Last week I was invited to experience the next generation of oxygen facials from the folks at OxyGeneo. "No, I don't want a treatment that will immediately give me glowing and hydrated skin," said no one ever! Of course my answer was yes.
What is a "classic" oxygen facial? This is a type of facial commonly done in medical environments, so think of it more like a treatment and less like a fancy spa-type experience. A device attached to a machine streams oxygen, which pushes high concentrations of skincare ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid and/or retinal) into your skin.
How is the OxyGeneo 3-in-1 Super Facial different? Launched in 2013, this style of oxygen facial was inspired by the Bohr effect, a physiological phenomenon where an increase in blood CO2 concentration leads to a decrease in blood pH, resulting in hemoglobin proteins releasing their load of oxygen. A decrease in carbon dioxide provokes an increase in pH, which results in hemoglobin picking up more oxygen. To get this process to happen on and under your skin, a gel is applied all over your face, (either NeoBright, which lightens and brightens using azelaic acid, kojic acid and retinol or NeoRevive, which repairs and regenerates with hyaluronic acid, peptides and retinol) then a smooth capsule made of sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and magnesium is placed on the end of a vibrating devise. When it touches the active-ingredient rich gel formula it creates carbon dioxide bubbles, which causes oxygen-enriched blood to come to the surface. The process gives clients three-pronged results: exfoliating the dermis, infusing skin by aiding in deeper penetration of ingredients and oxygenating skin, which increases capillary flow and skin metabolism.
What's new? The brand is now offering two new handpieces. The first is the TriPollar radio frequency tool, which helps with skin tightening and spot-treating. It can be added on before the OxyGeneo super facial. This device has four small smooth metal prongs on the end which get warm, but not hot. Safely heating up the skin and helping to promote collagen production. The second tool is the ultrasound hand piece, which also uses heat to promote better absorption of the active ingredients found in the gel.
Results: From just one treatment you can't expect miracles. However it did immediately improved the texture of my skin and increased radiance, no downtime. You'd need a series of treatments (ideally once a month) to get the long-term benefits, including improvements to acne, elasticity and age spots.
How much does it cost? The OxyGeneo treatment is approximately $150 on its own, $250 with the addition of the TriPollar handpiece and $300 with the addition of both the TriPollar and the ultrasound handpieces. You can visit
geneo.ca for clinic and medi spa locations.
HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williamspaint in Anchors Aweigh SW9179 from the Timeless Beauty colour collection, Lowe's.
Image courtesy of the Baeumler family.
Decorating a child's bedroom is always a balancing act. On the one hand, you want your kids to have a say in the decor, as it's important for them to have a space they can truly call their own. On the other hand, wee ones are notoriously fickle and
repainting the bedroom walls in their "favourite colour"—something that's often as changeable as the weather—could easily become a full-time job.
No one understands that dilemma better than Sarah Baeumler of
HGTV's House of Bryan. When it came time to
choose a paint colour for 10-year-old son Quintyn's bedroom for the show's third season, the request he made was simply—and rather unhelpfully—"Rainbow!"
The solution she came up with involved equal parts design savvy and clever parenting skills. "Instead of giving kids every colour to choose from, try narrowing down their options beforehand," Baeumler suggests. Knowing that Quintyn was particularly fond of navy blue, for instance, she whittled down the vast number of paint chips from the new HGTV Home by
Sherwin-Williams paint collection to a mere handful of guaranteed-gorgeous
dark blue hues. The result? A win-win situation in which Quintyn was involved in the decision-making process, and Baeumler won't need to repaint for years to come!
Sarah Baeumler, HGTV's House of Bryan.
Image courtesy of HGTV Home bySherwin-Williamspaint.
The leading researchers on couples have found that your attachments to your earliest caretakers have a powerful impact on your later romantic relationships. The attachment behaviours of both of your parents in childhood ingrain deep-seated learning about how to be in relationship and shape your later experiences of love.
