Archive for February 2010

All Skin Care is Not Created Equal

All Skin Care is Not Created Equal

So you go for a facial and you want to come out glowing.  Of course you expect your therapist to be properly trained and certified, and to use the best techniques for your skin condition and goals, but what about the products they’ll use on your skin? Are all hydrating serums alike? All deep cleansing masques the same?  The answer is no.  The type of active ingredients, the percentage or concentration of those ingredients, and even the inactive ingredients can make your skin care preparations more or less effective.

Say you’re having a glycolic peel. You certainly want the percentage of glycolic acid to be high enough to produce the results best for you.  But just to know that the product being used on you has a “high percentage” of glycolic acid, say 75% for argument’s sake, doesn’t always mean you’re getting the benefit of 75% glycolic acid.  The pH of the product can buffer the effective level of the acid to less than half its original strength.  Even the fillers used in a product can change its efficacy.

Virtually every product has at least SOME fillers, for example something to make it lather, or to keep the active ingredients dispersed throughout the mixture.  But exactly what type of ingredient is used to accomplish these results can also change how well the product works.  Parabens, for example, are commonly used, but are far from ideal since they are petroleum-based, synthetically produced, and have been linked to certain health issues.

The Prana line of skinceuticals we use at Deerfield, on the other hand, use the all natural, botanically-based yucca extract as a surfactant to enhance lathering, silkiness, and spreadability.  To boot, yucca extract strengthens skin cells, so the ingredient multiplies the benefits of a given product.

The key to getting what you need is to ask questions.  Talk to your skin care therapist.  Find out about the active ingredients in the products they use – whatever your goals, from anti-aging, deep cleansing, or hydrating, to calming acne and rosacea.  Find out what kind of training, certifications – and continuing education – your therapist brings.   You don’t have to be an expert, yourself, but make sure you’re confident in your therapist’s expertise.

When you can fully put your trust in your esthetician, then you can really lie back and simply enjoy.

Go Red Tonight!

National Wear Red Day

Today is National Wear Red Day for Heart Health Awareness. So when you go out on the town tonight, you can really paint the town red by donning your scarlet best.  If you’re staying in tonight, you may want to check your waist/hip ratio to assess your heart disease risk level. Here’s how:

1.    Measure your waist (at your bellybutton)

2.    Meaure your hips (at the widest part)

3.    Divide your waist measurement (in inches) by your hip measurement (also in inches)

If the measurement is 0.80 or below, your risk level is low.

If the measurement is 0.81 to 0.85, your risk level is moderate

If the measurement is 0.85 or higher, your at high risk

Remember, your health is also affected by other factors, such as remembering to keep your weight at a healthy level, eating nutritiously, exercising, not smoking, managing stress, and maintaining other healthy lifestyle habits – like enjoying yourself, so how about that red dress!

A few spots left



FEBRUARY 12th – 14th for overnight guests

FEBRUARY 11th – 14th for day spa guests


Learn to love and honor your heart, embrace heart-healthy living, and put the kind of love you want in your life — love for self, love for family, love for your work, love for your community, and love for your planet.

Valentines weekend isn’t just about champagne and chocolates. Come to Deerfield — with friends, family, your special someone, or on your own and meet up with other friendly spag-goers to enjoy a weekend of warmth, health, pampering, and fun.

Call to reserve now. Space is Limited.  800-852-4494 or 570-223-0160.

Day Spa Guests, join us Thursday night for an exciting “mocktail” mixer and special discounts on the unique products in our Spa Lifestyle Boutique!


Thursday February 11th, 2010
· 7p.m. – 9 p.m.
Introductory Event with Workshop Module on relationships
(exclusively for Day Spa Guests)

Friday February 12th, 2010
· Overnight weekend guest check-in
· 7p.m.
Workshop Module on attitude

Saturday February 13th, 2010
· 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Workshop Module on physical well being
· 7:00 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
Workshop Module on relationships
(overnight weekend guests only)

Sunday February 14th, 2010
· 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Workshop Module on motivation & setting a powerful intention
·11:30 a.m.
Valentine’s Day Brunch

Day Spa Package

$350 per person includes:
· All Workshops for Day Spa Guests.
· Use of spa amenities including use of facilities, exercise              classes, hiking and sauna.
· Welcome reception with “mocktails” and special spa
boutique discounts
· Lunch on Saturday and Brunch on Sunday

