Your calendar age doesn’t define you

Break free from the birthday shackle © Glowimages – models used for illustrative purposes
Break free from the birthday shackle © Glowimages – models used for illustrative purposes

Do you believe that you are you are ‘as young as you feel’? That you’re free to take charge of your own health, happiness and wellbeing, no matter what your age?

In frustration at some of the ingrained beliefs about aging that he saw shackling his colleagues and friends as they grew older, an American baseball legend asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” implying that you need to break out of the mental conditioning that makes you think you are defined by your age.

The calendar is a useful way to let you know the date, but if you let yourself be hemmed in by your chronological age, you may lock yourself out of potentially valuable opportunities.

Nextgen population researchers have recognised the greater import of health, cognitive function and life expectancy rather than age data as they plan for future populations. “We should not consider someone who is 60 or 65 to be an older person,” said researcher Sergei Scherbov. “Saying that ‘40 is the new 30’ .. is truer than people know.”Continue Reading

Working with the Whole Person: Interview with Petrea King

Petrea King talks to Kay Stroud for Holistic Bliss Magazine
Petrea King talks to Kay Stroud for Holistic Bliss Magazine

Read this cover story article where it was published in the February 2014 issue of Holistic Bliss Magazine….

Put simply, the standard prescribed way of treating disease needs to be reviewed and reworked.

This was the message that Petrea King and many of the health practitioners conveyed at the AIMA 19th Integrative Medicine Conference held at the Gold Coast late last year.

Following her workshop, King agreed to talk with me about her work and what she sees as the future of healthcare in Australia. Qualified naturopath, herbalist, clinical hypnotherapist, yoga and meditation teacher, author, founder and CEO of the Quest for Life Foundation, she has been instrumental in healing individuals and communities after tragedies such as the Queensland floods and is regularly sought after as a counsellor and commentator on integrative therapies on ABC Radio.

“… the whole relatively new science of epigenetics shows us that we have to move from treating diseases to treating people”Continue Reading

Want better health? Resolve to ‘think positive’ in 2014

How to become a change-agent in 2014 © Glowimages
How to become a change-agent in 2014 © Glowimages

Have you been following The Paradise on TV? Maybe you went to see the second movie in The Hunger Games trilogy or The Book Thief during the holiday season?

Some of us identify more intensely with the characters on the big screen, but it seems that we all love following an intelligent, positive hero as he or she conquers fear, stays cool and becomes a change-agent in the world.

Their success begs the question: Is it good luck, good genes, ‘right place, right time’ or positive thinking that makes the difference?

And how about in real life?

Digital natives lead way to an ‘unselfie’ New Year

Digital natives lead way to an ‘unselfie’ New Year © Glowimages – model used for illustrative purposes
Digital natives lead way to an ‘unselfie’ New Year © Glowimages – model used for illustrative purposes

“Our generation doesn’t send Christmas cards”, asserted my 30-year-old daughter when I complained about writing them. She followed up with, “I’ll be sending an e-card like last year”.

Whatever your position about handwritten Christmas cards versus e-cards (I’m in both camps this year), you’d have to admit that for most, it’s not so much about having a physical item or possession that counts.

In a digital age, we no longer need to possess an object to give and receive cards, listen to music, to watch videos or to read a book. Things are disappearing right before our eyes, as the dematerialization of society escalates.

Young people view ownership and the act of consumption as far less important today than being part of the perpetual feedback loop of social media and online personas, reports a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Let’s celebrate the ‘spirit’ that’s disabling limitations

Celebrating the ‘spirit’ that disables limitations © Glowimages
Celebrating the ‘spirit’ that disables limitations © Glowimages

“Break barriers and open doors: to realise an inclusive society for all”, urges the United Nations in its brief for International Day of People with Disability, celebrated earlier this month.

Well, those doors are opening at  Aware Industries in Albury-Wodonga. Aware’s best practice tools, procedures and support mechanisms enable people with disability to work productively and effectively. Similar to Endeavour Foundation services in Queensland and western Sydney, their strong workforce manufacture and distribute timber products and offer mail/despatch services, as well as food, light engineering and packaging services for the community.

My niece really likes working on the marketing team there. She says that the love and support for her from the workers there is palpable.

Spiritual intelligence now the gold standard for success in business

SQ: The gold standard for success in business © Glowimages – models used for illustrative purpose
SQ: The gold standard for success in business © Glowimages – models used for illustrative purpose

It was entertaining watching advertising executive and media personality Tod Sampson try to ramp up his ability to process and retain information and react quickly in the ABC’s recent Redesign My Brain series. As the weeks progressed, these skills, as well as his divergent and lateral thinking improved impressively.

However, as Neil Levy, Head of Neuroethics at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health suggests “it’s not obvious that enhancing lateral and divergent thinking actually leads to an increase in the kinds of creativity we value”, at home or in the workplace. He admits that there is evidence though that some of the skills learned can combat age-related decline.

Many individuals and businesses are seeking ways to enhance abilities, find the key to creativity, open the door to better relationship management, and get worker buy-in to the business.Continue Reading

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