How does your relationship with your father impact your romantic relationships? One of the most intriguing findings in the field of couple therapy is that people tend to unconsciously pick partners who resemble their parents in some way. And dads have a key role to play. Research shows that women tend to be drawn to partners who are similar to their fathers psychologically, behaviourally or emotionally. Women who have positive relationships with their fathers even tend to pick partners who resemble their dads physically.
Why? Well, on a certain level it's simple: We live what we learn. But some couple researchers have taken it a step further. Harville Hendrix, a United States–based couple therapist, has argued that people unconsciously pick partners who resemble their early caretakers in order to work through old wounds or unresolved issues from their childhoods. Since parents are only human -- and because we are so vulnerable and dependent as children -- there are inevitably old hurts present.
Continuing the paternal pattern with partners Research also shows that women in long-term couple relationships tend to reenact the relationship patterns they learned from their dads. This makes sense when you consider that your relationship with your dad is where you learned to relate to the opposite sex. This can be either beneficial or problematic. If your dad was a supportive, emotionally available parent, then you will have learned the skills needed for a healthy relationship early on and your romantic relationships will likely benefit as a result.
On the other hand, if you were in an unhealthy role in relation to your dad you may be at some risk of continuing that role in your couple relationships. For example, if you were a caretaker to your dad you might find yourself excessively caretaking your partner in your couple relationship and feeling exhausted or resentful as a result.
How to bring positives from a negative relationship Awareness is key. The more you can bring your triggers, behaviours and reactions into conscious awareness the freer you can be from your past. If you find yourself having strong negative reactions to your partner, there's a good chance that childhood material is being activated.
For instance, are you projecting onto your partner disappointments that are really about your dad? Or do you repeatedly find yourself dating the same kind of guy with the same negative outcome? If you can become aware of what you're doing that isn't serving you, then you can begin to empower yourself to make different choices that will nourish and benefit you in your adult intimate attachments.
What if your dad wasn't around while you were growing up? Lots of people grew up without a father. If you are carrying powerful negative emotions about this -- such as a sense of abandonment or feelings of unworthiness -- then I encourage you to do some healing work, preferably with a compassionate, caring therapist. On the other hand, without any hardwired internal templates you are free to create a couple relationship that suits you best.
Assess your relationships Take an honest look at how your dad might be affecting your couple relationship today. Are any of your father's behaviours causing conflict with your partner? Does your dad express approval of your partner or criticize him? This behaviour has the power to strengthen or weaken your couple relationship. Is your dad respectful of your relationship or is he intrusive or controlling? If he is controlling,consider setting some limits to protect yourself and your couple relationship. A good, relationship-oriented therapist can help support you in setting respectful boundaries.
So take stock of this important relationship with your father. What do you honour and appreciate about what you've internalized from your dad? And what might you need to work on or change inside of yourself for the benefit of a more satisfying couple relationship – not to mention your own freedom, health and happiness?
Carole-Anne Vatcher, MSW, RSW is a Therapist and Relationship Coach for women. She works with women in person in her private practice in Kingston, Ontario and via telephone with women across Canada. For more information or if you are interested in working with Carole-Anne visit her website at www.carole-annevatcher.com.
From breakfast to pre-workout snacks, we reveal what Canadian Olympic athletes eat
You've likely heard about the insanely high-calorie diets of Olympians. American swimmer Michael Phelps consumed 12,000 calories a day during his Olympic training, while Jamaican runner Usain Bolt chowed down on his favourite food—Chicken McNuggets—before every race at the Beijing Olympics.
But the Games aren't a food free-for-all—they're actually about dietary discipline. Bobsledder Kaillie Humphries can attest to this. "The first couple months of training, I eat no carbs and no sugar," she says. Instead, she focuses on high-fat foods such as meat and full-fat dairy, which help her stay lean while still providing energy.
