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Upgrade your cyber security now!

Don’t think a cyber attack can’t happen to you or your business. Last month’s cyber attack on the Waikato District Health Board is a wake-up call for all businesses, organisations and computer users in Aotearoa.



Thought to have come through an email attachment, the attack crashed the health board’s electronic systems, delaying elective surgeries, and making patient’s notes inaccessible. It wasn’t the first cyber attack here and it won’t be the last.
CERT NZ, the government agency which supports organisations and people affected by cyber security incidents, last year received 7809 cyber security reports affecting New Zealanders, a significant leap from the 4740 reports made in 2019.
On average, companies take about 197 days to identify and 69 days to contain a breach.
John Williams, chair of NZ Health IT’s special interest digital enablers group, has the following suggestions:

• Increase vigilance in monitoring, detecting, and responding to suspicious activity
• Conduct a fresh cyber risk assessment
• Review external perimeter security, services and ports
• Review third-party services risks, related to remote access and management
• Maintain offline, encrypted backups of data and regularly test backups
• Make sure patches on all devices are up to date
• Check antivirus and other security systems will detect and block ransomware
• Review emails, attachments, macro detection, and protection controls
• Implement awareness training and processes to increase cyber security literacy
• Run regular scans and pick all assets up not just Windows machines
• Have an offline copy of the organisation’s incident plan.


The name says it all: Bradley Wood Dentists

In the past, wearing braces on the teeth was a daunting prospect, and achieving the desired outcome could take a long time. Fortunately for us, Bradley Wood Dentists offers patients the Fastbraces system, and true to its name, it’s a gamechanger for those requiring braces.



The average treatment with standard issue braces lasts two years, and many people have their braces even longer.

With Fastbraces, some patients have completed their orthodontic care in as little as 20 weeks.

With traditional braces, teeth are moved in stages, and each stage takes time to complete, but with Fastbraces, the crowns and roots can be moved at the same time, saving patients’ time and money.

Another point of difference is their special triangular brackets. This affects the forces exerted by the arch-wire, as well as using the flexibility of the wire.

Dentist Anthony Wood says the revolutionary system also allows for far fewer extractions. “We seldom do extractions. In the last five years, we’ve done only three to four [extractions].”

Over 50 percent of the business’ patients accessing Fastbraces are in the 30-plus-years bracket, which proves that no matter what age we are, we all just want to smile with confidence.

Bradley Wood Dentists is located at 252 Papanui Road, phone (03) 355 7890 or visit the website.


Physio on the move: On the Go Physio

On the Go Physio has provided physiotherapy services to a very special group of people – older adults – for 13 years. “I’ve always loved working with this patient group; many changes that come with aging aren’t inevitable. A proper assessment, the right shoes, exercise and nutrition can give people back independence, energy and quality of life” says director Jessie Snowdon.



Initially a fully home-based service, Jessie started small to fill a gap between what clients sought and what was publicly available.

This expanded quickly with a combination of private clients living at home, and aged-care facilities keen to utilise her skills. The team now includes seven physiotherapists, two physiotherapy assistants, an office manager, and recently, an occupational therapist and dietitian.

Working with older adults takes a vast knowledge as people can present with the full range of health and rehabilitation needs. “My fabulous team might be working with someone who has had a stroke but also has COPD, arthritis and diabetes. And maybe fractured their hip the year before!” says Jessie.

A typical physiotherapy assessment takes at least an hour and follow-up sessions are 45 minutes. “We are often working on a range of activities from strengthening, balance work and endurance, as well as specific neurological input for some people.”

As people improve, they can join one of the speciality groups at On the Go Physio’s new home – The Older Adults Health Collective at 47 Whiteleigh Ave.

“We now have a small gym space and are offering classes of up to eight people with specific conditions such a stroke, Parkinson’s, Polio, vascular conditions and strength and balance,” says Jessie.

A new venture, the Older Adults Health Collective houses other health professionals with a passion for working with older adults. “We work closely and collaboratively with our dietician, speech language therapist, massage therapist, and hand therapy colleagues.

Clients can access a full range of services without long waiting times or having to repeat their story.”

