Oral Health Awards 2020 – the finalists

Here’s the shortlist for the Oral Health Awards 2020. Are you one of our finalists?

Best Hygienist

Catherine Mawson – Greenwich Dental Health
Claire Berry – Yorkshire Dental Suite
Gemma O’Callaghan – 10 Dental
Janet Holden – The Waterside Dental Clinic
Leanne Barwick – Bupa Dental Care Fleet
Melanie Pomphrett – Hello Dental
Renate Cusumano – Bow Lane Dental Group
Sejal Patel – Dental Beauty Northfields

Best Therapist

Amy Hills – Kingswood Parks Dental Clinic
Camilla Bevan – Platinum Dental Care
Chelsea King – The Lindfield Dental Surgery
Eamon Dehdashti – TwentyOneDental
Emily Fry – Happy Kids Dental
Emily Hatfield – West Heath Dental Practice
Hawa Azhar – Haverhill Dental and Cosmetic Centre
Rachel Hanson – Enhance Dental
Nida Malik – VIDA
Sammi-Peony Dovey – Dentistry @ Oceana Boulevard

Best Recently- Qualified Hygienist

Leanne Barwick – Bupa Dental Care Fleet
Meranda Gomez-Adams – K Dental Studios

Best Recently-Qualified Therapist

Amber Ojak – Morningside Drive Dental Care
Anna Seymour – Watercress House Dental & Implant Clinic
Hawa Azhar – Haverhill Dental and Cosmetic Centre

Best Orthodontic Therapist

Renate Cusumano – Bow Lane Dental Group
Rohima Begum – The Orthodontic Gallery

Best Leader of Prevention

Halesowen Dental
Happy Kids Dental
Happy Teeth Education
Torrs Park Dental Practice

Best Care of Nervous Patients

Abercorn Dental Care
Easter Ross Dental Care
East Preston & Ferring Dental Clinic
Halesowen Dental
Happy Kids Dental
Narberth and Herbrandston Dental Health Practices

Best Children’s Care

Community Dental Services CIC – Essex
Ghyllmount Dental
Happy Kids Dental

Best Community Initiative

Community Dental Services CIC – Essex
Ghyllmount Dental
Happy Smiles Club
Leanne Barwick – Bupa Dental Care Fleet
Maasai Molar
Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise
The Oral Health Promotion Team
The Royal London Dental Hospital – Barts Health NHS Trust
Torrs Park Dental Practice

Best Oral Health Team

Bond Dental
Community Dental Services CIC – Essex
Easter Ross Dental Care
Ghyllmount Dental
Halesowen Dental
Infinity Smiles
Torrs Park Dental Practice

Phillips Shine On Award

Amber Ojak – Morningside Drive Dental Care
Amy Hills – Kingwood Parks Dental Clinic
Annette Matthews – Skin Smiles Success
Catherine Mawson – Greenwich Dental Health
Hawa Azhar – Haverhill Dental and Cosmetic Centre
Jane Peterson – Knowledge Oral Healthcare
Luke Snelling – Dental Health and Aesthetics

Best New Patient Campaign

Dental on the Banks
Easter Ross Dental Care
Happy Kids Dental

Visit www.oralhealthawards.co.uk for more information.

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How local tracing partnerships are supporting NHS Test and Trace

Streets of terraced stone houses in Hebden bridge, Calderdale.

Defeating COVID-19 involves everyone working together at local and national level.

Since July, 100 local authorities have worked in partnership with NHS Test and Trace to provide local tracing partnerships which combine national scale and data with local knowledge.

Calderdale Council was one of the first local authorities to launch a local tracing partnership with NHS Test and Trace. Deborah Harkins, Calderdale’s Director of Public Health, discusses how it is working in the area:

“In Calderdale, we have been working with NHS Test and Trace for some time to develop a local tracing partnership and we’re improving it day-by-day. When the opportunity first arose in the summer to work with government to develop local contact tracing we were absolutely delighted to get on board.

