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What can your genes say about your health? Unichem Cashel

Did you know your DNA can provide a blueprint for your health? And a new genetic testing service at Unichem Cashel can help people make better choices about their health, with trained pharmacists able to offer personal advice based on your genetic makeup.

Head Pharmacist Annabel Turley.


The inner-city pharmacy is now home to Ingeneous DNA testing, which uses specialised sequence testing to provide insights and information that you can act on to improve your health and wellbeing.

Head Pharmacist Annabel Turley has completed specialist training to bring Ingenous to Canterbury, as she herself has used genetic testing to improve her health.

“One of the reasons I got into genetic testing is because there is some inherited conditions in my family, and identifying those at a genetic level allows me to make lifestyle changes which can reduce my chances of the conditions developing.”

Ingeneous is designed to help you make better choices with personalised advice, designed for your unique genetic make-up. Its founder, Dr Libby Lindsay, developed the service after years of battling eczema, migraines, lactose intolerance, depression and infertility.

“Understanding your genetic blueprint can have a profound impact on your wellbeing,” she says. “When I finally did a DNA test I learnt how I could improve my health by understanding how my body responded to diet, exercise, lifestyle and supplements. Having this personalised genetic roadmap changed my life.”

While our genes are fixed, environmental and lifestyle factors can influence how they are expressed, which is why Ingeneous reports and recommendations are designed to be useful and practical, says Dr Lindsay.

“I want to get the word out that your quality of life can be improved. One of the best ways of really knowing our health potential lies within our genes.”


A kelping hand

The age-old wisdom of eating your vegetables is showing no sign of subsiding, but what appears to be trending is the advice to also eat your sea vegetables. Enter – kelp. A superfood seaweed those in the know are predicting to be a standout ingredient in western cuisine this year.



Seaweed as a dietary staple is nothing new; it has been used in Japanese, Korean and Chinese food for thousands of years. Now, it’s breaking through into western cuisines beyond sushi and miso soup. You might have seen dried nori snacks at the supermarket, but gastronomical gurus are predicting this superstar ingredients is about to be big.

The sustainability factor of kelp is a big part of its predicted popularity, it can grow from a seedling to five metres full size in a season, doesn’t need fertiliser and actually helps keep the water clean. And that’s just the environmental pros, it is also nutrient dense and packed with calcium and B vitamins.

So how can we expect to see kelp on our plates? Pundits suggest looking out for kimchi made from kelp, a kelp cube for your next smoothie, kelp-based broths and soups, and even kelp-centric salsas. And, as kelp becomes more mainstream, who knows what form this functional food may take.


Seasonal wellbeing made easy

The seasonal shift to autumn is in full swing, and with it brings chillier mornings, darker evenings, and the looming flu season. If all these changes are making you glum, Metropol looks at ways to help you stay on top of your wellbeing. So while the leaves are turning red and orange; you’re not feeling blue.




Adieu to the flu
We are sick (get it?) of hearing about viruses! There is nothing worse than having or hearing a runny nose. But according to the Ministry of Health, the time to get ahead of it is now as peak influenza season usually begins in late May or early June. The vaccine is available from your family GP, accident and medical clinic or workplace occupational health service.

It’s hibernation season
No one needs telling twice how important a good night’s sleep is. Science has proven time and again it is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert. This transitional season is the best time to clock in your seven to nine hours of shut eye; it’s cooler but not cold and it gets darker earlier.

Beachy keen
Autumn may not be providing those over 30-degree days, but it is still sending a bit of sunshine our way. Don’t shy away from your summer spots just because the season has changed, plus there are fewer beachgoers than those scorching summer days. So, whether you’re there for a swim, sprint or scenic views; make full use of the natural anti-depressant. Ease your mind, take that extra breath and just pause for a moment.

No “I” in team
But there is a me… and that’s okay. Joining a team sport is a great way to stay on top of your mental and physical wellbeing. It holds you accountable and sparks new friendships, says exercise physiologist Franci Cohen. Pre-season training for winter sports often starts in autumn, acclimatise to those chillier mornings now.


A fitting smile: Dentures Plus

There’s a somewhat erroneous train of thought out there around the subject of dentures as to maintenance and cleaning, with some people believing that once their dentures are fitted, they can more or less forget about them. Ryan Carlton of Dentures Plus cautions against
this casual attitude.



“Just because it’s dentures, it doesn’t mean they can be neglected. Dentures can harbour bacteria and build up plaque and tartar much the same as real teeth,” he says.

Ryan recommends that those with a complete set of dentures have a check-up every one to two years, while those with partial dentures have a yearly check-up.

Another thing to be aware of as regards to denture oral health is any unusual lesions or abnormalities presenting in the mouth.

