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September 25, 2013

// Unwanted Fat

Falling Back Into A Healthy Routine

Here we are! The fall season is officially underway. And you may be wondering how you’re going to shed those pounds without outdoor exercising. Sure, it’s a lot more fun to exercise in the warmth. But the fall actually presents us with greater incentive to eat a more nutritious diet. Barbeque season is over, ladies and gentlemen. So there is less temptation to dig in to those burgers and hot dogs.

In a special to The Globe and Mail, Leslie Beck writes that the fall is the perfect time to renew your commitment to your health and fitness. And there are a number of ways in which this can be achieved. She lists a number of helpful tidbits of advice that are quite easy to follow. It’s all about setting a tone for each day, she asserts. Sticking to your goals can be easier than you think.

Water. Start drinking water from the moment you wake up, insists Beck. This is the first way to set the tone for each day. Two glasses, in fact, is her recommendation. This will replenish your body and its entire system. By immediately drinking water, you help your digestive system, metabolism and blood circulation. As well, try drinking water before eating a meal so you avoid overeating.

Plan Your Meals. Try to eat five small meals a day instead of the traditional three big ones. Beck suggests having breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack and then dinner. By eating smaller meals, you assist your energy levels and feel a lot less sluggish throughout the day. It also helps to keep your appetite under control. Smaller, more frequent meals are easier for your body to break down as well.

Fruits and Veggies. Don’t skimp on the healthy stuff. Beck insists that fruits and vegetables need to be included in each and every one of your meals and snacks. Don’t fill up on calories, she insists. Instead, be sure to include fruits and vegetables that are rich in fibre. This way, you’ll feel full longer because these foods are digested more slowly than foods lacking fibre.

Want to know what fruits have the highest fibre content? Apples, apricots, blackberries, mango, pears, plums and raspberries all make the list. As far as the veggies go, invest in asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, okra, green peas and sweet potatoes. These foods will do wonders for your body. Clearly not barbeque food, these healthy items will give you that detox from summer eating your body needs.

Go Veggie. Speaking of detoxification, you may want to introduce some vegetarian meals into your daily eating if you haven’t already. Beck notes that red meat and processed meat are popular summer items. But now that the fall is here, it’s time to cut back. Instead, try to include chickpeas, black beans and tofu into your meals as protein alternatives.

Sugar Cutbacks. Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth? During the summer, it’s pretty easy to indulge it. But now is the time we start saying no to ice cream and sugary beverages – at least as often as you can. As well, “I advise women to limit their intake of alcoholic beverages to a maximum of one per day or seven per week and men, maximum nine drinks per week,” writes Beck.

Here’s hoping that the fall gets you falling back into your healthy routine!

September 16, 2013

// Hair Removal

Combing Through The Benefits Of Laser Hair Removal

When you think about it, we certainly put a lot of time into removing hair from our bodies, don’t we? The acts of shaving, waxing, tweezing and plucking are activities that are not only time consuming, but expensive as well. Consider the amount of time and money you spend on each of these activities. Buying razors and shaving cream, wax strips and tweezers – the battle against unwanted hair never ends!

For most people, it’s the pain – far and above the time consumption and expense – that’s the biggest bother. Traditional hair removal routines hurt, plain and simple. And if they don’t hurt during the process as with waxing, tweezing and plucking, then there are prices to pay once the act is done, as with shaving. Nobody likes getting ingrown hairs and razor bumps – but somehow we continue to put our bodies through this mess.

Laser Hair Removal is rapidly growing as a popular choice for the permanent removal of unwanted hair. Not only do its results save patients a lot of time and money, but it rescues them from the agonies that comes with standard hair removal routines. As if that wasn’t enough, there are a bunch of other benefits to Laser Hair Removal. On the Hawaii-based Rejuvenate blog, Bayardo Aviles lists some important ones.

Less frequency of shaving means less time to get ready. According to Aviles, once the recommended number of Laser Hair Removal treatments is complete, patients find that they may only have to shave their treated areas once every six months! Compare that to having to shave nearly every day. Needless to say, ingrown hairs and razor bumps become things of the past following Laser Hair Removal.

Fewer ingrown hairs. Speaking of ingrown hairs, Aviles notes that approximately five Laser Hair Removal treatments will help to reduce the number of hairs in the treated area by 70-90 per cent. As a result, this will also reduce a patient’s chances of getting ingrown hairs by that same percentage. For this reason, many men opt to get Laser Hair Remvoal on their faces and necks.

Softer, smoother skin. Naturally, ladies love Laser Hair Removal as well. And why wouldn’t they? Not having that “stubbly” feeling on their legs only two or three days after shaving is a dream come true for most women. Laser Hair Removal allows for softer, smoother skin. And as Aviles points out, “even the small percentage of hairs that do not go away are lighter in color and thinner.”

Less discolouration and scarring. Ingrown hairs and razor bumps aren’t the only problems caused by shaving. The irritation that comes with them can often lead to discolouration called “post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation”, says Aviles. With the permanent removal of unwanted hair, discolouration often subsides. It can also be very easily treated with lightening cream, if necessary.

At The Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, the LightSheer™ Hair Laser is used to get rid of unwanted hair. Its patented “chill tip” protects the skin in order to make the entire Laser Hair Removal process virtually painless. All treatments are performed by certified experienced laser technicians as the safety and quality of each treatment is a top priority. For more information, call the clinic at 403-358-5818.