“Contact tracing is a critical part of the prevention and control of COVID-19. It needs to work hand in hand with other measures, such as limiting social contact, engaging with communities and groups at high risk of getting COVID-19 because of their working and living conditions, preventing COVID-19 taking hold in care homes and enforcing restrictions.

“Test and Trace allows us to find people who have the virus and those they may have infected. Once identified, we can advise them to isolate therefore breaking the chain of infection. We can also support them to complete the self-isolation period including making those who are eligible aware of the new financial support grant.

“We also recognise the criticality of this local tracing partnership and that it is giving us really helpful local information about how people are being exposed to the virus, and this is continuously informing our approaches to containing the virus.

“We have seen some real benefits of the local, regional and national services working together. I believe this is critical for NHS Test and Trace to work as effectively as possible. I think that’s the case across the country given that 100 local authorities have also launched a localised model in partnership with the national programme. In Calderdale we recruited and redeployed people to be trained as local contact tracers. They are people who know and are trusted by our local communities. A number of our local contact tracers can speak community languages.

“Local tracing partnerships involve our staff on the ground working with a dedicated team of contact tracers from NHS Test and Trace who support all the local authorities taking part, to help reach as many people as possible who have tested positive for coronavirus. If the dedicated Test and Trace team is unable to make contact with a local resident within 24 hours, our local public health officials and other colleagues follow up.

“We receive information about people living in Calderdale who have tested positive and those that have not been reached by the national Test and Trace Service due to calls not being responded to are passed to us within 24 hours to ensure we work collectively to reach as many people as possible.  Our role is to speak to them and gather information about the people they may have infected based on agreed criteria about when they were infectious and how close they were to them and for how long. The people they may have infected are called contacts.

“Our team of local contact tracers use text messages, telephone and home visits to contact the COVID case to identify people they may have infected and to offer support with self-isolation.

“During September, the Calderdale local contact tracing service received details of 213 Calderdale cases out of the 697 number of total cases that were handled by Test and Trace. Of the 213, 86% were contacted and completed by local contact tracers. 9% could not be reached, 4% refused to provide details (because they had finished their isolation period) and one person had sadly died. We were then able to pass back to Test and Trace the details of their respective contacts for the contact tracing to continue.

“For those we are not able to reach there is almost always a good reason, such as they are in hospital or we’ve been unable to get the right contact details, which is why our combined efforts are so critical.

“We have also started to visit cases where the information given by the individual on the phone was not detailed enough to allow us to carry out the contact tracing we need. This is working particularly well in Calderdale. We have some people who have provided more detailed information when speaking face to face and have been much more receptive once they’re aware of the support available to them.

“The pandemic can be a very stressful time for people, especially for those who are at risk. Nevertheless, we have found that our local contact tracers are almost always well received in Calderdale including when they visit people at home.”

The local tracing partnership with Calderdale has complemented the national system’s capacity and access to data thanks to the local teams’ insight. There have already been notable examples of where the local contact tracers have been able to use their local expertise to identify possible routes of transmission and outbreaks. These have included possible links through sports clubs, car sharing and workplaces, which can be shared with Test and Trace as part of the wider national analysis.

Deborah added:

“Stopping these potential outbreaks is clear evidence that by combining our local knowledge with the data and resources of NHS Test and Trace, we can ensure we contact as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. It is a combination of national scale, data and expertise with our unique local “boots on the ground” insight in order to tackle the pandemic.

“In another instance, intelligence gained by local contact tracers led us to identify a business proprietor who had provided inaccurate information about when staff had worked in an apparent attempt to stop the outbreak being detected and to keep his business operating.  By contact tracers speaking to a number of cases who appeared to be linked to the business, they were able to gather the full facts and identify the potential workplace transmission.  This enabled us to use enforcement powers to close the business and reduce the risk of future transmission.

“Over time, local tracing partnerships will provide extra insight into specific ways transmission is happening throughout the country. This information will help inform local measures to contain and prevent the spread. The unique local knowledge of local teams, coupled with vast experience of contact tracing within local public health teams, is vital in working with NHS Test and Trace.”

