Results of DLO customer survey 2020

Thank you to the participants who provided opinions about our business which will be used continually to improve our service to best meet your needs.


About Des Lardner’s Organic Result






Q1 Opportunity of contacting the store by telephone when necessary 89.6 87 94
Q2 General appearance of the store (cleanliness) 93.7 100 98
Q3 Availability of privacy where you could speak without being overheard, if needed) 87.5 99 98
Q4 Extent to which your personal information is kept confidential by staff 89.4 99 92


About the Staff (whom you just saw) Result






Q5 Overall satisfaction with my discussion with the staff was…. 94.1 100 96  
Q6 The initial greeting by the staff was… 98.7 100 96  
Q7 On this visit I would rate the staff’s ability to really listen to me as.. 93.8 99 96  
Q8 The staff’s explanations of things to me were… 89 99 96  
Q9 The extent to which I trust this person is… 94 94 98  
Q10 The opportunity the staff gave me to express my concerns or fears was… 90 98 93  
Q11 My confidence in this staff member’s knowledge of medicine and health products is… 90.3 98 98  
Q12 The respect shown to me by this person was… 93.3 100 90  
                Other Issues Result






Q13 The information provided by this store about how to prevent illness and healthy (skin care, health risks, weight loss, diet habits) was… 86.3 100 97


Q14 My overall satisfaction with this business 92.3 99 94


How old are you? Are you: How often do you visit the store?
Under 30  3%         Female   77%            Less than 5 times      13%
          30-59       58%         Male       23%           5-10 times                   38%
         60 plus     45%             More than 10 times  49%


About Hayfever and Allergies


Spring is just around the corner and with days lengthening rapidly and temperatures promised to increase, it’s a great time of the year for most of us. However, growing numbers of allergy patients however, don’t look forward to spring at all. For those with individuals with allergies, the increase in pollens and flower scents in the wind only add to their misery: Symptoms like runny noses, itchy roof of the mouth and weeping, red, bloodshot eyes, tell us the sadder side of spring. If you are one of those who suffer during spring then now is the time to act, before spring symptoms start in earnest. Our naturopaths experience is that allergy is best treated early, so book an appointment with our naturopaths Emily or Ebony today, before the full  hayfever season hits in earnest.

An inflammatory response is responsible for common hay fever symptoms including:

  • Itchy eyes and nose,
  • Nasal congestion,
  • Sneezing,
  • Watery eyes,
  • Dark circles of puffy eyes,
  • Itchy throat or ears,
  • Ear congestion,
  • Postnasal drip,
  • Headaches,
  • Wheezing or coughing and
  • Hives or itchy skin



Treatments for Hay Fever        

Our treatment includes products like Flavoblend, a powder containing Bromelain, an ingredient from pineapple, that breaks down allergenic substances in the stomach to prevent these substances causing allergies, Flavoblend also contains Vitamin C which stablilizes mast cells, a major cause of allergy. Fusion allergy is also helpful, it’s a 400 year old Chinese remedy for allergies.

Conventional treatments for hay fever include cortisone nasal sprays and antihistamine medications (which block the effects of histamine), these treatments simply suppress your immune response and your symptoms will return once you stop taking the medication.

An approach which aims to address the underlying cause of immune system hyperactivity, and builds immune tolerance, is most effective for managing hay fever and ensuring long term relief from symptoms.

Immune tolerance can be improved by supporting the functioning of the immune system and boosting your body’s production of immune cells (called T regulatory cells). Research indicates there is a connection between the gut microbiome and immune reactivity, therefore treatment which addresses gut health is also important. Stress also plays a key role in immune system health. Findings ways to reduce your exposure to environmental toxins and manage stress is crucial for building immune tolerance.


What can I do?

Our top tips for managing hay fever naturally:

  1. Once you have Hay fever symptoms ensure you are COVID-19 tested , if you have no further symptoms during the season no need to be retested. However if symptoms increase or change ensure you are retested.
  2. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet including fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, wild-caught fish and organic, free-range meat, and gluten-free grains (e.g. quinoa, buckwheat, millet).
  3. Avoid histamine foods such as tomato, pickled foods (e.g. kimchi, sauerkraut), and fruits high in histamines such as papaya, kiwi fruit, grapes and plums.
  4. Consume immune-building and gut repairing medicinal mushrooms such as reishi and shiitake, and medicinal herbs such as baical skullcap and perilla.
  5. Find useful ways to manage stress (e.g. exercise, walks in nature, listening to music, breathing techniques, or mindfulness meditation).
  6. Download ‘Melbourne Pollen Count’ app to help monitor days where your symptoms may be worse than others due to high amounts of pollen in the air.


