Decades of experience in health and nutrition forms the foundation of a new business for Dunedin woman Ruth Zeinert.
Living Well is a six-week one-on-one programme for people living with and recovering from cancer, which aims to increase energy levels, support rest and recovery, and enhance wellbeing.
Ms Zeinert developed Living Well after seeing many people struggling to get their lives and their spark back following treatment for cancer, or long-term illness.
“There is great support available for people going through the cancer journey, but there is definitely a gap when people have completed their treatment, or have gone into long-term remission,” Ms Zeinert said.
“People can find themselves back in the real world, feeling lucky, but also a bit lost at that point – and there can be a lot of anxiety.
“There’s nothing like a diagnosis like that to make you want to make some lifestyle changes, but it can be so confusing around there, especially around nutrition.
“And there is so much evidence around the benefits of being physically active, not just for fitness and wellbeing, but also to promote healing.”
In the 20 years since she qualified as a physiotherapist, Ms Zeinert has worked in various areas of the health system, from emergency care to public health.
She has also completed a postgraduate diploma in science (nutrition), and both a relaxation massage course and a massage for cancer and chronic illness course through the NZ College of Massage.
After careful observation of the gaps in support for cancer survivors, Ms Zeinert developed Living Well to cover four main areas – moving well, eating well, breathing well, and sleeping well.
With a passion for working one-on-one with people, she aims to work on all of these interconnected areas to help increase energy and wellbeing.
“The main focus is to get to know people, and to help them set some goals and priorities, and then look at making long-term, sustainable change.”
Ms Zeinert first developed her business idea through the GigCity Startup Dunedin Co.
Starters programme, a nine-week course to help people test and develop a business idea before going to launch.
Since then, she has been developing the concept further by talking with cancer survivors and others.
While the Living Well programme would initially be focused on cancer survivors, the principles could work for any long-term illness, she said.