12 Chocolate Days of Christmas


Enjoy reading our 12 Tips͛ of Christmas and throw your guilt away!

Most of us have our favourite moments of chocolate, the crunch of a choc-top at the cinema, sipping a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winters night in front of a roaring fire, little stress free mid-afternoon treats at work, the childhood thrill of an Easter hunt, receiving a box of delicious chocolates from your sweetheart on Valentine’s day. The rich creamy taste as it slowly melts away in your mouth stirs up emotions of happiness and brings a little comfort into our life.

Tip 1 Absolutely Organic! Organic chocolate is made without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides and other chemicals. Instead it is made by smaller farms and with delicious cacao. There are so many affordable good quality organic chocolates to choose from. Whether you have a penchant for smooth and creamy milk or the bitter sweetness of the dark.

Tip 2 Check the ingredient list – if cocoa butter is the first ingredient on the list then you are onto a good thing. A high percentage of cocoa (solids and butter) is bursting with antioxidants. Dark chocolate contains the highest percentage even higher than wine, berries, and tea.

Starting to feel a little less guilty? Read on…..

Tip 3 The antioxidants found in chocolate (cocoa polyphenols) have been proven to have a positive impact on cardiovascular health.

Tip 4 Chocolate also contains various other compounds such as flavonoids and Gallic acid also shown to reduce the cholesterol and inhibit the oxidation of the LDL-(bad) cholesterol.

Tip 5 Chocolate improves blood flow by dilating the blood vessels which may have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure.

Tip 6 Chocolate improves brain power thanks to cocoa being a rich source of natural neuroprotective compounds. No more 3pm afternoon slumps.

Tip 7 Chocolate’s mood-boosting potential increasing endorphins. This one doesn’t surprise us, who doesn’t feel good when eating chocolate?

Tip 8 Chocolate is a good source of essential minerals; including iron, calcium and magnesium. In fact, one tablespoon of cacao powder in your morning smoothie = 30% of your daily magnesium needs.

Tip 9 Eating a small amount of good quality organic chocolate (with 65% or more cacao) may actually help relieve cramps associated with PMS – this is why we naturally crave chocolate at this time of the month.

Tip 10 The flavonols in dark chocolate can protect your skin against sun damage (though you’d probably better still slap on some sun cream).

Tip 11 Look for fair trade chocolate – these growers are supported by Fair Trade agreements and educated on the finer points of cocoa bean production. Fair Trade practices ensure that the farmers receive a fair price for their crops and are supported in developing sustainable businesses. You are doing your bit for equality when you eat chocolate.

Tip 12 Buying organic chocolate ensures that your chocolate cravings are better for the planet too by minimising the impact of agricultural chemicals on the fragile ecosystems of the rainforests where cacao trees grow best

PS Better be good in 2019 !

Happiness !

“Happiness Happens Day” – 8th August

How’s your ‘happy’ going?

HAPPINESS – A short article by our Kinesiologist Lisa Gray

With so much information available about practising mindfulness and finding happiness, sometimes it can be overwhelming – just to find the time to read it all, let alone make it happen – that can be a task in itself. We often feel we need to ‘work’ on ourselves, or we are a ‘work in progress’ or there are things we are ‘trying’ to do for ourselves. For as long as it seems like a task or work, we will continue to place it on a list of things to ‘do’!

Looking after our body and mind often ends up being pushed aside, or comes last when we want to do something good for ourselves, we often feel guilty for taking the time to care for ourselves in a mindful way.

Caring for our body, mind and soul comes easier when it is a normal part of everyday life – even if it’s just 15 minutes. Sitting with a cup of tea and just drinking the tea – nothing else – not watching TV, not scolling down Facebook or Instagram, not even reading your favourite book or magazine.

Just sip the tea.

Happiness Man and son walking

Tea Happiness

Breathing deeply into the stomach between sips, out slowly through your nose, closing your eyes and visualizing being in your favourite space (beach, forest, river, waterfall etc) and letting the sounds, smell, colour and feel of where you are infiltrate your whole body. Let every cell, feel the calm winding through your body with your blood, filling your heart with love and compassion for yourself with every breath.

