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Healthy-Ish podcast: how to do an at-home breast examination

Have you checked your breasts lately? Well, new research says many of us aren’t due to low body confidence. Specialist breast oncoplastic surgeon Dr Samriti Sood discusses the study and the three-step breast check you need to do today. 


To hear today’s full interview, where she chats about the risk factors of breast cancer…search for Extra Healthy-ish wherever you get your pods.

This Breast Cancer Awareness month, sign-up to Pink Hope’s regular breast check reminder here. For more on Sam, see here


Online: Head to for your daily digital dose of health and wellness.

On social: Via Instagram at @bodyandsoul_au or Facebook. Or, TikTok here. Got an idea for an episode? DM host Felicity Harley on Instagram @felicityharley

In print: Each Sunday, grab Body+Soul inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), the Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria), The Sunday Mail (Queensland), Sunday Mail (SA) and Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania). 

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Extra Healthy-Ish podcast: breast cancer risk factors and prevention

Fact: one in seven Australian women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. Specialist breast oncoplastic surgeon Dr Samriti Sood discusses risk factors, self-checks, prevention and the best age to start a mammogram. 


This Breast Cancer Awareness month, sign-up to Pink Hope’s regular breast check reminder here. For more on Sam, see here


Online: Head to for your daily digital dose of health and wellness.

On social: Via Instagram at @bodyandsoul_au or Facebook. Or, TikTok here. Got an idea for an episode? DM host Felicity Harley on Instagram @felicityharley

In print: Each Sunday, grab Body+Soul inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), the Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria), The Sunday Mail (Queensland), Sunday Mail (SA) and Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania). 

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‘Haytox’ could be the solution to your allergies this spring

Do you suffer from hay fever this time of year? Haytox could be the semi-permanent solution you’ve been looking for.

Spring in Australia is a beautiful time – flowers bloom, the sun comes out and iced lattes shoot into the top spot for coffee orders. 

It’s a season marked by rampant change and renewal, and for the most part, that’s a wonderful thing. However, for those who suffer from allergies, spring is not so much a time to cherish as it is a time to dread. 

Flowers growing and leaves unfurling means there’s a whole heap of pollen and debris in the air – and anyone who lives in Sydney will be all too familiar with the fear of plane trees and their destructive fluffy spores. Add a hint of smoke from back burning or bushfires, a light breeze and it’s a perfect storm for hay fever, asthma and a litany of other forms of respiratory irritation. 

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If you suffer from hay fever, you’ll know all too well about the plight of clean sinuses, a non-itchy throat and eyes that don’t water. Every second person has a favourite chemist antihistamines or home remedy they claim will stop the symptoms of springs, but for many sufferers, it’s more a matter of riding it out. 

However, some people have had enough, and are turning to alternate methods to put an end to their sniffles – namely needles, and the use of Botox, or ‘Haytox.’ 

Here’s everything you need to know. 

What is hay fever? 

Formally known as allergic rhinitis, “Hay fever arises when the immune system becomes hypersensitive to common allergens like pollen, dust mites, or pet dander,” Dr Tanya Unni, GP, cosmetic care specialist and founder of Dr Tanya Skincare tells Body+Soul

While many people will experience irritation from dust or debris in the air, as part of their immune response, a heightened reaction can be influenced by genetics, “Sensitisation to allergens over time, age-related immune system changes, and certain occupations involving allergen exposure”. 

“For some, hay fever is seasonal, while others may experience symptoms year-round due to indoor allergens,” says Unni. However, she agrees that Spring is certainly the worst time for hay fever sufferers, as “This period corresponds to the flowering and pollination of various grasses, weeds, and trees, releasing large amounts of pollen into the air.” 

Common hay fever symptoms include throat itchiness, nasal congestion, irritated eyes and a runny nose, she says, which “can impact one’s overall wellbeing.”

What is Haytox? 

Since hay fever can be so severe at this time of year, some people are turning to semi-permanent solutions. 

‘Haytox’ is a kind of hay fever treatment that involves applying anti-wrinkle toxins into the nasal cavity to block receptors. 

“The nasal receptors in your nasal cavity are remarkably minuscule, with an estimated count of about 10 million within this confined area,” says Dr Unni. “By applying anti-wrinkle product to the thin lining of your nasal cavity topically, the nerve receptors quickly absorb it – blocking them from being triggered by allergens.” 

While Botox is usually applied via an injection, Haytox requires only local application, says Unni, but it still needs to be done by a doctor or cosmetic nurse. 

