (bruxism). Bruxism may be detected during routine dental check-up. It can result in jaw pain and headaches that will contribute to the feeling of being unrefreshed in the mornings. 3. Chronic pain. Quality of sleep is also potentially impacted by chronic pain that could cause tossing and turning in bed, for example due to arthritis or other painful conditions. 4. Overnight urination needs. Diabetes or prostate issues can lead to getting up to urinate multiple times overnight which will also interrupt sleep. These should be carefully excluded and managed together with your doctor so that you can achieve good quality sleep. SUBSCRIBE

Great Health

In the absence of any of these medical or sleep disorders, simple measures include not napping during the day so that you sleep well at night and going to bed when you are tired. Don’t sacrifice sleep for everything else. If you do feel tired all the time and wake unrefreshed, always get checked out with your trusted family doctor.

Dr Tammra Warby is a General Practitioner with a PhD in Virology. She has worked in emergency medicine and general practice in chronic disease management including diabetes, paediatrics, mental health, preventative medicine, skin cancer checks and surgery. Tammra works at Foxwell Medical, and can be followed on Twitter.



Diabetes Preventing Type 2

with Exercise Jennifer Smallridge



Great Health


ou currently may not know of someone with type 2 diabetes, but it is highly likely that you know someone who is at high risk. In 2014, the World Health Organisation estimated 422 million people worldwide were living with diabetes, with a further 46% of people currently undiagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the body experiences a build-up of glucose (a sugar) in the blood. The complications of these high blood glucose levels over the long term are significant health concerns including, foot and leg ulcers, skin infections, increased weight, limb amputation, possible blindness, organ failure, stroke and heart attack. But despite diabetes being such a massively chronic issue around the world, the good news is that preventing type 2 diabetes with exercise is very possible.

CHECK YOUR RISK: Diabetes Australia have an online risk calculator here but in general, the risk factors for type 2 diabetes are: • Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance) via a blood test from your GP, i.e. HbA1c levels, which is the long-term marker of diabetic control • Being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease • With increase in age, but it is now occurring in younger age groups including children, adolescents and young adults • Being overweight, especially with fat around the waist • Smoking • Minimal or no exercise • Unhealthy eating habits (high fat, high sugar, high salt, low fibre foods). DISCLAIMER

UNDERSTANDING INSULIN: When we eat food that contains carbohydrates (potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, fruit, etc.), our body breaks it down into glucose and it is released into the blood stream. To take up and use the glucose for energy, insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) acts like a ‘key’ and unlocks the ‘door’ to cells in the body, mainly in the muscles and liver. When someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the key no longer works. This means that cells have stopped responding to insulin and as well, the pancreas isn’t able to produce enough insulin or no longer produces any insulin. As a result, the blood glucose level starts to rise in the blood stream when carbohydrates are consumed. This is called hyperglycaemia. If this condition remains for a period of time, the person is classified with type 2 diabetes. There are several medications or injections that are prescribed for diabetics to reduce blood glucose when insulin is no longer produced by the pancreas.

PREVENTING TYPE 2 DIABETES WITH EXERCISE IS THE BEST OPTION: Like insulin, a single bout of exercise speeds up the rate at which glucose can be taken into the muscles. It appears that exercise is not only an effective ‘medicine’ GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 19

Great Health for type 2 diabetes, but a significant preventative measure as well! One study looked at individuals who were all at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and instructed one group to exercise and eat well, while giving the other group metformin (a drug designed to treat type 2 diabetes). Those who changed their lifestyle reduced their risk by 58%, whereas those who took the medication only reduced their risk by 31%. You can think about exercise as an easy way to access your body’s own builtin medicine. Exercise removes extra glucose from the blood and uses it where we need it most, in the muscles.

IF EXERCISE IS MEDICINE, WHAT IS THE DOSE? The good news regarding exercise in preventing type 2 diabetes, is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Most of the participants in the above study chose to walk for an average of 30 minutes every day and lost 5-7% of their body weight in the process.

accumulated over 3 months in your body is HbA1c. By lowering HbA1c levels, this can be used as the longterm marker of diabetic control. 2. Have something light to eat before or during exercise. It is recommended that some carbohydrates are consumed before or during physical activity, to avoid blood sugar going too far in the opposite direction, i.e. low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia, so eating a small snack or having a piece of fruit beforehand will help. Symptoms of low blood sugar include blurred vision, dizziness, shakiness, fatigue and fainting. 3. Consult a professional. Just like medication, exercise can be expertly prescribed to minimise the risk of unwanted side effects and maximise the benefits. To find out the best exercise regime for preventing type 2 diabetes, make an appointment with your local Accredited Exercise Physiologist.


Preventing type 2 diabetes with exercise is possible. All people should make it their health goal to have healthy glucose levels for the rest of their lives. The right timing and type of exercise is an essential and natural way to achieve this.

1. Include strength training. Especially if you have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Strength training (using weights, resistance bands or body weight) has been shown to be more effective than aerobic exercise alone, in managing blood glucose levels. The blood test that measures the amount of glucose that has

Jennifer Smallridge is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Upwell Health Collective in Camberwell, Victoria; as well as an Academic Lecturer in the fields of Exercise Science and Functional Human Anatomy.




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

Expert Health Articles



oved Ones to be Active ––– Kat


Millar –––


Great Health


re you the one at the family picnic who encourages your loved ones to an active game or activity instead of lying around on a blanket? If so, I imagine that at least once, you wished your loved ones were more interested in being more active. There is certainly a balance in how to encourage your loved ones to be more active while not being totally irritating. This article will provide you with some important ideas on how to encourage your loved ones to be more active without pushing them away.

1. BE THE CHANGE When I left my corporate job, and started training to become a personal trainer, I learned so much incredible information. I wanted to tell everyone! I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and share it with every person that mentioned food or exercise - anytime, anywhere. I started by telling my Dad that golf once a week was not enough exercise. Shaking my head at his ham and cheese on white bread sandwiches. I wrote my Mum a training program to help her with those flabby ‘bingo wings’ that she was always complaining about. I tried to convince my non-exercising sister to run with me – even though she hated it. With all this, I learned a very important lesson that telling people they should change, wasn’t a very effective method. Not everyone is as passionate about fitness as I’d like them to be. And that’s OK. When I stopped trying to change people, convince people and teach people to be more active, I realised that life was more fun - for both me and them! People are more likely to change from watching and mimicking someone else’s behaviour, than by being told. Think


about how we all learned to talk and walk. We simply observed and copied. Mimicking behaviour is hardwired into us from when we were very little. If you live a fit lifestyle, just by spending time with you and seeing how you live, your loved ones may start to want to become healthier. And if not, that’s their decision.

