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Norfolk Island Fitness and Health News

Thursday, March 07, 2019

  • Need some motivation to focus on your health and fitness?

MOVE, IMPROVE and find your Health and Fitness "GROOVE" with our 8 WEEK BODY BLITZ Program. Complete on your own or with a like-minded Training buddy. YOU choose the Start Date.

  • Members only competition!

Register now for our 30 Day "METRE MADNESS" Rowing Challenge starting MONDAY APRIL 1st and finishing on TUESDAY APRIL 30th.
Earn the right to "beat the Boss".

  • NEW LORNA JANE Active Wear in stock.

All Gym Enquiries to 52809 or 23569.

                "Motivate the Mind and the Body will follow."

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Non-Violent Communication: Tackling Domestic and Family Abuse

Friday, March 01, 2019

This week’s three-day training with the NSW Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV) has been a reminder about the critical importance for all of us to raise our skills in positive relationship-building. With so many changes in our community over recent years, and the distress and tension felt by many Norfolk Islanders who don’t share identical views on this, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that a thriving community depends on peaceful processes for building connections and maintaining healthy patterns of communication.

Statistics about domestic abuse are sobering - the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released a report last year on family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia. It revealed that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 9 men were physically and/or sexually abused before the age of 15. Almost 1 in 4 (23%) women and 1 in 6 (16%) men have experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous partner. Close to 8 women and 2 men are hospitalised each day after being assaulted by their spouse or partner. The Norfolk Island Health Survey conducted in 20914 showed that 1 in 4 people in our community are “at risk” from violence within intimate partner relationships or within the family. 

Whilst these statistics are headline-grabbing because they draw attention to what is obviously a very serious social problem, with the potential to inflict grave harm on many people, myths about abusive behaviour remain common. For example, surveys show that because coverage of domestic violence overwhelmingly focuses on physical abuse, many people have difficulty self-identifying as victims of its verbal, emotional, psychological or financial forms. Verbal put-downs, threats, intimidation, emotional withholding, property destruction, and harm to pets are all forms of abuse where one person is imposing power and coercive control over another. 

Another common myth is that “real” domestic abuse is primarily men against women. But according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 7 men in the United States have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, and 29% of heterosexual men have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner. The Australian Bureau of Statistics “Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2017” released last year found that males comprised just under half (43% - 54 victims) of all victims of Family and Domestic Violence-related Murders.
Men, more so than women, can also experience legal and administrative abuse - the use of institutions such as legal systems to inflict further abuse on a victim, for example, taking out false restraining orders or not allowing the victim access to his children. Male victims are still excluded from many government anti-violence programs and there are few refuges available for men to seek safety from abusive relationships. 
Abuse in any form should never be tolerated. But if it’s so prevalent, where do we start to try stamping it out?

According to organisations such as the Center for Non-Violent Communication, it starts with learning to clarify what we are observing, what emotions we are feeling, what values we want to live by, and what we want for ourselves and others. That is, we commit to making sure every day we seek opportunities to contribute to each other’s wellbeing, whether in the home, the workplace, our social networks, and the wider community. 

We do this through learning the skills of deep listening along with authentic communication – letting others know with honesty how we feel, what we need, and our thoughts. Deep listening, according to Aboriginal people, is an almost spiritual skill based on respect, and involves inner quiet, still awareness, and waiting .

Tony Robbins describes “deep listening” as “not only allowing yourself the time and space to fully absorb what your conversation partner is saying, you can actually encourage him or her to feel heard and to speak more openly and honestly” . This requires eye contact; presence (stopping your mind from shifting away from the conversation and being truly present); giving nonverbal feedback such as the occasional nod, smile, or other sign that you are attuned to the conversation partner; and connection -  positioning your body in a way that creates a safe and welcoming space for him or her to speak openly.

These seem like easy things to do, but when our passions run high on issues, or we feel overwhelmed by life events that seem out of our control, it’s too easy to let go of higher-level skills and revert to our more primitive “reptilian” behaviour patterns. With committed effort, however, we all have the potential to grow healthier ways of responding to triggers, and when we commit individually to adopting peaceful ways of dealing with frustration or hurt, we build a far stronger and more resilient community. 