Signatera Test for Residual Disease Will Be Used in New Phase 2 Breast Cancer Trial


Signatera, Natera’s personalized test to detect residual signs of cancer in people with solid tumors, will be used in an upcoming Phase 2 trial as a tool to identify patients with early HR-positive (hormone receptor-positive), HER2-negative (human epidermal growth factor 2-negative) breast cancer who are at high risk of cancer relapse.

The test also will be used to monitor the response of participants who do test positive for signs of residual disease to a combination therapy of Pfizer’s Ibrance (palbociclib) and AstraZeneca’s Faslodex (fulvestrant).

The trial, called DARE (NCT04567420), will be carried out in the U.S. at the Yale Cancer Center in Connecticut, through Criterium, doing business as Academic Breast Cancer Consortium (ABRCC). Enrollment is not yet active; more information will become available here.

“Detecting relapse before it becomes clinically symptomatic requires a test with high sensitivity and specificity,” Lajos Pusztai, MD, PhD, the trial’s principal investigator and a professor of medical oncology at Yale University, said in a press release.

Of note, sensitivity is a test’s ability to identify people with a disease (true positives), while specificity refers to its ability to detect individuals without the disorder (true negatives).

“Signatera enables us to confidently identify patients with molecular relapse when the disease burden is so low that it is undetectable with imaging. The trial will test if early intervention at this stage could delay or avert a clinical relapse,” said Pusztai, also co-leader of the genetics, genomics and epigenetics research program at the Yale Cancer Center.

A patient-tailored, personalized test, Signatera is designed to detect small DNA fragments from tumor cells circulating in the blood, called circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).

The presence of ctDNA is a sign of molecular residual disease, as it means that cancer cells are still present despite treatment. These cells are the cause of cancer relapse, but often remain undetected during standard imaging analyses.

At the enrollment stage, Signatera will be used to identify 100 patients with stage 2 or 3 HR-positive and HER2-negative breast cancer undergoing treatment with hormone therapy who show signs of residual disease.

The participants will then be randomly selected to continue their current hormone therapy or start treatment with Ibrance plus Faslodex for two years.

The trial’s main goals include assessing the prevalence of ctDNA in patients during the screening phase, and determining if the combination therapy of Ibrance and Faslodex may be superior to standard hormone therapy at prolonging the time patients live without having a relapse.

Ibrance is an oral medication that works by blocking the activity of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6, enzymes that regulate cell proliferation and growth, and are often overactive in breast cancer.

The medication is approved in the U.S. to treat patients with HR-positive and HER2-negative advanced breast cancer, when given alongside hormone therapy. However, it is still unknown whether it also may be effective in treating patients with early stage breast cancer.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Yale and Criterium/ABRCC to investigate the efficacy of palbociclib in patients with detectable residual disease based on Signatera,” said Alexey Aleshin, MD, senior medical director for oncology at Natera.

“This is the second clinical trial using Signatera to evaluate the efficacy of a CDK4/6 inhibitor, and it heralds the significant utility of personalized MRD [molecular residual disease] testing for early relapse detection in patients with breast cancer,” Aleshin said.

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Surya Namaskar: Types, Poses, Benefits, and More

Surya Namaskar: Types, Poses, Benefits, and More HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog – The definitive guide to weight loss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Surya Namaskar Ek, Fayde Anekh. In Surya Namaskar, Surya refers to “the sun,” and Namaskar means “bowing down in respect.” This has been the most popular yogic kriyas for many decades now, as it combines 12 yoga asanas in a yogic sequence. Practicing Surya Namaskar daily helps in balancing three constituents of your body, i.e., Kapha, Pitta, and Vata, which will help you lead your life in a greater way and influence your creativity and intuitive abilities. It’s simple yet powerful poses are what make it possible for people of all age groups and all sizes to perform it, anytime, anywhere. 

