Category Archives: Wellness

Post-Procedure Tips: Expert advice on how to heal faster

You don’t have to be a fan of Keeping Up with the Kardashians or Botched to know that there’s a whole lot of cosmetic procedures going on…just take a look around you. If the statistics are any indication — and they most certainly are — the appointments being booked aren’t just for celebs and socialites. Those that partake come in all shapes and sizes as well as from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, income levels and careers. They do it to improve what they perceive to be imperfections so that they can feel better about their appearance or improve their social lives and/or job opportunities.

Statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery show that over the past 15 years, surgical procedures have increased by 73% while non-surgical procedures have increased by a whopping 356%. These are huge numbers! With injectables like neurotoxins and fillers, lasers, plastic surgery and the like continuing to rise, it’s no surprise that those who do indulge would want to cut down on the swelling and bruising that comes with the territory. But, is that even possible?

“Individuals swell and bruise at different rates mostly because of the wealth of the blood supply each person has in that particular site. In general the face and hands have the most robust blood supply, and hence swell most. The good blood supply also affords faster healing and better scarring,” says  renowned New York City-based plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Tornambe M.D., F.A.C.S., who specializes in the face, breast and body. He goes on to explain that swelling is a normal part of the healing process since any trauma can set off the body’s immune system and healing process. The way it works is blood (which carries nutrients and clotting factors) is shunted to that area causing it to swell but also bringing the necessary components to allow healing. Bruising is the result of more blood to the area, but does not have an effect on healing. Patients who are taking aspirin or blood thinners, or those who have recently had certain foods (including some types of mushrooms often found in chinese food) before surgery will bruise more readily as will other patients for no other apparent reason than a genetic component.

Dr. Tornambe adds that “excessive, continued swelling can have deleterious effects on healing because if overly excessive, it can actually choke off blood supply, severely compromising healing.” He recommends the following 5 tips to help speed up the recovery process:

  1. Turmeric, honey and cinnamon are natural anti-inflammatories. Take in moderation.
  2. Though there is no hard scientific proof some people find echinacea effective to decrease bruising.
  3. Elevate the area as much as possible for the first 48 hours to decrease swelling.
  4. Ice therapy will help with swelling. For the first 48 hours post-treatment apply ice pack 10-20 min on, 20 minutes off, repeat.
  5. After 2-3 days post treatment, warm soaks can help minimize bruising.

So there you go. Ingest natural anti-inflammatories and echinacea, elevate the area, ice on/ice off for the first 48 hours followed with warm soaks means less time hiding under big glasses and burkas and more time out there strutting your new and improved stuff!

 

(featured image, webmd.com)

 

 

 

Smooth Operator

If you’re anything like me, your feet can use a little love right about now. Skyy Hadley of As “U” Wish Nail Spa in Hoboken, NJ  shares this all-natural, at-home DIY recipe to get your feet in the best shape of their life. It contains cucumber to refresh and revive, lemon to exfoliate and olive oil to moisturize and soften.

Refreshing Cucumber Lemon Foot Scrub:

You’ll need:

  • 2 whole cucumbers (one per foot)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

To do:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until pureed.
  2. Pour the mixture into a bowl and heat it up to warm temperature.
  3. Divide the mixture in two and place each half in large Ziploc baggies.
  4. Slide feet into each baggie, rubbing until each foot is fully soaked.
  5. Leave on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

 

 

(featured image courtesy of pinterest)

SPEC-TACULAR SUNNIES

The purpose of sunglasses? Protecting your eyes. Looking cool is just the icing on the cake!

Here’s how to choose wisely:

  • Choose sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection to shield your eyes from damaging UVA and UVB rays.
  • Oversize lenses are the best choice. The more surface area your sunglasses cover the more your eyes are safeguarded.
  • Color matters. Grey-toned lenses keep color true. Green lenses enhance vision. Amber and brown tones improve contrast and reduce glare. Avoid red or pink which make everything look rosy-toned and blue or purple shades which can distort traffic lights, size and distance.
  • Think thin. Sunglasses with thick sides could block your peripheral vision.

3 YOU’LL LOVE:

Warby Parker Upshaw (starting at $145) has polarized lenses and is also available in single vision and progressive prescriptions.