How we can help                     

If you’d like a customised, holistic treatment plan to help improve your immune tolerance and manage hay fever naturally, call 0353827766 and book a consultation with our Naturopaths.

Our naturopaths are amongst the best in their field.  They use cutting edge research, technology and testing to guide there patients to improved health.  To ensure the best results, our approach is personalised and integrates diet, lifestyle and nutritional advice.  For more information on personalising a treatment plan to treat your hay fever contact us today.

Where Did My Motivation Go? Reflections on major social change and isolation

As a health professional operating throughout the covid-19 pandemic, I had the chance to make some interesting and perplexing observations of both myself and my clients. I found the advent of social isolation and restrictions a fascinating study in human behaviour. For example: How many people have done the opposite to what they thought they would do, given more time away from work and other people’s influences, especially with health goals? How many have reverted to old habits or even established new ones that didn’t exist before e.g. having a sneaky drink every night to unwind or eating foods that they would normally avoid? From my observations, I would say the answer is ‘oodles of people’. One of the consequences we have seen is a surge of weight gain in the population, we even cheekily refer to it as the dreaded ‘covid-kilos.’ These reflections are not a judgement, but simply a prompt for further questions on why this is the case for so many people.

On pondering these questions, I have come up with two likely explanations:

  1. The lack of opportunity to forward plan and set goals undermines our capacity to stay focussed and on track. When our ‘goal posts’ are taken away, it begs the questions what do we aim for? What is the point if there is no measurable outcome or achievement to gauge the end point? Also, and possibly most importantly, why do it if I don’t need to, who will hold me accountable, who will even see me or notice? This leaves us with the proverbial ‘if a tree falls in the forest’ scenario, if there is no one there to perceive what has happened, it makes us question whether it really matters what choices we make for ourselves.
  2. Stress overrides all. The biological process of our stress response can have us going into survival mode for self-preservation and the protection of loved ones. The choices we make under these circumstances are often far different from ones that we would make in a privileged situation where we are purely aiming for optimal health. Furthermore, the psychological and mindset obstacles that exist within us will inevitably trip us up and hijack our efforts under stressful circumstances, if left unaddressed.

In an earlier blog, I outlined the many obstacles to weight loss. As we have noticed the ‘covid-kilos’ creep on, I thought it was a great time to expand the discussion on the psychological and mindset obstacles.

“Self-limiting thoughts, catastrophic thinking, emotional or situational triggers, lack of accurate education and lack of support to implement solutions are all very real obstacles to weight loss.”1,2

Self -limiting thoughts, could also be described as self-sabotage and putting mental restrictions around what you think you can achieve. Some examples of internal stories that people tell them themselves could be that: you are “destined to fail”, you “haven’t been able to maintain motivation before”, “nothing has worked in the past”, your health “is too complex”, you are “too far gone” or “in the too hard basket”, you are “not worthwhile focussing on”, you “do not have the time / resources / will to focus on your own health” and the story of “nurturer” who is so busy focussing on supporting everyone else rather than themselves.

Catastrophic thinking is the old chestnut that everyone has likely experienced, whereby if you make a poor choice for your own health, you’ll continue doing it (and worse) because you figure that you’ve ‘blown it’ anyway. This thought process might sound something like, “I have mucked up already, might as well make the most out of it and write off the rest of the day” (or week…or month). This catastrophic thinking could be in relation to food choices, but also other habits including alcohol consumption, smoking and other recreational drugs.

Emotional or situational triggers can often correlate with eating problems. Note that when I say ‘eating problems’ this includes eating disorders like bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, but also includes disordered eating behaviours like deliberately skipping meals, lack of control over eating, binge eating, emotionally compensating with food and obsessive thoughts around food and exercise.3 Common triggers might be boredom, sadness, perceived stress, hormonal mood changes, certain times of the day, financial stress, family stress, trauma related stress, non-supportive people, but also social pressures like wanting to fit in with the group during celebrations, gatherings or eating times. People that have diagnosable mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and addiction disorders are likely to have additional challenges in implementing weight loss strategies.4,5 World renowned researcher, author and public speaker Doctor Pamela Peeke (MD) has stated that women that have had perceived trauma in their past have a 90% increased risk of an addictive eating pattern6,7 This is an extraordinary and compelling statement to contemplate. It is also backed by research studies that show people who present with disordered eating report a history of traumatic event/s in 80- 98% of cases8,9 , the likelihood of an eating disorder in adulthood also increases with the number of traumas a young person is exposed to.10 We seriously need to consider the impact of sexual abuse, physical abuse and/or the abuse of a close role model when assessing the difficulties and obstacles to achieving optimum health in both women and men. Also, to not discount the death of a significant person, dysfunctional family environments involving drug abuse, incarcerations, separation and divorce in people’s histories as a driving factor for dysfunctional eating behaviours. None of these traumatic events are easily overcome or dismissed. Self-destructive eating behaviours may only be the tip of the iceberg, symptomatic of a more significant underlying cause, requiring much greater support and acknowledgement than just the implementation lifestyle changes.11