“If oral cancer is discovered, for example, the earlier it’s detected, the better,” says Ryan.

Dentures Plus offers a cleaning service that treats dentures with the Australian made Caldent, a denture cleaning product that’s only available at denture clinics, and which Ryan attests “makes dentures look really good!”

For a daily cleaning regime, products such as brushes, baths and soaking solutions can be ordered online from Dentures Plus, ensuring all denture wearers have complete confidence that their smile is little short of fabulous.

Call (03) 385 5517 or visit the website below to make an appointment.


New footwork: Footprints Podiatry

There’s a fresh new face at Footprints Podiatry. It belongs to Ryan Primrose, the latest New Zealand- trained podiatrist to join the clinic. “He comes from Auckland,” says Senior Podiatrist Howard Nicholas, “but we won’t hold that against him!”




Ryan says it was his involvement with sport that introduced him to podiatry. “I played several sports and did a lot of hiking. Unfortunately, that led to some foot problems and I needed to visit a podiatrist,” he says.

“The relief from the treatment was immense and determined my career direction. I’ve loved every minute since.”

Ryan adds that podiatry is a very rewarding career because of the difference even simple procedures can make for patients. He enjoys all aspects of the work from palliative care to orthotics, from medical pedicures to nail restoration, from working with children to older patients.

“The work is all so varied. It really gives me a buzz because I never know each day just what will come through the door to test my skills and knowledge.”

Ryan is also very excited that Footprints’ Ilam clinic where he will mostly be based will next year be in a state-of-the-art new facility along with other health professionals.

“It’s going to have everything a podiatrist dreams about.”


Healthy hair, healthy you: Hairmantra

Much like visiting the dentist, periodic check-ups for your hair and scalp health could benefit you long term. Why wait until visible signs of hair loss, baldness, or alopecia emerge? Metropol caught up with Dr Padmaja Redekar of Hairmantra to find out more about how to keep on top of your up top.



You should especially visit the clinic if there’s a known genetic heritage or if you’re experiencing any hair issues. But, sometimes it’s as simple as just needing a helping hand with basic hair hygiene, for example what type of comb to use, how climate effects your scalp.

So how can Hairmantra help you? It all starts with a consultation, followed by a microscope (60x and 150x) analysis where the clinic will look into your hair bulbs and strands. From there, low level laser therapy or appropriate hair products and supplements will be suggested.

Dr Redekar’s goal is to educate and provide her clients with the proper knowledge on how small changes, according to their lifestyle, can make a big difference.

After treatments, clients may start seeing changes as soon as 15 days, she says.

Curious if Hairmantra is the right fit for you? Dr Redekar is happy to have a free no-obligation conversation. Contact her on 021 069 0058 or email


Work out your workout

They say the early bird gets the worm… but sometimes it can be hard to leave the nest in the morning. Maybe you’re struggling to find the motivation to go to the gym – again – this week. It’s all about working out the workout that best fits you.

Swimming is a great cardiovascular activity that works your whole body. If you’re heading to a pool, a good starting point is three times a week for around 20 minutes. Naturally, it will be easier to get in the water during the warmer months, but indoor pools allow for year-round swimming. The best part? Exercise with no sweat!

Pole dancing is a topic often danced around in conversation because of the industry it derives from, which seems ironic considering that’s exactly what the exercise consists of. Making it’s way into the mainstream, pole fitness is another complete body workout (particularly your upper body, core and thighs) that requires dancers to hold up their own body weight.

Whilst it’s always great to exercise outdoors, we’re not going to pretend like lockdown didn’t happen last year. Using a fitness video game can be a fun way to switch it up, games like Just Dance, Wii Fit and Nike+ Kinect Training. Not to mention it can be an inclusive, hilarious way to get the whole family moving indoors.

It may not be possible for everyone to run away to the circus. But there is a way to live out your Cirque du Soleil fantasy – ariel arts classes. Whether you opt for silks, hoop or the trapeze, these are all full body workouts that will build strength in your arms, shoulders, upper body and core.

Fitness boxing is a great way to punch out your weekly recommended physical activity, without having to take the hits from an opponent like in traditional boxing. It improves endurance, strength, gets your heart going and not to mention there is the hidden benefit of learning some form of self-defence.


Looking deeper: Freedom Health

Do you have injuries and niggles that seem to keep recurring? Or a pain that just never seems to get better despite seeing numerous health professionals? Cath Julius, Physiotherapist at Freedom Health Physiotherapy and Pilates, tells Metropol how we need to look beyond the surface for long term solutions.




“This is a common issue for many people, and too often it’s because we only look at the surface of the problem,” she says.

“I have a theory about effective and long-lasting treatment called the ‘Iceberg Theory’. It is easy to assume that weak muscles are the cause of ongoing issues. But it is rarely that simple.”

