Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pavia to Close and Pass Torch to Preston Wynne; Last Day is June 27, 2010

I am sad to announce that by the end of June 2010, Pavia will no longer be Pavia. We have struggled to stay afloat during the worsening economic conditions, and after a long battle, we have succumbed. We were just not able to earn enough to keep our space, and as a consequence, we lost our lease.

This is extremely traumatic for me and for my staff, as you can imagine, but there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. My friend, teacher, and mentor, Peggy Wynne Borgman, owner of Preston Wynne, and I have come to a great solution for our clients, staff, and wellness community. Preston Wynne has invited ALL Pavia employees to apply for employment there, and they have also volunteered to accept all unused Pavia gift certificates as payment for treatments there, allowing clients to use those over 2 visits (50% of the value of the remaining GC per visit), and they have asked me to go and set up a wellness program in their location. So truly, they are picking up the ball and running with it, and for that, I am extremely grateful.

I have to say, I must be an extremely stubborn person to have kept going as long as I did. There I was, at the end of my 7th month of pregnancy, holding down a high-tech consulting position, a husband, AND a spa, and I didn't want to let go of anything. I had to be served a notice of termination of tenancy for the end of June in order to let go of the spa - without it, I know I would have fought on like a determined soldier...or a dog with a bone....or a little kid with a favorite toy. It had to be yanked from me for me to see the bigger picture.

Far wiser people than me have said that at times like these, it's the Universe smashing you in the head with a "brick" to let you know that it's time to move on, there are other things in store. And far wiser people would not have waited for the brick to come a-smashing, but I am not one of those people. Like I said, they're far wiser.

Well, the brick has struck, and I'm now listening and paying attention. At first I resisted (yes, I'd call 2 weeks of crying and raging and sobbing and wailing, "resistance"), but now I am more or less at peace with it. I look forward to bringing our special brand of wellness and our community to Preston Wynne, and to being able to have time to spend with my new baby.

I just want to end by thanking all of those who have patronized Pavia, all those who have worked there, and all those I have met through owning the spa. You have each taught me something, and I will treasure the lessons forever. They were and are a huge part of my growth path. Thank you for blessing me by crossing my path, and I wish you all the best in life. You deserve it.

Love, Mare

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Vitamin D Dilemma

Recently I was sent an article by one of our vendors on the trade-off between getting Vitamin D and potentially getting skin cancer. Since Melanoma Awareness Month is only just now over (as of yesterday), and since the sun is only going to get stronger as we move into the summer months, I thought I'd re-post what I wrote in my newsletter, which quoted large sections of the article:

In a nutshell, the vitamin D dilemma goes like this: if the sun is a good source of vitamin D, and we can suffer from vitamin D deficiency by not getting enough sun exposure, then shouldn't we be unafraid to spend 5-10 minutes getting unprotected UV exposure from either the sun or tanning machines 2-3 times a week?


Over the last several years, physicians and scientists have debated sun exposure as a beneficial source of Vitamin D. Many assert that vitamin D produced in the body can help prevent prostate, colon, breast, and other cancers, as well as bone diseases.

These scientists are worried that people are now at greater risk for these diseases because "dermatologists have scared them out of the sun." Most dermatologists and cancer groups (including the Skin Cancer Foundation), however, argue strongly against the solution of spending unprotected time in the sun or in UV tanning machines. And new analysis from the Department of Dermatology at the Boston University School of Medicine appears to support this stance.


After reviewing the massive research available on vitamin D and sun exposure, Drs. Dean Wolpowitz and Barbara Gilchrest found that in regions where people have greater sun exposure, fewer cases of colon cancer occur, and fewer deaths occur from colon, breast, and prostate cancers. Presumably, this is because of sun-induced vitamin D. However, Wolpowitz and Gilchrest contend that UV is an officially recognized environmental carcinogen, and that the more than 1.3 million people diagnosed annually in the U.S. with skin cancers qualifies as a "near epidemic." And the cause of most of these cases? Sun exposure.