If some of these psychological and mindset obstacles are starting to ring a bell for you, maybe it is worth considering that there is more to your issues than meets the eye. The psychological barriers are the ones that we often must overcome and keep working on over a lifetime to maintain any positive results that we have gained and not keep rebounding into old negative habits. Over my twenty plus years of being a Naturopath with a special and personal interest in weight maintenance, I have observed that the psychological aspects of people have been key contributors in compounding weight issues.

So how do we set health goals in the context of stress, lingering restrictions and future uncertainty? Sometimes it is just by putting one foot in front of the other and making some short-term goals as they appear, however small they are. Additionally, by inviting some routine back into life using gateway behaviours like exercising and establishing regular sleeping, eating and relaxation times, you would be opening up the pathway for better health outcomes. It is useful to support that process as needed with detailed professional advice and coaching, and of course mental and emotional assistance by health professionals that are qualified to do so. Getting the additional professional support that you require is a key to success because it:

  • provides a way to gain clear information and guidelines, plus external acknowledgement, accountability and feedback for you to define your particular issues and aims
  • helps to monitor your progress in achieving short-term and longer-term goals through standardised assessments
  • helps refer you to other services that are more specialised for your needs
  • helps you to reassess your goals along the way using realistic timeframes, so you can continue to do well.

While motivation and focus may have waned across the board recently, now is the time to reflect, take stock and edge towards a healthier version of yourself. Remembering to be kind to yourself and seek help through that process.

Written by Emily Grieger – Naturopath.


1.Fuemmeler BF, Dedert E, McClernon FJ, Beckham JC. Adverse childhood events are associated with obesity and disordered eating: results from a U.S. population-based survey of young adults. J Trauma Stress. 2009;22(4):329-333.

2.Kelley CP, Sbrocco G, Sbrocco T. Behavioural modification for the management of obesity. Primary Care. 2016;43(1):159-175.

3.Grieger E. Obstacles to Weight Loss. Des Lardner’s Organic Natural Health Clinic. 2020 Mar 4.

4.Rajan T, Menon V. Psychiatric disorders and obesity: A review of association studies. J Postgrad Med. 2017;63(3):182-190.

5.Grieger E. Obstacles to Weight Loss. Des Lardner’s Organic Natural Health Clinic. 2020 Mar 4.

6.Peeke P. Obesity: Science and Challenges. Presentation at the 2018 International Congress of Natural Medicine, Pullman and Mercure Melbourne, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. 2018 Jun 9.

7.Mason SM, Flint AJ, Field AE, Austin SB, Rich-Edwards JW. Abuse victimization in childhood or adolescence and risk of food addiction in adult women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013;21(12):E775-E781.

8.Mitchell KS, Mazzeo SE, Schlesinger MR, Brewerton TD, Smith BN. Comorbidity of partial and subthreshold ptsd among men and women with eating disorders in the national comorbidity survey-replication study. Int J Eat Disord. 2012;45(3):307-315.

9.Tagay S, Schlottbohm E, Reyes-Rodriguez ML, Repic N, Senf W. Eating disorders, trauma, PTSD, and psychosocial resources. Eat Disord. 2014;22(1):33-49.

10.Hemingsson E, Johansson K, Reynisdottir S. Effects of childhood abuse on adult obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2014 Nov;15(11):882-93.

11.Breland JY, Donalson R, Dinh JV, Maguen S. Trauma exposure and disordered eating: A qualitative study. Women Health. 2018;58(2):160-174.

5 Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep And Faster Recovery During a Cold or Flu…


No. 1. Try a CPAP Humidifier

When you have a cold, the air blown into your nostrils by your CPAP machine can be unbearable.

A heated humidifier helps relieve dryness and congestion by heating the water in your machine. Even without a cold, your CPAP therapy may be enhanced by using a heated humidifier. Many CPAP machines now come with a built-in humidifier. You can also use humidifiers that attach to your machine or a stand-alone humidifier in your room may provide relief.


No. 2. Use a Full-Face Mask

Using a nasal mask during a cold may be uncomfortable. Especially if your nose is blocked, you’re more likely to breathe through your mouth which will affect your CPAP therapy.

