Our Guide to Wellness: Find Your Way to Optimal Health


As we get further into the new year, with Covid-19 pandemic still raging, looking after ourselves is more important than ever. Whether it’s getting the proper medical care you need or keeping up with the latest in nutrition, read our suggestions below to stay healthy and happy.

A Doctor Shares 6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Health Care

Doctor treating patient
Photo courtesy of Rawpixel

With the new year launched and health care resolutions in place, many are scheduling remote and in-person visits with their doctors. Some are perhaps switching insurance companies and need to find new primary care physicians within network to avoid high costs. 

Choosing the right physician is the important first step in improving health. Beyond asking friends and family for recommendations, first impressions at the appointment are crucial. Read more.

Your Relationship with Food and Fasting: How and What to Eat

Partner content

Our relationship with food has taken center stage over the past year of quarantine. Social media gave us insight into what people chose to eat, how they chose to live, and what the results were of those choices on their health. Some were motivated to get healthy, some were appreciative of the downtime, while others let boredom and cravings get the best of them. Regardless of which bucket people fell into, one thing remains the same… each person made a choice. Some were proactive, others were reactive. Food represents many things to different people. Food can be fun, food can be freedom, food can be comfort; but food will always be fuel. We only get one body in this life. Shouldn’t we use the proper fuel?

At FreshSkin Medical Spa we use evidence-based data to determine the proper fuel for your body. Whether the goal is weight loss, energy, anti-inflammatory, food sensitivities, gut health, or longevity; we can help determine your best nutrition plan. Request a Wellness Consultation today to get started.

Ryan Lombardo, DAOM, ABAAHP, BCIM, L.Ac., Wellness Director at FreshSkin Medical Spa, Board Certified in Anti-Aging & Integrative Medicine, Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine

10 Major Medical Breakthroughs — and What They Could Mean for You

Medical Innovations

This time a year ago, news about a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan began circulating. What would soon become a cataclysmic pandemic — and the year’s defining public health event — was, at the time, hardly a blip on the radar here in the United States.

But in the following weeks, as the coronavirus pandemic began sweeping the globe, it pushed with it the boundaries of medical innovation. The world’s researchers have spent much of the past year laser-focused on developing a Covid-19 vaccine, which, now that it’s here, doesn’t send us straight back to 2019, but does bring hope of the pandemic’s end and a return to normal life. In the meantime, laboratories have been busy bringing rapid diagnostic tests to the market to help slow the virus’ spread and medical professionals have been studying the potential long-term health effects that Covid-19 could have on survivors.

Still, amid these extraordinary times, medical professionals have remained committed to making advances in the research and treatment of other significant global health problems, from depression to heart disease, that are overshadowed by a pandemic but still pressing. They’ve pioneered a new treatment for kids with dangerous peanut allergies and are developing a blood test that could detect Alzheimer’s disease before it destroys the brain.

Here’s a look at 10 major medical breakthroughs from the past year, and what they could mean for you and your family. Read more.

Be Kind to Your Mind Virtual Event: Mental Health in a Pandemic

Now more than ever it’s important that we take care of ourselves, and this means taking care of our mental health. For our latest webinar, we are excited to bring you an expert panel of mental health thought leaders who have stepped forward to openly share their personal stories, and dedicated professionals who bring awareness and treat those with mental differences.

Together we will look at how mental health care has changed during the pandemic, and offer tips and suggestions on what you can do to be kind to your mind in a world full of stressors. Join us for an interactive event with presentations from each speaker followed by a discussion and Q&A session, led by questions from you, our audience! Read more.

How to Enhance Your Natural Beauty Now: The Best Skincare Routine for Every Age from Plastic Surgeon Dr. Few

Dr. Julius Few Chicago
Courtesy of Dr. Julius Few

On average, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. If this adage holds true, it means that you may be close to abandoning the good habits you vowed to keep in 2021 — even the most impressive skincare regimens adopted during quarantine. Self-care should remain a top priority year-round, year after year.

With an unprecedented amount of time spent at home in 2020, for many of us, it was a wake up call to take better care of our body’s largest organ — our skin. I noticed my patients pivoting the dialogue from…“How can I cover up discoloration, scarring, sallow skin, fine lines?,” to “How can I actually correct this so that my natural skin looks and feels its best?” People began wearing less makeup, which put a spotlight on skin issues — both in the mirror and on Zoom. Read more.

Local Medical Experts Explain Why Biomarkers Offer the Best Roadmap to Optimal Health

Medical Biomarkers

While most of us will agree that our health is our most valuable asset in life, how many of us are truly living in an optimal state of health? Are you relying on annual exams and basic bloodwork as a path to longevity and good health? Do you know your risk factors or the triggers that are potentially fueling future disease?

“While traditional medicine has been important in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes and lowering blood pressure, the overall preventive aspect of medicine has been very weak,” explains Eric Verdin, MD, CEO + President of the Buck Institute. “We need to stop the idea that you are considered healthy until you are suddenly sick or have a catastrophic event when we know there is gradation. We need to identify who is at risk very early and why. This is why biomarkers are important tools to be employed to allow us to monitor our health.”Biomarkers measure different aspects of your condition, revealing where you are in your trajectory of health. They can measure the presence or progress of disease, the effects of treatment, and can be good predictors of what the future may hold, so a healthcare provider can intervene aggressively when needed.

