Health & Fitness

Find a “New You” This Winter

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Instead of making excuses, how about embracing a new, more confident version of yourself this year? Meet some of our region’s providers who can help you to reach your goals.

Peak Fitness has a PSX training facility for high intensity workouts.

Peak Fitness has a PSX training facility for high intensity workouts.

How’s your New Year’s resolution holding up? You know, the one you made to eat better, get in shape and re-work those bothersome parts of your complexion? With spring break and summer vacation looming in the not-so-distant future, now’s a good time to refresh your appearance. Plus, the confidence boost from looking and feeling your best is unequivocally priceless.

Maybe you’re afraid to undergo an expensive, invasive procedure. Maybe you’ve decided to simply live with “the problem.” The truth is, reasonably priced, minimally invasive procedures are at the forefront of today’s health care.

In some cases, a new skin care regime or a new brand of cosmetics may lead to the confidence you’ve always desired.

Although true beauty comes from within, doctors and beautician experts from around our region can help you to achieve a new look that you’ve only imagined. Not only are today’s procedures safer, quicker and more effective than before, but the doctors administering care are genuinely concerned with the overall well-being of their patients.

So what are you waiting for? Self-improvement is just around the corner.

Cheers to a brighter, healthier, happier “new you” in 2018.

Choosing What’s Best for Your Image

By Toni Rocha

No one questions the concept that appearances matter. Expressions such as “putting your best foot forward” and “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression” underline the basic human need to look good and feel good about one’s self.

Dr. Jerome Weiskopf, a board-certified plastic surgeon, says trends in cosmetic surgeries come and go, but the need to look as good as possible doesn’t change. In his private practice at 6533 Lexus Drive, Rockford, Weiskopf helps patients of all ages to fulfill their desires to feel attractive, confident and happy with their bodies.

“Right now, I am seeing more patients who are focused on breast reconstruction,” Weiskopf says. “However, liposuction is also a common request. Truth is, people love to eat and that can lead to excess fat in areas of their bodies that become unsightly. It can also be the result of post-partum weight that has not dropped off naturally or because of dieting after giving birth. In male patients, we see a need to quickly eliminate belly fat and saddle bags.”

Social pressure is one of the motivating factors that brings patients to Weiskopf.

“I see patients who have successfully lost weight but not necessarily in the areas that they had hoped for,” Weiskopf says. “They want to get rid of it faster. With liposuction, that is certainly possible, but, the down side is that the skin surrounding the fat does not shrink easily. They may get rid of the fat but still have issues with droopy skin.”

As far as breast treatments are concerned, Weiskopf points out that a recent trend involves performing more than one surgery to augment breasts with implants.

“I try hard to do breast implants in one step,” he says. “Others use an expansion device during the first operation, then place the implant in subsequent procedures. I feel this is unnecessary.”

Other recent changes in breast augmentation include the way in which the implant is structured, Weiskopf says.

“In an effort to develop an implant that is more durable and less likely to cause complications, the industry is considering a solid gel form that can actually be sliced,” he explains. “It would be rigid and not encased, as are the more commonly used implants. There is a continuing controversy about what substance implants should be filled with, including saline liquid. Implants are ordered as needed because they have a short shelf life. You can’t keep a supply on hand.”

Some treatments are gravitating away from the field of plastic surgery toward orthopedics. Weiskopf says the average plastic surgeon is now much less likely to treat hands, for example.

“The shift is toward more specialization and less general plastic surgery,” he explains. “While the surgery itself has not changed in any major way, it’s possible for patients to realize good results no matter which field does the surgery.”

As far as facial treatments are concerned, Weiskopf says the continued use of BOTOX and natural fillers, such as human fat, to address wrinkles, is literally changing the face of plastic surgery.

“The biggest concern remains overtreatment,” he cautions. “It’s always wise to lean toward being more conservative.”

At one time, the industry believed that laser treatments would transform the methodology of plastic surgery, Weiskopf says. Those expectations have proven unrealistic.

“The bottom line is that the equipment is expensive and patients cannot afford elective surgeries that are based on laser use,” Weiskopf says. “I conduct surgeries in my offices as well as at Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center. Both are safe, relatively risk-free sites that help ensure patients achieve the results they desire, helping them to feel and look their best.”

PSX Improves Confidence and Health

By Jermaine Pigee, assistant managing editor

If you want to get stronger, faster and healthier in 2018, PSX at Peak Sports Club is right up your alley.

The PSX training facility, which opened last year, provides space for high intensity group workouts, which are designed to increase lean muscle and burn body fat.