A full face mask allows you to breathe through either your nose or mouth and is more comfortable during a cold compared to a nasal mask or nasal pillows.

If you suffer from allergies or regular colds having the option of a full-face mask is worth the investment.

Important to know also when to replace your mask and this is generally 6 to 12 months and headgear just as often, there are 5 signs to tell when your CPAP mask needs replacing:

  1. Not feeling as refreshed as you would normally or your therapy results are decreasing;
  2. The mask’s seal, which covers your nose and mouth, is originally clear and strong however with regular use becomes discoloured and does not provide a sufficient seal.
  3. Waking up with a dry mouth sometimes can be a sign that your mask needs replacing as air leaks cause a fluctuation in the mask’s air pressure and your mouth opens to compensate.
  4. If the mask becomes loose, because of overtightening and the pressure may leave temporary grooves or irritation on your skin.
  5. If the elastic is torn, worn out or lost shape which occurs overtime due to sweating, movement, tightening and cleaning. Replace your mask.




No. 3. Change Your Sleeping Position

Raise your head with extra pillows or a wedge pillow will assist you greatly especially if you have postnasal drip that can build up and make your throat sore. If it’s comfortable to do so, try sleeping on your side if your nose is blocked.

Sinus pressure improves when your head is higher than your body.


No. 4. Try Decongestants or Nasal Sprays

Cold and flu tablets or nasal sprays can help keep your nasal passages clear.

There are lots of over the counter cold and flu tablets. Make sure your symptoms match what is listed on the box.

It’s best to ask your GP/pharmacist about the right medication to relieve your symptoms. Here at Des Lardner’s Organic we can also provide a range of products that may assist.




No. 5. Change Your Air Pressure

You may need additional air pressure as part of your CPAP therapy if you have a blocked nose.

An easy way to do this is to use an auto-adjusting CPAP machine.

Traditional CPAP machines blow a single flow of air whereas an auto CPAP machine uses algorithms to blow pressure at automatically regulated intervals.

Auto CPAP machines only blow the minimum pressure needed to keep your airway open while you sleep.

 If you suffer from colds regularly or you have seasonal allergies it may be worth investing in an auto CPAP machine for a more comfortable night’s sleep.

You may be tempted to take a break from CPAP when you have a cold. The good news is that you don’t have to. Following these simple tips not only helps you endure your CPAP therapy with a cold, it will also help you recover more quickly. Remember to clean your CPAP machine thoroughly during and after your cold.

If you require assistance during this phase don’t hesitate to call Sleep Therapist, Julie Rees or Des Lardner, on ph: 03 53 827 766.


Probiotics and Immunity

Up to 70% of your immune system is located within your gut, therefore taking probiotics can directly influence your immune system and strengthen your defenses against cold and flu.

Studies show probiotics confer protection against bacterial, viral and pathogenic infections in a number of ways:

  • By managing inflammation,
  • By directly killing or neutralising pathogens,
  • By managing the overgrowth of pathogenics or opportunistic bacteria by competing for space,
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM®) strain interacts with specific immune cells which help to module the immune response,
  • Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (HN019™) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001™) both improve natural killer cell activity; natural killer cells recognise and kill the cells in someone’s body that have been infected by viruses or tumours.
  • Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (HN019™), Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001™) and Bifidobacterium lactis (Bi-07) improve the activity of phagocytes, such as neutrophils and monocytes, which are like Pac-Man and protect the body by engulfing bacteria and dead or dying cells.

Not all probiotics are the same.

Probiotics have long names to identify exactly what type of organism is in your supplement. The first name is called the genus of the bacterium, and is most commonly Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. The second name is called the species (e.g. acidophilus), the species narrows down the bacterium class but clinically doesn’t give you enough information. The most important part of the name is the strain; the letters and/or numbers at the end of the name (e.g. NCFM®). This tells us exactly which probiotic was used in clinical studies, and ensures you have that exact same strain in your supplement to mimic a similar treatment outcome. Probiotics can help to manage a number of different conditions such as allergies, mood, diarrhoea, constipation, leaky gut, cardiovascular disease and infections. Therefore, it is essential that you choose the correct strain for you and the health condition you are aiming to treat.

In combination with a strain-specific probiotic we recommend a plant-based diet. Plant-based diets containing a large variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grain fibres every day ensures you are consuming a diverse range of prebiotic foods to feed your probiotics and support a healthy microbiome. Other microbiome enhancing foods include cultured and fermented foods such as yoghurt, kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir. In a consultation we may also prescribe the additional prebiotic herbal medicines high in polysaccharides like Slippery Elm, Guar Gum, Astragalus and Codonopsis.