2. TAKE BABY STEPS. So, we know that by declaring that all social gatherings now will involve a ‘fun run’ and that every family picnic is going to be ‘gluten-free and clean’, probably won’t work. So, what do we do instead? Take baby steps. Start with compromise. Make a small suggestion to a friend or family member that perhaps every second catch up, you do a walk-and-talk instead of a sit-down coffee. When it’s your birthday (or even if it’s not), you might suggest that you all do something active together. Think rockclimbing, hiring kayaks or a national park walk. When people realise how much fun they had, it may plant a seed for them to want to continue to be more active. If a loved one is complaining about lack of energy or putting on weight, you could GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 23

Great Health suggest some fun things that you do that may help. Tell them a personal story about how your energy has increased since you’ve been exercising consistently. Offer to be their workout buddy or their support via text.

3. EXERCISE NOT JUST YOUR BODY – BUT YOUR PATIENCE. For me, it took many years from when I started ‘being the change’ to start to see changes in people. It seems that when they realised that I was no longer watching to see what they were doing (or not doing), they started to ask me questions. As I changed, they changed. This is the power of being the change. But it takes time.

So, in your quest on how to encourage your loved ones to be more active, be careful not to expect change from people. It’s their life and they get to choose how they live it. Either way, keep exercising your patience muscle and be there for them to support them along their journey.

Kat Millar owns Get Results Training, dedicated to helping people 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 Facebook

Some people take longer than others to get a revelation of the importance of staying healthy and fit. A lot of times, people have layers of limiting beliefs and decisions to work through. Many people who join a gym have been thinking about it for 6-12 months before they actually make the commitment. As much as it could be tempting to buy a gym membership for a loved one, unless they’ve asked for it, it probably won’t go down well. What you could do instead, is buy them something fun like dance lessons, an adventure experience or even a mini trampoline. My cousin gave me one and I love it! For some people, it unfortunately takes a scare, such as a health issue to finally get them to act. For others, they simply need to come to their own conclusion over time. 24 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE


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Disorders Eating

and the Elderly Dr Kiera Buchanan





seems that eating disorders and the elderly can be a common problem particularly when the world is saying, ‘you look great’. That was the message that came from my grandmother, who I fondly refer to as Nanny. Whilst we were speaking on the phone the other day, she revealed that she hadn’t been well and had lost quite a bit of weight. Her doctor was very concerned at her significant weight loss and because she is an elderly lady, he ordered tests to ascertain the cause of this weight loss. I too expressed my anxiety about her health. This was combined with my knowledge that eating disorders are also likely in the elderly.

Nanny went on to tell me that she had been feeling really fatigued, had lost motivation and was having difficulty concentrating. She also admitted that her nails were breaking and her hair was thinning. Increasingly alarmed, I exclaimed, ‘Nanny, you must be really malnourished’, to which she agreed. She seemingly understood the seriousness of not eating and her sudden weight loss, but she had no desire or appetite to eat. I suggested that she supplement her food intake with SustagenTM (a nutritional supplement beverage), but was dismayed when she responded with, ‘that will put weight on and I don’t want that, because everyone has been telling me how good I look’.  My Nanny, a widow in her mid-80’s, lives alone and is now clearly unwell but all that people were focused on was how ‘good’ she looked! Unexplained weight loss is a sign of disease and illness including (but not limited to) cancer, viral infections (such as HIV), organ failure and bowel disease. This is especially so with children and the elderly. Most medical doctors respond to sudden and unexplained weight loss with alarm and apprehension. DISCLAIMER

My escalating concern led me to an angry outburst in the hope that I could persuade my Nanny to undertake a meal supplement to help reverse her malnutrition until her appetite returns. I remain however, incredibly saddened to think that even at the age of 85, people are willing to sacrifice their health and life expectancy to meet society’s preference for thinness.

Society applaud weight loss without considering the cause or consequences. GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 29

nutrition In the meantime, there are measures we can all take to protect ourselves and our loved ones to reduce the onset and duration of eating disorders: 1. Don’t make assumptions that someone’s weight loss is intentional or the result of healthy measures. If you notice that someone has lost a significant amount of weight, enquire about how they are doing. You might say something like, ‘It looks like you’ve lost quite a lot of weight and I feel concerned about you. Are you OK?’ 2. Don’t celebrate or praise weight loss, even if the person insists that it was through healthy measures. Research shows that 95% of people regain back the lost weight within two years. Through telling people that they look better when thinner, their inevitable weight regain will be even harder for them to deal with. Instead, you might respond with something such as, ‘I’m happy to hear that you’re taking care of yourself and are feeling better within yourself, irrespective of your weight loss’.

3. If you’re concerned about someone’s weight loss, say so. While people might not always respond positively at the time, it plants the seed for later consideration at which time, they’ll know that they have your support. As a psychologist working predominately with eating disorders, my clients often tell me, that no one ever expressed concern about their weight loss. This only delays the time it took for them to seek treatment and support. However, Western society’s obsession with thinness, has the public applauding weight loss without considering its cause or consequences. It’s little wonder that eating disorders are so resistant to treatment. They are the only psychiatric conditions for which people are praised for having. This highlights the importance of using malnourishment to gain an image that is deemed beautiful. It is time that we examined the harm in the messages society send and broaden our views of the ‘body beautiful’ industry.

Dr Kiera Buchanan is a Health and Clinical Psychologist as well as the Director of Centre for Integrative Health; a multi-disciplinary practice aimed at preventing and treating eating disorders, weight concerns and body-image issues. Kiera specialises in topics such as dieting, eating behaviour, weight management and self-compassion. She has published papers, delivered workshops and presented at conferences. Kiera can be contacted via website. 30 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE


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Is High Intensity Interval

Safe for Seniors? Michael Dermansky


igh intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way of improving your fitness. But is high intensity interval training safe for seniors? This is an incredibly important question as the population ages and is still very active. But first let’s compare high intensity workouts with steady state training, such as just going for a run at a long steady pace. HIIT training utilises multiple energy system that are used in most every-day life activities and sports. What does this mean?