“You will get stronger, faster, more flexible and more conditioned if you do this workout at least three times a week,” says Nicholas Dal Pra, fitness director and trainer at Peak Fitness.

The 4,950-square-foot facility is attached to the north side of Peak Sports Club, 4401 Peak Drive, Loves Park. The facility, which is adjacent to the weight training room, features a large, open space for trainers to lead small group workouts, which focus on high-intensity interval training.

It paves the way for more people to benefit from personal training with equipment, and an open area for small and large groups to train together. The workouts can be scaled and modified to match your ability and experience.

“Group training is a growing trend in the industry and it’s a way to make personal training more available and more affordable for more people,” founder and president Mark Banz says. “The fundamental aspect of group training has grown over the years and now, group training classes have their own dedicated space.”

There is a variety of gym equipment that is used in each workout, such as free weights, power racks, turf sleds and plyometric boxes.

Workout classes take place at different times Monday through Saturday and each class has a range of roughly eight to 14 people. Working out in a small group not only improves accountability, it increases the intensity in each workout, Dal Pra says.

“When you join PSX, programming and coaching are included, whereas when you join other gyms, you are basically on your own,” he says. “At PSX, we take care of everything.”

Although PSX is a good way to lose weight, Dal Pra says he doesn’t stress that to people.

“We work hard in here but we never make it about weight loss,” Dal Pra says. “This type of exercise can help with weight loss by making yourself fit and more healthy by increasing your metabolic rate, which will help you burn more calories.”

PSX was the brainchild of Banz, who oversees two premier fitness facilities. In addition to the Loves Park location, he also runs Peak Fitness at 4304 E. State St., in Rockford.

Both centers have spacious, open floor plans that flow from one workout area to another, bathed in natural light, with a bright and uplifting color scheme and plenty of equipment in a clean and well-maintained environment.

Banz opened Peak Fitness in 1998. Within three years, a renovation took place and the workout space was increased by 25 percent.

Peak Sports Club became a reality in 2007, with 85,000 square feet of aerobic, strength-training, and flexibility equipment as well as a full-sized gym, a fitness area for women, tanning beds, numerous classrooms, a lap pool, activity pool, indoor and outdoor waterslide, 28-person hot tub, sauna, steam room, and separate large locker rooms for men, women and families.

It all began when Banz felt challenged to better serve himself and the community. When he wasn’t working, he was working out, going from gym to gym, not finding everything he wanted in one place. He took up an interest in bodybuilding to get rid of the “chubby kid” image he’d had in high school.

“I didn’t want to be that kid anymore,” he recalls. “When I started to work out, it was like a light switch went on in my head. I lost weight, shaped up, felt more confident, and it just made my life better all the way around. I wasn’t afraid to try new things and had a more determined ‘can do’ attitude.”

Among other things, fitness helps people to reduce health expenses, he says.

“It’s not just about appearance, but about feeling good and confident in all you do,” Banz says.

Mohs Surgery, Balloon Sinuplasty, Provide Comprehensive Treatment

By Toni Rocha

Good news… patients can be treated for such conditions as facial skin cancer and chronic sinusitis, without the need for hospital visits.

MD SkinCenter offers patients highly specialized treatments for a wide variety of skin conditions and diseases. Located in the Cornerstone Building at 1235 N. Mulford Road, Suite 205, Rockford, the office is equipped to provide the most up-to-date, comprehensive treatments to improve the health and well-being of its patients.

Dr. Andrew Jun is a board-certified head and neck surgeon educated and trained at Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Iowa. At the time he attended the University of Iowa, its head and neck surgery program ranked second only to the program at Johns Hopkins. He has practiced in Rockford for more than 15 years and has been selected by patients through a national online ranking system for the Patients’ Choice Award and Compassionate Doctor Recognition. As a result of his unique training and experience, Dr. Jun offers two types of treatments exclusive to MD SkinCenter: Mohs surgery and in-office balloon sinuplasty.

Mohs Surgery
“Mohs surgery has proven to be the most effective method to cure skin cancer,” says Dr. Jun. Traditional techniques typically analyze about 3 percent of the skin cancer surface area, forcing a surgeon to cut widely around the skin cancer. In other words, a greater amount of healthy tissue is removed, possibly resulting in disfigurement. The final determination as to whether the cancer was completely cleared usually takes one week. This estimated wide-excision method also results in higher failure rates than Mohs surgery.