Table of Contents

  • Types of Surya Namaskar
  • How To Do Surya Namaskar – Hatha Style
  • Other Benefits of Surya Namaskar
  • Summary

Types of Surya Namaskar

Over the centuries, Surya Namaskar has evolved, and its poses have differed into various styles and variations. Moreover, this is one yogic kriya that never diminished but has only expanded. In reality, Surya Namaskar is integrated into various types of yoga styles. Let’s take a look at them in the section below: 

  1. Ashtanga Surya Namaskar: In the Ashtanga Surya Namaskar series, sun salutations have two forms. -Type A and B. Type A, consists of 9 Vinyasas and type B consists of seventeen vinyasas.
  2. Hatha Surya Namaskar: It is performed through the 12 spinal poses, which puts deep emphasis on breathing prominently. It is one of the most commonly practiced Surya Namaskar styles and possibly the easiest one. 
  3. Iyengar Surya Namaskar: Iyengar Surya Namaskar is similar to the Hatha practice, but here the focus is a little more on pace and energy, wherein, it is performed at a quicker pace than other Surya Namaskar types.

How To Do Surya Namaskar – Hatha Style

In this section let’s spend some time exploring the 12 classic poses of traditional Hatha Surya Namaskar.  

Pose 1: Prayer pose – Pranamasana. 

 Prayer pose – Pranamasana.


  • Start by standing straight at the front of your mat, bringing your feet together, and keeping arms loose alongside. 
  • Now, close your eyes and bring your palms to meet in the center of your chest. Relax the whole body.


  • This pose relaxes the nervous system and helps in gaining the balance of the body.
  • It also helps relieve stress and anxiety.  

Pose 2: Raised arms pose – Hasta Uttanasana

 Raised arms pose – Hasta Uttanasana


  • Hasta Uttanasana is started by exhaling deeply
  • Inhale deeply thereafter stretching your arms forward and bringing them up over your head.
  • Look up and stretch the body slightly backward by pushing your pelvis forward.
  • Breathe out. (Focus on breathing-in when you arch backward, and as you bend forward breathe-out.) 


  • Stretches and tones the muscles of the abdomen.
  • Expands the whole body from heel to the tip of the fingers.

Pose 3: Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana. 

Hasta Padasana


  1. Exhale and start to fold forward and down to the knees; as you come forward, keep the spine long.
  2. Hands down on the floor, have just your fingertips touching the floor.
  3. Bend the knees just enough so your chest can rest against the thighs, and your head touching your knee. Hold this position for a few seconds.


  1. It stretches the spine and makes it flexible. 
  2. It also stretches the hamstrings and opens the legs, shoulders, and arms muscles.

Pose 4: Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana


  1. Next, step your right leg back, putting just the knee down and comfortably tucking the toes under.
  2.  At the same time bend the left knee leaving the foot flat on the floor.
  3. Press the fingertips or palms down to the floor, roll the shoulders back, and slowly lookup. 


  1. Strengthens the leg muscles and spine.
  2. Relieves in indigestion and constipation.

Pose 5: Mountain pose – Parvatasana 



  1. Slowly exhale, having control bring your palms onto the floor and stepping the left foot back beside the right, lift your hips up into the air. 
  2. Lengthening through your spine, bring the shoulders towards the ankles. Take a few breaths.


  1. It improves posture and calms the mind.

Pose 6: Ashtanga Namaskara

Ashtanga Namaskara


  1. As you exhale, lower your knees down and slowly, with a controlled chest, come down while pushing your head forward on the floor. 
  2. Keep your elbows right in against your sides; giving you more strength. 
  3. Now, as you build more strength in this transition, you can lower the chest down and still keep your hip up in the air.


  1. It improves the flexibility of the back and spine.
  2. Strengthens the back muscle and relieves build up tension. 
  3. Your eight body parts are worked in a single pose.  

Pose 7: Cobra pose – Bhujangasana

Cobra pose – Bhujangasana


  1. Keep hands and feet right where they are. And inhale. 
  2. Slide forward and raise your chest like a cobra. 
  3. Roll the shoulders back, Keep your elbows bent, and squeeze them back towards each other. 
  4. Slowly lookup. 


  1. It improves flexibility and mood.
  2. It stretches the shoulders, chest, back, legs muscle, all at once. 

Pose 8: Mountain pose – Parvatasana.