STEADY STATE TRAINING. Long, steady running works primarily on the aerobic energy system, which involves the full break down of oxygen in the muscle cells, which provides the cells with the full energy supplies from glucose and fats. However, your body is only able to use aerobic energy system during activity where the exercises are at a slow steady pace and below your aerobic threshold, i.e. before you start puffing and need to stop talking while exercising or walking. GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 35


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HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING. High intensity interval training involves not only using the aerobic system, but the anaerobic system with the production of lactic acid in the muscles. This allows you to use your fast energy supply systems, which do not fully break down glucose and fats in the short term while lactic acid builds up in the muscles and blood.  HIIT also uses your very fast energy system, which works for a few seconds and allows you to sprint very fast, for a very short period. Most sports are interval based sports, unless you are doing marathon or other long-distance events.  For example, when playing football, you stop/start, sprint, run for a moderate period of time, stop, sprint, etc. This is an interval based sport and you need interval based training to improve, so HIIT training is perfect. 36 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE


fitness after that, depending on your measured heart rate. By plotting your heart rate against the work rate of each stage on a graph, the test administrator can estimate your aerobic fitness level.

SENIORS & HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING. Is high intensity interval training safe for seniors? The answer is yes, but it depends on doctor’s advice after the doctor conducts a stress test and other tests are performed to determine your level of cardiac artery health indicating the level of plaque build-up in your arteries. When you get older, it may not just be fitness which stops you training using HIIT, but other medical issues, such as cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, respiratory health, joint pain or muscle weakness.  It is most important to consult your doctor before commencing any new exercise activity. Once they have given you the all clear as described above, then further testing by a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist familiar with cardio fitness testing protocols, such as the YMCA submaximal fitness testing, can determine at which intervals you can exercise safely. A description of the YMCA sub-maximal fitness test is quoted below: The YMCA Cycle Test is a multi-stage sub-maximal test that can also help you estimate your aerobic fitness. This test should be administered by an exercise specialist as it requires specific equipment and procedures. You begin this test by pedaling at a specific work rate for three minutes. Your heart rate is checked at the end of the stage and the work rate is increased to a specific level DISCLAIMER

These tests can also flag any unusual cardiac patterns e.g. potential atrial fibrillation or heart rate remaining too high post exercise. Training within these safe limits will help improve your fitness and often see other potential benefits, such as improved glucose metabolism, improved blood pressure control and a general feeling of well-being. Final Reminder: Consult your doctor before commencing any exercise program. If you are considering HIIT training as an older adult, speak to your doctor before starting any new exercise program and receive the appropriate testing. Supervision by an appropriately trained physiotherapist or exercise physiologist, will provide the best and safest results.

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



Correct Technique when

––– Margarita


Gurevich and Justin Balbir –––




rom the viewpoint of physiotherapists, using the correct technique when exercising is crucial to preventing injury and maximising the effectiveness for your body. There are many factors to consider when finding the appropriate exercise plan for each individual. We must consider the person’s goals, abilities, resources and accessibility when determining what is most appropriate. Regardless of what type of physical activity you choose to perform, there will be an element of skill and ability required.

This is where going back to basics is so important when exercising. That is breaking down the tasks involved, learning the correct technique when performing them and then applying it to reach your goals, whether it is overcoming an injury, building muscular strength or learning to kick a football more accurately.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT? Ask any skilled golfer whether swing technique or power is more important when it comes to hitting the ball further – they’ll tell you, it’s the correct technique. This is an example of how the correct technique can help improve performance. However, as physiotherapists, we look at things from a slightly different perspective. We also place a very high emphasis on the correct technique for injury prevention. We look at whether your technique is compromising your body when exercising and how we can perform an exercise to get the most benefit with the least risk. Let’s look at a very specific example and break it down. One of the most commonly prescribed exercises is the squat. Squats are a great way to work on the strength and power of your lower limbs, as the movement incorporates activation of almost all of the leg muscles, especially


the larger muscle groups called the glutes and quadriceps. A proper squat is not easily achievable, as the correct technique requires us to sit back with our bottoms (like we are about to sit on a chair) and ensuring the knees don’t move too far forward. However, when performing a squat this way, it can feel like you are going to fall backwards. Some small tricks that can help overcome this include; keeping your arms out in front of you to counteract the weight going backwards and practicing with a chair behind you so that if you do stumble back, it’s a safe landing. Clinical Pilates can greatly help with making sure that you maintain correct technique when exercising. Since all sessions are conducted under the strict supervision of a physiotherapist, there is really no room for error. Using Real Time Ultrasound to assess the strength and control of the core muscles, will ensure that the activation of these muscles is correct.

WHEN DO WE NEED TO BEND THE RULES? There are circumstances where we need to work outside the rules. As we are all unique, our bodies will not all move and function in the same way when exercising.


fitness Let’s come back to the squatting example, where a strictly judged squat (say, in a powerlifting competition) requires individuals to go down until their hips are in line with the knees. That is quite a low depth and not easy to do! Now say that you are not exercising to be a professional power lifter, as most of us are not. Then it is not essential that you reach such low depths. If you have especially tight calves or stiff hip joints, your body might not find it comfortable or even allow you to reach such low levels. In this case, there’s nothing wrong with squatting perhaps only halfway down. The other circumstance where a technique may be modified, is when the individual’s goal differs from that of the traditional exercise. For example, if you are a month post-knee replacement and still quite stiff in your operated knee, one of your goals would be to ‘stretch’ the tight tissues around the knee. In this circumstance, performing a squat or lunge with your knee coming further forward may be beneficial, as it will create a stretching force to help improve the flexibility and range of motion of the knee. This should only be attempted under the guidance of a trained healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist.

Ultimately, having the correct technique when exercising, will ensure that you are putting yourself in the safest position to avoid injury.

Margarita Gurevich is Senior Physiotherapist and uses Clinical Pilates, SCENAR Therapy & other evidencebased techniques, including Real Time Ultrasound and McKenzie Treatment. Margarita specialises in sports injuries, women’s health (including incontinence) and gastrointestinal issues. Margarita may be contacted via her website. Justin Balbir has a Bachelor of Health Sciences & Masters of Physiotherapy Practice. He has worked for five years as a sports trainer for the Ajax Football Club, with experience in soft-tissue massage & injury management. Justin specialises in manual therapy & sports injuries and may be contacted via website

If you are unsure about how to get your personal exercise program started, it’s always best to check with your physiotherapist for some helpful tips and to build a strong foundation. Even innate tasks (such as walking and running) can require modification if they are causing problems. Once you master the basic principles, growing your repertoire and skillset will follow. 40 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE


The best way to predict the future is to create it.

