to save some Issue #05
FREE May 2012
ASSOCIATION AT UNITEC
contents Monday 21 May 2012
Editorial Hello from Shannon
7 8 10 12 14 16 20 23 26 24 27 28 30
Morning Steps Towards Your Best Day Possible
From Pain to Pilates Mind Body Soul Expo Programme
Against All Odds
Is 40 the new 20?: A Coming of Age Story
Scholars for Men’s Health
Why Doesn’t She Leave?
Give Meditation a Go
Ten Foods to Boost your Mood
From Open Ocean to Functional Motion
A Change of Heart
Editor: ashley smith Graphic Design: Mark Lovatt
The Smokefree Campus Debate
Contributors: Shannon Pennefather, Jordan Benjamin, Kaylene Baker, Andrea Stills, Steve Ellmers, Britany Dyke, Debbie Remnant Thank you to: The Men’s Health Trust, Clare Goodwin, Graeme Saxby, Craig Hilton, Rosemary Peters, Wendy Horne, It's Not Ok - Stephanie & Jessica
Finding the Light
Advertising and Editorial Enquires ph. (09) 815 4321 ext 7927 email@example.com
Disclaimer Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Submissions and contributors are welcome, but the publisher reserves the right to select and edit the material submitted. Materials submitted will remain property of the publisher unless alternative arrangements are made.
E DITO R IAL
zen Let’s be honest. Most of us are far from the point of personal enlightenment. With busy schedules, demanding relationships, deadlines, car troubles, bill payments (the list can go on) it seems nearly impossible to find a sense of equilibrium in our lives. Fortunately there are many small steps we can take in our everyday to help achieve more balance on the whole.
made a vow to myself at the beginning of the month to see out a slower and healthier state of mind. I dubbed my 30 day experiment: “Mindful May”. Outside of all the free thinking hippy stereotypes this idea may induce, I’ve found that there are simple ways to be more thoughtful of our every experience. Instead of rushing to get ready and get out the door in the morning, I have been allowing an extra half hour to my morning schedule by waking up early. This gives me the time to sit down and enjoy my breakfast, rather than standing in front of the bathroom mirror balancing a spoonful of yoghurt in one hand, and a mascara wand in the other. I am making a genuine attempt to focus on my actions and be present in the moment as they are happening. One of the best ways I have managed to be more mindful of my moment is to turn off my phone when in the company of others. This month, I’ve left my phone at home when meeting for a coffee date, or flicked it on silent before I eat dinner with my boyfriend. The distractions of text messages, facebook posts, emails and phone calls can wait until I’m ready to dedicate my attention to them. What I have found so far is a deeper appreciation for my surroundings. I’m finding a deeper awareness of my senses. Only now am I noticing some of the quiet creaks that our house makes in the morning. I am paying more attention to the weather and its effect on our moods. Most importantly, I am slowing down to appreciate the time I spend with people I care about. My Mindful May has reminded me to stop, listen and enjoy the moments I share with the people around me. Start to consider the opportunities to slow down and take a deep breath. Achieving a balance between mind, body and soul is a lifetime of a journey. Use what is available to you at this moment. Take advantage of the prospective occasions you have in front of you right now instead of letting them mosey on by and slip into ancient history. Namaste Homies! Ashley smith editor
F E ATU R E
Kia ora Unitec, I hope you are all looking after yourselves; shiny, happy and holding hands. Well, not quite but you know what I mean. It is understood that we are not always physically, mentally and spiritually at the top of our game. In fact, during times of stress and change (as in during binges of intense studying) we can all fall out of balance. It is how we deal with being in a state of unbalance that can determine our success in life.
ow often do you take stock of your wellbeing? Like the old Chinese proverb that I am about to misquote says, “No disease, short life. Few diseases, long life”. The first step to being in good health is acknowledging when something is not working in your body or mind. No sickness? No such thing! The next step is taking responsibility for the cure. Overweight (like me)? Eat less and exercise more. Knees hurts? Go see the Osteopaths at Building 41. Depressed? Try the counselling service (free for Unitec students). Take some action! You are the only person who can gauge your overall wellbeing, so do anything but play the, “Poor me, someone should do something about this” card. In this issue of the magazine you will find a lot of good advice from people who know a lot more than I do about the human body and what makes it function to its best potential. Have a read and take some time to reflect. Stay cool Shannon student president
I’D LIKE TO SEE...
STUDENT REPS ALWAYS LISTENING We’ve got your back!
STUDENT REPS cREaTiNg PoSiTivE chaNgE aT UNiTEc
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TOWARD YOUR BEST DAY POSSIBLE By: Jordan Benjamin
Jordan Benjamin is an Osteopathy student at Unitec with some great advice on how to wake up your mind and body each morning. Taking the time to properly ease into your day can make all the difference to your afternoon and evening activities. Test out these simple steps to see if they make a difference in your daily well being!
1 2 3 4
Wake up with enough time to get everything done before you leave the house. In taking your time to finish everything up
properly, you will leave with a sound and clear mind.
Start warming up in bed… your partner
may be able to help with this one!
When you get out of bed, don’t go straight to doing stretches, your
body seizes up over night and doing stretches straight away may cause injury. Warm up to your warm up!
Get moving, walk around, and bend your knees and elbows. Stretching in the shower is very effective because your muscles are already warmed up from the steam and water. Take time during this part of your morning routine to focus on stretching out your neck and shoulders! Once warmed up, stretch out the rest of your body. Try to do this in a warm, non-stressful environment. If short of time, do your stretches while making breakfast (waiting for the kettle to boil/ toast to pop).
