Expert answers to your spa questions
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By Susie Ellis
January / February 2007
Q: My 19-year-old daughter is approximately 50 pounds overweight. I'm looking for a spa that offers an extended stay for weight loss and a reasonable price.
A: At Spafinder.com, you can search "weight loss" and "affordable" to find a list of spas where you can drop a few pounds. But for significant weight loss and a long-term program, a few spas stand out: Hilton Head Health Institute in South Carolina, Structure House in North Carolina, Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Florida, and the Hills Health Ranch in British Columbia. The last of these is the only spa in North America whose weight loss program is approved by the medical department of a European country (Finland), and I met people there who were on 60- and 90-day programs and seeing excellent results. All four of these spas offer medical supervision, portion-controlled meals, fitness, and education, plus comfort and fellowship that helps put guests on a path toward lifelong health. You might want to join your daughter for a week so you can learn how to help her maintain her new healthier habits at home. And afterward, encourage her to join a maintenance program such as Weight Watchers or see a counselor to stay focused on her goals and address underlying issues. Weight loss is easier when you're younger and will improve your daughter's confidence, so now is an ideal time to offer her help.
Q: I caught part of a news story about exfoliation that involved scraping the face with a surgical knife held at an angle to remove "peach fuzz" and dead skin cells. At the end, the woman's face was hair-free and had a wonderful youthful glow. What was the process, and where is it done?
A: What you saw was dermaplaning, a procedure that's performed by aestheticians at medspas to remove facial hair and slough off dead cells in the epidermis. In contrast, microdermabrasion, which can also be done by an aesthetician, isn't meant to remove hair and uses a blast of sterile grit and a vacuum rather than a knife to remove dead skin. Both processes differ from dermabrasion, which must be performed by a physician (usually a plastic surgeon), since it's much more invasive. It affects the layer of skin below the epidermis. All of these procedures can result in a youthful glow.
I've just visited...Dell'Acqua Dental Studio, Palm Desert, California
What I loved Being given a robe and slippers to change into, Andrea Bocelli on the sound system, flower petals at my feet, a warm aromatherapy towel around my shoulders, and an eye pillow on my lids during the teeth-whitening session. The way therapist Sam Nguyen expertly massaged my forearms and hands, placed them in warm mitts, and then performed a reflexology massage on my lower legs and feet during the dental procedure. (And at no charge?it's all included in the fee.) The cookie and tote bag of spa amenities offered on the way out.
What's unique This isn't a dental spa; it's spa dentistry, a field in which Ren? Dell'Acqua, D.D.S., was a pioneer. The spa amenities, setting, and services (and the oxygen inhalation offered throughout my 90-minute treatment) left me as relaxed and rejuvenated as a regular spa visit?but this one included dental work.
What I didn't like Not having quite enough moisturizer on my hands during the hot mitt treatment.
Make sure you Book one of the newly decorated spa suites. Request Kelly Rembold for tooth bleaching. Her attentiveness makes me proud of the way spa practices have enhanced the practice of dentistry. 760-346-8056 or www.ultimateveneers.com