One collaboration is an assessment service for people suffering frailty, started in response to people needing surgery but who weren’t physically strong enough.

Jessie says, “Nobody wants to hear themselves described as frail and we are now offering a service for people identified as frail, or heading towards frailty, who would like to reverse this.”

The frailty service sees physiotherapist and dietitian collaborate to ensure people have the nutrition they need to build strength.

Any issues with managing the eating and swallowing aspect can be immediately referred to the speech language therapy team. “We are so excited about this expansion and serving more people in the later stages of life.”

Phone the team on 0800 000 856 or visit the website.




Something for all: Kiwi Health 2020

Winter can take its toll on skin and general health, so it is an ideal time to research a boost, which is where Kiwi Health 2020 Ltd comes into play. Its website is chock full of vitamin and supplement suggestions, aimed at improving all manner of things from skin tone and elasticity to weight management, joint support and, specifically for men, libido, stamina and erectile function.



Apple cider vinegar is a popular health food which Kiwi Health owner Karl Petersen says is often used for weight management, and for its anti-arthritis and diabetes benefits.

Keto powder is another supplement that Karl advocates using for weight management.

“It promotes the body to enter ketosis, which is when the body utilises fat for fuel, as opposed to carbohydrates. If your body is burning fat, you will lose weight.”

He says keto powder is also used for improved mental clarity, energy, better digestion, and sleep.

Another supplement on his winter suggestion list is Collagen C, which he says can support skin, nail, hair, bone, and tendon health.

For these and other supplements, check out the website. Orders are shipped daily Monday to Friday for New Zealand delivery the next business day.


Here for health: Christchurch Immigration Clinic

Good service is important for Dr Lisa Amin and her team at Christchurch Immigration Health, and with over 400 five-star reviews on Google it is safe to say good service is what they provide.



One of those reasons could be down to the fact that the team can cater to individuals, families, and businesses, with the capacity to schedule your medical examination quickly, with the results ready and emailed to you, usually within 48 hours.

Christchurch Immigration Health also offer medicals for pre-travel, if you’re going to work in Papua New Guinea or Rarotonga for example.

Dr Amin urges patients to remember their current passport, glasses and any medication you take. Past medical records can be helpful and save time where appropriate.

With the clinic, bookings are preferred but drop-ins are also available, with free parking on site.

You can now find Christchurch Immigration Health at The Caledonian Centre on 8 Caledonian Road, St Albans or phone 021 334 110. If you need, view the price list on the clinic’s website.


Sayonara, stress!

While the physical health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic might be lesser felt here in New Zealand – the psychological impacts on stress and wellbeing have certainly been real. So just as the cooler months roll in, it can be an opportune time to consciously chill out. Here are Metropol’s tips for some science-backed stress busters.



BANISH THE LANGUISH: You’ve heard of burnout, but have you heard of “languishing”? Described by the New York Times as “the neglected middle child of mental health,” languishing is a somewhat joyless and aimless emotional state. Sitting in the middle of the mental health spectrum, this feeling of “meh” can make us more susceptible to mental health issues, as well as sufferers finding it harder to concentrate and wanting to withdraw. Keep the languish at bay by finding your “flow”. This is what psychology professor Adam Grant (and author of above article) describes as those activities which catapult you into routine and bring meaning to your day, for example your morning coffee and sudoku or a Youtube yoga class.

HEALTHY HABITS: What we choose to fuel our bodies with not only impacts our physical health, but also our mood. Sugary foods may give a temporary high, but as blood sugar regulates, mood swings can creep in. Which means there is some bad news about caffeine, too. If you’re already stressed, caffeine can supercharge those stress side effects like anxiousness, difficulty sleeping and energy crashes. Instead, snack on nourishing wholefoods like fruit and nuts, and drink a cup of green tea instead of that cuppa Joe.

THE STRESS EFFECT: High levels of stress over an extended period have been scientifically proven to affect basically every physical function of our bodies. From high blood pressure and heart health to altering the brain, mucking with your hormones, messing with your sleep and lowering your immune system: stress is not helpful for health. Understanding how stress affects you, and knowing what to look out for can be a great way to self-regulate and keep on top of your health.