EAT BREAKFAST. A healthy breakfast of fruits, nut and cereals, drink something other than coffee or tea (such as water or real fruit juice). Try not to eat artificial foods and processed sugar (honey instead of sugar, avocado instead of Marge). Take a minute to breathe and relax before getting on with your day.
There is no point in stressing out before your day even starts. A clear mind in the morning will help you to focus on your tasks throughout the afternoon and evening.
Once you’re out the door, consider the following: -Cardio and strength – bike/walk/run to school; Unitec has showers! -Walk 10,000 paces a day. -Ditch the elevator and take the stairs.
For advice on appropriate stretches come visit us at Clinic 41. Jordan Benjamin 3rd Year Osteopathy student.
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By: KAYLENE BAKER
Following an injury on an already weak ankle at the end of last year, I sought help from a physiotherapist who incorporated Pilates as part of the rehabilitation process. In only a few sessions my ankle was feeling ten times better than before I was no longer so clumsy on my feet.
then thought I would see if Pilates would help alleviate some of the overwhelming pain I experience thanks to endometriosis. I have had two operations, have been put on countless different pills, tried all sorts of diets and nothing has helped with the pain. For those unaware of what endometriosis is, it is a condition in which the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium) is found outside of the uterus causing irritation, inflammation and scarring. It affects approximately 10% of women and no one is completely certain how it is caused. So after discussing it with my instructor and specialist who is treating me for endometriosis it was all go.
Pilates begins with control of the mind over your muscles to achieve total coordination of the body, mind, and spirit - developing a uniform body, invigorating the mind and elevating the spirit. The Pilates exercise system uses mats, equipment, and breathing techniques to achieve this coordination. Pilates is traditionally used for strength, flexibility and posture, but exercises such as this and yoga have been shown to strengthen the compromised abdominal and back muscles making the pain slightly more bearable â€“ something I can personally attest to. Many women with endometriosis suffer from pelvic pain and this dysfunction in the pelvic muscles can
es contribute to compromised spinal support. The combination of physiotherapy and Pilates has reduced the amount of discomfort I feel, especially when sitting for long periods of time in lectures. Other benefits for me have included improved balance and coordination, better circulation in my injured ankle, strengthened muscles, and an overall sense of improved well-being. It’s not just for people wanting to rehabilitate an injury, strengthen their body or improve their flexibility; it’s an excellent way to lose weight. A one hour session can be very demanding on the body and you can really work up a sweat if you’re doing it right. Pilates can also be used to treat other medical conditions including back and neck pain, headaches, sciatica, neurological disorders, the list goes on. Having spent the last seven years in pain and going in and out of hospitals, my only regret is not trying it sooner. Joseph Pilates originally called it ‘Contrology’ and had a book published in 1945 as “Return to Life Through Contrology”, and I think that’s exactly what the modern Pilates is, returning to life.
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P R OG R AMM E
M IND B ODY SOUL
Expo Monday 21 May
unitec waitakere campus 11am - 2pm
P R OG R AMM E 1 1 a m - 2 p m central hub Free Osteo consults by Unitec Osteo students Free Massages (limited) Free BMI health checks by Unitec Nursing students
12 - 1:30 p m R m 1041 Free guided meditation class Rm 1041
FROM 12:30 p m Free healthy snacks from 12:30pm
Free Study tips and advice from Te Puna Ako Free patches and gum from Smokefree NZ Free lip balm and information from It's Not Ok Free literature from Unitec chaplaincy
12:30 p m - 1 PM R m 1041 Free Yoga Class
USU StUdentS’ ASSociAtion At Unitec
general elecTiOn may 29 - In the hub from 11:30 - 1:30pm Come along and vote: ShAUn overton for vICe PresIdent
BhArAt odedrA for General executive cUrtiS Leigh YoUng for PostGraduate reP
all candidates are runninG aGainst a vote of ‘no confidence’
There will be a free bbQ
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Ag JESSICA AT AGE 17
JESSICA AND HER NANA MA
“Everyone is always telling me how amazing I am, but I don’t really see it. I haven’t done anything yet, until I reach my goals. Then I’ll be amazing.”jessica apanui
essica Apanui has got a heart of gold and the will to match it. Jess is in her second semester studying for a certificate of Sports studies here at Unitec, with hopes to carry on her studies towards a Bachelors degree. She returned to Auckland a few years ago to pursue a tertiary degree after years of hardship. In the past decade, Jess had not been dealt a favourable hand. For years she struggled with addiction and abusive relationships while trying to bring up two children as a solo mother. Her perseverance and strength helped her to overcome her struggles and seek a brighter future for both her and her children. A regular day in Jessica’s life involves a 6 AM wake up; getting the children together to drop off to school and day care by 7 AM, in order to hit the gym by 8. After her workout, Jess then sees a full day’s worth of classes before she pick the children back up and brings them home for their night routine. This structure and routine is a far cry from the life Jessica once knew. Nearly five years ago, Jessica found herself buried deep under a pile of struggle that seemed impossible to escape. She was victim of an abusive relationship, both physical and mental while spiralling into a world of substance abuse. In an effort to fight back and create a better life for her and her children, Jessica up and moved the family to live in Australia with her cousin. Australia served as her safe haven where Jess could get her feet under her to restart fresh and new.