– Abraham Lincoln






Training Plan

Elements of a Great

Kat Millar


oing to the gym and getting active can be enjoyable and requires little thinking. But if you want to maximise your time invested working out and achieve the fitness results you’re after when training, it’s important to be strategic and consider all the elements of a great training plan.

However, after a long period of solid consistent training, you will need to change your program more often (e.g. every four weeks) to continue to reach new levels.

So here are my top seven elements of great training plan that will help maximise your time and help amplify your results.

Ensure your body posture and form is correct to minimize injury. With exercises that are using a significant portion of your body such as squats and lunges, you need to master your own bodyweight before adding weights. I recommend that you can perform three sets of 15-20 full-ROM (range of motion) reps with bodyweight exercises before adding weights.

1. CONSISTENCY. If you’re a beginner, you will more than likely achieve a good increase in strength quickly, if you’re consistent. DISCLAIMER




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3. START WITH LIGHTER WEIGHTS. When you begin an exercise, start out light and gradually work your way up. Over time you will figure out where you belong on the regression-progression continuum, i.e. the variation of an exercise from the easiest possible version to the most challenging version.

4. CHOOSING HEAVIER WEIGHTS. When it comes to choosing the weight to use, choose a weight where you can safely and effectively complete the number of sets 44 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

and reps, as close to failure as possible. For example, if you have decided you want to fail at 12 reps and you can do 14, increase the weight. If you can only complete nine reps, decrease the weight until you get as close to 12 reps as possible.

5. FOCUS ON YOUR OWN FITNESS LEVEL. Focus on your own level and not on the weights that others use for loading. Due to your unique body type, you’ll have an advantage with some exercises and a disadvantage with others. Avoid making comparisons with other people. SUBSCRIBE


6. INCREASING REPETITIONS VS WEIGHT. Many lifts only require very small increases in weight over time. It is better to increase the number of repetitions first instead of the weight. This applies to lifts that utilize smaller loads, such as biceps curls or lateral raises and also to challenging bodyweight movements, such as single leg deadlifts. This is especially important for women or smaller men, when access to smaller weights is not possible.

Kat Millar owns Get Results Training, dedicated to helping people 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 Facebook

7. ADAPT YOUR TRAINING PLAN. Results from weight training rarely occur in a linear nature and adaptations typically occur in waves. Sometimes you’ll make big improvements in a single week and at other times, you’ll plateau for a while. At the times when you notice that your results are plateauing, it can be because your body has adapted to the exercise and is no longer challenged. So, adapt your training plan so that your body is challenged again.

EVALUATE YOUR PERFORMANCE AND YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM. The success of a program can best be determined if you take the time to evaluate the effectiveness. I recommend that you make regular times to measure your progress and revise or change your plans. As a rule, the body tends to adapt after about four weeks, so by including the above elements, I am confident that this will assist in building a great training plan, help you move towards your goals and push yourself to the next level. DISCLAIMER






Improves Health ––– Dr


Jenny Brockis





esearch has shown how laughter is important for our social relationships, brain function and overall level of happiness. Furthermore, laughter improves health. Who knew that a good belly laugh could have such a significant impact to your overall health? In fact, the study of laughter is called gelotology.

So, allow me to ask you, have you ever found yourself in that situation where everything you planned turned out wrong? Like the time you spent all day preparing a big roast dinner for your prospective in-laws and your beloved had forgotten to tell you they were vegetarian. Did you laugh or cry? Choosing laughter can be very effective to help defuse a painful or awkward situation. Better still those tears can help to re-establish or deepen existing social bonds. Feeling happy is reflected in a greater sense of resilience. We cope better and we’re more accepting of failure – seeing it as a learning opportunity rather than a terminal event. We’re more tolerant, less judgmental and inclusive. We become more generous and kind.

THE PROSOCIAL BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER. As social beings, we are hard wired to connect and we flourish in the company of others. Laughing is a great way to express joy and shared mirth and provides a powerful social signal to others. It’s thought to predate language as a way to communicate our feelings, as an indicator that danger has passed and show our acceptance into our tribe. Being highly contagious, when one person is laughing, it’s hard not to find yourself chuckling at the shared joke as 48 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

well. Hearing laughter leads us to mirror that behaviour because strong emotions synchronise the brain activity in others.

A clown is like an aspirin, except he works twice as fast. Groucho Marx

LIFT YOUR MOOD THROUGH LAUGHTER. You may not be able to tickle yourself, but you can put yourself in a good mood because your brain can’t tell the difference between a fake and a real smile. When you smile, your brain recognises you are using certain facial muscles that it interprets as a sign to indicate you’re happy. This is the basis for laughter yoga, which is less to do with striking a pose and more about using laughter to raise your own level of happiness. While attending SUBSCRIBE

mindset a class where you are instructed to laugh, might seem a bit weird. However, studies have shown it works by raising levels of our feel-good hormones, dopamine, serotonin and endorphins while reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

A HEALTH PRESCRIPTION: TO LAUGH FREQUENTLY WITH GUSTO. Laughter improves health and really is the best medicine. Clown doctors including Patch Adams have long used laughter as a way to assist healing and restore humanity and compassion to those who are afraid or in pain. Just as exercise is a great tonic to health, being prescribed laughter is a great total body workout. Researchers have estimated that laughing one hundred times is the equivalent to spending ten minutes on a rowing machine or 15 minutes on a treadmill. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get laughing. Laughter boosts the immune system. Studies have shown how humour elevates natural killer cells helping us to produce antibodies against infection and increases production of endorphins. That’s why watching your favourite episode of Mr. Bean can improve your threshold for pain.

SPREAD SOME POSITIVITY AROUND YOU. While we all have a happiness set point, we can influence this because it is determined partly by our genes (50%), partly through circumstance (10%) leaving 40% of us to play with. If you’re DISCLAIMER

looking to raise levels of cooperation, positive communication and happiness in those around you, a great place to start is by enjoying a side splitting laugh.

Dr Jenny Brockis is a Medical Practitioner and specialises in the science of high performance thinking. Jenny’s approach to overcoming life’s challenges is based on practical neuroscience which enables people to understand their thoughts and actions leading to effective behavioural change. Jenny is the author of ‘Future Brain - the 12 Keys to Create Your High-Performance Brain’ and may be contacted via her website.