To find out which strain-specific probiotic supplement is right for you to support your immune system this Winter, contact our staff or book a personal consultation with one of our qualified practitioners.


Written by Ebony Jordan, Naturopath



Move your body, Calm your mind – Part 2

So how did you go? Was it easy to delve through the clutter of your life and decide what you want moving forward?

One way that we have been doing this at Evoke Kinesiology is through movement and meditation. Two groups of people have joined forces and every day they are active in some way and take time to meditate. Each person has an accountability partner and what has been born is something so beautiful. A group of people – bettering themselves. No judgement, no pressure, just commitment to themselves and THEIR one precious life.

These groups were created to encourage and support people in being the best version of themselves. Because to make the best decisions for our lives – we need to be the best version of ourselves. And we cannot be the best version of ourselves when we are living life for others, not moving, living in mind chaos and are knee deep in addictions, conflict and unhealthy habits.

It’s simple. Our minds don’t work properly if we don’t look after our bodies that house them! So we need to do habitual practices that support our mental and physical health – which in turn will support all other aspects of our lives.

And in the groups the results have been astounding.

‘I’m making time for me’

‘I feel whole again’

‘I can breathe again’

‘I consider myself as a person’

‘I feel safe to be me’

‘I feel connected’

‘It’s ok to be vulnerable’

‘I deserve to love my life’

‘My body loves to move – and my head loves me more for loving my body too’

‘I unconditionally matter’.


Wow. And these are your everyday people you see walking down the street. That had lost that they too were important.

It’s allowed everyone to decide what they are taking with them in their backpacks.

‘No more ‘busyness’’

‘The importance of taking ‘time out for me’

‘Connecting to others’

‘Saying no’

An understanding in the strength of having a community of raw, honest, genuine and true people

‘A decision to leave the ‘fixing’ and ‘dragging’ of others behind’

‘I’m slowing my mind post Corona’

‘Put effort into making REAL friendships’


At the beginning, these practices brought up all sorts of fears, judgements and excuses. But each person kept delving, kept moving, kept meditating. Because they trusted that it was the road to being the best version of themselves. The countless academic papers and research on the positive benefits of movement and meditation can’t all be wrong? Can they?

And when you work on yourself, some cool stuff will happen. Some people around you will be inspired and jump on board, others will drift off into the distance – because they don’t vibe with you anymore, and others will find their way into your life and birth relationships you could never have dreamt of. But it will all feel right, and it will flow. The ‘heaviness’ and torment out of decisions will go.

We are souls in a human body. We have to look after our human body. It is a vehicle for movement. It is the key to a healthy mind.

So please. Do what you have to do to ensure a healthy mind and body. Spend the money you need to spend. Take the time you need to take. Because I assure you – you will find a reward no greater than that of a life lived for you. That is probably one of the most important aspects of mental health – looking after you.

Arnna Pickering

Move your body, Calm your mind – Part 1

Move your body, Calm your mind – Part 1

Last week I wrote about Self Sabotage and provided some suggestions of how you can support others going through this. But what about you? What do you need?

On April 16, I wrote a post on my Facebook business page (Evoke Kinesiology) asking everyone to take time to stop, think and decide what they want to take into their world post – Corona. Have a read:

And now we sit. And we wait.

In a portal.

Where we get to decide.

We get to decide what we take with us. Into our new life post virus.

We entered this portal with so much baggage. Unhelpful, life hindering, mentally draining baggage.

The world was going too fast.
The “busyness”
The lost connection with our inner sanctum – within our homes.
External happiness and Internal anguish.
Always “doing” and forgetting to “be”.
Old programming and new “must haves”
Ineffective communication. Anger and fear in our voice.
Ancestral trauma and Mental illness.
Physical illness and Stress. Oh so much stress.
Toxic relationships and Emotional manipulation.
Procrastination. So much procrastination. Avoidance and. Disconnection.
Life dissatisfaction.

We forgot what really mattered. Became clouded with our own crap.

For some – it feels like their world is imploding. For others – it’s a chance to stop. Either way we are being called to sort our crap.

What an amazing opportunity.

So now beautiful human you get to choose what’s going into your backpack? What are you taking forward?

Are you going to keep communicating the same as you’ve always done? Even though it ends in frustration, tears and pain? Or are you going to finally work through why you have this as your automated setting?

What toxic relationships do you need to lovingly say goodbye too?
What relationships do you need to embrace and been thankful every day for?
Which friends have shown their true colours and been with you through this challenging time? Is there room for them?
What family patterns/trauma are you ready to rid yourself of?
What passion do you keep putting off? Is it time to reconnect?
What are your new and heart felt priorities for you and your little family?