  1. While you exhale, tuck the toes under. (same as pose 5)
  2. Press back to an inverted V position, lengthening through the spine, bringing the shoulders towards the ankles. Take a few breaths here. As you exhale lift the hips towards the sky and press your hands into the ground. 


  1. It increases the blood flow to the spinal region.
  2. It relieves symptoms of menopause in women.

Pose 9: Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana.

Ashwa Sanchalasana


  1. Bring the left foot forwards between the hands, and push the pelvis forwards. Lift the torso and tilt the head back, arching the back and looking up to the sky (same as pose 4).


  1. Brings flexibility to leg muscles and tones the abdominal organs.
  2. Strengthens the spine. 

Pose 10: Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana.

hasta padasana


  1. Exhale, keep the right foot in front, bringing the legs together (same as pose 3).
  2. Bend the knees just enough so your chest can rest against the thighs, and your head touching your knee. 


  1. It helps in curing insomnia, osteoporosis, headache, anxiety, and stress.

Pose 11: Raised Arms Pose- Hasta Uttanasana

Hasta Uttanasana


  1. Inhale deeply thereafter stretching your arms forward and bringing them up over your head (same as pose 2)
  2. Look up and stretch the body slightly backward by pushing your pelvis forward.
  3. Breathe out. 


  1. It cures health problems like asthma, lower back pain, and fatigue. It also aids digestion.
  2. Expands the chest, which results in a full intake of oxygen.

Pose 12: Standing Mountain pose – Tadasana.



  1. Then, at last, exhale and come back to the prayer position (same as pose 1). 
  2. Bring your arms down, slow and steady.  


  1. Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles and improves posture.
  2. Tone your hips and abdomen and help to gain control over your muscular movements.

These 12 poses when practiced make up for one cycle of Surya Namaskar. Ideally, doing 12-15 cycles a day will get you all the benefits required by the body, keeping you fit and healthy for a better tomorrow.

Other Benefits of Surya Namaskar:

  1. Balance of Dosha: Pita, Kapha, and Vata are three doshas that can go out of balance due to various causes. It is majorly affected by the weather, food, everyday bad activities, stress at work, and depreciated sleep. However, you can keep your dosha in line with practicing Surya Namaskar daily. 
  2. Weight-loss Booster: Simply stretching the abdominal muscles will certainly make you lose extra calories through Surya namaskar. It also manages the hormonal secretions from thyroid glands that are responsible for weight gain.  
  3. Improves mental health: Surya Namaskar has a great significance for children to strengthen their focus and relax their minds while reducing sleepiness, somatic stress, worry, and negative emotion at a dispositional level. It can help to revitalize the brain by engaging the spinal cord. A daily 15-minute practice can reap great results for the brain. 


The physical benefits of Surya Namaskar are aplenty. This 12 posture yogic kriya lubricates all the joints of your body by synchronizing with your breath giving you better physical health and mental concentration. The regular practice of 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar not only gives you enormous benefits that let you discover who you are but also keeps your body healthy and fit from the inside out! 

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Review of Superlife + what I learned

Sharing my thoughts and review on Darin Olien’s book Superlife and what I learned. 

Hi friends! How’s the morning going? I hope you’re having a great day so far. I apologize for disappearing for a few days – I can’t remember the last time I missed a Friday Faves post. Social media and the world have felt pretty heavy lately, so it felt good to step away for a bit. Liv has a half day of online learning, so I’m thinking of taking the kiddos to the zoo this afternoon. It’s been *slightly* cooler around here; just to the point where it feels like a hint of fall. The mornings have been really lovely.

For today’s post, I wanted to share my review and thoughts on Darin Olien’s book, Superlife.

You may know Darin from a couple of places:

1) he was Zac Efron’s knowledgeable sidekick in Down to Earth (which I pretty much spent mentally debating who was more attractive. In the end, I think it’s a tie.)

photo source

2) he’s one of the creators of Shakeology! This is Beachbody’s protein shake, which is packed with superfoods and nutrients. I drank it religiously and loved it for years, but stopped drinking it when I was pregnant with P and never really got back into it. It tastes amazing.