Dr Kate Lemerle, Psychologist
Chrysalis Counselling & Coaching, Norfolk Island
TEL: 52112 or email 

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Can Anger Be Tamed?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

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Norfolk Island Fitness and Health News

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Who are we and what do we offer?

We are a functional facility offering Personal Training, an 8 week Body Blitz program which can start at any time, Group Exercise and Gym Memberships.

Health and wellness is what we do and have done on Norfolk Island since 2012.

Your health and happiness starts with you and we will assist and guide you where we can.

However YOU need to hold yourself accountable for YOUR lifestyle choices.

We provide key programs that will help you and give you that energy and productivity that a healthy lifestyle brings.

                                UP FOR A TEAM CHALLENGE?
"LETS MOVE FOR A BETTER WORLD" starts in early March and runs for 8 weeks.

This is a TEAM challenge and Teams of 4 is ideal.

Lots of inclusions. As a Team you will be collecting "MOVE" points weekly.

Support the global fight against physical inactivity and the Chronic disease it brings and get your Team ready.

Contact Kay for more detail on 52809 and to register your interest.

                                   "ONE LIFE. LIVE IT WELL."

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The good in the Bad: Facing Negative Emotions as Food for Growth

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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Norfolk Island Fitness and Health News

Saturday, September 22, 2018

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW? ... Our 8 WEEK BODY BLITZ PROGRAM ... Want to drop a size?

This program helps you Exercise and Eat wise!!

WHAT'S COMING? ... Our NEW GROUP EXERCISE CLASS "Pump It" ... Monday night at 5:15pm

                                                                      ... Our 6 week FITLITE program. Live life fit and healthy.
                                    ... New Lorna Jane Active Wear
                                           Just in time for Xmas!!!!


                        "Fit is the new rich and Healthy is the new wealthy."

                                    All enquiries to 52809 or 57989.

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Has Social Media Killed Kindness and Compassion?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

In the times we’re living in, it seems that narcissism – extreme focus on the self over and above others – is the accepted way to be. Everywhere we go, we see people taking selfies and then uploading these images immediately to the ever-growing band of “followers”, or those we might call worshippers. People whose every waking breath is dedicated to waiting for the next piece of trivia fed to them by their idols.

Praise is heaped on those who build up massive numbers of adoring fans, even to the point where we now call these people “social influencers”. Apparently, social influencers now have the capacity to instantly shape social opinions and determine the success, or failure, of brands, products, businesses, even reputations. They are even being engaged by companies, at huge sums of money, to simply take a selfie showing themselves somehow associated with a product – and no doubt they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Whatever has happened to social conscience, compassion, kindness and respect?

As a neuropsychotherapist, I worry about the pervasive influence of the media on our brains, and then on our society more broadly. Most “social influencers” are in their twenties and thus running on brains that still haven’t fully come online – the last part of the brain to fully mature and become operational is the frontal cortex, the area directly behind the forehead. These parts of the brain drive those human experiences we refer to as meaningful – compassion, insight, wisdom, kindness, respect, perspective.

In particular, myelination (the maturing of brain cells) of areas deep beneath the frontal area, known as the pre-frontal cortex, is not often completed until our late twenties. Unfortunately, due to the slowing down of neural pruning during this phase of development – that is, the discarding of unnecessary or faulty cells – this is the stage of development when the most severe pathologies can begin to emerge. These include psychoses (like schizophrenia) and serious personality disorders like psychopathy and narcissism.

So the world we have created, with unfettered social media, is inadvertently providing boundless fuel for those vulnerable people most at risk during a stage of development when they are least able to tell the difference between reality and pathological fantasy. When enough of these people get together, it’s easy to start to believe that mental disorder is in fact “normal”. By normalising the abnormal, there is a huge risk to our society.

As real social influencers – adults and parents – what can we do?

Some are despairing that it’s too late to turn the tide. Well, unfortunately that has to be a cop-out. We are all still stuck here on this planet with nowhere else to go (despite Elon’s great promises!). Therefore it’s time that those of us who have nurtured our brains to full maturity band together to set the standards for what is “normal”. Some are referring to the current “toxic triangle” – destructive pathological leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments.

We can start by examining our environments – are we creating environments that provide opportunities for kindness, compassion, respect, and reflection? In our homes, do we engage in balanced debate that promotes deeper and more critical thinking from a variety of viewpoints or perspectives? In our community, are we supporting and promoting groups whose sole purpose is to unconditionally give back for the greater good of all?