“Haytox is commonly performed by spraying a small amount of anti-wrinkle product into each nostril, or nasal mucosa,” she tells Body+Soul. “The treatment itself only takes five to 10 minutes, with the benefits being felt within a few hours, if not straight away.” 

Does Haytox actually work? 

Long story short, yes. By blocking over-active receptors, you can bypass your body’s immune response – thus avoiding unnecessary hay fever symptoms.

However, much like Botox, it’s not a cure, as much as it is a method of keeping symptoms under control. 

“It is ideal for those who feel like they have tried everything, and dread hay fever season,” says Dr Unni. “Another benefit of Haytox is that results generally mean individuals aren’t having to rely on using antihistamines or nose sprays daily to manage their Hay fever symptoms. 

How long does Haytox last? 

While Haytox can be highly effective in the short term, it doesn’t last forever. 

“Generally, the benefits of HayTox can last up to 3-4 months. If the first treatment doesn’t feel effective enough, individuals may come back at least four weeks after their initial treatment for a top up,” says Dr Unni. 

How much does Haytox cost?

One treatment of Haytox in Australia can cost anywhere between $250-600, but you may also be eligible for a financial rebate (just as at your consultation). 

It’s not a cheap treatment, but since Haytox lasts for around one full season, just one application may be enough to keep you protected all year long. For many, that’s a cost worth paying if it means breathing freely.

To find out if Haytox is right for you, Dr Unni suggests booking in for a consultation with a trusted medical professional, who can assess your individual circumstances. 

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What the Voice referendum means for the healthcare of First Nations people

Most basic healthcare services that the average Australian takes for granted are not available to Indigenous people in remote communities. Here are some ways the Voice referendum could help improve Aboriginal health outcomes. 

In our era of instant gratification, we have access to the weird and wonderful (as well as the most mundane) right at our fingertips. We can turn on the tap for water, access fresh vegetables within minutes, and make a doctor’s appointment with ease.

Yet, there’s a part of Australia that struggles with these very basics. Imagine these taken-for-granted facilities as luxuries; it’s hard to, right?

Nyamal woman Georgie Corrie, who works as a nurse in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, sheds light on this overlooked reality. In an interview with Felicity Harley on a recent episode of Healthy-ish, Corrie emphasises how our everyday comforts remain faraway fantasies for Indigenous people in remote communities. „There are challenges we see [here] that aren’t challenges in major cities and for non-Indigenous Australians,” says Corrie.

But change might be on the way. As early voting for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum on October 14 begins this week, there is a hopeful curiosity in the air: What does this entail for the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people?

Corrie’s experience offers profound insights. She’s witnessed the deep disparities firsthand since her pre-graduate days at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, where she encountered young Indigenous children, some as young as five years old, flown in from the territory to undergo open-heart surgeries for preventable conditions like rheumatic heart disease.

Many Indigenous people are airlifted to Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, or Sydney as a last resort in an attempt to treat conditions that could have been nipped in the bud by preventable care.

“We really are navigating challenges of geography,” Corrie explains. Despite hosting only one per cent of Australia’s population, Corrie notes that the Northern Territory is larger than NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania combined. This makes healthcare delivery significantly „harder“ than in metropolitan areas. 

The repercussions of increased difficulty in obtaining healthcare are significant. „When it comes to cervical cancer, Indigenous Australians are 2.5 times more likely to develop it, and 3.8 times more likely to die from it,“ says Corrie, adding their five-year survival rate is 56 per cent, compared to 72 per cent for non-Indigenous Australians.

Corrie’s experience managing clinics in the bush has revealed that patients can go for weeks without seeing a doctor, with visits as infrequent as once a month. „There were times I was without a doctor for six weeks,“ she says.

A lack of access to preventative treatment is also a significant impediment to favourable health outcomes. Using breast cancer as an example, she explains that Indigenous Australian women are „1.2 times more likely to die from breast cancer because they don’t have access to screening participation.“

„Our patient-assisted travel scheme won’t cover mammograms,“ Corrie adds.

How can the Voice help? Corrie feels that current health outcomes reflect the absence of a local, grassroots voice that actually understands the reality on the ground. If enshrined in the constitution, this Voice ensures that „policymakers from Canberra and capital cities, who have never been out to a remote community aren’t making decisions, writing policy or legislation, without the input of that community,“ Corrie explains.