Caution – don’t drop the cup of tea!

Just breath.

By deep breathing into the ‘belly’ for 5 seconds, then a long slow breath out the nose for 10 seconds – the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated. This is ‘rest and digest’ system as opposed to ‘fight and flight’ system. Do this 10 times which will take no longer than two and a half minutes! Who doesn’t have 150 seconds to spare for themselves in their day?
Find the happiness in creating these small spaces for yourself, learn to connect your heart with your mind.

Small simple actions such as this add up to create a more centred day and can really make a difference when done regularly. Of course there are hundreds of these small actions we can find – but don’t spend too much time reading about them – choose two or three that suit you and do at least one each day, then build up to two, then three and start to feel the difference. When you begin to relax more and life feels a little less chaotic, often those around you start to feel the same and the whole household can benefit from your small 15 minutes a day!

Once this becomes a habit for you (generally 21 days) you may feel ready to look more into how you can find further balance in your life and allow your life to become more about ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’.

So just “Be” and find your happy place.

Happiness with woman

Happiness sunshine

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Look after your body and mind at Centro Innovative Health. Naturopathy, Kinesiology, Massage, Reiki, Bowen, Beauty and Psychology – all tailored to enhance your life – naturally.

Remedial Massage and Headaches

“Remedial Massage and Headaches”

What is “Remedial” about Remedial Massage ?

REMEDIAL MASSAGE & HEADACHES – Anne Rigby Hatton – Remedial Massage Therapist discusses some of the issues.

Remedial Massage uses a variety of massage modalities and techniques to relieve muscular tension, alleviate pain and prevent headaches.

Are you stressed or under constant pressure at work? Are you suffering from text neck? Is your pillow giving you the correct neck support when you sleep?  Are you able to get a minimum of eight hours sleep each night?  Are you able to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day? Are you drinking two litres of water per day?

If you answered NO to any of the above questions, you may find these are possible causes of your headaches.

Remedial massage has been found to have benefits for minimizing headaches;

  • Aid in stress relief by decrease anxiety and stress hormones
  • Provide opportunity for relaxation
  • Improve circulation and enhanced respiratory function
  • Improve muscle tone, muscle relaxation and range of motion
  • May increase endorphins (our body’s natural pain killers).


Woman with headaches

Headaches business man holding head

Postural Assessment of spine for relief of headaches

Did you know. . . .

A 2010 systematic review of manual therapies for migraine found that massage therapy, physiotherapy, relaxation and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy might be as effective as propranolol and topiramate in the prophylactic management of migraine. A number of RCTs investigating headache and migraine also report positive results for massage.

A 60 minute remedial massage treatment for headaches includes:

  • Postural Assessment especially of your cervical range of motion.
  • Treatment tailored to your needs and requests using the best modality including; Myofascial release, Trigger point therapy, Deep tissue & or sports   massage, together with deep breathing to oxygenate and relieve the affected tight muscles causing headaches.  Together with a demonstration of a minimum of three stretches to enhance your range of motion post massage.
  • Post massage follow up email to YOU the client after each and every treatment reminding you about the importance of daily stretches, exercises and the importance of drinking two litres of water per day.


I always recommend a follow-up appointment date in the future as a maintenance routine. Why you ask?  Well, how long have you been suffering with headaches? What can we do together to change your daily work posture ? Can I motivate you to increase your daily exercise ?

One remedial massage treatment will go a long way towards relieving some of the pain and tension, but an ongoing treatment plan is paramount for your long term headache management and overall health and well-being.

I have had clients who have been happy enough with the one treatment, and others who have wanted to continue as a maintenance routine because they know they are unable to change their situation at the present time.  You – the client are an individual, I as the remedial massage therapist respect everyone has different needs and wants in relation to their remedial massage to treat headaches.