“You know the saying, ‘you are what you hang around’? Yea well, I come from a background that’s pretty rough and rugged. I love my friends, and will always be there for them no matter what, but sometimes you need to break away for yourself…so I went to Australia to get off the drugs and live a normal life for me and my children” After a couple of years in Australia, Jessica was working one day when she felt faint and disoriented. “I was working on my car with a couple of friends and I just went downhill fast. My hands started shaking; I thought I was going to collapse. We were in the middle of no where, so they rushed me to the nearest café to get some food into me…later on I went to the doctor to get blood tests done” It was at this point that Jessica found out that she had hepatitis C. She supposes that she caught the disease through her use of needles in the past. Once diagnosed, Jessica was told that because she was not an Australian citizen, she could not be seen or treated for up to three years. When Jessica’s whanau caught word back home, her Nana Ma gave her blessing to come home and seek recovery and comfort. “I remember, my grandmother rang me at 6:30 in the morning crying her eyes out. She said, “My baby, I want you to come home”. So I gave my job up, sold everything, booked tickets and was home a week later” At that point, in February 2010, Jessica returned
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JESSICA NOW IN MAY 2012
By: Ashley Smith
“I remember, my grandmother rang me at 6:30 in the morning crying her eyes out. She said, “My baby, I want you to come home”. So I gave my job up, sold everything, booked tickets and was home a week later”
home to Auckland with her children; head held high with hope for a promising future. She had grown considerably during her time spent in Australia and was ready to move forward and overcome her disease. She moved in with her Nana and began to establish herself and her family in their new home. Within a couple weeks of being home, Nana Ma fell ill. In May of 2010, Jessica lost her Nana, her beacon of strength and support. She is thankful that she also had support of other family members at that time, particularly her cousin, Opal, who was her rock through it all. “During all of this, I was struggling with my Hepatitis C. As soon as I returned home, I started my treatments. It was a tough period” Jessica underwent forty eight weeks of intensive treatment to cure her of the disease. During this time, she pursued her interest in health sciences to create a gateway to a brighter future. Jessica came to Unitec last year and started her foundation studies with a nursing focus. It was then that she realised her interest and love for sport. One of her lecturers suggested that she switch programmes for this semester and redirect her studies to the Mt. Albert campus under the Sports studies certificate. Jessica sees good physical and mental health as a
positive indicator for her potential. Since last year, she has lost nearly fourteen kilos through a strict sports regiment. Not only is she proud of herself, but Jess also recognises the effect and influence her healthy habits are projecting onto her children. She is a fantastic role model with a winning spirit. On Tuesday, 2 May 2012, Jessica visited the hospital for her very last treatment for Hepatitis C. After nearly a year of intensive treatment, and a decade of struggle, Jessica has come out on top. She is cured of Hepatitis C and moving forward with a healthy mind body and soul. Jessica has an unbelievable story of strength and commitment. We are so proud to have Jessica here at Unitec, helping her to reach her own goals. “It was a long road. Lots of hospital visits, lots of medication that had me curled up in the foetal position at times. It was really tough…but here I am today, I am cured and healthy!”
“It was a long road. Lots of hospital visits, lots of medication that had me curled up in the foetal position at times. It was really tough…but here I am today, I am cured and healthy!”
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By: Steve Ellmers
A Coming of Age Story
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Is 40 the new 20? Perhaps in some ways it is. Yet should a vaguely heterosexual male born in 1972 feel guilty for wanting a succession of self – reflexive moments like Lena Dunham’s character Hannah in the new HBO series Girls? Yes Steve, but only slightly.
lthough like Hannah, I could pretend to be embarrassed by the amount of money I’ve borrowed from my parents (I stopped keeping track of the total once it exceeded the $5000 mark), I’m really not. Mainly because our folks and their ilk have bequeathed to us a vacuous society that only values shopping for Roman curtains and watching repeats of Top Gear. Fuck that. I say we are currently engaged in a generational war! Quite frankly, I want to defect to your side. OK, maybe this does expose my Peter Pan complex but at least you guys get high and watch music videos on YouTube. So what if you have to tell your mom you need twenty bucks for a haircut? They ain’t called urban survival skills for nothing you know. Anyhow dude, they freakin’ OWE US. Big time. As if it wasn’t bad enough that all known parenting styles invariably produce exceptionally neurotic and inept offspring, they even refuse to pay us to do their shitty repetitive jobs. Aaargh! Have you ever been an intern? I have. And each time you timidly ask to speak to your boss for a minute, they always employ the same tired joke. ‘Sure,’ they say, ‘but the answer’s still no. We’re not going to pay you.’ Ha bloody ha. I bet all the child slave labourers who preceded me thought it was hilarious too. When I was involved with APN I was given a chair, a desktop PC with a cathode ray tube monitor so low in resolution it would’ve permanently damaged my eyesight if it had worked – which it didn’t. Nobody talked to me for the first nine hours (that’s industry based learning for you) and I was expected to pitch story concepts to my senior reporter the next morning. However, they did seem interested that I knew where Millie Elder bought her crack. The only perk in failing to produce usable copy day after day in that ugly old building was breathing the same poorly filtered air as the staff putting together the Herald’s Viva magazine. Schwing! They really did look like hotter versions of Carrie Bradshaw and her gal pals. And I feel this particular aspect of modernity is one of its genuinely quantifiable accomplishments. For you see back in the day, once women reached their fourth decade, they simply gave up and never again appeared in public without wearing hair rollers and a raincoat.
Furthermore, the old boys were icky too. If you consider that by this stage both parties had almost certainly been locked in a mechanical half – dead relationship for at least the last 15 years, then whatever passed for intimacy between them probably simultaneously qualified as both sexsomnia and quasi necrophilia. Still, if pilates has helped to create the MILF phenomenon, then that top Air New Zealand chappie who only ever wears nipple tassels, chocolate body paint, and a smile, is at least doing his bit to establish the term DILF more firmly in our vocab. Well I’d do him anyway. Unfortunately, this is where my comparison starts to crumble. For even though I really do appreciate how few people treat me like an adult at Tec, my second adolescence doesn’t extend to successfully asking early twenty – somethings out. Therefore please forgive me if I’ve caused
Have you ever been an intern? I have, And each time you timidly ask to speak to your boss for a minute, they always employ the same tired joke. 'Sure,' they say, 'but the answer's still no. We're not going to pay you.' Ha bloody ha. you to throw up a little bit in your mouth and require campus security to walk you to your car after class. It’s just that my erotic capital is nowhere near as high as I like to pretend it is. Sigh. So with my student loan approaching 20k and with my folks losing everything (that I hadn’t managed to leech off them already) in a Richard Long fronted Ponzi scheme, it seems increasingly likely that I need a sugar daddy like Rob Fyfe.
