The festive season is joyful, social and busy, and most of us wouldn’t have it any other way. But it can also be stressful and, if you’re feeling the pressure, your body will soon let you know.
Neck and shoulder aches from long hours at the computer delivering those jobs everybody wants completed before Christmas; feet painful from pounding pavements and malls in search of the elusive perfect gift, and skin showing the stress of wondering how you’ll seat 15 at your table for 8 can be unwelcome additions to your Christmas lists.
Beauty Progress Thai Massage Spa, a specialist in massage, facials and quality skin treatment products, is the guardian angel of your feel-good festive vibe. The team is offering a Christmas Massage Special – it is a delicious full 90 minutes of massage for the amazing price of $99 and includes a full body massage, a head and scalp massage, and foot reflexology massaging.
While you are there, double down on your stress reduction by stocking up on Christmas gift vouchers for loved ones who have been especially good this year. The vouchers come in any value from $30 to $100, or can be gifted for a specific treatment. Beauty Progress is open over the holiday period, so visiting friends and family can use their voucher to come in and de-stress, or you can come in together and experience the relaxing bliss as a bonding exercise!
The facials at Beauty Progress are something special. The team uses a product range exclusive to them in Christchurch. Ten years ago, Gernétic approached Owner and Skin Therapist Wendy Barker. “I proceeded to do in depth research on friends and family, and discovered the range to be the best I have used in 30 years of skin therapy,” Wendy says.
“The range, which is French, was first developed to treat burns in Paris hospitals, so the products contain 50 to 80 percent active ingredients, as opposed to the 20 to 30 percent that you can buy over the counter.” The full and final answer to your festive prayers is received when you discover Beauty Progress is open seven days from 9am to 7pm and there is parking at the door.
A recent Christchurch celebrity concert started like this: ‘I’d heard from everyone who’s been here that New Zealanders were friendly, well-fed people’.
You have to admit it: true on both counts. Aotearoa’s a hearty food-bowl; a generous wine-cellar; a well-stocked craft-beer fridge. With the season of frivolity and joyousness upon us, along with all the related foodie-drinkie occasions, a little fasting betwixt events won’t threaten life. You read that right. FASTING. It sounds like deprivation 101. But really, those who do this say intermittent fasting is a form of freedom. There’s a lightness of being. There’s belt-easing. Also, there’s more time to plan some fabulous party fare over a peppermint tea.
Here’s a hypothesis: Could we be less inclined to over-consume when we’ve cut quantities, and when our morsels are packed to the gunnels with flavour and texture? Maybe that’s what our chefs are trying to teach us. Why? Because the days of all-you-can-eat are (hopefully) falling well behind us in our cultural culinary journey.
The global trend seems to be ever more toward shared, flavoursome tasting plates. It’s easy, if you feel starved, to want your own meal. For dining out, tapas and the like are on the rise, making us experience and dare more, without having to fully commit. When you’ve been almost-fasting, even small, tad-portions with delectable, sensual flavour punches will satisfy. Bon appetit!
With a rising suicide rate in New Zealand, two Christchurch women are writing a book on the highly emotional subject in the hope of raising awareness about the issue.
Jan England and Sheryn Gillard Glass are looking for people to share their stories with them so they can publish a book on suicide – a subject which is too often associated with feelings of shame and stigma. “We are hoping by sharing the stories of those who have had to deal with the loss of a loved one [to suicide] it may help others who find themselves in the same situation,” Jan says. A retired solicitor, Sheryn says they would also like to hear from people who survived a suicide attempt. “It’s such an emotional subject but one that needs to be talked about.”