My clients have also commented about the relief they have felt not only with headaches but also continuing down into their neck and shoulders.  Relieving the headache is the priority and then continuing the treatment down into the neck and shoulders is part of the maintenance required. Anne believes muscle remedy for optimal health and well-being should be a part of everyone’s health regime.

Headaches and Pain in mans body to been relieved by massage

waiting for my massage

Look after your body and mind at Centro Innovative Health. Naturopathy, Kinesiology, Massage, Reiki, Bowen, Beauty and Psychology – all tailored to enhance your life – naturally.



DEPRESSION – Kim Calnan, Clinical Psychologist writes on her approach to dealing with this surprisingly common problem.

Depression – Well at least people now talk about it !
Over recent weeks on the TV there has been several well known people talking about their lives and their depression.  Nearly all accept their depression is there and that it will come and go and that they’re stuck with it.  Most have had therapy of some sort. 

One guy was told to put his depression behind him and move on.  He seemed highly conscious as if this depression was going to catch up with him and overwhelm him.  I felt for these people because depression can be worked through and dissipated.  It’s like a festering sore that can be healed and the person can move on and lead a normal life.

Depression is often referred to as a mental illness, which is a label that can be quite burdensome and undermines a person’s self esteem.  I see depression as a condition that can be worked through if the person is willing to put the effort in.

Medication is not the only answer
Many doctors prescribe anti-depressant medication which can help if the person is so down they can’t function.  But Martin Seligman, a well known psychologist who has published several books, has surveyed the research on anti-depressants.  At best he found anti-depressants came out equal to a placebo.  He also found that if taken long-term, the research indicates it can be harmful.

Depression - young woman

balance of work and life

A safe and secure environment to talk about depression

So if someone decides to come and see me, in the actual therapy session my main focus to start would be to establish a safe, caring place where they can express how they feel and how they are coping with the issues they have brought it. 

Often these are ongoing issues with parents, or siblings, or spouses or children.  Some come in with problems with work colleagues or friends.  We explore these issues sometimes finding it relates to issues from childhood.  For example in the work place they may feel left out. 

On further enquiry they also left left out of the family growing up.  We expose these areas and look for the possible emotional pain and help them express that and get it out.

Helping Yourself

I always ask people to do things for themselves at home.  This is both empowering them that they can make life changes and helps them to keep motivated to continue therapy.  I may suggest they start exercising such as a 30 minute brisk walk of 120 steps per minute that will raise their metabolism for 12 hours. 

I may suggest writing their feelings down each day and express those feelings particularly if it was not permitted as a child.  If they are open to it I may suggest Mindfulness/meditation each day to help clear the mind and relax.  I also work with dreams and if the person is willing to write down any dreams then I will help them to interpret them.

I see therapy as part of the journey of life.  We all, whether in therapy or not, learn and grow as the challenges of life come up.  In my therapy sessions with people I try to help them to help themselves with the tools and skills they have in themselves.  Life is a journey and I am their teacher for part of their journey – that’s how I see myself.


We are a Medibank Members Choice Clinic with Hicaps facilities, depending on your level of cover healthfund rebates may apply,

depression - man meditating

Look after your body and mind at Centro Innovative Health. Naturopathy, Nutrition, Kinesiology, Massage, Reiki, Bowen, Occupational Therapy, Beauty and Psychology – all tailored to enhance your life – naturally.

Winter Wellness Program

“Winter Wellness Program”

WINTER WELLNESS – Our Principal, Susan Carr, lays out some guidelines to staying well this winter.

Winter Wellness – Are you sick of being sick?
Winter is now here and fortunately for us it has started off very mildly! That said, are you one of the many people, for whom a string of colds and flu is a way of life in winter? Perhaps getting rid of the seemingly endless sniffles, sneezing and sore throats seems like an unachievable ideal. Fortunately, it is possible to improve your immune system function and reduce the frequency and severity of those nasty winter lurgies with a bit of awareness and some simple strategies. Disease causing viruses or bacteria can enter your body simply by breathing or eating! Fortunately, only a few of these, particularly viral, ‘pathogens’ result in a cold or flu because you are equipped with an immune system specifically designed to fight off unwanted invaders.