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MEN'S o HEALMH The Men’s Health Trust is a national not-for-profit organisation that “promote men's health by helping to improve access to and benefits from health services for men of all backgrounds and ethnic groups”. Research has shown that New Zealand men take a much smaller interest in their health and their future wellbeing than their female counterparts. The Men’s Health Trust seeks to create awareness and openness around the discussion of men’s health on a national level.
en lag behind women in many health areas. Figures for smoking, alcohol consumption, weight and nutrition are poorer for New Zealand men. With cancer, elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes and in heart disease, outcomes are significantly worse for men” – www.you.org.nz Men suffer more than women with injuries, both work and non-work related. They die on our roads more than women and are disabled much more often than females. This past month, nine male students at Unitec studying within the Social and Health Science programmes received scholarships from the Trust to contribute towards their education. Script magazine caught up with four of the recipients: Philip Eyton, James Boy-Bell, Keith Filo and Stephen Chesterfield to discuss the impact that their studies and the Trust have on the issues surrounding men’s health.
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Steve Chesterfield "Stephen is a mature student who displays excellent leadership potential and a good understanding of men's health issues." -men's health trust board
Keith Filo Keith Filo studies Social Practice at Unitec and is recipient of this year’s Men’s Health Trust Scholarship. Keith has taken a strong interest in the physical, mental and social issues that men deal with in New Zealand. He recognises that the industry is currently female dominated and is proud to be one of the active males in his field. “Even in my class, there are only ten male students compared to about 70 women” Keith has strong opinions around the health issues that are affecting NZ men of Pacific Island background. He grew up in a community where many Pacific men suffered from physical, mental and social barriers. His perspective on these issues really set him apart as a contender for the 2012 scholarship. “I had a conversation with some of the trustees about my passion for the industry and to promote men’s health. We talked a lot about the environment I grew up in and the health issues that surround the Pacific Island communities. There is quite a high percentage of diabetes and obesity when concerning Pacific Island men’s health. Also, smoking and drug and alcohol abuse are common issues, only just to name a few. Growing up in that kind of environment gave me a different perspective to the idea of men’s health in general” Keith has played an active role in helping youth discover their voice and openly discuss their own dilemmas. In acting as a positive role model for the future voices of New Zealand, Keith is making a significant
"Keith is an excellent role model for those wanting to pursue men's health as a career" -men's health trust difference in our community. “I did youth work with young males, young juveniles and learned a lot about social and mental health related issues that apply to young men.” As a recipient of the scholarship, Keith has also gained a bit of momentum for his cause. Not only does the scholarship help out financially, but it has also given him the confidence to proceed with his personal initiatives. “Since receiving the scholarship, I can really focus in on my academics and not worry too much about the finances. It’s also reassuring, because it’s made me aware of the fact that I’m capable of achieving big things”
Steve is in his 5th and final year of his Osteopathy study at Unitec. He will graduate with a Masters degree in Osteopathy at the end of 2012, and has big plans for a future in the health science field. Steve sat down and discussed his personal journey that led him to studying towards becoming an Osteopath. “I was personal training for 3 years, where I was just making people look good. I started to realise that there were some people who looked great, but weren’t functioning as well (their posture was suffering, they had sore backs…) so I started learning about functional training to help people look good, but the main objective was to make sure they were moving properly and living pain free.” Steve made the transition from training people to achieve their visually physical goals to attaining an overall physiological wellbeing. The years that he spent as a personal trainer taught him the importance of physiological health in regards to functionality, alignment and flexibility of the body. In considering these major components of wellbeing, Steve was inspired to pursue study that would help him instruct others towards an overall state of physical health. “I was starting to train people with aches and pains, so I began my own personal research into manual practice. Osteopathy really seemed to fit with my principles and philosophies” Once Steve finishes up with his Osteopathy degree, he has hopes to open up his own practice. He sees a great need for men to be available for other males in the health sector, so that those with diminishing wellbeing feel safe and comfortable discussing their issues with a professional. “Because men aren’t likely to say ‘hey, I’ve got a problem, could you help me?” they are less likely to go see a female practitioner, especially if the issue revolves around their diet, lifestyle, sexual reproductive complications, anything really. If they had a male they could count on, it breaks down that one extra barrier”
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Jamie Boyd-Bell Jamie is halfway through his Social Practice study at Unitec, and is a recent recipient of the Men’s Health Trust Scholarship. Jamie currently works at the Child, Youth and Family centre in West Auckland where he is gaining real world experience in his social practice field. He reflects on what initially drew him to the social practice field, “I had a passion and desire to help other people who can’t really help themselves. I went to Camp America, and worked with people with special needs. That whole experience sparked something in me that made me realise
Philip Eyton Philip is a mature student who is studying Social Practice at Unitec. Philip has taken proactive steps towards creating more awareness and discussion around the men’s health concerns in New Zealand. He has a strong passion for providing comfortable forums for social and mental health matters for men. “The idea of the men’s health trust scholarship is to find ambassadors for the men’s health trust. The mortality age for men in NZ compared to women is about four years younger and if you do an online search for women’s health issues as opposed to men’s health issues you end up with 42 times more hits on women’s health.” One of Philip’s suggested changes for providing efficient messages about men’s health is by using wives and partners as a catalyst for action. He points out that wives already take more interest in their husband’s health than men tend to do themselves. His hopes are that in implementing a campaign that includes a familiar reminder of health maintenance, the message will resonate with more men. The suggestion was received favourably by the Trust at his application interview. “Men are not great at talking about their health or taking any sort of proactive position on their health at all…there have been a number of initiatives over the last ten years, most of which have been unsuccessful because the messages have not been targeted in the right manner” Philip is a volunteer for Lifeline, which is a service that provides options for callers that seek some guidance in terms of mental and social guidance. This is just one of the applications of his social practice education that he shares with the community. “It is a place where men can phone up and talk about issues with relationships, mental health issue and physical health issues. We will also act as a directory for those who don’t know where to bring their health concerns and point them in the right direction.” Philip has a very active voice in advocating for mental, social and physical health. He sees the opportunity beyond financial assistance that is provided through his scholarship, and is excited to become part of a network of advocates with a strong and encouraging message for other men. His ‘lived experience’ is what Philip suggests set him apart from other applicants for the scholarship. Within the social practice field, the lived experience that Philip has gained from his years provides a greater wealth of knowledge. He applies this knowledge to his studies and his social services including being an advocate for Men’s Health.
