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Vaccines

Small ouch, big lifesaver: the influenza vaccine

Vaccines may not be a lot of fun for anybody, but they’re one of the most effective tools we have for saving children’s lives. Yes, that small ‘ouch’ can be a big life saver. As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, annual flu vaccinations are on everyone’s lips.

Vaccines

Recent research shows about one in four New Zealanders become infected with influenza each winter, but many don’t develop symptoms and may in fact be unaware they’re sick. Tens of thousands seek medical advice for flu-like symptoms every year and, on average, about 400 die from influenza, or its complications, annually.
Health Minister Dr David Clark recently rolled up a sleeve for his annual influenza vaccination and says the goal for 2018 is to break last year’s record, which saw more than 1.2 million New Zealanders getting vaccinated.
“Our influenza season normally begins from June, so getting vaccinated by mid-May is the best way to be protected for winter,” he says.
“If you’re vaccinated, you’re less likely to catch influenza, less likely to pass it on to others, and less likely to be severely ill if you do catch it.”
This year’s funded vaccine will protect against four strains of influenza for the first time, including the A(H3N2) strain that badly affected people in the Northern Hemisphere during their winter.
Health Intelligence Group, ESR Public Health Physician Dr Sarah Jefferies says one of the challenges with influenza is that there is evidence that infection does not always cause symptoms. “Research shows about one in four people may be infected with influenza during a moderate flu season, and the majority of those people may not know they have flu,” she says.
“This is one reason why immunisation is a key line of defence.”
The health burden of seasonal influenza in New Zealand varies from year to year and across the world, significant time and resource goes into increasing the effectiveness of these vaccinations, according to the Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre at the University of Auckland, Associate Professor Nikki Turner.
“Vaccine effectiveness is difficult to accurately predict season-to-season and person-to-person,” Associate Professor Turner says.
“We know overall that when the vaccine types more closely match the circulating strains the vaccine is likely to be more effective. Each year, for the northern and southern hemisphere, there are meetings to decide what is the best prediction for circulating strains and therefore what is the best choice for the seasonal vaccine.
“The vaccines arriving in New Zealand for our winter season have a new updated AH3N2 strain in them, which is a better match and we hope that will give better effectiveness. The government-subsidised vaccines for this season also are quadrivalent (two A strains and two B strains), which should give better protection than the traditional trivalent that have only one B strain in them.”
In New Zealand, those at high risk of getting influenza, including those aged 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic or serious health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer or severe asthma, can get their flu shot for free. It is available from general practices and many community pharmacies.

clean eating

What is clean eating: taking a look at the basic nutritional principles behind the trend

Global empires have been built on the premise. Instagram influencers are courting the attention and affection of millions with their disciplined adherence to its principles. There are books, blogs and food bags dedicated to the cause. In short, cleaning is a food frenzy: but what, exactly, is it?

clean eating

At its heart, it is a very simple concept – it extols the virtues of whole or real foods – those that take a very healthy digression away from processed, refined and even handled foods. If you’re keen on the concept of clean eating but need to know the ins and outs, we’ve got you covered.

Ditch the sugar: Cravings for cakes and cookies might come calling but you need to shut the metaphorical door on these. Cleaning up your diet means limiting sweets – even those found in yogurt and cereal.

Limit sodium: Most of us are getting more sodium than we need. Cutting back on yummies that fall into the processed category will help reduce your salt intake. Salt isn’t a total no-no; it’s a brilliant flavour enhancer but use it sparingly.

Pick produce: We all know the 5+ a day advice and clean eating lends its voice to this philosophy. The fibre in whole produce is great for the gut as it works to keep your microbiome (good bacteria) happy.

Eat less meat: Extensive research suggests cutting back on meat does you, and the planet, a favour. While veganism isn’t a compulsory requirement of clean eating, eating less meat can help keep your weight in check and reduce blood pressure.

Champs-Elysées

The gift of luxury pampering: five gifts from Champs-Elysées for the lady in your life

Win your precious mum a stunning Argyle Pink and White Diamond pendant from Partridge Jewellers, valued at $1,200!
Show much you care by giving her the gift of luxurious relaxation and exquisite pampering. Whisk her away from the pressures of every-day life, and treat her to an experience dedicated to making her feel loved, treasured and truly special.