Chloé Carlina Oversized Sunglasses ($346) cover a lot of territory and look so glam you won’t want to take them off.

RayBan Original Aviator ($200) is a classic that is just as cool now as when it first debuted and best of all, this style flatters all.

REVIEW: LUSH SPA’S HARD DAYS NIGHT

My first experience with the LUSH Spa couldn’t have come at a better time. Like many working moms out there, I was beyond stressed trying to stay on top of all my work commitments. So much so that I couldn’t fully appreciate the quality time spent with my husband, children and friends.

Thinking some spa downtime might take me away from checking off things on my ever-growing to-do list I almost cancelled, but then I realized a little me-time just might do the trick to get back on track and find more patience and joy in my day to day – and that’s exactly what happened! In fact, days after the treatment I was still reaping the benefits. My mind felt clearer and the rediscovered happiness lingered.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by Ellysha, the warm and welcoming massage therapist who was to be working on me. She offered me some English tea and explained the treatment as basically a firm massage with passive stretching and a guided meditation at the end, all performed to a soundtrack of really cool, cleverly reworked Beatles songs.

Ellysha led me into a comfortable spa room and ducked out while I changed into the coziest pair of loose-fitting pajamas, set aside for me to wear during the treatment. They were actually wrapped around a hot water bottle so they’d be warm when I put them on. I rang a bell to signal that she should return and then I got onto a warm, cozy, heated treatment table that felt more comfortable than any bed I’ve ever slept in. I swear I was ready to move in!

Then the Beatles music started and Ellysha worked her magic—a combo of deep kneading, manipulation of my muscles, passive stretches and meditative moments—and took me on a journey that was a spa experience like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Each movement was somehow synchronized to words of the songs and the music but in a way that felt natural and organic, not forced. Every muscle and pressure point in my body was worked and before I knew it, I heard birds chirping and a rooster crowing. Seriously. Somehow, during the guided meditation I’d actually fallen asleep!

When I awoke, I felt completely rested, calm, restored and more in love with this one spa treatment than any I’d ever experienced before, so much so that when I was checking out I was ready to book one again. And then I remembered Mother’s Day is right around the corner…this year I deserve to get what I really want…don’t you?

Hard Days Night Treatment ($175 for 75 minutes). Expect passive stretching techniques, pressure points throughout the body and a hint of psychedelia. You can bring a bit of your experience home with the Hard Days Night Soundtrack ($15.95) available for purchase only at LUSH Spa locations. I’ve been playing it for pure enjoyment or when I need to be transported back to the most restorative experience of my life.

 

Step Away from the Energy Drink!

Anxiety, hypertension, elevated heart rates, interrupted sleep patterns and headaches are just some of the side effects commonly associated with energy drinks, and those problems are more pronounced in children, according to a recent University of Miami study.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These drinks have also been linked to heart palpitations, strokes and sudden death.

The term “energy” drink is an unfortunate misnomer, says food science expert Budge Collinson. They don’t give your body energy; they stimulate you with brief jolts of caffeine and unregulated herbal stimulants, he says.

“Soccer moms and dads buy these ‘stimulant’ drinks for their kids before matches because both kids and parents want that competitive advantage,” says Collinson, founder of Infusion Sciences and creator Youth Infusion, (www.drinkyouthinfusion.com), an effervescent, natural multivitamin beverage that helps people maintain consistent and healthy higher energy levels.

“For a few moments, you’ll get that spike, but it’s a short-term experience with a heavy long-term toll.”

So, what are some ways kids can get a healthy energy boost? Collinson offers the following tips.

Go for a speedy bike ride together, take a brisk walk or hold foot-races in the yard. Numerous studies demonstrate the power of vigorous exercise in boosting energy. Exercise pumps more oxygen – pure, healthy fuel — into the bloodstream and to the brain and muscles for a short-term energy boost. Exercising regularly will increase lung capacity, so the body will gets more oxygen on a sustained level for the long term. Exercise also releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemical, which makes us feel happy. And happy people are energized people.