We are hoping this book will raise awareness around suicide
In August, Chief Coroner, Judge Deborah Marshall released the annual provisional suicide statistics showing 668 people died by suicide in New Zealand in 2017/18. It was the highest number of deaths since the statistics were first recorded in 2007/08. Navigating the tragedy of loss is familiar to both women who have known someone who has taken their own life. “It is such a shock,” says Jan, a casual retirement village manager. Jan and Sheryn co-authored their first book Adoption New Zealand in 2002. The book came about after the law changed and the women got talking about the number of adoptions and the trials and tribulations people faced. “It was such a shame their stories weren’t being told – so we decided to tell them,” Sheryn says.
Friends for nearly 50 years, Sheryn says it was always their intention to keep writing. “We originally wanted to write a series of books but time went by and somewhere along the line we became grandmothers…” It took three years to compile Adoption New Zealand but they are confident this one will be done in less time. “We know what we are doing this time,” Sheryn smiles. The women say the reaction to their first book was wonderful and they were honoured to be a part of some amazing stories. “Everyone has a story to tell,” Jan says.
Jan and Sheryn are now actively looking for people to feature in the suicide book. New Zealand has criminal laws governing what can and can’t be said when it comes to reporting suicide. Sheryn says they are aware of the law and will adhere to it. “We are hoping this book will raise awareness around suicide and the impact it has on people who are left to deal with the loss,” she says.
“We also would love to hear from those who have survived an attempt on their lives and how they got through it.”
If you would like to be involved please phone Jan on 03 352 1527 or phone Sheryn on 021 355 109.
When asked for some hot tips, the Duxton Dental team shared some inspiration: Hygienist Megan is an advocate of eating a well-balanced diet, low in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
The dental benefit is a reciprocal relationship. If you eat well you will have healthy teeth and gums; if you have healthy teeth and gums you will eat well and enjoy a variety of foods through your whole life without dentures. Dr Rhonda Gooding shared the knowledge that poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, clogged arteries, strokes and pregnancy complications. She says the mouth is a window to the rest of your body and can help detect early signs of systemic diseases, e.g. mouth ulcers are a symptom of coeliac and crohns disease or nutritional deficiencies. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.
Hygienist, Micayela thinks great looking teeth need great looking gums. She suggests regular hygienist care to remove stains and tartar in conjunction with brushing twice a day and flossing every night. Recent research out of America proves that every $1 spent on dental prevention (such as hygiene visits) saves $8-$50 on dental treatment long term.
Dr Christine Duxbury firmly believes in the value of a friendly smile. Feel confident that your teeth and smile look healthy and attractive. Seek professional help to achieve the smile of your dreams and love your teeth for life.
The festive season has arrived and the team at Champs-Elysées Day Spa understands the importance of offering a thoughtful gift from the heart. What could be more meaningful than a voucher treating your loved one to an unforgettable experience that is all about making them feel truly special?
The beautifully packaged vouchers can be purchased at the spa or online at
www.champs-elysees.co.nz and sent directly to you or a loved one. Every purchase before 22 December goes into the draw to win a luxury prize package from Pure Fiji valued over $200!
The Exotic Island Spa Retreat is the newest luxury pamper package featuring Pure Fiji products. Choose your favourite Pure Fiji infusion, then surrender to pure pampering designed to transport you to blissful tropical paradise. Treatments include a relaxing back, neck and shoulder massage, rejuvenating foot soak, scrub and massage, and a luxurious exotic island facial for just $199!
The Champs-Elysées Diamond Club ensures 12 months of ultimate luxurious pampering with exclusive benefits such as a luxury spa party, and invitations to VIP events. A delightful range of beautifully packaged retail gifts at an equally delightful price is also available.
Champs-Elysées Day Spa are counting down the 12 days to Christmas with an assortment of 12 glorious skin care and beauty products, as well as a luxury Champs-Elysées gift voucher, that one lucky person will win on Christmas Eve.
Keep an eye on their social media for your chance to win! Phone 03 365 3630 for further information.
Statins are a class of drugs often prescribed by doctors to help lower blood cholesterol levels. By lowering the levels, they help prevent heart attacks and stroke.
