Indulge Yourself
Manis and pedis and facials, oh my! Spa Week, April 11-17, unites professional pamperers from around the nation in a singular mission: to give you an indulgent spa experience for just $50. Participating spas offer a select menu of services, from haircuts to deep-tissue massages to chemical peels, at deep discounts. Venice’s Warm Mineral Springs is among the local participants, offering 60-minute massages or facials, or 90-minute mani-pedis (which use the springs’ famous mineral water), at $50 apiece. Go to for more details and a complete, nationwide list of participants.

Red Light, Blue Light
Photodynamic therapy uses light-activated drugs that are selectively absorbed by abnormal skin cells—specifically those belonging to precancerous skin conditions. By applying the proper wavelength of light, doctors activate the drug, targeting and treating the affected area. Blue-light treatment, which has been used for years, is so called because the drug it uses is activated by wavelengths in the blue area of the light spectrum.

Sarasota’s Milam Bogart Dermatology recently became the first in the area to offer newer—and arguably more effective—red-light photodynamic therapy, which seems to be especially successful in the treatment of severe, recalcitrant pre-cancers. Side effects are temporary sun sensitivity and sunburn-like redness—small prices to pay for healthy skin.

April is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month
Taking ibuprofen like Advil or Motrin two times a week has recently been linked to a 40 percent reduced risk for developing Parkinson’s Disease. Ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is not to be confused with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin.

The Case for Eggs
"Eggs are one of nature’s perfect foods--inexpensive and an excellent source of nutrition. Two eggs provide almost 50 percent of your daily choline, essential for overall brain health. [More than 90 percent of Americans are choline-deficient.] And don’t throw out the yolk! It’s where most of the nutrition is found." —Ariel Eve, Sarasota dietitian


Eggstra Info
A recent USDA study concluded that today’s eggs are not only lower in cholesterol, they also serve up 64 percent more vitamin D than the eggs we ate 10 years ago. (The differences are changes in what hens are fed.) Remember the new FDA guidelines that call for increased vitamin D intake? Time to get crackin’.

Open Your Eyes
And listen to Dr. Cathleen McCabe of Sarasota’s The Eye Associates.

It’s very important... to go for an annual eye exam. Even if you believe you see perfectly, glaucoma can sneak up without your even knowing it. People with glaucoma may never know until they’re nearly blind.

Many people don’t realize… cataracts happen to everybody. It’s the natural aging process; the lens becomes more and more opaque. If you live long enough, you’ll have cataracts.

I’m excited that… we can take out the cloudy lens and put in an implant that can correct your vision for all different distances. After cataract surgery, you’ll have better vision than you ever had. And now we can use that same procedure to correct vision for patients without cataracts. We put that implant in and allow you to be glasses-free.

Near and dear to my heart… are my mission trips to Central and South America. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world today—which seems unbelievable to us in the United States because it’s 100 percent curable.

Ready to Zumba?
The latest dance-aerobics hybrid mixes Latin-inspired moves with high-energy global music, for fitness with a flavorful twist. "It’s a workout anyone can do," says Sarasota-based certified Zumba instructor Beth Golden. "I have people in my class from eight to 80." Zumba moves are modifiable, so beginners can enjoy low-impact, easy-to-follow workouts, while hardcore Zumbaholics can hit the beats and burn up to 1,000 calories an hour. Golden recommends finding instructors who are also certified fitness professionals so you know you’re getting the most bang for your Zumba.

For more fitness news and notes from Hannah Wallace, check out her GenXtra blog.