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by Dr Jenny Brockis

The 12 Keys to Create Your HighPerformance Brain. • Reduce stress & avoid stressrelated illnesses • Foster healthy thinking habits to boost efficiency • Build your expertise with renewed focus &stamina • Drive innovation through productive collaboration


Published 2015

RRP $25.95 Now $19.95 Booktopia may vary prices from those published. Postage $6.95 per order AUST/NZ | 49 GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

& its Effects ––– Susie


Flashman Jarvis –––




rauma can occur in our lives due to a variety of circumstances; witnessing the death of loved one or a stranger. It could occur because of abuse when young or an event that resulted in a near death experience. It could be because of rape or an abortion. The truth is that we are all individuals and how we experience stress is unique to each of us as well. However, there are symptoms that we have in common. The problem with trauma and its effects, is that it manifests itself in a variety of ways and can result in some long-term problems that may need therapeutic support. While trauma is a normal reaction to a horrible event, the effects can be so severe that they interfere with an individual’s ability to live a normal life.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF TRAUMA? They are often characterised into four groups: denial, feelings, behaviours and physical effects. 1. Denial: a mechanism


Some victims of trauma, may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is because we all react to trauma in different ways. Those who do develop it may find that it disappears within some weeks after the event, whilst some PTSD symptoms do not develop until months or years after the event.

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) SYMPTOMS. • flashbacks • avoiding reminders • being on guard - hypervigilant • g eneral symptoms such as depression and anxiety • s elf-destructive behaviour such as alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, risky sexual behaviour • l ife-threatening behaviour such as driving at extreme speeds.


2. Feelings: ranging from pointlessness, anxiety, depression, guilt of survival, fear of crowds, fear of recurrence of event, loss of confidence and even the inability to feel at all, i.e. numbness 3. Behaviours: unable to concentrate, impulsivity, disturbed sleep, isolating behaviour, irritability, manic episodes


4. Physical effects: ranging from, headaches, stomach pains, listlessness, hyperactivity, increased drinking of alcohol or drugs and heart palpitations.

WHO IS AT RISK OF DEVELOPING POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER? Anyone who has been victimised or witnessed a violent act. They can be survivors of domestic abuse, victims of rape and muggings, car accidents, neglected children, survivors of bomb


mindset blasts, veterans, police, fire-fighters, military or even someone who has had an invasive medical procedure. For many years I have worked with men and women whose lives have been blighted by events that took place when they were young. It may have been a one-off event or a series of events. The effect is the same, a traumatised inner child that may never have been able to speak, never been able to tell the secret that is locked within the adult. It is as space and time is given that the child, supporting them to speak, that the adult experiences freedom. It is a specific way of working and needs someone trained to work with victims of trauma. It does however bring freedom. I have also worked with women who have seen someone die or have been victims of domestic abuse. Once again, the sanctity of the therapeutic alliance, the relationship between client and therapist can enable someone to speak and begin the journey of freedom. I have sat with clients who have had a close family member die with them in a car crash. The process that gradually brought them through the trauma was time, a space to talk, to remember, a place to risk their feelings with someone safe. It was that they felt the guilt at having survived and then chose to live when they were restored. If you are affected by this article, do seek help, it is there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you can make it through. 52 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

Susie Flashman Jarvis is an accredited counsellor, speaker and ambassador for the charity Restored working towards bringing an end to violence against women. Check out Susie’s latest radio interview here. Susie’s novel, At Therapy’s End, tackles the issue of domestic abuse. Susie is also an executive coach based in the UK and is available for skype sessions. Susie may be contacted via her website.

All is not lost, there is light at the end of that dark tunnel. SUBSCRIBE

A Mental Rut Caused by Work ––– Leanne DISCLAIMER




ave you ever felt like you are in a mental rut caused by work? Perhaps you have noticed that other people at your work are also in a mental rut. Interestingly, have you noticed that often the people in charge at work usually appear to be confident, in control and never in a mental rut.

There is a reason that these people are on the top of the chain and often not in a mental rut. It is because they believe in themselves. They put the effort in to learn what it is they need to learn, whether that be professional or personally; they strive hard to achieve what it is they have. Most importantly their mindset is geared in a way that allows opportunity. You may be sitting there thinking, ‘I do all that. I am confident, I work hard, but still I keep getting put down, find myself with narcissistic bosses or neglected when it comes to promotions. I just feel like I’m in a mental rut’. If this is a recurring pattern, it means that you are the common denominator and there is conflict in your belief systems. Even if you think these beliefs are well hidden from others, they are not, which explains this kind of treatment. A little work on yourself, or perhaps a lot, can really change these patterns. If you are feeling that, ‘it’s not my fault that these people keep coming into my life’, then stop and take a breath. Start taking responsibility for what is happening to you. It is far more satisfying to create the life you want, rather than allowing others to bully you or to be a victim.


ASK YOURSELF A FEW SIMPLE QUESTIONS: 1. When did this pattern of behaviour first start? 2. Why do I allow myself to be treated like this? 3. What am I doing to create this cycle of behaviour? 4. What can I do to create a better pattern? Some of your answers may be quite confronting especially if you have never noticed that there is a pattern before. But this is positive. When we notice that something is not right and make the tough decision to do something about it, change happens. The change will not happen instantly since it takes time to create problems, but it takes more time to undo them.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP YOURSELF? 1. Stop blaming others for a mental rut you find yourself in and start taking back control by changing your perspective.



Take responsibility for what is happening to you & create the life you want. 2. Get some help, a therapist, a coach, or utilise your Employer Assistance Program (EAP) if you have one, or an independent corporation who oversees work place and provides external advice and support. 3. Remember bullying is illegal and you can do something about it. 4. Set very clear boundaries with yourself regarding time, what you will and won’t do. Make sure you are working within the guidelines of your job description DISCLAIMER

5. Work on believing in yourself again. 6. Do not leave your current work to start another job until you have started working on yourself, otherwise you will just find yourself in the same situation with different people. Workplaces can have situations where you might feel that you are not good enough. Treat these situations as learning opportunities. If your skill set or level of care needs some fine-tuning, see it as constructive feedback, rather than as criticism. The only reason people stop growing and learning is because they become stubborn and set it their ways. Shift your mindset to opportunity and growth and just see what happens. If you are reading this article and are feeling some strong emotions, then please do not ignore them. Talk to a friend, get some help, speak to your local doctor or a psychologist. There are even confidential online and phone counselling services available in many countries. Reach out and to talk to someone now. Choose not to be in a mental rut caused by work any longer.

