2 Sep
2014

Communication: a fundamental ingredient in a successful relationship

It’s a well-known fact that communication is a key ingredient in a successful marriage. Without effective communication, a couple is unable to discuss important issues and resolve their disagreements. This can often lead to feelings of detachment, anger or resentment in the long term. Although I refer to communication in relationships these tips are equally important in any important relationship in your life.

Communication can be tough, especially if it is with someone you have been in a relationship with for a long time. After a while, couples get comfortable with each other and, as a result, the level of communication tends to decrease. Assuming your partner already knows something or not taking the time to communicate with them can lead to a relationship breakdown over time.

Comfort should not equal less communication. There are many issues that may arise if you don’t keep yourself open and make an effort to communicate with your partner. Follow these simple tips to keep the communication lines open between you and your partner.

1. Never Assume
It’s important not to assume something unless you’ve communicated directly with your partner about it. This could be anything from a roster of household chores, to making assumptions about the way your partner thinks or feels about a particular issue. If you’re unsure, ask your partner and avoid arguments or misunderstandings.

2. Say what you mean
If you have something to say, say it. But make sure you’re clear with your communication and that you’re actually getting the right message across. There’s nothing more confusing (and frustrating) than receiving conflicting messages from your partner. In some cases, it may even help to write your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper. By writing it down you are able to construct your thoughts in a clear and concise way and ensure you’re getting all the important bits of information across.

3. Don’t be afraid of a disagreement
If you disagree with something your partner has said or done, you should let them know in a calm and reasonable manner. Don’t avoid these conversations for fear of a disagreement. While a disagreement may be difficult to deal with in the short term, an open dialogue about such issues will do wonders for your relationship in the long run. By staying quiet about issues that are important to you, you will only become resentful and angry.

4. Communicate the good, not just the bad
Communication in relationships is not just important when there is an issue to address. If you have something good to say about your partner, say it loud and often. By communicating feelings of love and appreciation with your partner you will nurture the love and trust in your relationship.

5. Make time to communicate
With work and kids and extra curriculum activities it’s easy to see how some couples can’t find the time to communicate with each other. It’s very important you set aside some time on a regular basis to reconnect and communicate with your partner. This may be every day or simply on a weekly basis. Make sure you shut off all electronics and remove yourself from distractions to really focus on what each other has to say.

AusPsychology offers professional counselling services to people having communication difficulties. Their experienced counsellors can help you improve your communication skills and work towards better relationships with your partner or significant others. If you would like to talk to someone about relationship counselling , contact AusPsychology today.

19 Aug
2014

What is Baltic Amber?

Many people don’t realise that amber is actually tree resin, not a stone. More specifically, it is the fossilized resin from an extinct species of trees, and is millions of years old!

What makes Baltic Amber special?
Baltic Amber has an active ingredient called Succinic Acid, which has been known to have many medicinal qualities. Succinic Acid is a natural analgesic that assists with pain relief.

Succinic acid is now produced commercially and is approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Baltic Amber teething necklaces have been a source of traditional healing passed on for many generations and are widely used and treasured throughout Europe as unparalleled alternative medicine with proven health benefits.

Baltic amber in ancient times
While some of us here in Australia may think that amber necklaces are quite a new thing, even in ancient times infants were given amber necklaces to wear.

Amber was thought to contain magical powers, and it was widely known to have healing properties. Besides the healing properties, infants were given the necklaces to guard against baby swapping, offer protection from evil forces, and help against witchcraft!

Ancient Germanic tribes such as the Goths, Nordic peoples, Celts, Romans, Greeks, Arabs and Chinese, all valued amber for its beauty and protection.

Amber necklaces as a baby teething remedy
Baltic Amber is popular with baby teething products as it helps with pain relief, it has a calming affect and it stimulates the thyroid to assist with the redness and drooling associated with teething.

Baltic Amber necklaces are made for wearing, not for chewing. By wearing Baltic Amber close to the skin, the amber produces an oil (rich in Succinic Acid) which your skin then absorbs into the body.

Baltic Amber teething necklaces are the ideal solution when you choose to care for your baby in a natural way.