Prevention beats cure every time!
If you are stressed out, unfit, run down and/or consuming a nutritionally poor diet, you are likely contributing to the demise of your immune systems defenses and setting yourself up to succumb to one of the viruses floating around. Therefore, preparing your immune system to withstand this winter’s lurgies begins with a few simple foundational strategies:

sick of being sick winter wellness

Adopt some simple Winter Wellness strategies…..

• Reduce stress – being stressed reduces immune system function, so make sure you incorporate regular time-out, meditation, yoga and/or ‘green’ time, such as walking outdoors amongst nature or along the ocean front to breathe in those so needed ‘energy boosting’ negative ions!

• Enjoy regular exercise – remaining active reduces the stress levels and increases your feel good hormones, Vitamin D our sunshine vitamin is also a very important vitamin with regard to your immune system and your mood. A daily burst of sunshine 20 minutes a day will help assist with this. Unfortunately, if you are an office worker and do not see much sunshine then we do have very good Vitamin D supplementation to help with this. Having a low Vitamin D level is detrimental to how you feel. At Centro Health we have a facility to test your levels and we can advise you if they are low and offer a support and a restoration protocol.

• Sleep – aim for 7 to 8 hours each night to restore energy and increase resilience.

• Eat your vegies (and fruits!) – at least three cups of fresh vegetables and/or salad, plus two serves of fresh fruit every day! Fill your plate with a rainbow of colour to ensure an abundance of essential nutrients and antioxidants that will help support a healthy immune system.

• Regularly wash your hands – a simple organic antibacterial handwash now readily available in most supermarkets and warm water helps reduce cross-contamination with unwell people.

• Being prepared is the best strategy for Winter Wellness – Nevertheless realistically it may be difficult to achieve everything you are ‘meant’ to do, which is where your Naturopathic Practitioner can help.
 With access to natural medicines such as high strength Vit C and zinc, 
 immune-boosting medicinal mushrooms include cordyceps, coriolus, shiitake and reishi. Individually, each species of mushroom has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in immune enhancement, to help resolve chronic, and/or recurrent infectious conditions. What’s more, this combination of mushrooms provides symptomatic relief of upper respiratory tract infections, including reducing mucus congestion. Immune balancing herbs Echinacea, Astragalus and Andrographis to support your WBC’s (white blood cells). The advantage of natural medicine is that it is not just to treat illness, but improve your own natural immune defences.

Healthy gut – healthy immune system!
Did you know that approximately 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive system? This emphasises how important it is to also look after your gut health. Many people are aware that certain probiotics can support digestion, but did you know there are specific probiotics that support a healthy immune system? The beneficial strains, Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL 9, Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG®) all help enhance immune system function, making this combination a valuable aid to winter wellness. As a healthy immune system is supported by the right microbial balance in your gut, speak to your Naturopathic Practitioner about which probiotic combination is the most appropriate, to help overcome your immune system concerns. We have specific probiotics to support infants, children and adults.

No need to hibernate
There’s no need to experience ongoing or recurrent illness this winter, or hide away at home on the couch. Start by modifying what needs to change in your diet and lifestyle, and put specific strategies to help support a healthy and resilient immune system into place and avoid any winter lurgies!
We suggest our simple
‘Winter Wellness’ program
• 20 minute mini consultation with one of our Naturopaths
• take our zinc tally challenge test to determine how effective your immune function is
• a blood referral to check your Vitamin D status (if required, additional cost)
• High potency Vitamin C/Zinc
• High potency Immune support


We are a Medibank Members Choice Clinic with Hicaps facilities, depending on your level of cover healthfund rebates may apply,

winter wellness Lifestyle Pyramid

Happiness sunshine

Look after your body and mind at Centro Innovative Health. Naturopathy, Nutrition, Kinesiology, Massage, Reiki, Bowen, Occupational Therapy, Beauty and Psychology – all tailored to enhance your life – naturally.

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