Breakfast is important to all athletes. Skeleton racer Jon Montgomery starts his day with something he calls "bulletproof coffee"—a cup of joe combined with a medium-chain triglyceride like coconut oil, butter or heavy cream, which his body can readily use as fuel. Montgomery also has a smoothie made of kale, beets, carrots, spinach, low-sugar fruits such as blueberries and blackberries, an amino acid protein powder and a whey protein isolate.
Hockey player Sidney Crosby is all about a healthful breakfast, too. "He cooks things like egg-white omelettes, turkey bacon, steel-cut oats and some greens, like spinach or asparagus," says Crosby's trainer, Andy O'Brien.
Snowboarder Maëlle Ricker makes sure to have healthful snacks throughout the day. "Wherever I am in the world, I try to make sure I get my hands on a banana. It's such a quick, easy thing to eat while I'm out on the slopes," she says. Other healthful snacks she loves include yogurt, dried fruit and nuts.
Para-alpine skier Kimberly Joines says that the timing of her meals is really important. "The bulk of my protein and carbs are consumed within close proximity to my hardest training hours, and I generally taper my calories toward evening, with a focus on a variety of nutrient-rich vegetables," she says.
Sledge hockey player Greg Westlake has a similar approach. "I have to eat a good meal within 30 minutes of a workout," he says. He eats a slow-burning carb like quinoa or whole wheat pasta with a bit of protein an hour and a half before a workout. Westlake is also big on staying hydrated. "The first thing I do when I wake up is drink two big glasses of water, and I continue to drink water throughout the day. Water is like liquid gold."
None of this is to say that athletes are averse to treats. O'Brien says Crosby has a serious sweet tooth. While he acknowledges that athletes need a little more sugar to replace glycogen stores, he says Crosby has to really make an effort not to eat too much candy.
Figure skater Tessa Virtue says she has to allow herself treats, especially post-competition: "You're a person, too, not just an athlete."
— With files from Jill Buchner and Day Helesic
We polled family doctors from across the country, and they laid down the law on eight things they wish we'd do—or stop doing.
According to our panel of general practitioners, Canadians aren't always doing what they should to make the most of doctor visits—and skipping out on these crucial tactics could lead to a delay in diagnosing serious conditions. Here's what our experts say you should add to your patient checklist.
1. Stop feeling shy
Many of us hesitate to talk to our physicians about sensitive issues (think substance abuse or sexual health—or even gender identity). But honesty and openness are important, both for fostering a good doctor-patient relationship and for ensuring that you get the best care, says Dr. Laura Pripstein, medical director of the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto and a staff physician on the family health team. That's why it's OK to try out a doc before committing. Dr. Pripstein recommends booking an initial visit to see if your potential doctor is a good fit. "You want to see if this person seems like someone you can talk to, someone you feel comfortable with," she says. And if you don't think your doctor understands or respects your concerns, don't be afraid to find someone new. "If you feel you can't ask questions that might be embarrassing, you don't have the right provider," says Dr. Pripstein.
2. Don't come to your appointments unprepared
Get the most out of your time—and your doc's—by arriving at your appointment with a clear plan for what you want to discuss, says Dr. David Ross, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "It's good to have patients think about their problems from when the issue began, then look at it chronologically to the present," says Dr. Ross. Making a prioritized point-form list in advance helps ensure that you don't forget anything or mix up the order of events, he says. Then, work with your doctor to address the most serious issues first.
3. Choose your family doc over the walk-in clinic whenever you can
Yes, a clinic is convenient, but what we gain in easy access, we lose in familiarity. "I think it's really valuable if people can connect with a family physician who they'll be able to see long term, rather than just looking for the quickest way to access care," says Dr. Maurianne Reade, a physician with the Manitoulin Central Family Health Team in Mindemoya and M'Chigeeng First Nation, Ont. A family doctor will know your medical history and will keep it in mind when suggesting treatment—so, for example, if you've recently taken several courses of antibiotics for a UTI, your physician will likely look for a different course of action if you come in with another infection. According to the most recent statistics, about 4.5 million Canadians don't have a regular family doctor. If that's you, contact your provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons, or check to see if your region has an online registry (Ontario has Health Care Connect, while Quebec launched a web-based family doctor finder last year). "It's important to know that we doctors are privileged to share in your stories and to help you through difficult times," says Dr. Reade.