Clinical studies show that, in certain people, statins reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event (heart attack, stroke, death) by about 25 percent to 35 percent. Studies also show that statins can reduce the chances of recurrent strokes or heart attacks by about 40 percent. Statins should be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and stopping smoking. The most commonly used statins in New Zealand are Simvastatin and Atorvastatin but others are available including Pravastatin and Rosuvastatin.
Statin drugs work by blocking the action of the liver enzyme that is responsible for producing cholesterol. Too much cholesterol in the blood can cause a build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries. That build up can eventually cause the arteries to narrow or harden. Sudden blood clots in these narrowed arteries can cause a heart attack or stroke. Statins lower LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. At the same time, they lower triglycerides and raise HDL cholesterol levels. Statins may also help to stabilise plaque in the arteries. That makes heart attacks and strokes less likely.
However, a significant number of people taking a statin develop an intolerance. Statin intolerance is an inability to tolerate the dose of a statin required to sufficiently reduce a person’s LDL cholesterol and/or cardiovascular risk, due to significant adverse effects, including abnormally elevated markers of either liver or muscle function. The most common symptom of statin intolerance is myalgias (muscle aches). There is also evidence that statins may increase the risk of new onset diabetes and elevated liver enzymes. There have also been reports of memory impairment.
If a person reports symptoms of a possible statin intolerance then their doctor will generally advise stopping the statin or reducing the dose. If the symptoms do not settle on a reduced dose or if the statin has been stopped then the doctor may advise trying another statin. It is quite common to experience symptoms of intolerance on one statin (for example Simvastatin) which may not recur on trying another (for example Atorvastatin).
Some people are unable to tolerate a second statin and a third might be tried. Or an alternative medication such as Ezetimibe may be used. Another medication called Bempedoic Acid (not yet available in New Zealand) has been shown in clinical trials to have a positive cholesterol lowering effect and to have no more muscle pain problems than placebo.
The latest wellness trend popularised on social media by celebrities and professional athletes, is now available in Christchurch, with the opening of New Zealand’s first Cryotherapy Centre.
For years, Anita Leney was a competitive gymnast and judge, before a back injury changed everything. After multiple scans and tests she was prescribed medication, yet still found no relief from the excruciating pain.
Eventually diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome, she discovered cryotherapy, a treatment for pain and inflammation invented in 1978 by Japanese doctor, Toshima Yamauchi. Now, it’s being used for everything from sports injuries to beauty therapies. In cryotherapy, the body is exposed to temperatures between -120°C and -160°C with liquid nitrogen vapour for 30 seconds to three minutes. Over a period of six treatments, Anita began to notice changes and the pain reduced.
“Before, I was unable to do many everyday things that people take for granted, like go to the park with my kids,” she explains.
“Now, I’m functioning as a normal, productive member of society. I would be the first to admit it probably all wasn’t just because of cryotherapy, but it definitely helped alongside the other tools and practices I’d adopted.”
Anita has now become the Cryotherapeutics New Zealand Director based right here in Christchurch, setting up New Zealand’s first Cryotherapy Centre, using a state of the art pod, designed and manufactured in Finland by cryotherapy industry leader, Cryotech Nordic Limited. On a recent episode, she even introduced Seven Sharp’s Hilary Barry to the benefits of Whole Body Cryotherapy!
When it comes to hernia surgery patients can take comfort in the fact mesh can be used without fear, with research showing no difference in pain rates when mesh or sutures are used for repair, The Hernia Clinic’s Ross Roberts says.
An experienced surgeon specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of hernias, Ross explains there has been much controversy in the media regarding the use of mesh in gynaecological procedures, causing unnecessary widespread stress and anxiety for patients undergoing hernia surgery. “Media coverage has unfortunately brought the good results of mesh hernia repair into disrepute by categorising all mesh operations as the same,” Ross states. Published newspaper reports have highlighted associated risks of infection, erosion and chronic pain but haven’t addressed the real issue which is the anatomical placement of the mesh itself, he says.