Seek nutrition from a variety of sources. As humans, we need more than 40 different vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies functioning optimally. Since there is no single food that contains them all, it is important for children and adults to eat a variety, including as many different vegetables and fruits as possible. Adding a daily multivitamin supplement with essentials such as CoQ10, arginine, theanine, resveratrol and magnesium can help ensure bodies young and old are running at top speed.

Drink plenty of water – the natural energy drink. Even mild dehydration can leave children (and adults) feeling listless, so encourage children to make a habit of drinking plenty of water. Kids need more water than adults because they expend more energy, and they may not recognize when they’re slightly thirsty. Parents, too, often don’t recognize the signs of dehydration; a national survey of more than 800 parents of kids ages of one month to 10 years found that more than half feel they don’t know enough about dehydration. A quick, light pinch of the skin on the child’s hand or arm is an easy check. If the skin is slow to resume a smooth appearance, the child is likely at least mildly dehydrated.

image via shape.com

 

Eye Opening! Dr. Susan Resnick, O.D., F.A.A.O

About a year ago I became frustrated with the length of my arms. I know that sounds a little strange, but if you’re around 40 you know exactly what I mean! I went to the drugstore and I bought some reading glasses and suddenly it didn’t matter that I wasn’t related to Stretch Armstrong. I had presbyopia and unless an extra serving of carrot sticks and some eye exercises could reverse or slow down the process reading glasses were my new norm.

Though I was seeing 20/20 with my prescription for distance and my presbyopia was corrected with readers I was hopeful that there would be a simple solution to put a stop to all this “eye-aging” business, so I jumped at the invitation to meet the distinguished  NYC based, Dr. Susan Resnick, O.D., F.A.A.O,. I realized most of us seek a second opinion when a medical doctor gives us an unfavorable diagnose…wasn’t this the same thing? I’d get  get a second opinion, and an extremely well-respected one at that!

What is Presbyopia?

Dr. Resnick explained that presbyopia is basically the natural aging process of the eye “where reading vision becomes more difficult and a separate prescription is required or when the nearsighted patient has to remove their distance eyeglasses to see close objects clearly” due to the eye’s internal lens becoming less elastic and less able to change shape to refocus. Resnick says “it typically starts around age 40 but can vary depending upon factors which may include genetics, pupil size and distance prescription.”

Dr. Resnick informed me “there is no cure for presbyopia and eye exercises typically do not influence the age of onset or rate of progression.” Even though “general health and good nutrition might be a factor as to when it first appears, there are no definitive studies to quantify this.”

What Can Be Done?

  • Progressive addition eyeglasses are multi-focal glasses that allow more than one vision field to be in a single lens without any line of distinction between the fields themselves. They correct all distances (near and far) with lenses that have a smooth transition for different focal lengths.
  • Monovision  is the process of having one eye focused at a distance while the other is focused at near. After about a week the person’s brain automatically and seamlessly adapts to this way of vision, allowing you to seamlessly see near and far. Though some close-up activities might still require reading glasses it can help tremendously. Monovision is usually obtained through contact lenses (with different prescriptions for each eye) but it can also be had through refractive laser techniques like Lasik or PRK.
  • Contacts for Presbyopia. Dr. Resnick likes Acuvue OASYS for Presbyopia contact lenses which allow for a very smooth transition between distance and near focus. A huge bonus with these lenses is that they contain Hydraclear–an internal wetting agent–making them better than other contacts for patients with dry eyes, a common condition for those in this age group. Another plus for Acuvue OASYS for Presbyopia lenses is that they have built-in UV blockers to prevent cataracts, also common as we age. If you’re a contact lens wearer with presbyopia this is an ideal choice for most.

To determine which option is best for you, Dr. Resnick recommends you and your doctor take the following into consideration: lifestyle, type of visual tasks, prescription and ocular physiology. Most patients choose both contact lenses and glasses but each offers different benefits. Those with very active lifestyles might choose contacts as their primary choice whereas those who have specific, prolonged and critical visual tasks might find glasses would be more appropriate.  There are also those who are very visually sensitive, ie. are frustrated with anything less than 20/20, and multifocal contact lenses might not be an option because the images are not quite as sharp at all distances as they are with eyeglasses. This has to do with the smaller optical zone in contact lenses as compared to eyeglasses.