We get a chance amazing souls – to start again. Walk through to our new normal with fresh eyes and a fresh start.

So sit in this portal with purpose. Break down your walls. Deal with your crap. And just like Dora, pack your bag with what matters most and how you want to this one precious life to be.”


So how did you go? Did you feel uncomfortable whilst reading any of that? Did any thing or person pop into your mind as you read the reflection questions?

Through this pandemic we have been gifted a golden opportunity to slow and work out what we want moving forward.

Time to: De-schedule. Delve. Decide.

Wipe the calendar clean. Sit in the clutter of our lives. And decide what we want to take with us.

Next week, I’ll share with you what we have been doing at Evoke Kinesiology to help determine what we want moving forward. But in the meantime – sit down with a pen and paper and answer the questions above. What do YOU want for you? No one else. Not your family, not your kids – Just you. Remember – if we base our life on doing life solely for others – we breed resentment.

So go on. Sit. Delve. And Decide.

Self Sabotage part 2

Talking about it – Part 2

Last week I started to touch on the notion of Self Sabotage, the recurring patterns that stop you from living your best life. If you haven’t read it, pop back and check it out before reading on! It will make a lot more sense!

So think about your own life. Is there a recurring pattern that you keep falling into? That doesn’t help you, but is more powerful than your own health, wellness and happiness? Maybe you have a rouge self sabotage program floating around.

You see, in the past this program or sabotage somewhat protected you. It turned on your survival instinct and was rooted into your mind as what you had to do to survive that situation and any similar in the future. So time and time again when you are ‘triggered’ by a similar emotion or situation – your body goes automatically into that program again. Helpful or not, it’s just what happens.

Let’s say you were a young boy, age 7. Life at home was tough, your Dad abused alcohol as did his own Father and would yell each night at you and your siblings. One day you went to school and your teacher asked you why you were sad. So you told her about your father and his behaviour at home.  The teacher visited your parents to have a talk- she was concerned for your safety. That evening your Father hit you, yelled and locked you outside – from that point on, your young mind decided that it was a survival need for you to never speak about your feelings to anyone, ever again. So, naturally as you age, you don’t speak of your feelings. When people ask you to share how you feel, you freeze up, and whilst this isn’t the most appropriate response now, the sabotage program is strong and it stops you from responding. Your relationships fail because of your inability to talk. And in some cases, it’s not that you don’t want to speak – it’s that you feel paralysed and you cannot.

And unfortunately, the world is full of people just like this. For whatever reason they don’t feel safe to express how they feel. In some cases the thought of reaching out is more painful than the thought of checking out. And checking out happens in many forms – addictions including drug and alcohol, scrolling, social media, food, exercise; relationship infidelity; avoidance of communication; workaholics; making money; co-dependent relationships; emotional projection; blame and lack of responsibility. And the irreversible form of checking out – suicide and death.

So, how does knowing this help us encourage people to seek help?

It gives us awareness and understanding.

For some, like me, I find speaking out easy, but for others – it is the most challenging thing around.

So this is what you can do to help others feel comfortable to seek help; because I can most probably guarantee they have some sort of sabotage program floating around in their mind that creates paralysing fear towards speaking out:

  • Make the environment safe. When people do express any emotion – whether it good or bad, listen. Don’t judge and definitely don’t fix. They don’t want to feel even more broken than they are. They have never felt listened too. Please just listen. The more you listen, the more they will feel confident to keep sharing their emotions. Eventually this may lead to them asking for support.
  • Build them up. People with strong sabotage programs, already have a long list of self-deprecating thoughts and actions. They don’t need us to add to it. Focus on their strengths – there are a lot of them. Ignore the negatives (unless it is dangerous to yourself or others, then please do what you need to do to distance yourself).
  • Work on your own stuff. We all have ‘stuff’ to work on. Recognise your own self-sabotaging behaviours. If you can, understand the emotions that lead to that behaviour and where that behaviour may have come from in your past. If you find this challenging, it may be helpful to get support from a therapist. Aim to work on you, so you can lead a better life – and who knows you may inspire others to follow.
  • It’s not your story, it’s theirs. Stay in the passenger seat, you cannot fix, you cannot drive. This is their journey.
  • Worried? If you at all worried about their own personal safety, or the safety of others – please contact 000 for support. Do not hesitate on this. I have called countless ambulances throughout my personal and professional careers, and not once has the person turned around and been annoyed with me for doing so.

Managing sabotage programs is but one way we can help ourselves and others live the life we desire and deserve. So right now, instead of thinking who else might ‘need’ this – do some self reflection – what sabotage programs may you have? And most importantly, what are you going to do about them?