Overnight Weekend Package

$545 (per person, shared accommodations)
$595 (per person, single accommodations) includes:
· Weekend acommodations in Deerfiled Spa’s tranquil setting
· Use of spa amenities including use of facilities, exercise              classes, hiking and sauna.
· All Workshops for Weekend Guests
· All meals Friday lunch through Sunday brunch

Your Favorite Spas

Spa Magazine announced it’s time again to nominate your favorite spas for its Silver Sage Awards. If you’re so moved, here’s the link

Super-Healthy and Yummy Superbowl Munchie

Crispy Potato Skins

Just in time for Superbowl Sunday, these crispy potato skins are sure to score big with any crowd.  They’ve got big taste and serious crunch, but because they’re also low-fat, high-fiber, and low-sodium, they’re a heart-healthy munchie for game day or any day.  You can use any number of herbs or spices to season the potato skins. Try fresh basil, chives, dill, garlic, cayenne pepper, caraway seed, tarragon or thyme.


4 medium russet potatoes
Butter-flavored cooking spray
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Wash the potatoes and pierce with a fork. Place in the oven and bake until the skins are crisp, about 1 hour.

Carefully – potatoes will be very hot – cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the pulp, leaving about 1/8 inch of the potato flesh attached to the skin. Save the pulp for another use.

Spray the inside of each potato skin with butter-flavored cooking spray. Press in the rosemary and pepper. Return the skins to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped, fire-roasted red peppers or low-sodium turkey bacon and low-fat yogurt dipping sauce.  Serve immediately.

Relax Your Way to A Healthy Heart

February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month.  According to the American Heart Association, nearly 2,400 Americans die every day from cardiovascular disease. Yes, EVERY DAY. But the vast majority of these deaths can be prevented.

Though too many people are unwilling to commit to the steps necessary for heart disease prevention – things like losing weight, exercising, cutting out junk food, even flossing your teeth, one preventative measure takes little time and effort, and really feels good! What is it? Relaxing.

Studies have shown a link between heart health and the stress-related hormone, cortisol. So now you have one more great reason to de-stress and decompress.

Ever since Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School conducted landmark studies in the 1970s, showing the ravages of stress and the physiological health benefits of  “the relaxation response,” countless experts have agreed – and additional studies have concurred — that relaxation can have immense physical benefits, from lowering blood pressure to reducing heart disease.  It is estimated that 60% to 90% of doctors’ office visits are in the mind-body, stress-related realm.

The relaxation response, according to Dr. Benson, who is still a professor with Harvard Medical School and now lectures all over the world, is a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress. It is the opposite of the fight or flight response.

But on top of all the science citing the whys and wherefores of stress and relaxation, Dr. Benson also found through research exactly how to elicit the relaxation response.  This is all documented, and easily accessible to anyone, in his book entitled, not surprisingly, The Relaxation Response.  The book, originally published in 1975, is still the gold standard for healthcare professionals and just plain folk who want to learn how to stem the negative effects of stress and improve health through relaxation.

In today’s hurried world, what with email, voice mail, cell phones and smart phones, text messages, laptops, and myriad social media networks, we carry our ever-growing to-do lists with us every moment of every day. Multitasking has become a part of everyday life. At any given time, most of us are actively working on, or overseeing, a handful of projects and problems all at once, making it nearly impossible to slow down and relax.

The Relaxation Response explains how anyone can learn relaxation techniques to manage stress.  Practicing these techniques once or twice a day for just ten minutes at a time, can effectively lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, improve oxygen absorption, and improve feelings of peace and contentment, which can not only make you healthier, but often make you more successful both in the workplace and at home.

Dr. Benson’s 6-step technique centers on repetition of a word, sound, prayer, or phrase, and includes passive disregard of other thoughts.  In short:

1.    Sit quietly in a comfortable position.

2.    Close your eyes.

3.    Deeply relax all of your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face. Keep your muscles relaxed.

4.    Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out (exhale), say your chosen word or sound, for example, “ONE,” silently to yourself. Breathe IN then OUT, say “ONE”; breathe IN then OUT, say “ONE”, etc. Breathe easily and naturally.  Choose any soothing, smooth sound, preferably with no meaning or association, to avoid stimulation of unnecessary thoughts.