Leanne Allen (BA Psych), Is the principle psychologist at Reconnect Psychology Wellness Centre. Leanne has trained in Sandplay Therapy, NLP and CBT and has also just completed training as a life coach. Her approach is to look forward while releasing the trauma of the past. You may leave a comment on her Facebook page GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 55

Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.

– Mario Fernandez



Rela ionships




Relationship Skills

Dr Matthew Anderson





a counsellor of 45 years in practice, I often discuss with my clients the essential relationship skills to achieve flourishing relationships. The below list of essential relationship skills are ones that I consider vital for successful love relationships, especially and including marriage. I have compiled these skills from 45 years professional experience with couples and my own failure and success.

Both partners must reach a minimum of a level seven (on a scale of one to ten) for each item on the relationship skills list in order to ensure a happy and lasting relationship. Numbers should be assessed by both partners about themselves and about their partner. For example, if one partner gives himself a seven on maturity and his partner gives him a four, then the four should be the true number and the difference in perception should be discussed. While every item on this list of essential relationship skills is important, each couple may want to add to it, based on their own relationship values and needs. No item is to be removed, however, since each is truly essential for a meaningful, happy and lasting love relationship.

ESSENTIAL RELATIONSHIP PROFICIENCY SKILLS 1. Love 1.0. While love is not generally thought of as a skill, it is definitely a required ingredient in a happy, lasting marriage. Love 1.0 means that both partners begin the relationship with a deep love for each other. The term ‘in love’ is appropriate here. DISCLAIMER

2. Love 2.0. This presupposes that both partners are ‘in love’ (see above) and goes to a second and crucial step. Both partners must be proficient at showing, communicating, giving and receiving love. (see below) 3. Maturity. Marriage requires two adult mature partners in order to be successful. Both partners may be physically adult but emotional maturity is also necessary. My experience with couples is that the two most significant reasons that couples break up are immaturity and inadequate communication skills. 4. My Partner is #1. Each partner must feel that they are #1 priority in their lover’s life. Work, children, lifestyle, location and other priorities may be important but must not take the place of their partner’s number one priority. Being #2 or #3 is always a significant obstacle to a marriage. 5. Listening. You can really listen to your partner in stressful and non-stressful situations. One of the greatest (and GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 59

relationships truly rare) gifts that we can give another person, is to truly listen to them. At least 70% of all communication issues between you and your partner will disappear if you stop and listen. 6. Trust. Trust is the bedrock of a healthy, thriving relationship. Everything else stands on this foundation. If you become trustable, you will create safety and a place for openness. 7. Honesty. Honesty and trust are like yin and yang. Each one supports and nourishes the other. Honesty makes a relationship real and reality helps build trust.


8. Vulnerability. Vulnerability means opening your heart to and with your partner. When both partners are consistently vulnerable, intimacy deepens and the relationship grows stronger. 9. Sharing. Let your partner really know who you are, have been and hope to be. Holding back will limit and even damage your relationship possibilities. 10. Take responsibility & admit when you are wrong. The ability to admit your mistakes is crucial in resolving conflict. It takes strength of character to say, ‘I was wrong’.


relationships 11.Support for the other’s goals & needs. Making your partner’s life goals and needs as important as your own creates true partnership. 12.Self-awareness. Have at least a modicum of awareness of your feelings, thoughts and actions both positive and negative. The better you know yourself the better you will be as a person and a partner. 13.Be emotionally intimate. Emotional intimacy is a central part of a healthy, lasting love relationship. Make it your goal to be emotionally open in a positive way every day with your partner. 14.Give love. Saying ‘I love you’ in meaningful ways (from your heart) needs to happen daily. It keeps love alive and helps you avoid taking your lover for granted. 15.Receive love. Receiving love is equally as important as giving love. Opening your heart and allowing your lover’s love to make a difference will be one of your greatest gifts to her or him. 16.Affirm your partner daily. Great relationships are full of affirmation and almost devoid of negativity and criticism. Be specific and enthusiastic with every positive comment about your partner’s special qualities. 17.Accept daily obligations. It is important to handle normal adult obligations willingly and competently. Happy, healthy, lasting love relationships require two adults, not just one person carrying the daily load. DISCLAIMER

18.Fidelity. This means being true to your partner both physically and emotionally. Make him or her the only one every day and there will be no place for infidelity. 19.Precious. See your partner and relationship as precious. Hold your partner and your special connection as precious and you will live each day as a celebration of your love for one another. OK, you read the essential relationship skills list and have done at least a preliminary assessment of how you and your partner are doing. Please take the time to sit together and discuss what you discovered. Do not use the list to make negative judgments about each other. Use it as a check up to see how well you are doing and where you need some improvement. Then make a plan to work on one or two items. Your relationship is worth it. Even a little progress in any of these areas, will make a difference. Quick tip for success: Start with item #16 (your ability and willingness to affirm your partner daily). Sharing more positive affirmations daily will help you in all of the other areas mentioned above. Now get to it and enjoy!

Dr Matthew Anderson has a Doctor of Ministry specialising 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. GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 61

SparkAlive Keeping the

Merie Burton





ome professionals will tell you that maintaining a longterm relationship is as easy as following a few simple steps. On the other hand, I believe that keeping the spark alive in a monogamous, enduring relationship is hard work. Let’s face it, anything that is valuable, precious and rare does not come easily. So, if you want a quick fix for your relationship, this might be a difficult thought to ponder. However, if you are prepared to put in some effort and be intentional about your relationship, this is an article that can be helpful for you and your partner… because keeping the spark alive in your relationship is so vital. One of the key strategies that can help relationships keep the spark alive is to plan intentional time with one another. This sounds like a simple strategy, but life gets busy and one of the first sacrifices that couples often make is ‘date time’. Here’s a link to some apps for suggestions and questions for ‘date night’.

Anything that is valuable, precious & rare does not come easily.