"James has an excellent grasp of men's health issues, understanding that with healthy men comes healthy families and a healthy NZ" -men's health trust that working to help others was something I really wanted to do. It wasn’t really something I had prepared for or planned on.” Jamie discussed the reasons that New Zealand would benefit from seeing more men actively involved in the health industry. He notes that a lot of women will request a female nurse or doctor under certain conditions or procedures, and men would like to have the same option. “I think in terms of health, it’s just easier for guys to talk to guys. It’s more comfortable to talk about anything from mental to physical health with another man who could have been through the same thing” Jamie is excited to represent the face of men’s health in New Zealand and provide representation towards the cause both at work and at Unitec.
"Philip already has a great depth of life skills covering men's health and is a very good communicator"-men's health trust board Congratulations and good luck to all of the recipients in further pursuance of their contribution to a brighter future in men’s health!
AS S OCI ATI ON A T U N ITE C
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SHE LEAVE ? By: Andrea Stills
I’ve I’ve never never thought thought II was was anything anything special. special. The The father father of my of my children children said said I was I was average. average. When When wewe met met he he wasn’t wasn’t what what I would I would normally normally go for, gobut for,inbut theincar thehe car held he my heldhand my hand and and made made meme feel feel safe. safe. AtAt the the time time I never I never would would have have guessed guessed what he was really like and how this man would be responsible for leaving me feeling unsafe in my own home. It’s interesting really when you consider the domestic violence statistics in New Zealand that you can feel so alone at a time like this.
ccording to the Sophie Elliott Foundation website, one woman on average dies every 26 days at the hands of her partner or former partner. The Women’s Refuge website states that police deal with approximately 70,000 calls about family violence each year, but many thousands of cases go unreported; in fact police estimate only 18% of domestic violence incidents are reported. Half of all murders are committed by a family member and one in three women experience psychological or physical abuse from their partners in their lifetime. Additionally, police are called to around 200 domestic violence situations a day – that’s one every seven minutes on average. Scary really, when you consider that these 200 situations each day are thought to be a mere 18% of the total instances of domestic violence occurring around the country. For me, I felt silly going to the Women’s Refuge. I assumed that women who went there were badly beaten, black eyes, broken bones, that kind of thing. At that point my partner had only pushed me; admittedly, hard enough for me to fall to the ground, but that seemed rather minor. I ended up contacting them after he turned his attention to our daughter one day. She must have been four or five months old at the time. He was being aggressive, speaking loudly, angrily and our daughter began to cry. I was holding her in my arms and he came and pushed her on her little back and told her that she was ‘an asshole, just like her mother’. I contacted Women’s Refuge because I was too embarrassed to tell friends or family about what was going on and I wasn’t about to call the police on the father of my child. I was unaware that the psychological abuse I was suffering was of any significance at the time. I knew how it made me feel, but I didn’t know at the time that a significant number of women, 90%, who seek help from the Women’s Refuge report psychological abuse compared to 65% who report physical violence. It seemed silly to bring up the fact that sometimes the father of my child held our daughter after we fought and refused to give her to me. She would be screaming and I would try to comfort her but her father would push me away. “Life is shit, she has to cry” he would say. It was torture, but at the time I didn’t feel as though it was bad enough to reveal to anyone. I didn’t want to be a drama queen, I mean, there were women out there who were beaten until they were black and blue; I had a friend in this situation, so what I was experiencing felt like nothing really. Shamefully, I left the Women’s Refuge during the night when my baby became sick and called her father. A month or
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two later he would punch me in the stomach when I was pregnant with our second child and then kick me in the back as I lay on the ground. My greatest shame is that I exposed my children to this violence. As an adult I had some control over the situation, but I stayed with this man who yelled, threatened to kill us all and himself. At the time I felt so desperately alone, I didn’t want to be a single mother, I wanted a happy family and it was important to me that my children had a father. The stigma single mothers’ face weighed heavily on my mind when I thought about leaving. The one time I did try to leave I was dissuaded from doing so by a family member. This was before the much needed advertising campaign ‘It’s not OK’ was aired on television screens around the country in 2007. According to a Ministry of Social Development report almost one in four people (24 percent) said their views on family violence have changed as a result of the campaign, and 22 percent said they have taken some action. The women’s refuge addresses some of these issues of shame in their common myths section. They assert that the judgment of women who experience domestic violence stems from a lack of true understanding about the reality of living in fear. These myths are a way of rationalising the behaviour of the abuser and help the violence to continue by making the abuser's actions seem okay or excusable, stopping women from seeking help, and stopping others from helping them. One of these myths that resonate with me is the ‘she was asking for it’ myth. My ex-partner stated that he had never hit another woman in his life, which I later found to be untrue, and said at the time that I shouldn’t make him angry. I now know that this was his way of putting the blame for the abuse on to me; however, that the victim believes that there is something wrong with them personally. After all if your partner has never done this before, it must be you right? There are many ways in which abusive men control the women they are with; no two situations are exactly the same, although there are often commonalities. With the death of Sophie Elliott and
She must have been four or five months old at the time. He was being aggressive, speaking loudly, angrily and our daughter began to cry. I was holding her in my arms and he came and pushed her on her little back and told her that she was 'an asshole, just like her mother'.