Champs-Elysées

All Champs-Elysées Luxury Gift Vouchers purchased over $100 before 11th May will go in to the draw to win this beautiful piece of jewellery! The diamond pendant features the letter ‘M’ for Mum so Champs-Elysées Day Spa has created a range of luxurious Mother’s Day gift packages to suit every type of Mum:

For busy mums

Power Pamper Package ($199) – a pampering experience that fits all of her essential body and beauty treatments into 75 minutes! The Power Pamper Package includes a Neck & Shoulder Massage, Hauté Couture Facial, Gel Peptide Mask, Brow Sculpt, Brow Tint, Head & Scalp Massage plus a File & Polish (choose fingers or toes).

For mums with expensive taste

Matis Kaviar Facial ($210) – the ultimate in luxury rejuvenating facials, featuring Activ’ Kaviar Pearls, with caviar extract, rich in proteins to boost, energise and deeply nourish the skin, combined with amino essential acids to revitalise cellular renewal. This glorious 75 minute facial effectively works to plump and firm the skin, leaving it feeling smooth and refined and looking wonderfully luminous. Also included is a luxurious arm exfoliation and massage.

For mums dreaming of a tropical getaway

Tropical Island Bliss ($245) – a 2 hour luxury experience all about beauty and pure relaxation and is designed to deeply nourish and pamper your body from head to toe. Featuring Pure Fiji’s deliciously zesty infusion of Coconut & Lime Blossom, this luxury pamper package includes an Exfoliating Body Polish, a relaxing Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage enhanced with placement of hot stones and a luxurious Tropical Island Bliss Facial.

Champs-Elysées

For mums who love to indulge

Pure Indulgence Luxury Body Spa ($325) – an experience of relaxation, well-being and pure indulgence. This half day of pampering starts with an invigorating full body exfoliation, followed by a body wrap of her choice, (choose from Relax, Slim or Anti-ageing). While she is cocooned in the body wrap, she will be pampered with a luxurious foot scrub & massage or a heavenly head & scalp massage, followed by a glorious full body massage.

For mums who deserve the ultimate in luxury

The Champs-Elysées Diamond Club ($1,990): An exclusive 12-month membership, giving her the perfect excuse to make some precious time for pampering herself every month while enhancing beauty, health and wellbeing. It includes:
• Monthly one-hour Champs-Elysées Diamond Club Facial
• Monthly 30-minute beauty treatment of your choice
• Luxury Spa Party for her and two friends
• 10 percent discount on all additional spa services and retail purchases
• Exclusive invitation to Champs-Elysées Diamond Club events.

To purchase a Champs-Elysées Luxury Gift Voucher, please visit the Merivale Day Spa, order online at www.champs-eysees.co.nz, or phone 03-365 3630 and a beautifully packaged gift voucher will be sent directly to you or your precious mum.
Mention Metropol when booking to enter the draw to win a stunning diamond ‘M’ pendant from Partridge Jewellers.

Oxford Women’s Health

A lifetime of good nutrition: Sara Widdowson of Oxford Women’s Health on eating your way to better health

Sara Widdowson
Sara Widdowson

As women’s bodies grow and change, nutritional needs change too. Sara Widdowson, a Nutrition Consultant and Dietitian at Oxford Women’s Health, shares her expert advice on staying healthy at every age and stage of life.

What are the top priorities for children and adolescents when it comes to good nutrition?

Children and adolescents are still growing and need lots of energy. Rather than filling them up with calorie-dense foods, keep the focus on nutrient-rich foods, such as colourful vegetables, lean meat and milk, to make sure they are getting all they need to thrive.
Encouraging children to listen to their bodies – like stopping eating when they’re full – helps to establish good eating habits that will set them up for life.
For young women, iron intake is particularly important. Meat, nuts, and leafy-green vegetables all contain iron.

What should pregnant women be eating to help improve the health of their baby?

Instead of ‘eating for two’, pregnant women should be eating food that is twice as healthy. ‘Quality over quantity’ is an easy way to think about it.
What mum puts in her body is really important for the baby’s development. Folate from foods such as dark green vegetables, beans and lentils helps to prevent neural defects, while iodine is important for brain development, for example.

Oxford Women’s Health

Do nutritional needs change when you are having a period?