In a word, NO. According to Wolpowitz and Gilchrest, the studies that support getting unprotected sun exposure are "observational" and "variable in quality." In general, the data links mortality from colon, breast, and prostate cancer from specific regions with the amounts of UV in those regions, but such studies can be muddled by climactic factors such as pollution, variations in population genetics (such as darker- or lighter-skinned populations), and cultural or lifestyle factors (socioeconomics and diet). Therefore, these studies cannot directly correlate disease with individual sun exposure.

By contrast, much research (ranging from animal studies to surveys to large population and human DNA studies) has strongly established the connection between sun exposure and skin cancer. Drs. Wolpowitz and Gilchrest note that very small amounts of sun exposure provide ALL the vitamin D the body can manufacture. They say that even when you're wearing sunscreen, some UV reaches the skin, and for fair-skinned individuals, this may be plenty. The doctors conclude that greater exposure to the sun does nothing for vitamin D stores, but does increase DNA damage in a linear fashion. Their bottom line? The tradeoff of vitamin D production for photoaging and skin cancer does not make sense.

At Pavia, we like to recommend Colorescience's Sunforgettable powder sunscreens, which come in 3 shades, are SPF 30, easy to apply, water-resistant, and have received FDA approval as well as the Seal of Recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation of America.


Fortunately, there are effective and almost effortless sources of vitamin D - that are also non-carcinogenic. These include vitamin D supplements and vitamin D-fortified foods. For example, I like to take 4,000 IUs of vitamin D from a supplement supplied by my holistic physician, Dr. Kim Millman. You can also drink vitamin D-fortified orange juice or eat salmon and other fatty fish. There's even a vitamin D oral spray from Dr. Mercola, found here. And all of this is so much easier and safer than climbing into a tanning booth or laying out and frying our whole bodies in the sun.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Events at Pavia: The Power of Group Energy

Last night was the fourth class in Brian Rainie's series of energy work events at Pavia. Ten women gathered together to learn more about spirit guides and the different energies and entities that surround us in our lives and how they can effect us. Brian has always told us that once a critical mass is reached at about seven people, a group can run its own energy, and the potential for new experiences, perceptions, and even new levels of healing truly takes off.

I have personally experienced how easy it felt to do healing work in the group setting of my Bodytalk classes and Reiki shares, whereas one-on-one work can sometimes feel like more of a challenge. In last night's class I was particularly aware of what an amazing opportunity group work presents. In the fun and welcoming environment of classes at Pavia, we all seem to be that much more capable of "getting out of our own way" and looking past blockages and beliefs that cloud our intuition.

I'm sure that most of the participants (myself included, certainly) started out the class thinking something along the lines of, "But I can't see spirit guides! How the heck will I know what's going on?" But when the entire class began to focus their energies together on these readings, the results were absolutely amazing.

Somehow it's just that much easier to pipe up and say that in your mind's eye you see a very little old man with a stick standing right in front of your classmate's face when your other classmate is sitting next to you, saying "Yea, he's a tiny old man, with a stick!" And it was a beautiful thing to say to the person getting the reading, "He is SO proud of you."

Not only were we helping each other know to our spirit guides, but to know ourselves more deeply. We weren't just building confidence in our own intuitive abilities, we were opening doors to whole other worlds.

Please contact us if you'd like to know more about our events at Pavia and our Soul Therapy energy work offerings.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

3 Things Make a Person Ugly...

1. Tanning
2. Smoking
3. Drinking

Since May is melanoma awareness month, I want to talk about #1: Tanning. I still remember my best friend in college sunbathing every weekend with a can of Crisco at her side. This particular friend is no dummy either - she went to Stanford undergrad, blew away her LSATs, and went on to attend and graduate from Yale law school. But, for some reason, she couldn't get it through her head that sunbathing IS dumb. Sunbathing with Crisco on is just...spectacularly stupid. Sorry Lisa, I love you, but there it is.

Let's start with the basics: What is melanoma?