Silicone Teething Necklaces
It’s a well known fact that babies and toddlers love to chew when they are teething.

They will chew on anything they can get their hands on! Our necklaces are designed so that they can have a safe and soft product to chew on when teething.

These necklaces also provide a stimulating object for babies to play with while breastfeeding.

Not only functional, these necklaces are fashionable and look great with any outfit. It can be very difficult for mums to wear long necklaces or jewellery with babies and toddlers, as they love to grab everything and can very quickly break an expensive piece of jewellery.

Our silicone teething products are made with the highest quality 100% food grade silicone, and are guaranteed to be BPA and PVC free.

All Beauty of Amber silicone necklaces have been tested and are fully compliant with Australian & New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS IOS 8124-1:2010).

Why choose Beauty of Amber?
Beauty of Amber specialise in Baltic Amber teething products, all of which are hand-crafted and made with authentic Baltic amber. Our genuine Baltic Amber is of the highest quality and sourced only from the Baltic Regions of Europe. We also have an extensive range of Silicone teething necklaces.

We are passionate about natural alternatives when dealing with the pain associated with teething, and offer excellent customer service.

1 Sep
2014

Ten Common Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Selling your home isn’t something that you do every day-unless you’re a real estate agent. Over the years I’ve honed my skills in learning what works when it comes to selling your home, as well as what doesn’t.

Fortunately, other people have made these mistakes so that you don’t have to!

1. Ignoring an estate agent’s style tips

We all develop personal connections to our homes, but sometimes those connections mean that it’s hard to see our home through the eyes of a potential buyer. An experienced agent should know how to present your home in a way that will maximise your home’s selling potential.

2. Underestimating the importance of street appeal

First impressions matter, and potential buyers driving past or inspecting your home will take notice of your property’s exterior. In my experience, people buy in the first five seconds and justify throughout the inspection. Make a good impression from the outset and keep up to date with the mowing and weeding!

3 Under-investing in marketing

A targeted, wide-ranging marketing campaign designed to reach as much as possible of your buying audience is essential. Buyers fall into different groups and demographics, and a high quality marketing campaign will reach out effectively to all of these.

4. Not being switched on about going online

In our office, it’s where about 90% of our buyer enquiry comes from. The more you invest here the better. Only a small percentage of buyers look beyond the first page of property search results!

5. Being afraid to commit to a sale price

Committing to a sale price isn’t an easy task, but it’s one that should be a much easier decision when you consider that almost half of all potential buyers will pass over properties with no listed price. Why? It seems too hard, or worse, they fear it will be out of their range. Take the plunge and name a figure.

6. Holding out for a better price

Though it can be tempting to wait for a better offer, the property market doesn’t play by the rules of Who Dares Wins, so think twice before rejecting that initial offer. In my experience, often the first offer is the highest we’ll receive, and almost every record price we achieve comes from an offer made within the first thirty days.

7. Taking offers personally

A low offer on your property is not a reflection on you, or even on your home. Instead, they’re representative of a willingness to commit to opening negotiations. I always encourage vendors to see a low offer as a starting point rather than a final figure.

8. Opting for appointment-only viewings

Although there is the odd exception, for the most part opening your home for inspection is essential to ensure it’s seen by as many potential buyers as possible. We get around 10 times the buyer traffic if it’s open for inspection as opposed to by appointment viewings.

9. Cutting costs when choosing a real estate agent

If you think the best agent is expensive, try hiring the second best & see how much that costs you!

10. Failing to keep up with property maintenance

It’s almost always cheaper to do it yourself than to let the buyer use it as leverage for a price reduction.

I recently sold a home in Aspley where the building and pest report identified multiple maintenance issues at an estimated repair cost of $15k! As expected, the buyer tired for a $15k price reduction. I intervened & re-quoted with a local trusted trade and they seller got the job done for $3k. Fortunately, I managed to salvage the deal without a price reduction. However this could have been avoided or worse the deal could have fallen through.

So call that plumper you’ve been avoiding! For real estate Aspley, contact Justin Watt of Watt Realty today.