Dr. Jun explains that Mohs differs from other techniques due to the microscopic examination of skin cancer during surgery. One hundred percent of the skin cancer surface area is examined, eliminating the need to ‘estimate’ how far the roots of the skin cancer extend. This allows the Mohs surgeon to remove all the cancer cells while sparing as much normal tissue as possible. In this way, Mohs surgery eliminates the guesswork in skin cancer removal, producing the best therapeutic and cosmetic results. Dr. Jun’s cure rates are 99 percent for skin cancer, making him the best Mohs surgeon in the Stateline region.

Balloon Sinuplasty for Chronic Sinusitis

As a head and neck surgeon, Dr. Jun also performs balloon sinuplasty, the most effective way to treat chronic sinusitis. Balloon sinuplasty is a type of sinus surgery that relieves chronic sinusitis, a condition in which sinuses are inflamed and do not respond to medication.

“In this procedure, I open sinuses without removing bone, as is done in traditional sinus surgery. Balloon sinuplasty opens sinuses similar to the way in which cardiologists open up blocked arteries with balloons,” he says.

Dr. Jun adds that this procedure is quick and minimally invasive (no cutting of tissue). Patients do not need to visit the hospital, be put to sleep or endure nasal packing. They can typically return to work the next day. Patients tell Dr. Jun they are amazed at the difference these procedures have made in their lives.

When performed in-office, balloon sinuplasty is the most cost-effective surgical treatment option for chronic sinusitis. The average hospital typically charges more than $50,000 for a hospital stay and, after insurance discounts, the hospital will charge the patient an average of $15,700. Having the procedure performed at MD SkinCenter avoids hospital fees, resulting in significant savings to patients.

While balloon sinuplasty may be offered in hospitals, Dr. Jun is the only surgeon in the Stateline area performing in-office balloon sinuplasty.

MD SkinCenter is a center of excellence for Mohs surgery and balloon sinuplasty. Dr. Jun and his staff care deeply for their patients and seek to treat each patient as they would their own family members.

Learn more by calling (815) 373-5001 or going to MDSkinRockford.com.

Time to Pamper Your Dry Skin

By Toni Rocha

About this time of year, with winter in full swing, skin care becomes a vital focus. Cold, windy, dry air dulls and roughens skin, which demands some special attention.

And that’s where the hand-picked skin care lines at Arch Cosmetics can help to make a tremendous difference in the face you present to the world.

Arch Cosmetics is a luxury beauty boutique that offers not only 30 top-quality brands in beauty care, but also the revitalizing colors that enhance the healthy glow of hydrated skin.

The first Arch studio opened in Rockford at 6876 Spring Creek Road, and on Oct. 1, the business moved to The Standard, 214 E. State St. Subsequent locations in downtown Chicago and Madison have proven equally successful.

“I opened my business as Arch Apothecary about six years ago in Rockford,” says owner and founder Betsy Branca. “Less than a year later, we opened our site in Chicago, adding [hair] blow-out services in addition to our cosmetic lines and signature brow waxing services. Our Madison store opened three years ago. And we changed the business name to Arch Cosmetics.”

Branca describes Arch as an eclectic mix of hard-to-find brands designed to help clients care for their skin, regardless of what challenges they face.

“The Rockford location offers an express facial service that allows clients to experience our products before investing,” Branca says. “While we cater primarily to women, we welcome men as well and carry a line of men’s shaving products.”

Discovering the appropriate products to treat each individual’s winter-dried, parched skin is Arch’s main concern.

Branca says trends for hydrating products are based on light, natural oils that provide the maximum level of care without clogging pores and causing skin to break out.

“These oils are formulated from nature-based oils such as rose hips, vegetables and other wholesome sources,” Branca says. “They help facial skin to recover from the adverse effects of winter and bring it to its warm, natural glow. We recommend oil treatments on an everyday basis. Once the skin is adequately rehydrated and spring approaches, applications every other day help to maintain that beautiful look.”

Today’s make-up trends focus on natural, neutral colors and matte finishes, says Branca.

“The eyes are included in this trend, using muted colors,” she explains. “Another spring trend is highlighting the cheeks.”

Dewy illuminated skin is also a new trend, she says. It leaves your skin with a natural glow and makes it appear soft and moist.

In addition to quality products, expert professional advice and artistic applications, Arch welcomes its clients into an atmosphere of warm, pampering care that centers on each person’s unique needs. From everyday eyebrow and lash upkeep to special make-up and skin care applications, men and women alike are discovering the joy and satisfaction of using high quality products that help them to face the world looking and feeling their best.

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