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. The disease begins in skin cells called "melanocytes." These cells make melanin, which gives skin its pigment and also protects the deeper layers of the skin from the sun’s UV rays. When skin receives too much UV light, melanocytes may begin to grow abnormally and become cancerous melanoma.

How do you spot Melanoma?

In many cases, the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color, or feel of an existing mole. Melanoma can also appear on the body as a new mole. Most melanomas have a black or blue-black area and may appear abnormal.

For men, melanoma often appears between the shoulders and hips, on the head, and the neck. Women most commonly find melanoma on the lower legs, palms of hands, on the soles of feet, and even under the fingernails or toenails. Although these are the most common places on the body for melanomas to appear, they can appear anywhere on the skin, so it is important to perform routine self-examinations and get an annual head-to-toe skin check from your dermatologist.

And if you find something that looks suspicious, don't hesitate to contact your doctor.

Did you know that...

* UV exposure is greatest when the sun is highest in the sky between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It is also greatest in the summer, at higher altitudes, and nearer the equator.
* Up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate light clouds, mist and fog.
* Fresh snow reflects back about 85 percent of the sun’s rays; water reflects back about 5 percent of the sun’s rays; concrete reflects back 10 to 12 percent of the sun’s rays.
* Protecting your skin during the first 18 years of life can reduce the risk of some types of skin cancer by up to 78 percent.
* Studies have confirmed that sun exposure is responsible for the development of at least two-thirds of all melanomas.

Please, what people don't know CAN kill them. Spread the word to your friends, family, and loved ones about the dangers of melanoma. Wear a full-spectrum sunscreen of AT LEAST SPF 30 every day, whether you're inside or outside. Put this on your children and loved ones as well. If they don't like the greasiness of sunscreen, there are powder sunscreens (we use the Colorescience brand at Pavia) that work as well. My husband won't let me put on a cream sunscreen, but a powder one he will tolerate.

This disease accounts for more than 65,000 new cases, and claims more than 11,000 lives each year. But with early detection, this disease can be stopped.

I wish I'd known to say these things to Lisa. I think I still will call her up and tell her.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Holistic Medical Approach to Allergies: May 24, 2010, 6:30pm

Dr. Kim Millman, MD/PhD, is a Board-certified Internist trained in the traditional Western ways, but wholly converted to holistic methods of diagnosis, treatment, and therapy. Dr. Kim, who operates the Millman Clinic in San Jose, CA, has agreed to give us a FREE seminar at Pavia on allergies on Monday night, May 24th, from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Just in time, too, because my allergies have recently attacked me full force, and I could use some help getting rid of them. Here are some of her perspectives on allergies, and how she might approach them.

Dr. Kim, what is an allergy?
You may know that itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing are symptoms of allergies, but you may not realize that allergies can also cause aches and pains, irritability, anxiety, and mental fogginess. In fact, since allergies can affect any organ and any cell in our body, virtually any problem could be caused by an allergic response.

Why do we get allergies?
The body is always trying to heal itself and produces allergic responses in an effort to neutralize or eliminate something that it has recognized as being foreign or toxic, i.e., an allergen. The allergic response gets rid of the allergen, but in the process, the immune system also generates histamine and other chemicals that produce the well -known histamine reaction that results in itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, sniffling, and post-nasal drip.

Allergens can take many forms, including foods, pollens, dandruff, saliva, chemicals, and metals. We screen for over 120 different foods and environmental allergens in our screening process.

How do you feel about conventional methods of diagnosing and treating allergies?
Conventional medicine uses “scratch tests” to identify allergens. It is an insensitive method compared to ours. Allergy shots are given in an attempt to desensitize the body, but typically they are not very effective. On the other hand, allergy medications decrease the production of histamine and leukotriene, components of the immune system that cause the allergic reactions, but depressing components of the immune system is, in general, not a good idea. Medications are all or none, they do not work well in a system that is meant for adaptation. That is why there are so many side effects with allergy medications, including groggy, hang-over like symptoms, and the inability to concentrate.