Take Care




Self Sabotage

Arnna Pickering

A born and bred Mallee girl, Arnna has worked within the health industry since she was 15 years old. With a Science, Nursing and Public Health background – Arnna specialised in child and youth mental health for ten years before becoming a Kinesiologist and opening her own practice, Evoke Kinesiology, after the birth of her son. As a Kinesiologist, Arnna guides you, in a non-intrusive way, to identify and help you work through all that is stopping you from living the life you want – from pain, to emotions and more. Arnna is real, raw and honest and is committed to taking the stigma out of mental health.

Talking about it – Part 1

For me, one of the biggest barriers towards people willingly talking about mental health – is the term itself.

In your mind say the two phrases ‘mental health’ and ‘physical health’. What do you feel when you say them both? What are your thoughts?

For the majority – the following exists:

Physical Health – is just that. Health and wellness for your physical body. It isn’t either good nor bad. It just is. These words don’t evoke any fear, anxiety or stigma.

But Mental Health – this phrase can be quite polarising. Still, today, the term mental gets attached to other words like ‘psycho’ and ‘mad’; and it is also used as a label for emotional outbursts – ‘oh my goodness, she just went mental’.


Maybe it’s because people can still recall the mental asylums that existed until the mid 1990’s. Places where those with mental illnesses were cared for. On the large, they weren’t warming and inviting environments and have been depicted in media as ‘clinical, cold and ghastly places, with corridors full of screaming and moaning inpatients’. Not at all a positive picture huh?

So for me, it makes sense that one of the reasons people avoid the topic of ‘mental health’ – is because of the stigma attached.

Now, couple that with the archaic cultural and societal belief that if you show any mental and/or emotional vulnerability then you must be weak and soft and not able to ‘handle’ life.

So, see why we have a boiling pot of mental ‘un’wellness.

Now be a bloke, it’s even harder for them. Because ‘boys don’t cry’, ‘just suck it up’ and ‘stop being a sook’. Get the drift?

Mental health is hard for people to talk about it. And there are many reasons why.

Whilst the ad campaigns, the ambassadors and the not for profit organisations are doing a phenomenal job in encouraging people to speak out – it just doesn’t seem to be reaching everyone.


Because sometimes, those people that need mental health support have internal programming that stops them from accessing it. Maybe they’ve been told as a young person ‘we don’t talk about family stuff out of the family’, or they’ve witnessed their Mother being taken away to hospital because she ‘lost her mind’, or the gender roles within their family have dictated that ‘at all costs you provide the income’. Additionally, there may be ancestral trauma, frozen emotions, sub-personalities, adrenal stress, co-dependency and let’s not forget fear; paralyzing fear.

The reason why someone won’t speak is very rarely because they are lazy – it’s because the fear of speaking out is greater than any perceived benefit gained from talking. And in Kinesiology terms, this is what is known as self sabotage: when despite the path that you need to take for your own health and wellness being crystal clear – you do the complete opposite – and it keeps happening time and time again. People sabotage themselves and their lives daily. And mostly without knowing. It can happen in all aspects of your life – from eating to relationships, communication and exercise – not just in regards to seeking help.

Want to know more about this – pop back next week for Part 2!

Obstacles to Weight Loss


The struggle is real for those grappling with weight issues. If I could have a penny for every time some ‘normal weight’ but well-meaning person has said “it’s simple to lose weight, all you have to do is eat a balanced diet and exercise”, well I’d be a millionaire by now. The reality is that it is not as simple as that for many people and there are so many obstacles to weight loss. Some of these obstacles are well known and others not so much. My motivation for writing about this topic is personal, in that I’d like to see that the myths and stigmas about weight management are dispelled. Additionally, I think that even commonly held knowledge about the topic requires some rethinking. For example, I don’t believe that the solution to weight loss is as simple as calorie restriction and this is confirmed by current research.1  I’d like to open the subject for discussion in the hope that it may help to offset the misunderstanding and judgement that being overweight is ‘your own fault’ and solely your responsibility to fix. This unhealthy and inaccurate mindset can become a deeply held belief in the psyche of those who are overweight that they are ‘guilty’, ‘lazy’, ‘helpless’ and ‘lack self-control’. These thoughts can become a soul-destroying, negative thought pattern that is absolutely counterproductive to the process of finding optimum wellbeing.2 There are such a variety of factors working against those individuals, internally and externally, many of which they have very little chance of controlling, especially if they do not have someone to help them identify and understand their own particular obstacles to weight loss.