Your basal-metabolic rate – how much energy you’re burning at rest – is higher when you are having a period. I encourage women not to avoid that hunger but to try and choose nutrient-dense foods. Instead of chocolate, try magnesium-rich options like nuts and seafood.

Which foods are beneficial for women going through menopause?

Oestrogen and progesterone drop during menopause, which is particularly detrimental to bone health. Upping your calcium intake by eating canned fish, soy products and calcium-rich milk is crucial during this time.
There’s evidence to suggest that foods like tofu, milk, chickpeas, flaxseeds and lentils can help to reduce menopause symptoms.

Do older people have different nutritional needs?

When you get older you lose your thirst receptors, which means you can be dehydrated and not know it. Have a jug of water or water bottles in your fridge, so you can make sure you are drinking enough.
Getting short doses of vitamin D from the sun every day is important for bone health. Deficiency in B12 is also very common in older people, so including foods like milk, eggs, fish and chicken in your diet is key.
The most important thing to do at any age is to eat a nutrient rich diet. Eat vegetables at every meal, if possible, and include ‘good fats’ like oily fish, avocado and flaxseed oil in your daily routine.

Flow Hot Yoga

‘Yoga therapy’ next level therapeutics: Flow Hot Yoga welcomes yoga icon Vincent Bolletta

As a continuation of Flow Hot Yoga’s dedication to healing and safe yoga, it is offering yoga therapy training with New Zealand’s foremost yoga instructor and teacher trainer Vincent Bolletta.

Flow Hot Yoga

He is the founder and director of the Hañsa Yoga International Studies and co-founder of the Centre for Contemporary Yoga Studies in Auckland. Vincent travels all around the world leading teacher trainings in the art and science of yoga therapy and has worked alongside New Zealand’s top athletes. He will present training at Christchurch’s Flow Hot Yoga.
Yoga therapy is a practice. The term used for learning the therapeutics of yoga at a deeper, more involved level, it supports the practitioner and teacher more than basic yoga training. It is part of an advanced yoga teacher’s toolkit but even those with no yoga experience can do this training as it is a fantastic qualification to have. There are cross overs in careers such as massage therapy, occupational therapy, and body workers, many of whom learn yoga therapy and apply its principals in their work.
New yogis on their teacher journey will find Hañsa yoga therapy training a wonderful way to support their students. It expands the conversation into other modalities such as mediation, irest Yoga Nidra, Yoga Therapy, Anatomy and, of course, their training of choice in practical and theory on yoga Asana or anything from Ashtanga to Vinyasa to kundalini. Visit www.flowhotyoga.co.nz to book your space at this sought-after event.

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: on getting teary-eyed at the M Factor Events for Ronald McDonald fashion show

Tears may not be what you’d expect from one of the city’s most covetable fashion shows. But when the benefactor of the event is a worthy charitable cause such as Ronald McDonald House South Island, which has supported the likes of Paula and Alex Moore, it’s not surprising there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

When their daughter Grace was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, the Moore family – including Grace’s twin sister Sophie and younger brother Beau – spent 133 nights at Ronald McDonald House.
The annual M Factor Fashion Show is one of the organisation’s primary fundraising drives each year, which enables it to continue the tireless crusade to support families when they need it the most. More than $65,000 was raised for the charity on the night at this year’s event.
It’s an event that organiser Maree Lucas from M Factor Events puts heart and soul into. She was joined on stage for the opening address by her twin nieces. Born prematurely, one with a hole in her heart, they spent time at Starship and her family stayed at Ronald McDonald House to be close to them while they underwent treatment.
It was a special night for a special cause and Metropol would like to personally thank all of the incredible people that supported this event in some way, shape or form.
We look at the charity’s next major fundraiser on page 10. Enjoy.

Mike King

Mike King’s mission: this funny family man has tasked himself with making a serious difference to New Zealand’s youth

Popular New Zealand personality Mike King may have made his name as a comedian, but these day’s you’ll find him delivering a much more serious message. He’s been heading up and down the country – a 4000km journey – on a 50cc scooter for the past five years, addressing youth suicide. We talk to the mental health advocate about his personal mission for this very worthy cause.

Mike King

How big is the youth suicide issue in New Zealand?