She emphasises the significance of care continuity, such as ensuring that an expecting woman sees the same healthcare professional throughout her pregnancy. Corrie proposes „developing First Nations people in the workforce so they feel supported and have a cultural say on the experience.“

Corrie’s stance is simple yet powerful: „When we listen to the community, we get better outcomes… It’s their health service. What do they feel is missing or lacking?“ Drawing from her enriching experiences, she believes that sometimes, the solutions are straightforward and within grasp, just waiting to be implemented and voiced.

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The best menopause supplements | body+soul

Menopause is one of the most significant changes a woman will experience in her lifetime, and with it comes a spectrum of life-changing physical and emotional symptoms. But are menopause supplements just a pretty placebo, or are they really worth the investment? 

From all-inclusive wellness retreats to a bathroom cabinet full of gimmicks no better than magic beans, any woman in the throws of menopause would likely consider trying anything to alleviate their symptoms. But while we’re certainly living in an age of scientific advancement, we’re still waiting for an overnight quick-fix to hit the shelves. 

Luckily, plenty of other pretty magic options exist. With entire stores dedicated to supplement powders, pills and liquids, the possibilities seem endless. But when it comes to menopause, are targeted supplements really worth the investment, or should we simply suffer through the symptoms?

Combining their lived experience, and nutritional expertise, here’s what two experts really think about menopause supplements, and what we should be looking out for to weed out the most effective products.

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Are menopause supplements worth it, or just a cash grab?

With so many menopause-related products on offer these days, registered nutritionist and partner of Eir Women, Kristen Beck, weighs in on what to look out for when you’re scanning the supplements aisle.

“The biggest trap is supplements that pack in a very long list of ingredients, but at such tiny doses of active ingredients, they are essentially useless,” Beck says. 

According to the nutritionist, most targeted supplements on offer mainly focus on symptoms only, such as hot flushes, weight gain and mood swings, without addressing the underlying causes. When comparing products, Beck says it’s helpful to look out for anything that effectively targets things like blood sugar balance, sleep patterns, nervous system and adrenal glands. 

“Just trying to treat menopausal symptoms is shortsighted and doesn’t take into account the massive mental and emotional load, disturbed sleep, and the negative societal messaging around aging and menopause that women in their forties and fifties deal with every day,” she says.

Another brand that’s determined to offer women a natural and effective way to cope with their menopause symptoms, is The Menopause Co. Founded by Sarah Green, the curated range offers tailored supplement subscriptions to suit the individual needs of any perimenopausal or menopausal woman, using natural ingredients to promote long-term results.

“It was an eye-opener to discover how many supplements on the market contain bulking agents, fillers, and poor-quality ingredients, and sadly many women are wasting their money on products that really won’t have any impact at all,” explains Green.

“That’s why we’ve researched and selected ingredients that are evidence-based, supported by either clinical science or a strong tradition of medical use, and shown to be highly effective for targeting each individual symptom.” 

When it comes to ‘fixing’ menopause symptoms, Green says her personal experience taught her that no one-size-fits-all approach exists. Determined to ensure other women feel supported during this life-altering period, her range is designed to promote customised combinations of symptom-specific supplements for results they can actually feel.

Supplements aren’t the sole solution

While both Green and Beck endorse the importance of high-quality ingredients when it comes to alleviating menopause symptoms, supplements can only do so much to curb the effects of the significant natural process. 

According to Beck, the hormonal changes coupled with our natural aging process mean that our dietary requirements change, and with it, our bodies‘ ability to metabolise. As a result, many women embark on strict, restrictive diets to avoid weight gain.  

“What we need to do instead is focus on great diet quality full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, lean meats, dairy, nuts and seeds,” Beck says. “Research shows that women who eat small, nutritious meals more regularly throughout the day are less likely to gain weight around menopause, balance mood, experience less hot flashes and enjoy better quality sleep.”

And while a curated supplement prescription could do wonders for your symptoms, Green says open conversations about menopause experiences are also key to breaking down the taboo that still exists today. 

“It will happen to every woman, so why should we be ashamed to talk about it?” says Green. “Menopause is a permanent phase of life and one to be enjoyed to the fullest.”

To explore the benefits of a menopause supplement subscription, or target a specific system’s symptoms, find out more about Beck and Green’s product ranges below.

For a bit of everything:

The Menopause Co. Foundation $69 from 

For lightness and detoxification:

Eir Women Zipped, $69 from

For a healthy libido:

The Menopause Co. Libido, $69 from 

For a good night’s sleep:

Eir Women Reboot, $59 from

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