MINDFUL MOVES: Making a conscious effort to move your body in ways which you enjoy is another science-backed way to beat stress. Research new ways to exercise, from gentle stretching to walking and more intensive work outs, and one mindful must-do is getting the right amount of sleep: Go to bed earlier, banish electronics and consider accessories like a sunrise lamp or herbal sleep remedies. If your mood is consistently low, talk to your GP or free call or text 1737.


Diagnostic expertise: Mohs and Skin Cancer Specialist

There is much to love about New Zealand – our beaches, forests, rivers and mountains, and nobody celebrates their great outdoors quite like us, but in doing so, we run the risk of over-exposing our skin to the damaging radiation of the sun. Mohs and Skin Cancer Specialist are here to help detect early signs of harmful skin damage.



“It’s not just sunbathing that’s a danger; it can be gardening, walking, biking, or any kind of outdoor activity,” says dermatologist Dr Mairi-Clare Ferguson.

New Zealand and the southern hemisphere tilts closer to the sun during our summer. We have a high number of clear sky days and our ozone layer is thin; this results in New Zealand having some of the highest solar radiation in the world.

Fortunately for us, Mohs and Skin Cancer Specialist has combined diagnostic expertise with cutting-edge technology that facilitates detection of skin cancers in their earliest stages.

“FotoFinder is the big point of difference here,” Mairi-Clare says. “The clarity of the images is outstanding. We can use this tool to monitor lesions for change. We can re-image the same lesion at different time intervals, and the technology will detect any minute changes in the lesions before they are visible to the human eye.”

Dermoscopy is an imaging technique using polarisation, which allows the clinician to see into the surface levels of the skin. There are many dermatoscopes on the market but the FotoFinder Medi-cam is world-leading in this field.

“The Medicam allows up to 100 times magnification without losing any clarity in detail. That’s how incredible the camera is. The lesion is displayed on the large monitor which means the important details can be easily shown and explained to the patient,” Mairi-Clare says.

What patients really value about this clinic is that the patient has their skin examined by the doctor, and a management plan will be explained and provided to the patient during that appointment.

Also offered are all types of medical and surgical removal of skin cancers, meaning the patients do not need to look elsewhere for treatment once a cancer has been diagnosed.

“In addition, we are one of the few practices in the South Island offering the gold standard procedure for removal of skin cancers on the face, called Mohs’ micrographic surgery. This technique has the highest cure rates, while leaving the smallest possible defect after tumour removal,” Mairi-Clare says.

“We are experts in diagnosing skin cancer, and with the reassurance of precise digital monitoring, we can reduce the number of unnecessary excisions. For patients that do require surgical removal of a lesion, this will be provided ‘in-house’, saving patients time and providing peace of mind.”


Well for winter

Keeping on top of your wellness during the colder months can feel so much harder when you haven’t got a good dose of summer sunshine to boost your motivation. Here are a few of Metropol’s tips for fighting off the winter wellness woes so you’re ready to face the chilly season feeling your best.



It’s important that you’re getting a regular dose of essential vitamins and supplements in your system to combat the cold and lack of sunshine in the upcoming months. Vitamin C and Zinc can super boost your immune system as well as strengthen your skin, hair, and nails. Vitamin B can lift your mood and energy levels, and vitamin D helps make up for the lack of sun which is always beneficial during the cold and dry seasons.

Winter can cause havoc to your skin like nothing else but boosting your hydration levels can help combat dry or affected skin. As well as making sure you’re getting your daily water intake, you can also give your skincare routine a hydration boost by treating yourself to a more nourishing moisturiser or an overnight facemask to help distressed skin.

Saying goodbye to summer is a little less bitter and a little bit sweeter when you think about all the autumn and winter fruits and vegetables that you can welcome into your kitchen and pantry. Slow-roasted vegetables, hearty soups and preserved fruits are the perfect way to keep on top of the winter wellness game and can be something to look forward to on dark and chilly nights. Add spices like turmeric and ginger to boost nourishment and flavour!


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.