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These myths are a way of rationalising the behaviour of the abuser and help the violence to continue by making the abuser's actions seem okay or excusable, stopping women from seeking help, and stopping others from helping them. her mother Lesley setting up the Sophie Elliott Foundation which visits schools with the aim of preventing this kind of violence occurring to other young women New Zealand society is thankfully becoming more aware of the issues that many young women face in relationships today. 56% of Women’s Refuge clients are under the age of 35; so the reality is that it is necessary to be present where these young women are and the ‘It’s not OK’ campaign and the Sophie Elliott Foundation are a great start. Smashing the myths that have long been present in New Zealand society will undoubtedly help the young women of the future, where hopefully this kind of abuse will not be so ingrained. To the point where many men don’t even realise that they have a problem necessarily. If it can save any young women from experiencing what I did, then that’s great, because nobody deserves to be threatened, hit or psychologically abused by the one person they should be able to trust.
Relationship Violence It’s not OK
If you are worried about a friend’s relationship – don’t ignore it. The It’s not OK Campaign encourages young people to get to know common signs of control in a relationship and take action if they notice them. Relationship violence is common in New Zealand, with research showing that one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime. High profile cases such as the murder of Sophie Elliott by her university lecturer Clayton Weatherston show that violence can happen to people from all walks of life.
Some common signs that one person is controlling another are: constant criticising texting and or calling to check up telling someone what to wear and who to spend time with pressure to have sex physical violence. Violence often intensifies after a relationship has broken up, when one partner can’t or won’t accept that the relationship is over. Most domestic violence murders in New Zealand happen at this time.
How can you help? Listen to your intuition. If you feel something’s not right, here are some things to say: • Are you ok? • I’m worried about the way your partner checks up on you all the time • If you ever need to talk about anything, I’m available • It’s not OK to talk to your partner like that. It takes a lot of courage for someone who is in a violent or controlling relationship to tell someone about it. If a victim tells you what’s happening in their relationship, it’s important to listen and take it seriously. Tell them it’s not their fault, it’s not OK and help is available. Offer to go with them to get help. If a perpetrator talks about wanting to hurt or control their partner, it’s important to challenge the behaviour not the person. Tell them it is OK to get help and offer to go with them. Never put your own safety at risk. If a situation is dangerous and someone might get hurt, call the Police, even if you’re not sure.
TO ASK FOR HELP
0800 456 450
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Meditation By: BRITANY DYKE
It seems that most Unitec students do not understand what meditation is, why it is good for them or how to meditate. Yes ok, so meditation alludes to ideas of a far away land where a group of monks sit together in silence; but actually, meditation is now becoming so popular in our western world that guided classes are popping up all over the country. Meditation is now being practiced by people of all ages. and Aproven to be effective for anyone! It is known for helping people to deal with stress, maintaining a calm nature, fighting anxiety and even medical problems. This means that no matter what your background, meditation could be something to consider – it’s all in the mind!
o what does meditation actually do? Think of meditation as your brain waves best friend. When meditating, the brain waves' connect to the nervous system and calm it. By meditating often, the roles of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems reverse certain functions, which then activates lower blood pressures, lower heart rates and overall lower stress hormones in the body. To put it simply, compare brain waves to little people knocking on the door of the nervous system every time you meditate. The brain waves continue to knock and remind the nervous system to calm your mind and body. With continuous meditation, brings continuous door knocking, and the nervous system almost gets so ‘worn down’ by the knocking that it gives in to these little brain waves and calms the body more easily every time. People that meditate often find they remain calm between sessions of meditation. This is because the nervous system is trained to stay calm knowing that the brain waves will come knocking if the mind and body were to become stressed or anxious. Learning how to meditate is not a hard process,
it’s a technique of breathing, positioning of the body and learning how to clear your mind. There are hundreds of YouTube videos explaining meditation and a great website: www.how-to-meditate.org that offers meditation for beginners, posture ideas and more. Take 5 minutes out of your day to check out the website and see for yourself if your mind, body, and soul, deserve a little meditation pampering. Give it a go with just a couple of minutes in the morning to get your day started on a balanced and rejuvenated note.
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TEN FO Eating food that makes you â€˜happyâ€™ is quite important because these types of foods release endorphins which give the body an uplift and steer away low mood swings. Many endorphins can be found in vitamins, so find food with the right vitamins and minerals essential for that endorphin kick. Here is a list of foods that will keep your mind ticking, your body looking fabulous, and your soul as happy as can be. Strawberries Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and loaded with endorphins, and lucky for these little fruits they have their own sugar, meaning a sweet treat for a healthier alternative.
Nuts Nuts are rich in selenium which is a mineral proven to have an influence on positive mood swings. Although nuts contain a lot of fat, it is unsaturated meaning the fat is good for your diet if you eat a moderate amount.