We can then start to examine those we follow with a bit more critical reflection. How do our leaders show that they are acting for the benefit of something higher than themselves? If self-interest appears to be the primary drive, perhaps it’s time to un-follow them. Perhaps it’s time we looked at the background behind the selfies.

Dr Kate Lemerle, Psychologist

Chrysalis Counselling & Coaching, Norfolk Island


TEL: 52112 or email

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Diagnosing Mental Disorders: Time to Lift Our Game

Friday, August 31, 2018

Getting an accurate diagnosis for problems of the mind still lags well behind the science of diagnosing problems of the body, or physical conditions. All too often, I hear that a diagnostic “label” has been given to a client on the barest of symptoms and commonly without any use of diagnostic procedures.

I don’t believe anyone would be happy with being told they “probably have liver cancer” on the sole basis of reporting abdominal pain. At the very least, we’d expect a series of questions about symptoms including pain, energy levels, appetite, digestive changes and much more. Then we’d expect to have medical tests – standardised procedures with a solid evidence base - such as an ultrasound, blood tests, even a biopsy before we accept a definitive diagnosis. We’d consider this normal before starting any form of treatment.

However, when it comes to conditions of the mind, we seem willing to accept something far less rigorous, and plunge ourselves into treatment regimes, including medications, without even asking about options.

As an example, it’s sadly still common to have a client referred with a diagnosis of, say, Bipolar Disorder on the basis of a brief clinical interview. The patient may have reported periods of low mood, hopelessness, irritability or outbursts of anger that fluctuate with periods of feeling energetic, sleeping less than usual, or having a burst of grand ideas. Depending on the mood state at the time – either low or high – they may be prescribed either antidepressants or a mood stabiliser without much, if any, other diagnostic investigation.

And the rub is that inappropriately prescribed medications for mental health problems can have a range of side effects that in themselves set off a cascade of physical and psychological changes that can be problematic, as well as masking the original symptoms, making it even harder to get to the core of the real problems (if any).

Diagnosing mental health disorders – problems of the brain and the mind – is a complex process that cannot be done properly in a single brief clinical interview.

Detailed History-Taking

A detailed history of the patient’s physical, emotional, cognitive, social and cultural experiences looking for potential triggers in each group is absolutely basic. Finding out how that person typically responds to life events helps us formulate an idea of the influence of personality, whilst getting a detailed life history of parents and grand-parents helps uncover patterns that may have a genetic basis. Understanding how their cultural background and belief systems shape the way they think and feel – or even interpret physical changes in the body – is absolutely necessary to determine whether the person is unwell.

Using Validated Psychological Tests

To help us put symptoms into perspective, psychologists have a wide range of tests we use to measure how far out of the normal range are a patient’s symptoms. At the very least, the DSM-5 Self-Rated Level 1 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measure is a quick-and-easy self-report profile of psychopathology based on the internationally defined criteria for all mental health disorders. Depending on the information emerging from this screening tool, patients may then complete several of the Level 2 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measures which focus in on more specific clusters of symptoms that might indicate conditions like Depression, Sleep Disorders, Mania, Substance Abuse and others.

Each of these allows the clinician to drill down to gain a deeper understanding of the patient’s mental health condition.

Investigating Severity

Then we want objective data about the severity of symptoms, and factors influencing severity, along with personality factors such as negative affect, detachment, or antagonism. These measures give us important details that help narrow down the range of possible pathologies or disorders, and the complex interactions between states (how we feel or experience ourselves and the world moment-to-moment) and traits (general patterns to our responses to experiences). Most importantly, we could use the Early Development and Home Background (EDHB) Form to investigate early-life experiences such as trauma or broken attachments that we know shape the development of the brain, and hence the mind.

Other Possible Influences

Finally, the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) helps the clinician find out more about the presenting clinical problem from the point of view of the person within their social network (i.e., family, friends, or others involved in the current problem). It also includes the problem’s meaning (what the person believes about their symptoms), potential sources of help they have used or might use (like herbal medicines or religious activities), and expectations about the value of services they might use for recovery.

So the next time you hear of someone being diagnosed with depression just because they told the doctor they were feeling sad or can’t sleep, or any other mental health condition without having had a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, please recommend that they seek advice from a practitioner specifically trained in drilling down to get an accurate diagnosis. And who can then follow that up with a treatment plan that tackles the real problem, not just relieves symptoms.

