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.