September 10, 2013

// Spider Veins

Varicose Veins: Looking At Causes and Solutions

Sadly, summer is winding down and coming to a close. And, for many people, summer is already over. The day that the kids head back to school is usually the day associated with the changing over of the seasons. It’s time to put away the summer clothing and start thinking about bundling up. Before you know it, it will be winter again. And some people actually enjoy winter!

And while I’m not one of them, I’ve come to understand that everyone has their reasons. My grandmother, for example, is someone who simply prefers to wear clothing that covers her skin. And one of the main reasons for this is the fact that she has a number of varicose veins in the back of her legs. Grandma isn’t alone, by the way. Both varicose and spider veins affect both men and women everywhere.

On InMotionFootAndAnkle.com, Bruce Werber reveals that “roughly 55 percent of woman and 45 percent of men in the United States have some kind of vein problem, and more than half of people older than 50 have varicose veins.” What that means is that for about half of our population, the appearance of varicose veins is inevitable. And as Werber points out, there are many reasons.

What are the causes of varicose veins? As mentioned, age is a factor in the development of varicose veins. The older we get, the more susceptible our veins are to weakening and closing up. This is what causes the swelling or bulging appearance of veins through the skin. A change in hormones is also a factor in vein development. This can occur during puberty, menopause and pregnancy, says Werber.

Obesity is another problem. It’s obvious that when the body is carrying around too much weight, it is detrimental to one’s overall health. But the excess weight also places pressure on the veins, leading to varicose vein creation. This can worsen with a lack of physical activity, says Werber. “Standing or sitting for long periods of time causes the veins to work harder pushing the blood back to the heart,” he writes.

One’s medical history also comes into play when determining the cause of varicose veins. If someone is born with weak veins, he or she will have an increased risk of having varicose or the smaller spider veins appear. In addition, exposure to the sun can also cause spider veins to appear in such areas as the nose or cheeks. Needless to say, sunscreen remains a necessity.

So what is the solution to varicose veins? According to Werber, there are a number of ways to treat both varicose and spider veins. However, Sclerotherapy is regarded as the “gold standard” when it comes to eliminating these veins. He writes that it is preferred over laser treatment because “unlike a laser, the sclerosing solution additionally closes the ‘feeder veins’ under the skin that are causing the spider veins to form.”

“Multiple injections of dilute sclerosant are injected into the abnormal surface veins of the involved leg,” he continues, “The patient’s leg is then compressed with either stockings or bandages that they wear usually for 2 weeks after treatment. Patients are also encouraged to walk regularly during that time.” For more information on Sclerotherapy, call The Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818.

September 3, 2013

// Skin Care

Tattoo Removal Reduces Regret

Having a tattoo put on your body is quite the commitment. And those who have them have many different reasons for getting them. And then there are those who wouldn’t come close to a tattoo parlour. For those of us – me included – who don’t have tattoos, it’s easy to discuss why we don’t. Often, it has to do with not wanting to regret something that is left on us permanently.

Interestingly, many people who do have tattoos live with that type of regret. Not all, mind you. I have friends who have tattooed the names of their children somewhere on their bodies. No need for worry there, I suppose. Knowing they’ll always love their children makes the commitment to such name tattoos one that is easy to live with. But then, there are those people who have tattooed the names of boyfriends and girlfriends on themselves.

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” exclaimed a good friend of mine, Sara, years ago, “I had (his) name tattooed on my left shoulder. You know, because it was as close to my heart as I could get it?” The problem with this decision, of course, was the fact that the relationship didn’t last. So what to do with that tattoo? Wasn’t it supposed to be forever? Not necessarily.

Thankfully, laser tattoo removal processes have come a long way. In the past, trying to remove a tattoo meant taking your chance at scarring your skin and experiencing quite a lot of pain. With today’s technology, this is not at all the case. Do you have a tattoo you’d like removed? Have you taken steps, similar to my friend, and had a boyfriend or girlfriend’s name placed somewhere on your skin?

Not to worry! These days, the Q-switched Nd: YAG lasers that use PhotoAcoustic Technology safely penetrate skin, targeting tattoo ink with specific wavelengths. With the breaking down of the ink particles during each appointment, the tattoos gradually fade away, leaving your skin without scars. Depending on the tattoo, you may require between five to fifteen treatments.

There are different types of lasers used for different types of tattoos, by the way. The RevLite, for example, is the most advanced laser for removing black and multi-colored tattoos. This is because it features four wavelengths to target a wide range of colours. It doesn’t matter if your tattoos are black or multi-coloured, the RevLite can do the trick. By comparison, most lasers only have two wavelengths.

Generally, that means that they only target dark blue, black and red inks. The RevLite, however, provides the most advanced technology so that you’re not only ridding yourself of your multi-coloured tattoo, but also ensuring your safety and comfort. “I’m so thankful that I was able to get rid of my tattoo,” declared Sara, “I should have known it was a mistake to begin with.”

Do you have a tattoo that you now think was a mistake in getting? Not to worry, you are definitely not alone! Getting started on having it removed is easy. There are RevLite professionals available to speak to you at The Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre. It’s as simple as calling 403-358-5818. Let’s get you to reduce the regret you may have over your tattoo today!