How long is a piece of string? The issue of suicide across the board is big and how we’re dealing with it needs addressing. Currently those in crisis have to ring ‘this number’ or see ‘this person’. Everything is aimed at the person in crisis; nothing is aimed at the 65/70 percent of the population who have no problems.
People hold onto problems for so long and they’re only being referred when they’re at critical point. We’re trying to promote the fact that it’s ok to talk about small problems before they become big ones and someone becomes suicidal.

You’ve been making your way around the country on 50cc Suzukis to raise awareness, why is it such an important issue for you to tackle?

In February 2013 I spoke at a small rural school in Northland which had lost five children to suicide. I have discovered through this experience that our young people don’t feel like us old people are listening to them.
So we went around schools listening, listening, listening. We discovered that all kids, regardless of religion or colour, have the same problems and they’re not talking about them; they’re holding onto them until they become overwhelming.
Their inner critics, the little voice second guessing all their decisions, are huge. From there we worked out a strategy – help the inner critic; he’s the cornerstone of 9 out of 10 of the mental health problems. We need to normalise the inner critics by changing society’s attitudes.
Last year we discovered that of those who will have a major mental health problem, 80 percent won’t ask for help. They don’t feel safe. The simplest thing we could do is come up with a signifier of someone safe. We created a simple wristband with ‘I am hope’ on it. This says: I won’t judge, shame, gossip, ask stupid questions, try and fix everything for you; all you’ll get from me is unconditional love and hope, but most importantly, if you want to talk to someone, I am here.

What are some of the key ways New Zealand can start to make some ground in this area?

Parents need to know that all kids are born perfect. The only thing that can screw them up is us. We apply all these rules and only give conditional love – if you do this or that, pass this test, then I’ll love you. We can understand the logic of that, because we’re adults, but kids are thinking there must be something wrong with them if they’re not getting unconditional love.
If there’s five things they do, four are good and one is bad, we focus on the bad, what we think we’re saying is ‘we love you, but you can do better’, but what our kids are getting is ‘no matter what I do I can never be good enough’. How we’re speaking to our children becomes an inner voice.
These become little criticisms that mean nothing in isolation, ‘yes you’re an idiot I asked for a screwdriver you bought be a spoon’. But that’s one hell of an inner critic we’re planting in our kids’ heads.

How does it feel to be in a position where you can play such a positive role in raising awareness of issues such as this?

It’s a privileged position. We have to be very responsible; people are placing a lot of trust on our shoulders. We don’t take or accept government funding; we’re funded by the public of New Zealand. A lot of organisations out there take government money and public money. That’s like having a wife and girlfriend; you have to lie to please both. We only take public donations and apply for grants, so the public will let us know when we’re out of a job; it keeps you honest. It’s a cool position to be in.

Moorhouse Medical Centre

Multi-disciplinary medicine: Moorhouse Medical Centre

People constantly come and go through the doors of the large red building that is the Moorhouse Medical Centre. The activity hints at just how busy this long-established practice is. It has been a feature of Christchurch’s central city for more than 20 years – first of all in Washington Way and now in its current location on Pilgrim Place. During those years it has expanded its range of services for patients to reflect the needs of its community.

Moorhouse Medical Centre

“New patients and former patients are finding us now that central Christchurch is being re-established,” Moorhouse Medical Clinical Director Dr Neil Beumelburg says. “It’s exciting to be a part of that rebirth after a difficult few years and our medical team is growing to reflect the increased demand. Right now we are accepting new enrolments.”
What draws patients to Moorhouse Medical Centre is the diversity of care this practice offers. Besides the usual general practice services there is a travel clinic and a business health service.
The medical team of 22 nurses and eight GPs also carry out immigration medicals, skin checks and minor surgical services. “We are a truly multi-disciplinary practice and it is the diversity of our work that is so interesting. One day is never the same as the next.”
In addition to its general practice aspects Moorhouse Medical’s other major arm is ‘urgent care’, providing comprehensive medical and nursing services for accidents and medical issues.
“Anyone who has a medical problem or injury can walk into our clinic at any time from 8am to 8pm seven days a week, including public holidays. We provide an alternative for casual patients and after hours care besides the 24 Hour Clinic. No appointment is necessary in these circumstances to make things as easy as possible. We have X-ray facilities on site which enables us to offer fracture and soft tissue injury clinics, as well as musculoskeletal consultations and we also have physiotherapy available. Treatment of open wounds – cuts requiring stitches – is provided free, as is fracture care, apart from the initial consultation.”