Dr Kate Lemerle, Psychologist

Chrysalis Counselling & Coaching, Norfolk Island


TEL: 52112 or email

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Norfolk Island Fitness and Health News

Friday, August 24, 2018

FITLOSOPHY: "ONE LIFE. LIVE IT WELL." Our Centre provides a place filled with Motivation, Inspiration, Care and Knowledge to support our clients in achieving their goals.

HOW?....  Personalised Programs, Group Exercise (Indoor Bikes, Boxing, Core Strength, PILATES),Gym Memberships, Body Composition Analysis and Nutritional Consultations, FIT COLLEGE, Health and Fitness Challenges (our 8 WEEK BODY BLITZ PROGRAM can start at any time and includes Personal Training and full Gym Access).

... ALL of the above delivered by fully Qualified Fitness Trainers.



All Gym Enquiries to Kay 52809

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How Much Do You Know About Dementia?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

About 47 million people worldwide are living with dementia, and a new diagnosis is made every 3 seconds according to the World Alzheimer Report 2015. 
Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a Global Action Plan on Dementia urging all nations to run public health campaigns to raise awareness about dementia, and to put in place strategies to foster a “dementia-inclusive society” by 2025.

For public health strategies like this to be effective, we need to know what people already understand about dementia. We need to know the people with facts versus fiction, who seeks early diagnosis and which groups don’t have access to early intervention and treatment services. Community surveys help us uncover general community attitudes to dementia and help policy makers plan where to direct funding for prevention through to palliative care services.

A recent systematic review (a search of the data from a large collection of research studies in Europe, the US, Eastern Asia and Australia) found the following beliefs about dementia:

48% of people believe that dementia is not preventable;
42% of people believe they can act to reduce their own risk;
71% of people believe alcohol consumption increases the risk;
56% of people believe stress increases the risk;
37% did not believe that there are medications available to prevent or reduce the risk of dementia;
75% believe vitamins are available to prevent or reduce risk for dementia;
61% believe that risk for dementia is reduced with mental activity;
41% believe risk can be reduced with physical activity;
37% believe eating a healthy diet reduces risk;
13% believe risk can be reduced with social activity.

What do you believe about dementia?

The review also looked at people’s beliefs about available treatments for dementia. Results showed that:
42% believed a cure is available;
89% agreed that people should seek help for memory problems;
55% believe effective treatments exist but only 42% believe effective treatments exist to slow the progression of the disease;
82% of people believe treatments are available to improve the wellbeing of people with dementia.

How much do you know about treatment options for dementia?

Over the last ten years, the belief that dementia is a preventable disease has increased. Fewer people believe that there is a cure for dementia, while belief that effective treatments exist appears to have increased. However, belief that dementia is a normal part of ageing has remained relatively steady.

In a nutshell, this huge review found that the common misconceptions that dementia is a normal part of ageing and it’s not preventable are still very widespread, even among health professionals who diagnose and treat dementia. 

Knowledge about the importance of cognitive leisure activities has improved but still needs a lot more awareness in the community, along with raising awareness of the importance of formal educational attainment and reducing cardiovascular risk factors as preventative strategies. More people need to be aware of evidence that both medical and non-medical methods can delay functional and cognitive decline as we age.

So here are some evidence-based facts about ways to reduce your dementia risk:
People who are happily married (or in a secure long-term relationship) have a lower risk – the relative risk for lifelong singles is 1.42 and the relative risk for those who are widowed is 1.20. This is about being happily engaged in positive intimate relationships .
Nutritional interventions including dietary changes, medical food or nutraceutical supplements (e.g. fish oil, flax seeds) have shown moderate results for preventing the onset of dementia ;
A risk index (Lifestyle for Brain Health, LIBRA) based on 13 measured risk and protective factors can accurately predict future risk of dementia, for example, a one-point increase in LIBRA scores relates to a 19% higher risk for dementia. LIBRA provides a solid tool for “prescribing” changes to lifestyle-related risk factors that may reduce an individual’s risk of dementia in later life .

Dr Kate Lemerle, Psychologist
Chrysalis Counselling & Coaching, Norfolk Island
TEL: 52112 or email 

Please 'contact us' for more information.

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