Over my 22 years of practice I have heard so many people’s stories where they genuinely have tried so many methods for losing excess body weight without lasting success. In fact, some of the most self-disciplined and fit people I know carry extra weight and struggle with maintaining it. Unfortunately, this is a difficult for those without this predicament to accept and understand. When you stop to consider how complex this all is, it is no wonder that there is so much confusion around the topic.

If you are not yet convinced on the complexity of this problem, some key issues that can be obstacles to weight loss include, but are not limited to:

  • Carbohydrate intolerance / Insulin resistance – this may be experienced as fluctuating blood sugar and hunger levels, sleepiness after eating, weight gain particularly around the waistline, fatigue especially while exercising.3
  • High stress / Cortisol imbalance – this may present as feeling anxious or ‘on edge’, having higher blood pressure and poorer sleep.4
  • Poor thyroid gland function – some symptoms of low thyroid function include thinning hair and eyebrows, intolerance to cold, low libido, poor concentration, weight gain, difficulty losing weight despite efforts to do so, fatigue, dry skin and constipation.5
  • Female or male hormonal changes and imbalances – some instances when hormonal changes will negatively affect weight loss efforts include: testosterone deficiency in men and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.6,7
  • Poor sleep – long term poor sleep patterns can change the way your body uses sugars (decreases insulin sensitivity), can increase stress hormones and disrupt the Leptin cycle (important for appetite control)8,9
  • Toxicity – some types of chemical exposures have been linked with obesity and hormone disruption, they are collectively named “Obesogens”. Some examples of obesogens include: Persistent organic pollutants (chemical that have been used in agriculture such as organochlorine pesticides, DDT and PCBs), plastics and plasticisers (BisphenolA, phthalates) and flame retardants (Polybrominated diphenylethers) and there are many more.10
  • Gut and/or liver dysfunction – The liver is the organ that processes fats, waste products, toxins and therefore is critical for effective fat regulation. The state of your microbiome (gut bacteria and microflora) can influence your body weight. For instance, the presence of certain gut bacteria may influence what food choices you make, as shown in recent studies! A good variety of gut bacteria can improve insulin sensitivity, whereas low diversity has been linked to conditions like metabolic syndrome which is often characterised by excess body fat.11,12,13,14
  • Inflammatory conditions and processes – inflammation can occur generally, as well as in specific areas of the body. If inflammation is ongoing, it can lead to changes that impact body weight regulation. This would include conditions like osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune conditions, type 2 diabetes and thyroiditis.15,16
  • Genetic factors – there have been certain gene variants that have been associated with an increased risk of being overweight or obese. There are also epigenetic factors (i.e. gene changes that have happened after conception and over the lifespan) that can modify genes to make a person more prone to weight issues.17
  • Physiological differences – there is an increasing amount of research evidence to indicate that there is a mechanism in many overweight individuals to preserve their own fat mass i.e. your body recognises a certain weight to be your ‘norm’ and will alter your responses to keep it there. This physiological mechanism will keep individuals at a high ‘set point’ for their weight and slow or stop them from losing extra body fat.18,19,20

We also must be aware that there are multiple psychological and mindset obstacles to weight loss. Self-limiting thoughts, catastrophic thinking, emotional or situational triggers, lack of accurate education and lack of support to implement solutions are all very real obstacles to weight loss.21 People that have diagnosable mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and addiction disorders are likely to have additional challenges in implementing weight loss strategies.22,23

Moving passed your obstacles can be tricky business, but the first step in this process is to find out what they are! It is important if you identify with any of the issues above that you get accurately assessed by your doctor and healthcare professionals. They will be able to guide you towards investigations and tests that may need to be performed for a proper diagnosis. Importantly, they will take into account your results, symptoms and health history and be able to interpret all of that information for you. Naturopaths may suggest further functional tests, alongside your medical assessment by your doctor. It is essential to get the help you require for identifying your weight loss obstacles and then to use that information to come up with a plan to address these obstacles. You may be suggested to consider specific prescription medications, dietary and lifestyle changes. It is useful to support that process as needed with detailed nutritional advice, herbal medicines, coaching, ongoing monitoring and emotional support. A key to success is having a plan with goals and time frames in mind, implementing these changes as you can, getting the additional professional support that you require for your specific obstacles and reassessing your goals as you reach them. Remember that there is no quick fix solution that will last a lifetime! In identifying your own obstacles to weight loss, there is an opportunity to seek individualised advice and to find realistic ways to get to your health goals.

written by Emily Grieger – Naturopath.

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  3. Volek J. The Cardiometabolic benefits of a low carbohydrate/ketogenic eating plan. The 2015 International Congress on Natural Medicine. Melbourne, 06/06/2015.
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  9. Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):e62.
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  13. Suez J, et al. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014 Oct9;514(7521):181-6.
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