Oranges If we all took a guess of which foods have high releasing vitamin C endorphins, oranges would be the number one choice. This is the best way to get a good dose of vitamin C which comes with a large dose of endorphins.
Bananas The rich source of potassium in bananas provides a mineral for proper nerve function in the body. When eating a banana, the sugars flow straight to your blood stream giving the body a boost of energy which will keep up your good mood
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OODS to boost your mood By: BRITANY DYKE
Grapes Are another way to get your daily vitamin C intake. Try to eat black or red grapes as they have a rich source of antioxidants which are also proven to protect against heart disease and cancer.
Sesame Seeds These little seeds contain vitamin E and are also a great source of protein for those people who donâ€™t include much meat in their diet. Put them in your salad, or even in your morning yoghurt as they are almost tasteless and will give you a great source of endorphins to start the day.
Pasta Because of their carbohydrates, pasta will fill you up and release energy slowly so itâ€™s great for a big meal. The great source of protein in pasta contains amino acids that produce endorphins and it has been proven that depressed moods can be caused with low intake of these amino acids.
Chocolate Sweet tooth? Chocolate is the answer. Chocolate is one of the most common happy foods and this is because it contains large amounts of phenols which are antioxidants to boost moods. A group of chemicals in chocolate also work to stimulate the brain and release endorphins. Remember to save chocolate for a treat when you are really feeling down because even though sugar levels go up quickly when eating chocolate, they go down just as fast afterwards.
G R AD P R O F IL E
OPEN OCEAN to
One Student’s Call to Osteopathy By: Debbie Remnant
At the start of this year I was on holiday and realized that I wanted to move home and find a career here in NZ. I had been working on super yachts as a stewardess for the past three years all over the world.
enjoyed being on the water, dealing with the guests, and the travel. But most of the time the work was not very intellectually stimulating and I felt like I was making no difference to the world by looking after these rich people’s extravagant lifestyles. Also the job was very unstable. So I was trying to figure out what to do with my life and I kept coming back to the same thought. I had completed a week long medical course in December so I could be the medical officer on board and I’d really enjoyed applying my energy towards learning about the body again. Previous to that, I had completed a sports studies diploma and worked as a personal trainer, surf instructor and snowboard instructor, which I had loved, but still felt that I wanted to do more. During these times, dealing with sports injuries was the most inspirational part of my job. I had created some surf fitness classes that were aimed to prevent acute and overuse injuries as well as general conditioning to improve surfing form. In particular, one client who was a builder with back problems was about to go on his annual surf trip. Unfortunately, he could barely stand up straight due to the back pain. He had tried a few different treatments, which had only resulted in short term relief.
So I introduced some individual physical tests to him and gave him an exercise program for pre and post surf. I recently saw him in Indonesia on his annual surf trip, (3 years later). With a big smile on his face, he told me he was still following my program, pain free (most of the time) and able to surf and work as he did when he was younger! My family has suffered from Ank Spon, Fibromyalgia and Congenital hips and I’ve always wanted to help them to develop their physical activities, seek pain relief and make a regular habit out of exercise. So I applied to study physiotherapy. Luckily, someone suggested that I also look in to Osteopathy. I had only ever been to physiotherapist and actually had no idea what an Osteopath did. So I started researching the field and went to visit a professional (only a few weeks before the course started). The Osteopath that I visited had interestingly led a similar lifestyle to mine before he had studied Osteopathy, (sailing around the world and then looking for a career change at 30 that would be making a difference). Now, 30 years later, he still loves his job. We also got to talking about anxiety, which I wasn’t expecting. I didn’t suspect that a physiotherapist would have the same approach. In the end, an email from a 5th year student talking about the philosophy behind Osteopathy, in integrating the mind and body and lifestyle into the practice was what prompted me to make my final decision and pursue a career in Osteopathy.
STUD E NT P R O F IL E
A CHANGE OF HE RT By: Andrea Stills
With so many people returning to tertiary institutes to up skill and gain qualifications which enable them to earn more; Ray Calver is potentially part of a minority of students who leave well-paid, but unfulfilling jobs, to make the world a better place.
owever, it wasn’t always that way; as a young man in his early twenties Ray’s mother wanted him to attend University, like so many parents who want a stable future for their children. He started his Bachelor of Social Practice in 1999, but after a year of study decided it wasn’t the direction he wanted his life to go in. One of his lecturers, Rennie, told him at the time ‘you’ll be back’ and sure enough 10 years later he returned to Unitec to continue his degree. So what did Ray get up to for 10 years? Initially, he says, the allure of money was what motivated him to leave his degree. He worked for telecommunications and insurance companies, spent a couple of years working in Japan and travelled fairly extensively around Asia. At the end of this period he became disillusioned with his life in the corporate world and went overseas to volunteer, which proved to be the catalyst for his return to Social Practice. He went to India and volunteered in organisations
which focused on children or animals and worked for some amazing organisations, including one in the red light district of Kolkata. Coming back to Unitec, he enjoyed the Social Practice programme with the lecturers at Waitakere campus. Since he graduated last year he has been working with children who have challenging behaviour. They range in age from five years to thirteen years of age. He loves his job and the personal fulfilment he receives from it. His Facebook page is an interesting mix of links to articles which discuss current issues in New Zealand society and the accompanying debates from his eclectic range of friends; to an obvious love of fun, festivals and many friendships. And what does the future hold for Ray? More adventures are likely, with Ray planning to volunteer in Papua New Guinea sometime in the near future.