When I saw that Darin had a book, I instantly downloaded it to my Kindle app. I finally had the chance to dive in and finish it on the flight to and from Denver a couple of weekends ago. While a lot of it was info that I already know from being in the health and wellness space for a while, I still learned a ton. It also was a gentle nudge to get back to some healthy habits that have fallen off the radar over time. I feel like along with so many of you, I’ve really been trying to just keep my head above water for the past 8 months. I finally feel like I’m almost to a point where I’m squeaking past the “simply survive” benchmark and can start to focus back on a couple of work goals and routine tweaks.

For a healthy lifestyle, I’m all about ADDING things to your routine where it makes sense, instead of focusing on removing them. For example: more vegetables, more movement, more fresh air, better sleep, add meditation, etc. instead of less cake, less sugar, less meat, blah blah. This book gives many ideas on strategies that you can add into your routine for a super life; one that is vibrant, energized, pain-free, and free of illness.

From the website:

In this groundbreaking health and lifestyle guide, Darin Olien—superfoods expert, nutritionist, creator of Shakeology, and co-host of the Netflix docuseries Down to Earth with Zac Efron—provides the key to understanding and utilizing five life forces, the sole factors that determine whether or not we will be healthy, fit, and free of illness.

In Superlife, Darin Olien provides us with an entirely new way of thinking about health and wellbeing by identifying what he calls the life forces: Quality Nutrition, Hydration, Detoxification, Oxygenation, and Alkalization. Olien demonstrates in great detail how to maintain these processes, thereby allowing our bodies to do the rest. He tells us how we can maintain healthy weight, prevent even the most serious of diseases, and feel great. He explains that all of this is possible without any of the restrictive or gimmicky diet plans that never work in the long term.

Olien has traveled the world, exploring the health properties of foods that have sustained indigenous cultures for centuries. Putting his research into practice, he has created a unique and proven formula for maximizing our bodies’ potential. He also includes a “How-to-eat” user’s guide with a shopping list, advice on “what to throw away,” a guide to creating a healthy, balanced diet plan, and advice on how to use supplements effectively.

Written in Olien’s engaging conversational style, Superlife is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive look at dieting and nutrition, a timeless and essential guide to maintaining the human body and maximizing its potential.

He breaks the book down into 5 life forces to emphasize in your daily routine: nutrition, hydration, oxygenation, alkalization, and detoxification. In each segment, he provides details on steps that you can implement to make the most out of each component. He also adds tips for exercise, feeding kids, supplements, kitchen staples, and a sample 10-day eating plan and to-do list. I LOVE how thorough he is in each section with lots of attainable tips. It’s one of my pet peeves when you read a health or wellness book and the author spends the entire time telling you about why their plan or philosophy works so well without actually giving you the steps you need. They spend far too much on the “why” instead of the “how” and this book is the perfect mix of both. It’s also very conversationally-written, so while it includes multiple science-backed facts and peer-reviewed studies, it’s an easy read.

Notes I took on my phone while reading:

– Make sprouts. (I’ll do a blog post on this soon! I used to sprout all of the time and it’s an easy way to add nutrients to salad, wraps, and sandwiches)

– Big salads with lots of raw veggies – focus on kale and broccoli

– Smoothies with varied ingredients

– Water with pinch of Himalayan sea salt, cayenne, and lemon in the am

– Foods with high chlorophyll content: chard, kale, spirulina, chlorella

– Make exercise sporadic and fun; truly challenge yourself

– Find a better water source. We have reverse osmosis here at the house, but it hasn’t been serviced since the first time we lived here (before Liv was born!) so we haven’t been using it. I’ve been filling the large water jugs from Whole Foods, but am trying to find a better option (glass bottles, a great filter like Berkey, or even a delivery service). If you have any ideas, please let me know! Wondering if it’s worth it to just get the RO system fixed and running again.

As a non-vegan who loves vegan food, I’m excited about trying some of the new recipes in Superlife. They’re all vibrantly colored and packed with veggies.

So, tell me, friends: what’s the best health or wellness book you’ve read recently?

Any awesome healthy recipes you’ve tried?



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