5.    Continue for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on your schedule). You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed, then with your eyes opened. Do not stand up for a few minutes.

6.    Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating your word or “ONE.” With practice, the response should come with little effort. Practice the technique once or twice daily, but not within two hours after any meal, since the digestive processes seem to interfere with the elicitation of the Relaxation Response.

Besides relying on this technique for stress management, some people regularly use it to get to sleep at night, especially after a long, hard day or before a tough next day.

It’s simple to do, at a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 20, as little as once a day. If you do it once a day, try shortly after waking, before breakfast.  If you want to try twice a day, adding a second session before dinnertime is also very effective.  Whether you start with one or two times a day, start.  It’s easy to fit into almost anyone’s schedule, and most importantly, it works in many ways, not the least is in helping lower your heart disease risks.

So in celebration of February’s National Heart Disease Awareness Month – and your own commitment to well being, take some time to explore this and other positive choices to enjoy a healthier, happier life.

Touchy-Feely Meets High-Tech

Dear Friends,

Happy February! Did you know that February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month? Most of us know February is Black History Month. And maybe you even know February is National Cancer Prevention Month.  But I bet you didn’t know that February is also National Pet Dental Health Awareness Month, Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month, Sinus Pain Awareness Month, and Termite Awareness Month, among many others!  So how do I know this? I found it on the Internet, where else!

The Internet and all its little cousins, from smart phones to Facebook, are increasingly part of our lives.  No longer just kid stuff, connecting with people through things like social media and mobile content is now not only a favorite pastime of 35-55 year old women, but also a necessity for the largest, most respected, and often most serious-minded corporations and non-profit organizations worldwide.  And who are we to buck the trend?

Don’t get me wrong. I revel in bucking some trends, like fad diets, air kisses, travel surcharges, and the short-lived resurgence of goucho pants (didn’t we learn our lesson in the ’80s that shorter, wider legs are not a good idea!?).  But connecting with like-minded people all pooling ideas – and in our specific case, supporting each other in living happier, healthier lives – well, that’s OK in my book.

So for Deerfield Spa, this February 2010 is “Tech-Connect Month.”  That’s right, as of today, Deerfield Spa is not only on Facebook, but twitter too! I can hardly get over it. Who’d’ve thunk? After all, we’re in the “high-touch” business, not high-tech.  We’re all about meaningful and real human connections with warm, caring, people.  Hands-on pampering, hands-on fitness coaching, hands-on healthy cooking classes, and the kind of friendship, intimacy, and trust that come from being able to look someone in the eye, see their body language, offer a pat on the back or a welcome hug.

But let’s face it, even our most fervent devotees don’t live here full time (though a few have tried and many more have dreamt it so!). Deerfield is a place where you come to take a break from your routine, to refresh, re-set, relax, and reunite with friends.  In between visits, who knows – maybe connecting with Deerfield people, Deerfield ideas, and Deerfield culture through Facebook or twitter could be just the thing to help you maintain healthy lifestyle habits, keep you laughing, keep you learning, help you manage stress and make positive choices.  That is certainly our aim.  That will be what Deerfield’s Facebook and twitter content will be all about.  And we’ll also post new specials and discounts along the way, something the immediacy of the medium makes possible.

So I hope you’ll join us online between visits.  Give and take ideas.  Tell us how you’re doing?  Share your struggles. Celebrate your successes. Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on twitter.  We’re here, we’re using high-tech methods to fulfill our high-touch ideals, and we’re building a vibrant online community dedicated to real-life health and happiness.

Of course if nothing short of actual face time at Deerfield will do, we have a few spots left for our upcoming “Better Than Chocolate” Weekend Feb. 12-14.  Fun, fitness, warmth, and wellbeing, along with a special optional workshop series on “Loving Your Life” conducted by life coach and author, Dawn Morningstar.   And April’s not far behind, so check out our wonderful specials for the 2010 season and make your reservations soon.  If you want to know more about anything on the schedule, check out our website or call me – because twitter and Facebook aside, we are all still here for you, still living and breathing, loving to hear from you, and waiting with open arms to greet you on your arrival.

In Good Health,