“This approach will usher in a different era of medicine which will be much more preventative and more focused on who is at risk,” adds Dr. Verdin. We conferred with a group of experts in various areas of health to get the latest cutting-edge information on key markers, important testing, screenings and vital information that you may want to discuss with your own healthcare provider. Read more.

Pandemic Pampering: Ways to Practice Self Care

Our concerns have been shrinking and expanding, in quantity and level of importance, almost constantly since the beginning of the pandemic. Some of these worries — relating to job loss, mortgage or rent, and of course, health — are clearly more pressing, but it doesn’t mean other less crucial matters haven’t been keeping us up at night. We’re talking about the beauty stuff, or lack thereof. As shelter-in-place mandates were doled out across the country, advertising shifted on a dime. No more emails for going out tops, sweats was the name of the game now. Makeup sales, aside from cornerstone items like mascara and concealer, went down. Many people leaned into this new way of life — men stopped shaving, women shaved their heads. But like an essay recently pointed out, lots of us have started to miss feeling attractive. Read more.

Six Healing Foods with Medicinal Superpowers

Medicinal Foods

My parents used to say “listen to your elders”as if they had some kind of knowledge only their generation understood. But maybe there’s something to that wisdom, especially when it comes to healing the body. After all, Hippocrates, the Greek physician and “father of Western medicine,” said, “Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine.” Science has proven what our elders have known for thousands of years: that certain foods can naturally help prevent and treat disease. Here are six healing foods with medicinal superpowers. Read more.

9 Apps to Help You Stay Fit While You Stay Inside


Among the many things COVID-19 has disrupted — stock markets,  toilet paper suppliesschoolsthe restaurant industry — is our fitness routine, which took another crushing blow under the shelter-in-place order that was given recently in the Bay Area, with a lockdown for many other cities not far off. Across the country, the majority of us are now confined to our homes and unfortunately gyms and group workout classes (Barry’s, I miss you!) don’t constitute essential needs. Yes, you can still go out for solo hikes in open spaces in some areas — but if you’re missing professional guidance, you can still get it, and there’s no need to splurge on a trainer either. These fitness apps will give a great workout without having to step foot outside, whether you’re into yoga, HIIT classes, want to get your kids moving, or are looking for guided meditation, for little or no money. Read more.

10 Best Clean Beauty Brands to Detox Your Beauty Routine

You know that beauty is only skin deep, but did you know that the products you place on your skin are absorbed into your bloodstream? No matter how committed you are to clean eating, if you’re not using clean beauty products that are free from toxins, you could be allowing harmful chemicals into your body without even knowing it. Let that sink in.

Green or clean beauty is loosely defined as cosmetics that are made without harmful irritants or toxic ingredients. Many of these ingredients, which are banned in other countries, are still allowed by the FDA. Add that to the lack of testing regulation in the beauty industry and you’ll find that many of the “all natural” branded products on the shelves probably still contain ingredients that could be harmful. Your skin is your largest organ, so what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it.

To help you make a fresh start in 2020 and detox your beauty routine, we vetted brands that are truly leading the charge for clean beauty. Founded by champions who want to see change in the market, these beauty products are non-toxic, effective, and luxurious. If you are looking to get back to basics, these 10 beauty brands are proving that less really is more. Trust us, your skin will thank you. Read more.

28 Simple Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

heart health

February is American Heart Month, which is an opportune time to show your heart some much-deserved TLC by picking up some healthy new habits.

First, though, here’s a primer on why the heart gets a month all to itself: Thirty-three percent of U.S. adults are estimated to have hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure. Left untreated, hypertension can lead to more serious problems including heart disease and stroke. Also, cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death around the world, with more than 17.3 million deaths each year, according to the American Heart Association. That figure is expected to increase to 23.6 million by 2030.

The good news, though? Lifestyle choices can help keep your ticker healthy. (You probably already know that avoiding cigarettes, exercising daily, and eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are some of the best defenses you can put up to protect yourself from heart disease.)

To honor the month, we’ve turned to health experts and research to discover 28 strategies (one for each day in February) to improve your heart health. These science-backed, small — yet specific — changes and goals can help strengthen your heart year-round. Read more.

Thinking of Changing Up Your Skincare Routine? 4 Skincare Myths Plus What You Need to Know About Facial

I have a love/hate relationship with my skin (usually minus the love). I can frequently be found roaming the beauty aisle in search of that magic product promising to transform my skin and change my life forever (spoiler: it doesn’t). But, despite all of my struggles, I’ve never tried any professional skincare services. So, in the midst of another crazy Chicago winter, with my skin at its most dry and uncomfortable, I was invited to try a Signature Facial with Olena Oliynyk of Olena Skin Esthetics.

The appointment started with a short consultation where I explained my skin concerns and Oliynyk, an esthetician for 13 years, identified the best products and tools to use. I then spent 75 luxurious minutes being pampered with masks, moisturizers, and massage, all focused on helping my acne-prone, post-polar vortex skin. When I left the appointment, my face felt dewy and had a definite glow. Plus, best of all, my skin still feels amazing — weeks later and that dry, itchy winter skin has yet to return.

After my appointment, I asked Oliynyk to answer a few burning and, it turns out, myth-busting skincare questions. Here’s what she had to say. Read more.

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