Cath likens assessment of injuries to an iceberg. Whilst you can only see the iceberg that is above the water’s surface, the majority of it actually lies beneath the surface.

The same goes for an injury. Whilst you can see weak muscles and stiff joints, the underlying reasons that have led to this often lie beneath the surface.

“For example, a phenomenon known as muscle inhibition is often the underlying cause of muscle weakness,” says Cath.

“In this case, the muscles are being told by the nervous system not to work, so no amount of strengthening will actually improve the situation until we establish why they aren’t firing in the first place.”

This is why Freedom Health has set up a strong collaboration of experts with skills ranging from movement assessment, pilates therapy, breathing, dance and women’s health physiotherapists.

“Our body is such a complex system that there is no way that one person can be an expert in all the underlying factors,” says Cath.

“Having a team approach helps us to open our eyes to all the underlying factors and ultimately helps ensure that we can help more people find long-term success for their injuries and symptoms.”

If you want to go beneath the surface and find long-term solutions for your body, contact the team at Freedom Health on (03) 355 6699, via or visit the website below.




Toe-tal foot health: Feet First Podiatry

“Continuous improvement” may be a business buzzword – but it’s a concept that is right at the heart of the Feet First Podiatry practice.


Agata, Julia and Charlotte


Here, leading podiatrist Charlotte is highly skilled with many years of experience, but she wanted to offer more to her clients.

Agata, Feet First’s European-trained podiatry assistant has established a client base of both general and cosmetic podiatry.

Julia, a New Zealand-trained podiatrist, knowledgeable in all aspects of foot care, has now also joined the team.

Both Agata and Julia offer some timely advice. “Unfortunately, summer is over. Soon your feet won’t be on display in strappy sandals, but before you tuck them away, take the opportunity to give them some pampering or address any more serious issues.”

Agata specialises in the cosmetic side of podiatry with her medi-pedis (medical pedicures) trimming toenails, reducing any hard areas of dry, dead callused skin, removing any corns from your feet and toes, and treating and reducing any cracks in your heels.

Nail restoration is one of her favourite treatments where she is able to remodel nails affected by fungus, defects or trauma.

Julia brings fresh eyes and new ideas to Feet First Podiatry.

Julia fully agrees with Charlotte on the importance of proper foot care for all.

Feet First Podiatry emphasises regular podiatry visits but especially for high-risk patients as a preventative measure.

Charlotte and her team cater to all aspects of podiatry from palliative care to orthotics.

Email, phone (03) 348 7910 or visit the website below.



World class radiology, locally: Pacific Radiology

Most people do not consciously think about when or what they might need an MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, mammogram or X-ray for. Southern Lakes residents can now rest assured that when the need arises, they will have the very latest in imaging technology on their doorstep. Queenstown, Wanaka and Central Otago communities are set to benefit from Pacific Radiology’s new purpose-built imaging facility currently under construction at Kawarau Park along Frankton’s Ladies Mile Highway.


Artists impression of new specialist imaging facility at Kawarau Park, along Frankton Ladies Mile Highway, Queenstown, due to open later this year.


Exceptional care: Located next door to the new Southern Cross surgical hospital nearing completion, the Pacific Radiology facility will offer local patients, doctors, physiotherapists, midwives, chiropractors, hospital specialists and all leading health referrers increased access to the very latest in high-tech imaging, diagnostic and interventional procedures.
Dr Greg Harkness, Pacific Radiology’s incoming Managing Radiologist for the Otago-Southland region, notes the importance of working in partnership with Southern Cross Hospitals to ensure the current and future healthcare needs of local residential communities are met.
“It’s rewarding to be part of such an exciting joint-venture project with Southern Cross Hospitals, enabling us to deliver world-class radiology imaging, diagnostic and interventional procedures to an ever-expanding local community,” he says.

Detailed Insights: As New Zealand’s largest private provider of specialist radiology imaging, diagnostic and interventional services with more than 800 staff and 45 clinics nationwide, Pacific Radiology has a proven reputation for their breadth of radiologist expertise across a full range of radiology specialisations including: Abdominal, breast, cardiothoracic, interventional, neurological, oncological, obstetrics and gynaecology, musculoskeletal, paediatric, vascular and veterinary imaging.
“We look forward to our patients and referrers enjoying the benefit of increased regional health services delivered through a brand new, purpose-built facility equipped with the very latest in cutting-edge, high-tech imaging technology,” says Dr Harkness.
Pacific Radiology services to be delivered from the new Queenstown facility will include MRI, CT, Xray, ultrasound and breast imaging services — providing even greater choice for locals and complementing Pacific Radiology’s existing services Cromwell and Wanaka clinics.