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THE PRO ARGUMENT By: kAYLENE bAKER
do wonder why it has taken this long for Unitec to update its policy. It was last updated in 1999. Massey University, University of Auckland, AUT and MIT have all updated their policies within the last 5 years. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH NZ) reported in 2010 of 81 NZ tertiary institutes surveyed that manage their outdoor grounds, only 32.1% of tertiary campuses are completely smoke-free with the majority (61.7%) being partially smokefree, and 6.2% having no policy at all. The bigger issue though is: should Unitec become a completely smoke-free campus? In my opinion, yes. The current policy does not permit smokers to do so within five metres of a building or walkway, or any area where nosmoking signs are displayed. However, as I am sure most of you are aware, this most definitely is not adhered to. When the rain sets in the problem only gets worse – leaving no sheltered area for those of us that don’t want smoke blown into our lunch. However, this isn’t the only problem I have with smoking, as whenever we have a 10 minute break between classes, people immediately rush outside to light up then come back in stinking of smoke without any regard for the rest of us. There’s also the health issue. Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals including arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and carbon monoxide. Two hundred and fifty of these chemicals alone are poisons which are harmful, and fifty are known to cause cancer. It’s not hard to understand why approximately 350 New Zealander’s die each year from second-hand smoke. I certainly don’t want to be one of them.
Other tertiary institutes which have decided to go completely smoke-free also deem smoking on campus a security issue as it leads to people loitering behind buildings which can to lead to fighting and thefts. Smoking has a considerably negative effect on the environment as it is estimated to take anywhere from 18 months to 10 years for a cigarette butt to break down and in the interim can get
Smoking has a considerably negative effect on the environment as it is estimated to take anywhere from 18 months to 10 years for a cigarette butt to break down and in the interim can get eaten by birds that mistake it for food eaten by birds that mistake it for food – so maybe think twice before stomping it out on the ground. Nearly 600 million trees are cleared each year for fuel for drying tobacco, that’s one tree for every 300 cigarettes. The last point I want to make is that almost 80% of New Zealand’s population doesn’t smoke. A smoke-free learning environment isn’t too much to ask for is it?
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THE ANTI ARGUMENT By: Andrea Stills
s a non smoker I am not pro-smoking as such, however I am prochoice. If people choose to smoke, that is their choice. Smoking is not illegal, therefore I am uncomfortable with imposing a complete ban on it. I am however, in favour of designated areas for smokers, so that it becomes a choice to be exposed to smoke, or not, if that is your preference. This would hopefully ensure that cigarette butts were disposed of in the correct manner, because there’s nothing worse than people who throw their butts on the ground! Grr! At a campus that celebrates diversity and encourages critical thinking, it seems contrary to these principles to impose a certain set of values onto a group of individuals who do not conform with what the hierarchy desires for Unitec’s campus. Individuals who choose to smoke have undoubtedly made informed decisions about whether or not to smoke. Who are we to now try to impose our views onto these people? In practical terms, for the campus to go smoke-free, students would also need to walk significant distances in short periods of time in order to have a cigarette break. This would potentially disrupt classes as the time taken to walk off campus would hinder smokers’ ability to return to class on time and the whole class would therefore be disrupted. Lastly, I believe we should all have empathy for our fellow cigarette smoking classmates, whose addictions rule their thoughts and desires at times. We all have our own addictions to contend with, and if Unitec decided to ban chocolate, coffee or energy drinks, I’m not sure how many of us would survive! Unitec is a tertiary institute, and as such, free thinking should be encouraged and fascism should be resisted. Smokers have rights too! Give them designated areas and let them do what they want to their lungs, teeth, hearts; as long as they leave my organs out of it.
At a campus that celebrates diversity and encourages critical thinking, it seems contrary to these principles to impose a certain set of values onto a group of individuals who do not conform with what the hierarchy desires for Unitec's campus
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LIGHT By: Ashley Smith
Sukyo Mahikari is a spiritual community of people that has spread to over 20 countries worldwide. The practices behind the organisation originated in Japan years ago and have since been popularised in Western culture. The organisation represents a redirection of positive energy that one person can transfer to another. “Sukyo” means universal principles and “Mahikari” means light energy.
n Sukyo Mahikari, a positive, spiritual energy is transmitted from the palm of the hand to the receiver. This energy has also been referred to as ‘light’ or ‘true light’. This energy purifies and revitalizes the spirit, mind, and body. One of the best ways to initiate a natural and sustainable process of change in oneself, at the very deepest level of consciousness, is giving and receiving light energy and practicing the universal principles” – SukyoMahikari.org
"The True Light is just positive energy that I receive from a higher power and radiate on to someone else" Clare Goodwin is a lecturer for Foundation Studies here at Unitec as well as a member of the Sukyo Mahikari community. She has spent years as a provider of ‘the light’. Clare opens up each of her lectures with a Japanese chant that radiates positive energy into the classroom with the belief that efficient lessons will follow. Her students have responded well to the practice and often remind her to share
the chant and energy at the beginning of lecture on the occasions when she has forgotten. “The mission of the whole organisation is to give to others” The practice started three years ago, when Clare offered the services to provide the light to students at Unitec’s Spirituality week. The free service received such a positive response that Clare now offers “True Light” to any one who’s interested on Wednesdays in building 180 from 12:302:30pm. Clare explains that the light she radiates onto others is “just a positive energy that you radiate onto people”. “Some people compare it to Raiki. I don’t know much about Raiki, so it’s hard to make that comparison, but I suppose the only difference I’m aware of is that Raiki requires that the provider gives some of their own personal energy, whereas I don’t use any of my own energy in the practice, it’s all from a higher power. It purifies spirit, mind and body. People have regarded it as a spiritual massage because they feel refreshed and rejuvenated afterwards. It’s not working at a physical level, so whatever happens, happens. Mostly people walk away feeling really positive afterwards”. If you are interested in receiving True Light or learning more about the practice, contact Clare Goodwin at CGoodwin@ unitec.ac.nz
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