That explains why I always feel like I got hit by a bus after I take a pill!
Exactly. And then, once the allergic reaction is “under control,” the patient is told to avoid the allergen indefinitely. Treatment in this manner is merely palliative. The allergy still exists.

So, how do YOU approach treating allergies?
I use something called the "Natural Allergy Elimination Technique," which works with the energy system of the body so that it is becomes more compatible with the allergen. As a result, the allergen no longer causes a negative reaction, and the symptoms from the incompatibility disappear. It is like an energetic reset button.

This technique is a procedure that utilizes muscle testing, cold lasers and Qi energy flow. I have personally experienced a profound improvement in my allergies as a result of my treatments - I have had an increase in my mental capacity, a general lightness in my body and mind, and less of the usual sneezing, sniffling and chest tightness. I will demonstrate this technique at Pavia on Monday night, 5/24, and I hope people give it a chance to see if it helps them as much as it has helped me.

I can't wait. I want to volunteer to be the demonstration dummy!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sani-Tea not Vani-Tea

It seems like everyone these days is talking up tea. What is all the fuss about?
Well, from what I’ve learned, green and white teas not only have less caffeine and are less acid-forming than coffee, but they also contain powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols help your body to detoxify and regenerate.

Recently we had a visit from our fabulous Eminence Organics sales rep. She told us all about their exciting new line of products called Immuni-Tea. These products contain green, white and red rooibos tea. Each tea has it’s own special vitamin and mineral properties that contribute to the potency of these products. I also learned that white tea actually comes from the same plant as green tea. White tea is made from the unopened leaf buds of the green tea plant and contain even higher concentrations of the potent polyphenol antioxidants than green tea.

Rooibos tea has no caffeine and in the Eminence skin products, it offers the refining and healing powers of alpha hydroxy acid and zinc. Green tea has been proven to boost the immune system, and new studies are finding that it also can have the miraculous effect of helping your body to burn fat. I am especially excited about THAT property. You can read more about it here, in an article from Dr. Mercola.

In addition to smoothing, healing, and strengthening your skin topically with the new Eminence line, there are easy ways to ingest the benefits of tea with out having to drink piping hot pots and pots of it. Many of you already enjoy our Pure Inventions tea extracts in your water before your services at Pavia. Did you know that those little bottles are jam-packed with all concentrated antioxidants of green tea and none of the caffeine?

Pure Inventions even offers a special extract focused on assisting with weight loss. Who knows, we may have some at Pavia just in time for the beach and those infamous bikinis.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Help, I Need a Pedicure! And a Pedicurist!

Oy, this last week has felt like a string of obstacles to surmount. In no particular order, except the order in which they occur to me, they are: 1) I can no longer see my feet, and can't reach around my big tummy to cut my toenails. So my feet look worse than Paul Bunyan's, I think, but can't confirm because I can't really see them.

Yuck, I just looked down at them and CAN confirm that they are probably even worse than Paul Bunyan's...they probably look like Paul Bunyan's ox's hooves. Nice! Great to be walking around as a spa owner with lumberjack feet.

2) I got the punch-in-the-gut that our wonderful nail technician, Annie, is LEAVING!! Waaaaah. She has been suffering from allergies for quite a while, and they have gotten so bad that she had to spend the night in a hospital recently because she couldn't breathe. Her doctors want her to take a break from the nail industry, so she is doing the right thing and putting her health first.

3) So I start interviewing for nail technicians, and so far, have been striking out. The first one to come through the door seemed very promising, but her cousin needs her help at the family nail salon for the next two months. The second one sent a great resume, but then decided not to relocate to the area after all. Back to square one - I have decided to affirm and trust that no matter what, the Universe will send me the right person. It's better than thinking to myself all the time that finding a good nail technician is hard....that's just the reality I will create if I think that.

Well, if anyone .... ANYONE ... knows of any great nail technicians, let me know. I'll send you a gift certificate for a complimentary pedicure if I hire the person you send me!