Since I’m usually in contact lenses for distance and I rarely wear my eyeglasses I was most attracted to the idea of the Acuvue OASYS for Presbyopia which would get me out of my readers and allow me to see both near and far without having to go the monovision route. Unfortunately for me, I’m “visually sensitive” so I’m not a candidate.  So for me, readers it is! xoxoNancy

 

 

 

Heliocare

It’s cold and it’s snowy and I’m talking sun protection. Why?

Damaging UVA rays are around all year. They trigger the release of free radicals and can age your skin significantly. Sunscreen protects your skin but most people don’t apply during cold or cloudy weather or they don’t apply enough, miss spots or fail to reapply. That’s where a little insurance can come in handy. In addition to your usual topical sunscreen containing at least SPF 30 I highly recommend you get some added protection like Heliocare, a natural anti-aging oral supplement with antioxidant effects on the skin. Antioxidants help eliminate free radicals before they have a chance to do damage. Heliocare contains Polypodium leucotomos, an antioxidant extract shown to help maintain the skin’s ability to protect itself against sun-related effects and aging. It helps eliminate free radicals produced by sun exposure. Less free radicals means younger, healthier skin.

Heliocare, $29.99 at  drugstores nationwide and walgreens.com.

 

Review: The Woodhouse Day Spa

I was recently invited to experience the The Woodhouse Day Spa in downtown Summit, NJ. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I was stressed, had knots in my shoulders and had lost my inner calm and my outer glow — turns out this little window of “me time” was the cure-all I needed.

I was greeted by Chuck Marr, the warm and welcoming General Manager, who offered me a choice of teas from my favorite brand (Harney & Sons) and directed me to the changing room where I slipped into the coziest robe I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing and a comfy pair of Sensi Spa Sandals. In the Quiet Room down the hall my tea was waiting and I was given a heated, herbal neck wrap. Being a new guest, I filled out a brief form of my personal preferences and health information.

After a sip or two of tea I realized I was already relaxed. The plush robe, subtle aromatherapy, low-key spa music and the Quiet Room (dimly lit and furnished in pale hues, luxurious chairs, chaises and couches, plus healthy snacks for the taking) had done the trick…and I hadn’t even had my treatment yet. Clearly, they knew what they were doing!

My therapist, Luba, greeted me and led me to a private room where she worked her magic during my Advanced Anti-Aging Facial with a Microdermabrasion Facial Enhancement which included cleansing, extractions, toning, strategic massage, glycolic acid, microdermabrasion, skincare plus a shoulder, head and foot massage. Not only was I left glowing but I felt pampered, taken care of and nurtured…like I’d been at a destination spa for a week rather than a day spa for less than two hours.

After my treatment I was introduced to Veeran and Madhuri Reddy, co-owners of the spa. They excel at attention to detail and live and breathe the Woodhouse philosophy of  “give your guests one step beyond what they need.” Mission accomplished!

You can even bring a little bit of your experience home…the Naturopathica products (known for being extremely gentle and super effective) used throughout the treatments are available for purchase as are the robes, tea, aromatherapy and more. This is more than a day spa, it’s a sanctuary…and I plan on becoming a regular!!!

The spa is open for business so feel free to book now and enjoy your treatments before the official Grand Opening on Saturday, February 8, 2014. For more information, to book an appointment or inquire about special packages: The Woodhouse Day Spa, 420 Springfield Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901 (908) 608-1120. Click here for their spa menu.

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Share a Selfie…Change the World!

If you could help someone just by taking a photo of yourself, would you do it? Johnson & Johnson makes it that easy.

Their latest philanthropic campaign is simple. Just download their free Donate A Photo mobile app and for every shot you share, J&J will donate $1 to a pre-approved non-profit charity of your choice. You can protect a child from bullying, help children in Africa get clean water, help a baby in Bangladesh stay healthy….just by sharing a picture!

To do, visit donateaphoto.com for an easy how-to and register to get started. Choose a cause from the rotating list of charities, snap a #SelflessSelfie (or any other subject of your choosing) and upload your photo. Share it on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram to encourage friends to get involved, too.

One photo, once a day, change the world!