Think back to your first few months together with your partner and imagine the amount of time and effort you put into your relationship. Of course, circumstances will have changed over the years however, healthy relationships thrive with one-on-one ‘intentional’ time. I use the word ‘intentional’ because, this doesn’t just happen. It is important to make an agreement with your partner to spend at least one night a week where your relationship is the focus. You can incorporate many themes to your weekly meeting depending on what you both want. It can be as simple as lighting a few candles and playing some soft music while you share a meal together. If you want to go deeper you could ask each other questions that perhaps you don’t talk about in the daily humdrum of life; hidden aspirations, things that make you cry, people you admire, regrets and fears. This fantastic little book of questions will give you some ideas. The reason for these questions is to let your partner in and to see deeply into you. You could also use your weekly meeting for something fun and light-hearted. Research claims that happy couples tend to laugh together more often, so it doesn’t always have to be deep and profound. Go bowling, take a hand-in-hand walk around the block; be adventurous and spontaneous. The idea is to connect intentionally and say, ‘our relationship is important and we recognise that it takes time and effort, so we want to do this together.’ Some people might be thinking that it can’t be done when kids are involved, careers are demanding and GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 63

relationships responsibilities beckon. However, as I said in the beginning, this is intentional and deliberate work and the rewards are well worth the effort. Research tells us that a happy relationship can enhance a person’s long-term physical and emotional health. So, this article will get you started on an intentional path to connecting with your partner at least once a week, with the aim to keeping the spark alive in your relationship. Use the time however you choose but remind yourselves that a satisfying relationship won’t happen by itself; it happens with time, tenderness and thoughtfulness.

A happy relationship can enhance a person,s long-term physical & emotional health.

strategies are evidence-based theoretical underpinnings to a healthy relationship. However, I also utilise all the strategies that I suggest in my articles on my own marriage of 23 years. So, they are tried and tested on a long-term committed relationship, in a very busy household, filled with children, careers and the normal daily routine. I am pleased to say that intentional board meetings in our home leave us anything but bored!!

Merie Burton is a registered psychotherapist and counsellor and works with individuals, couples and young people in her own counselling practice. Merie runs regular workshops on stress, anxiety, mindfulness and relationships at different locations throughout Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Merie can be contacted via her website.

One last note, I know that when I read articles, I often question the credibility of the author and wonder if they ‘talkthe-talk and walk-the-walk’. The above 64 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE


Kids Ma ers



kids matters



Bounce-back How to

After Giving Birth

––– Dr

Suzanne Henwood & Anwen Robinson –––


ittle prepares us for life as a new mum. In fact, it is possibly the most challenging life experience. After the physically taxing event of giving birth, new mums often wonder how to bounce-back after childbirth. But there is advice and support available to enable you to bounce-back after giving birth and enjoy all that lies ahead. One thing that is essential, is to focus on you, your health and wellbeing, so that you can care for your little ones.

A recent survey carried out by CareerMum showed that 83% of mums of pre-schoolers struggle to make time for their own health and wellbeing and 69% don’t feel they have enough time to themselves. Yet we know that we are at our best and more likely to cope with challenges, when we are looking after ourselves and feeling good. So how can you DISCLAIMER

start to draw energy back towards yourself, recharge and bounce-back to your prechildbirth self? Here are five simple steps – ‘The Five M’s’, that you can implement today to bounceback after giving birth. Start recharging yourself and create habits that will serve you well for the coming years. GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 67

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1. RE-FRAME YOUR MINDSET Motherhood can be tough and it’s normal to feel unsure, overwhelmed and alone at times. Re-framing your mindset to accept this phase as one of the most physically and mentally demanding, is crucial to helping your own wellbeing. That new mum, who’s life appears to be immaculately perfect, doesn’t exist. It is a mirage that we unfairly benchmark ourselves against and allow others to benchmark us against it. So, cut yourself some slack, scale back your expectations, simplify your day and give yourself praise. Tell yourself, ‘I am doing my best’; ‘I am doing a good job’.

2. MAKE ‘ME-TIME’ NONNEGOTIABLE Scheduling time for yourself is a basic human need that is crucial to you and your child’s wellbeing. Beyond breastfeeding, there is nothing that a mum does that no-one else can step in and do, so plan in non-negotiable time for you, ideally every day. Even if it is just ten minutes with a cup of tea or to get some fresh air. Tell yourself, ‘I am important’; ‘My health and wellbeing are important’.

3. MEETING WITH OTHERS It might feel like an enormous effort, but finding and creating opportunities to meet others is essential and will offer you a sense of freedom and belonging. So, have a daybag at the ready and a routine for getting out the door. Changing your environment, interacting with other adults, sharing 68 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

experiences and sharing a laugh, are great ways to energise your day and lift your spirits. Tell yourself, ‘Getting out is good for me and the baby’; ‘I am not alone’.

4. RE-IDENTIFY YOURSELF – CREATE THE NEW ME As a mum you take on a new identity and it can take time to adjust. You can simultaneously feel a loss for the old you and be unsure of who you are now. Be patient with yourself as you adjust, embrace all of who you are and focus on celebrating each journey. The different identities may feel worlds apart but they are an important part of you and you may find that one day, they will start weaving themselves together. Tell yourself, ‘I can rediscover myself and find opportunities in my new journey’.

5. MINDFULNESS The time will fly by quickly and we can easily lose time thinking about what we could have done better yesterday and what might go wrong tomorrow. But this day – this moment is precious. Take time to just ‘be’ with your baby. Breathe gently and evenly, noticing the feeling of your breath. Lay the baby on your chest and let the baby feel your breath and heartbeat, humming and singing gently. Just feel a deep adoration and appreciation for the new life you are holding and the relationship they have with you. This not only feels good for both of you, it is an essential component of the development of the child’s nervous system. SUBSCRIBE

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Tell yourself, ‘I am enough’; ‘I can do this’. It is OK to be finding the journey of motherhood tough. It is tough. And with every new stage comes a different set of challenges. Forming good habits and making time for our own health and wellbeing is essential to embrace those challenges and to enjoy

the experience of motherhood. But those habits won’t form themselves. So, focus on yourself right now and select the one ‘M’ you are going to start with and each week add in another ‘M’. By caring for yourself – you are caring exquisitely for your baby. And you will see that bouncing-back after giving birth is totally possible.