“The use of mesh for abdominal and groin hernia repair is safe. Most reported problems relate to the location of the material and not the material itself. “The use of polypropylene (the most common type of mesh) is not a new material and has been used for hernia surgery since the early 1990s. The use of mesh in surgery to repair inguinal or groin hernias is well established here in New Zealand (and internationally) and is considered the procedure of choice.”
A systematic review published in 2018 concluded that there was “no difference in chronic pain rates when comparing non mesh repairs with open and laparoscopic mesh repairs”. The team at the Christchurch-based Hernia Clinic is widely experienced in all forms of hernia repair including keyhole and the more traditional surgical techniques. Clinic staff always survey their patients and seek feedback following surgery. “We are confident that it’s safe and that’s the conclusion we have reached after surveying our patients after surgery.”
Hernias are particularly common disorders, especially in men, and can only be successfully treated by surgical repair. The past requirement for prolonged time away from work and exercise following surgical hernia repair no longer applies today.
For ventral hernias with fascial defects greater than 2cm in diameter and all adult groin hernias, mesh should be used to reinforce the tissue repair. If not, the hernia recurrence rate without mesh is unacceptably high. “Mesh can significantly reduce hernia recurrence rates.”
Information regarding hernia repair options is available freely on request. Contact The Hernia Clinic on 03 961 6666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BREATHE EZY is the pioneering New Zealand company that began selling Pure New Zealand Air® to Asia in 2016.
Since that time the company has expanded with an increased range of products and now Breathe Ezy 60 PLUS is being Pure Air enhanced with 60 percent oxygen. This product is aimed specifically at people involved in strenuous activity and pre or post sports.
Breathe Ezy collects air from locations in the Alps and passes it through filters to remove any trace of pollen, dust and most bacteria. Independent tests show the level of particles in our product is less than 0.03 parts per million, many times purer than WHO recommendations. Increasing the oxygen level to 60 percent has produced a safe, effective and useful product that removes any of the risks associated with breathing near 100 percent pure oxygen
The use of oxygen has been a long tradition to enhance energy prior to activity or for warm-down however, aware of some of the risks associated with breathing pure oxygen, Breathe Ezy undertook research and trials to ascertain the most useful mix of oxygen and air. Typically, the air we breathe contains about 20 percent oxygen; increasing the oxygen in Breathe Ezy 60 Plus is an ideal solution for people involved in sports who seek safe and rapid warm-down and re-oxygenation after exercise. Online purchases only at www.breathezy.biz $14.99 a seven-litre canister of about 150 breaths.
Breathe Ezy is a proud sponsor of the International Golf Association of New Zealand.
Unichem Cashel Pharmacy has much to be proud of. Recently it was awarded the Pharmacy of the Year award. Talking to owner, holistic pharmacist and qualified nutritional and environmental practitioner, Annabel Turley, it is easy to see why.
“When it comes to customer service, we go that extra mile and we offer quite different services to other pharmacies,” Annabel says.
“For instance, one of the many services we offer is in appearance medicine, with a registered nurse working on-site, three days a week, providing anti-wrinkle injections and other associated appearance medicine services.”
The pharmacy which is now the only pharmacy in the CBD’s retail precinct also offers: a natural health clinic, a weight loss clinic, a women’s health clinic, a stress clinic, and most impressively, a DNA genetic profiling clinic that maps 54 genes. “The genetic profiling is a road map for wellness. It enables clients to be proactive with their health, because though our genes never change, once we find out where we may have future problems – be it cardiovascular, or whatever – we can make the necessary changes in diet and lifestyle to keep us as healthy as possible,” Annabel says.
When you factor in that this quite extraordinary pharmacy also provides a New Zealand Post outlet, a photo laboratory service (photo printing and passport photos), and a dry-cleaning service, amongst its myriad of other services, it gives an idea of what it took to achieve the award it so truly deserved.