31 Aug
2014

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options

Plantar fasciitis is extremely common affecting around 10% of the adult population at some time in life. Commonly plantar fasciitis is associated with heel spurs however on x-ray only 50% of patients with plantar fasciitis have evidence of calcification through the heel (DiMarcangelo, 1997).

Commonly plantar fasciitis symptoms start as an awareness or ache in the morning. Relief treatment can be quite simple at this time however if it is left, these symptoms will often slowly progress to pain that significantly impacts quality of life.

When targeting plantar fasciitis symptoms your practitioner will guide you through the best strategy or combination of strategies to help relieve and control your individual pain. At Body Leadership Australia we recommend a multimodal approach utilising a number of different treatment options.

Soft Tissue Release
Tightness of the muscles surrounding the foot have been found to pull hard enough on the bones that they alter the natural shape of the foot and ankle often leading to plantar fasciitis pain. Accordingly, release techniques and stretching of the lower limb muscles can have an effect on decreasing symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis.

Stretching
Strategic stretching of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon or on the plantar fascia itself can decrease pain associated with plantar fasciitis. You should get a program tailored to your individual needs.

Orthotics
Orthotics can help to relieve the effects of plantar fasciitis. Changing the weight load through the foot can allow the inflammatory response to settle by supporting the foot appropriately.

Night Splints (Strassburg Sock)
The use of a night splint can reduce recovery time compared to the same protocol utilising standing stretches through the calf.

Cortisone
Cortisone was always a last resort due to potential complications and pain post injection. Now with ultrasound guidance outcomes have improved and we see them used more effectively. Cortisone options can be discussed with your health care professional.

Surgery
A number of studies found 75% to 95% of patients had long term improvement as measured by various criteria. Up to 27% of patients still had significant pain, up to 20% had some activity restriction, and up to 12% had moderate pain that impaired function (Brown et al., 1999; Davies et al., 1999; Fishco et al., 2000). Surgical options are always a last resort.

Once your pain is treated and controlled it is important to understand your individual factors that predispose you to plantar fasciitis which can be explained by your physiotherapist. You can then be taught a home program to release tension, particularly through the calf as well as the foot to nip problems in the bud. This can also be optimised using home exercises to improve strength for better control of your biomechanics long term.

If you, your friend or family member suffer from plantar fasciitis please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly Brisbane sports physiotherapists on 07 3847 8040. Our Brisbane sports physios can also provide treatment from our Brisbane Sports Physiotherapy practice.

30 Aug
2014

Can I really save fuel with a Truck Wheel Alignment?

Most heavy vehicle owners in the transport industry are asking themselves – How can I save money on my running costs? How can I save on fuel consumption? Will a truck wheel alignment help?

Research & studies conducted around the world show that around 80 percent of medium to heavy vehicles are incorrectly aligned, or have a mis-alignment. If your truck, trailer or bus has incorrectly aligned wheels & axles, you have what we call increased rolling resistance when travelling on the road. This means the engine is working harder than required to push the truck along the road, and the end result is an increase in fuel consumption. Given that fuel can account for up to 50% of the operating costs of a truck or fleet, smart operators must explore all avenues to reduce fuel consumption.
Generally speaking, correcting even slight alignment issues have been shown to result in a saving of 3 – 10 percent on fuel.

3% doesn’t sound too significant does it? Lets take a closer look – One truck runs Brisbane to Sydney (return) 3 times a week (6,000 kms). That’s 312,000 kms a year. Fuel consumption average is 1.85 litres/km. That’s 577,200 litres, current local prices are around $1.49 per litre. Fuel cost for the year – $860,028.00. If you reduced fuel consumption by 3%, you would save $25,800.84!!
Your scenario may be different, but you can see that small changes can make a big difference to the bottom line of your business. There are other areas where you can save on running costs, which will be covered in another article.

If you own one truck or one hundred, and you are not having a regular truck wheel alignment performed as part of your maintenance schedule, you really need to contact your local truck wheel alignment specialist for a chat.

Truckologist is a mobile truck wheel alignment business based in Brisbane, Australia.

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