Moorhouse Medical Centre

Further adding to its credentials, Moorhouse Medical Centre is part of a Christchurch Primary Health Organisation (PHO), along with Riccarton Clinic, Ara Institute and the University of Canterbury. It is also a teaching practice for the Royal College of General Practitioners and for the Christchurch School of Medicine. “But above all, we want to be seen as a patient-centred practice with a professional and friendly approach providing the very best of care.”
Moorhouse Medical Centre is open for appointments from 8am to 6pm weekdays and you can also be seen as a casual patient without an appointment 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. Phone 03-365 7900 or visit www.moorhousemedical.co.nz.

Matcha

Match made: the Matcha invasion that will have you green with (food) envy

If you’ve noticed the increasing number of foods that have been turning green recently, you might be forgiven for wondering what on earth is going on.

Matcha

These clever little culinary concoctions have been injected with matcha. A fine green tea powder, matcha has been produced in Japan for centuries, with Buddhist monks using it to help them stay calm and alert during meditation.
Despite this illustrious past, matcha has only really hit the fore of western conscience in more recent years, where it has struck a culinary chord with the wellbeing crowd.
Its vivid green colour comes from the high levels of chlorophyll produced by growing the tea leaves in the shade, a method that also boosts its inherent antioxidants.
While matcha can be purchased in its raw form in health shops, it’s increasingly making an appearance in cafés, bakeries and even restaurants inside a daring range of baking, smoothies, desserts and plenty of other cooked creations – even burger buns!
Matcha and… well anything really, might just be a match made in culinary heaven.

Wigram Health

A fulfilled life : Wigram Health on being proactive with your health

Whether you are a busy executive, retiree or working parent, your health is important. Each of these important life stages are a crucial time to take care of yourself, because optimal health is vital to leading an active and meaningful life.

Wigram Health

At Wigram Health, patient health is the dedicated team’s top priority. The team understands its patients need and want a premium service with minimal hassle. To that end, Wigram Health has combined its clinical excellence and state-of-the-art facility to deliver My Health Check-up, the most comprehensive executive wellness programme available.

My Health Check-up is designed to:

• Uncover potential health problems
• Proactively manage identified health problems
• Reduce or eliminate any health risk factors
• Empower patients to achieve positive lifestyle change.
Through the programme, the team will acquire a detailed knowledge about a patient’s health status and know exactly what actions to take to improve their health and wellness.

The core principles of the programme is as follows:

ONGOING CARE:

A commitment to building a long-term relationship with patients to provide them with an outstanding care experience. The day of their first visit marks the beginning of a long-term relationship. After the visit, the team will coordinate all the follow-ups and make sure that all concerns have been addressed. Patients will also be sent a reminder about their next check-up date.

A DEDICATED COORDINATOR:

The team does everything possible to coordinate visits with patients’ busy schedules. A dedicated wellness coordinator will schedule all the visits at times that best suit patients and advise them of any preparation required.

A DEDICATED WELLNESS DOCTOR:

A dedicated wellness doctor, who takes all the time necessary to understand health concerns and carries out a comprehensive head-to-toe examination, will be available. At the end of the evaluation, the doctor will discuss examination findings and test results. The doctor will then recommend a management plan which may include lifestyle advice, treatments, further investigations, and specialist referral. A comprehensive written report will be provided and either delivered to the patient’s home or emailed.

A COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION:

My Health Check-up is the most comprehensive health evaluation tailored to health needs. The comprehensive checks include:
• History and exams
• Comprehensive lab tests
• Cardiac health
• Lung health
• Visual health
• Hearing
• Biometric evaluation
• Specialised diagnostic imaging (as clinically indicated).

Wigram Health believes in the genuine and compassionate care of people, the kind of care that the team members would want for themselves and their loved ones. It wants to reinvent traditional healthcare and turn patients’ healthcare experiences into positive ones. Moreover, it wants to bring together a team dedicated to exceptional patient experience, smart use of technology, and people-centred design to bring this vision to life.
Providing the same day appointments, extended opening hours, minimal waiting, and virtual consultations so that patients can access care with minimal disruption to their busy lives is all part of the service.
To make an appointment for My Health Check-up or find out more, please contact Wigram Health on
03-349 8613. Email mycheckup@wigramhealth.co.nz, visit www.wigramhealth.co.nz.