4. Share what's happening in your life
There's a reason your doctor wants to know where you're working, if you're dating and how the kids are—and it's not just because she likes you. (Though she does, we're sure.) Physicians need a picture of their patients' lives beyond their specific health symptoms and conditions, especially when they're first getting to know you, says Dr. Stephen Wetmore, the family medicine chair at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University in London, Ont. "Doctors need to know these things to understand how your lifestyle and habits may be influencing your health," he says. So when you're talking about your exercise habits, your health history and whether you smoke, drink or use drugs, mention your employment status, family obligations and intimate relationships, too, says Dr. Wetmore.
5. Be a better googler
Doctors know you do it (hello, late-night web searches), but they would prefer you to ask about good sources of information, rather than going rogue online. They also want you to be honest about your fears if you've read something particularly upsetting. Physicians can't address your concerns or point you in the right direction if they don't know what your fingertips have been up to. "The thing we want our patients to do is ask us for the most reliable Canadian websites to go to as resources," says Dr. Heather Waters, an assistant professor of family medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton.
6. Don't think your symptoms are "no big deal"
If you've noticed you are having more headaches than usual or are sleeping more or are eating less, you might not think to tell your doctor—but you should. There's no set of rules for determining which symptoms are worthy of investigation or discussion, says Dr. Wetmore, but make a note to mention anything that is new or has changed since your last appointment. "You should bring up things like sudden weight loss or fatigue that seems excessive," he says. "It could be a sign of a larger problem, or the cause of a developing problem." Evenif it doesn't end up being serious, seeing your doctor will help ease any anxiety you might be feeling, and that's worth the visit, too.
7. Talk about what you're taking
Tell your physician about any herbal medications and alternative treatments you take, says Dr. Mel Borins, a University of Toronto associate professor and author of A Doctor's Guide to Alternative Medicine: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why. It's important for patients to share what's working for them and for doctors to be open-minded about therapies outside their own practice or traditions, he says. This is also a concern when it comes to conventional meds, especially if you're pregnant; there are only 23 medications specifically approved for use during pregnancy— yes, out of every available drug—which can leave women feeling anxious about taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs when they're expecting, says Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Bridgewater, N.S. But don't stop taking your meds as soon as your pregnancy test comes back positive. "It's really important to talk to your doctor instead of stopping cold turkey," says Dr. MacQuarrie. Physicians can help you determine the risks and benefits of using different drugs, and they can let you know when the effects of not taking a medication while pregnant may be worse than taking it— which is the case with some antidepressants.
8. Avoid diagnosing yourself
You know doctors don't like it when you come in prepared with a diagnosis you've made thanks to the aforementioned Dr. Google. But do you know why? It's not because they think you're encroaching on their territory! Rather, they worry that a serious medical problem might get missed or you'll cause yourself unnecessary anxiety over something not serious. That's because not everyone has the most common symptoms of a particular condition. Plus, men, women and different ethnicities can have varying symptoms for the same problem. For instance, Dr. Reade's community has a large proportion of people with diabetes, which can affect the warning signs of cardiac disease, a major killer in Canada. Instead of the usual pain or pressure on the left side of the chest or arm, men and women with diabetes may instead have spells of profuse sweating with weakness. And, of course, women who don't have diabetes can have differing symptoms, too; sometimes, a heart attack can feel like acid reflux or come with sudden nausea, vomiting and lightheadedness. So always tell your physician if your symptoms are surprising or strange—like a headache that feels different than usual, for example. And if you're worried about a specific diagnosis, be sure to bring that up, too.
While every Canadian faces his or her own unique set of health hurdles, there are a number of ailments that have become pervasive in Canada. Though medicine has advanced over the years, our modern lifestyles have introduced a new set of health challenges. Here are some of the top health problems that Canadians face today.