Dr Suzanne Henwood is the Director and Lead Coach and Trainer of mBraining4Success. She 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. Anwen Robinson is the founder of CareerMum; a social enterprise that recognises the challenges faced by women after having children and the need to improve the workplace experiences of mums. Read more at her website. DISCLAIMER


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Tips for Parenting

Part 1

Leanne Allen


et’s face it…parenting toddlers can be the most amazing, fun, cute, adventurous time of your life…or it can be sheer hell! Interestingly the words ‘Terrible Two’s’ seems to be an expected part of a toddler’s life – but does it need to be? It seems that between the ages of around 18 months and three years, toddlers begin to figure out that they can do things for themselves. And they want to try everything by themselves! This is a normal part of growing up. They are finding independence and it can be quite frustrating for some parents. So, what are some tips for parenting toddlers? Below are a few simple ideas about how to prepare for this journey. If you’re already in it then great – perhaps these suggestions will offer you some new ideas to add to your bag of tricks.

1. BE PATIENT. Slow down! Toddlers do not think like you do. They have been alive for a very short period of time and everything is an exploration. Get into your child’s model of the world. That is, get yourself down on the floor so that your eyes are at the same level and see what he sees. Everything is so big down there! DISCLAIMER

Talk to your child using plain language. Slow down your voice a little and do not yell. If you yell, he will simply yell louder. When talking to your child never look down at him. Try being a child with another adult. Sit on the floor with the adult standing close to you. Now look up. Imagine how your child feels. It’s far nicer for your child to be brought up to your level by putting him on a chair or table or for you to get down on his level, whichever is safer for you both.

2. LET THEM DO IT. If it is safe to do so, allow your toddler to try things on her own. If she wants to choose


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an outfit to wear that is mismatched, does it really matter? If you have somewhere special to go, then perhaps choose a couple of outfits and let her choose one. That way she feels like she has some say. Do this the night before to avoid conflict when you are rushing around trying to get ready the next morning. Allowing your child to make choices, helps her build confidence in herself and the world around her.

3. CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. When locked in a dispute with your toddler, always ask yourself, ‘how important is this battle? Is it OK for my child to win this one?’ Sometimes he has to win – it’s good for his self-esteem and psychological development. Plus, the more resistant you are to allow him independence, the more of a battle you will find yourself in. 72 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

Conversely, if you do everything for your child he will develop a thinking that he cannot achieve anything on his own. In the next are article, Tips for Parenting Toddlers Part 2, we will be discussing five more tips to equip you during this time with your toddlers. These tips include, reflect feelings back to them, tell them what is going on, play with them, turn off the screen and watch what you feed them.

Leanne Allen (BA Psych), Is the principle psychologist at Reconnect Psychology Wellness Centre. Leanne has trained in Sandplay Therapy, NLP and CBT and has also just completed training as a life coach. Her approach is to look forward while releasing the trauma of the past. You may leave a comment on her Facebook page. SUBSCRIBE


Tips for Parenting

Part 2

Leanne Allen



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the previous article, Tips for Parenting Toddlers Part 1, we discussed three important tips to help those of you who are at the stage of parenting toddlers. These tips included ‘being patient’, ‘let them do it’ and ‘choose your battles’. For young toddlers, they are just beginning a remarkable phase of independence. During this time, they are starting to see themselves as separate from you, their caregiver. Prior to this, they saw themselves as a part of you. Their world literally revolved around you and they relied on you for everything.

Here are some more tips for parenting toddlers to help you walk this exciting, yet sometimes challenging journey.

1. REFLECT FEELINGS BACK TO THEM. Children, from newborns to teenagers, need to learn how to express themselves. This process can start from the very beginning of life. Saying, ‘I know that you are feeling angry and frustrated’, is far better than ‘Stop that yelling!!!!’ This teaches the language of feelings. Acknowledge how your toddler feels and let her know that you understand her. It helps if you get down into her space. It also allows you time to quickly think of what to do next.

2. TELL THEM WHAT IS GOING ON. By telling toddlers what is happening at that moment and how things are going to happen in the future, you take away their anxiety. Put yourself in their shoes - you are happily playing and suddenly someone whisks you away to eat, or change a nappy or go somewhere. How happy would you be about that? Saying things like, ‘Emily, we need to change your nappy and then you can come back and play’, is so much better than just 74 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

changing their nappy. Tell your toddler what is happening every step of the way. It may sound silly, but it does work. And yes, you can do this with infants to.

3. PLAY WITH THEM. Toddlers want and need lots of attention. The more attention they have in a good way, the less likely they are to try and get it in other ways. From their point of view any attention is better than nothing. Busy parents, the Internet, TV, socialising and other children, can all mean that sometimes toddlers miss out. Playing with your toddler can make a huge difference! Just have fun with them! Go crazy. Do what you liked to do as a kid. Go outside, get dirty, take risks, get wet, play hide and seek, laugh and tickle. Do whatever you want just have fun! And by the way, the benefits to you will also be awesome.

4. TURN OFF THE SCREEN (IPHONES, TABLETS, COMPUTERS, TV). Research has shown that toddlers and young children should not be playing with electronic devices. They will play with other and more traditional toys if you give them a chance. When you go out, take colouring books and crayons or other SUBSCRIBE

kids matters small toys with you. At this young age, overuse of tablets and mobile phones is not good for a child’s development. There are many articles on this topic from around the world so have a read and decide what is best for your toddler. The most important thing to learn from this is that YOU are the most important thing that your child needs to play with! A living, breathing human is better than any computer animation! The Learn Fast website has an interesting article on the role of tablets and other electronic devices entitled Are iPads Making Children Slow to Learn. What the article highlights is that parent communication is as important as ever, so don’t try to substitute your personal interactions with ‘fun’ activities on the computer.

5. WATCH WHAT YOU FEED THEM. When you feed toddlers a lot of sugar… you will regret it! Avoid all fizzy drinks


and junk food as much as you can. At this age, they are learning how to eat. So, if you give them water regularly, it is a great way to get them into the habit of drinking water in preference to sweetened drinks. Children’s brains are very malleable, so giving toddlers examples of good habits now, will be forever a lifetime lesson. So, be patient while letting your toddler develop their independence. It can be an incredibly rich and rewarding time. I do hope that these tips for parenting toddlers will help make this particular time for you and your toddler be ‘The Terrific Twos’.

Leanne Allen (BA Psych), Is the principle psychologist at Reconnect Psychology Wellness Centre. Leanne has trained in Sandplay Therapy, NLP and CBT and has also just completed training as a life coach. Her approach is to look forward while releasing the trauma of the past. You may leave a comment on her Facebook page.


© Antalya Developments Pty Ltd 2018 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 March/April 2018  

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