Movember declares all men have capacity for better health

Spirituality positively impacts men’s health © Glowimages – models used for illustrative purpose

Spirituality positively impacts men’s health © Glowimages – models used for illustrative purpose

I’m re-posting this 2012 piece for Movember 2013. It’s been published in this format on Noosa NewsFraser Coast Chronicle and Coffs Coast Advocate.

Love and devotion just shone from my son-in-law’s face as we watched him gently bathe his new daughter for the first time in the hospital. When so much attention is focussed on mum and bub it’s so important to celebrate the indispensable supportive traits and contributions of the male of the species.

During November each year, Movember “is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces around the world” with an aim to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer and male mental health.

According to the statistics listed on this website, it’s expected 1 in 2 Australian men will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85; around 1 in 5 men experience mental illness in any given 12 month period; and, over 85% of suicides are men – that’s 5 every day in Australia. Dire statistics indeed!

So many of my male family members and friends share dynamic focus, an uncomplicated life direction, unswerving loyalty and a commitment to and love of science. But could it be a sole focus on physical science that hinders men’s quest to be healthier?Continue Reading

Care that brings deep change

@Glowimages 060201a0012.

Dementia Dogs help the “deeply forgetful” to reconnect © Glowimages – model used for illustrative purposes

People are living longer and enjoying better health, and today’s 90 year olds are mentally sharper than their predecessors, reports the Lancet. This is great news for many!

What’s more, the numbers of over 80s with dementia in Australia may be set to fall (currently stats stand at 25%). A new study has found that dementia rates among people 65 and older in the UK have plummeted by 25 percent over the past two decades, a trend that researchers say is probably occurring across developed countries and is linked to a healthier and better educated population.

These findings dispute the alarming predictions by advocacy groups and some public health officials of escalating numbers of dementia sufferers, as baby boomers age.Continue Reading

Women opt to take a different sort of health pledge

Women find a spiritual approach to wellbeing

Women find a spiritual approach for wellbeing © Glowimages

Picture this. A young mum powering around the front lawn behind a lawn mower, baby in the pouch on her chest screaming his head off.

Reserve your judgement, because in a very short time he has calmed down owing to the monotonous noise and rhythm. The mother has used her wisdom, love and creativity to avert several hours of frustration for them both.Continue Reading

Do this one thing on Daffodil Day

© Stock photos/Glowimages – model used for illustrative purposes

© Stock photos/Glowimages – model used for illustrative purposes

Like me, you too may choose to support Daffodil Day, the annual event to raise funds to help support the Cancer Council’s research, prevention and patient support services. I usually can’t resist the temptation to buy a bunch or two of daffodils as I pass through the supermarket checkouts lined with buckets of them.

By all means, go ahead and buy some, but whatever you do, do this one thing.

Take charge of how you think about your health.Continue Reading

The common denominator that keeps Sam Johnson, Abbott, Rudd, Obama and Clive Berghofer healthy

Sam Johnson www.loveyoursister.org

Sam Johnson www.loveyoursister.org

We’re used to seeing our leaders striding out on their early morning power-walks or competing in marathons. Some of them are pretty good examples of keeping fit and healthy – mentally and physically. All power to them! It’s cool to be fit.

We think it’s also rather cool to support the conservation movement by investing in alternative power solutions and participating in water and other conservation measures. It makes us feel good, and politicians who appear to support these initiatives gain our respect, too.

Society is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. As we’ve ditched outdated world views and popular opinions, more and more of us have started to realise that minority groups, like those with disabilities, gays and asylum seekers, suffer from prejudices and circumstances and need to be given a fair go. It’s super cool to show your support and acceptance, politician or not. It makes us feel good.

And the efforts of individuals and charities raising money for medical research seem to ‘take the cake’ as the coolest of cool deeds. Who doesn’t glow with goodwill as we watch Sam Johnson unicycle around Australia to raise a million dollars for Breast Cancer research for the love of his sister, or applaud Clive Berghofer’s $50 million generously donated to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

But wait a minute. Continue Reading

There’s a change coming to the sick room

© Stock photos/Glowimages - models used for illustrative purposes

© Stock photos/Glowimages – models used for illustrative purposes

Spirituality may no longer be part of a ‘hidden curriculum’ in medical schools

There is increasing acceptance, both in the community and in the medical fraternity that we benefit from a holistic approach to healthcare. From a patient perspective, being consulted about their spirituality is important to Australians, and there’s a general belief that spirituality helps recovery.

These assertions formed the opening part of Associate Professor Kellie Bennett’s presentation at the recent Compassion, Spirituality and Health Conference held earlier this month in Adelaide.Continue Reading

Are we all now on the same mind, body, spirit page?

© Stock photos/Glowimages – model used for illustrative purpose

© Stock photos/Glowimages – model used for illustrative purpose

A couple of weeks ago, thousands of people attended the Mind Body Spirit Festival in Brisbane. I made my way there through the gloomy weather on Sunday, to find a really ‘happening’ event, a lot like the Health Harmony and Soul Expo held on the Gold Coast earlier in the year.

There were a surprising number of Millennials and Gen Ys amongst the Baby Boomers and Gen Xs in attendance, as ready to explore the ideas of philosophy and religion, as they were to try out the organic tea or get their ‘reading’.

I got the impression that there was general agreement between those on stands and within their vibrant audience that health is about very much more than treating a body.Continue Reading

Expect health! Expectation can be a self-fulfilling prophecy

© Stock photo/Glowimages

© Stock photo/Glowimages

“Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can”, exclaims Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), the hero of Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, now showing in cinemas.

While Gatsby, the billionaire with shady business connections, may not be the ideal role model, you’ve got to give him full marks for his tenacity, vision and expectancy! Starting out life in poverty and misery, he turned his life around to achieve his boyhood dream of wealth and security. His aspirations, expectations and capability enabled him to succeed, as he focussed on the grand possibilities, rather than the roadblocks.

Maybe his background and life experience hadn’t equipped him to realise the underpinning significance of honesty, humility and compassion for a fuller, more complete view of himself … and others … and to achieve true happiness.Continue Reading

5 TIPS TO ALL ROUND BETTER HEALTH

1. Hope

Hope is the stuff of change, recovery and healing, according to Dr Shane Lopez, author of the new book Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others,.“Hope is half optimism. The other half is the belief in the power that you can make it so”, writes Lopez.

Hopeful people make an investment in the future that pays off in the present: in the way they eat, exercise, conserve energy, take care of themselves and stick to their treatment plan. He suggests that this sort of “change in mind-set has the power to alter neurochemistry”.Continue Reading

Palliative Care: Seeing a higher view

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At the end, it was an ‘uplifting’ experience. However, a couple of months ago I felt ill-prepared for the emotional turmoil that was sure to surface and the decision-making that would be required. I honestly felt like making a run for it.

After 93 years of living a very active life full of work, sport, hobbies and family, Dad wasn’t recovering after an illness and we decided that better care and medical testing were needed. Following admission to hospital and countless medical examinations, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given only two months to live.Continue Reading