Today's Chicago Woman

Living Well and Beautifully Archives

'Fertility Boot Camp' nurtures women's spirits while boosting their chances of conception

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During "Fertility Boot Camp," participants learn about "healing foods" that will make their bodies healthier, boost female fertility AND contribute to the sperm health of their partners.

Being a mom is one of the most fulfilling roles in a woman's life. But when she and her partner have trouble conceiving or carrying a new life to term, she may wonder if--or WHEN--she'll get to experience the joy of cuddling her very own child.

We all know women who, for one reason or another, are burdened with fertility issues. Some of the stories are just heartbreaking. You wish more than anything that with a hug and a smile you could make these women's dreams come true.

But we know it takes more than just empathy. Expertise also can help--and that's why we held "Fertility Boot Camp: Whip Your EGGS Into Shape!" in late January. This one-day retreat at the Tiffani Kim Institute Medical Spa is designed for a relatively small group of women, one that will bond over the hours and learn to both calm their minds and open their hearts. During this holistic retreat, they learn what they need to know--and do--in order to raise their reproductive capacity and the possibility of getting pregnant and carrying to term.

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Relaxation key to healthy living, any time of year

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Just taking time to gaze up at a clear blue sky can be a "relaxation technique" in itself.

In late December, I wrote about the healing benefits of meditation during the holiday season, and the peace and tranquility this practice offers at that stressful time of the year. But I think it's incredibly important for us to add some sort of relaxation technique into our daily schedules, regardless WHAT date is on the calendar. In fact, it's absolutely essential to take even just a few moments to decompress. After all, it's hard to do for others if you haven't first taken care of yourself!

As I often do, I get great tips and advice from Caroline Jung, L.Ac,. MSOM, a board-certified acupuncturist at our Tiffani Kim Institute Medical Spa. Not only is she an expert on acupuncture, but she exudes a positive, calming energy, no matter how busy or hectic things get around here. A few of the suggestions she's given me (and some that I've adopted as my own):

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Couples' acupuncture can bring lovers closer by balancing their energies

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Looking for a different way to celebrate Valentine's Day? Consider couples' acupuncture as a way to balance your energies and boost your personal connection to each other.

Last month, I wrote a "Living Well and Beautifully" post about the preventive value of acupuncture, which uses hair-thin needles to affect and balance the flow of Qi (pronounced "chee), or "vital energy," in the body. But in honor of Valentine's Day and lovers everywhere, I've got a new proposition: Why not use acupuncture to get closer to each other?

We've all heard of couples' massage, where the two are simultaneously attended to by therapists working in the same room. Well, the same principle applies here--but instead of merely relaxing, the couple receives acupuncture at the same time to help balance their energies, boost their personal connection and enhance their relationship.

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Vacation time not just a luxury, but a necessity for healthy living

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Tiffani and husband Bradley Griffith interact with actual tigers during one of their many trips to the Indonesian island of Bali.

I recently returned from an incredible trip to Bali, the beautiful Indonesian island I've been fortunate enough to visit several times. But before you get mad at me, please know that I've spent many of these trips doing research for my business--both before opening the Tiffani Kim Institute Medical Wellness Spa and since launching it in 1998.
 
I love Bali because it's so affordable there, whether you're dining out or doing major shopping. The people are creative and incredibly kind and polite. The minute your airplane lands, all your stress seems to fade away. It's just so civilizing, especially for those of us who are used to wearing our "game faces" all the time back home.
 

Gallery sneak peek (10 images):

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Using acupuncture to keep ailments at bay

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Learn what Asian medicine practitioners have known for millennia: acupuncture is an important element of maintaining good health.

For thousands of years, Chinese and other Asian medicine practices have believed in treating people for conditions BEFORE they got them, before they found themselves sick. This ancient discipline knew the value of prevention, rather than emergency intervention. And acupuncture is one of the ways they kept ailments and diseases from taking root in people's bodies.

Personally, I'm a big believer in acupuncture, which uses hair-thin needles to affect and balance the flow of Qi (pronounced "chee), or "vital energy," in the body. An acupuncturist inserts the needles at specific points along the body's energy pathways, which are called "meridians," to restore the proper energy flow. When the Qi is flowing in harmony, the body is naturally in a state of good health. But when it ISN'T, the flow of Qi can become obstructed, throwing the whole system out of balance.

What acupuncture does is that it stimulates specific areas on the body--such as on the head, arms and legs--associated with "out-of-balance" organ functions and their pathways to restore balance and help the body maintain its own good health.

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Resolve NOT to do these five things in the New Year, and boost your overall health and beauty

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Resolve NOT to ignore doctor's appointments and important medical tests in 2010.

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Make life easier on yourself this year: realize you can't do it all--and stop trying.

At the start of a new year, everyone seems to resolve to DO something: work out more frequently. Eat more fruits and vegetables each day. Call Mom and Dad once a week rather than whenever the mood hits us.
 
But I have a thought for 2010: Why not instead resolve what NOT to do when it comes to health, beauty, and our overall well-being? I've got five suggestions of things you can AVOID doing and that will lead to a more beautiful and healthier New Year:
 
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Meditate your way to a peaceful holiday season

For all of us, this is a hectic time of year. Thankfully, Christmas is now over and the initial shopping for gifts is done. But NOW, it's time to return those gifts that didn't quite work and to trade in all those gift cards we got for actual STUFF. That means even more stress as we fight our way through stores and into checkout lines.

And we haven't even talked about all those family get-togethers, the ones that are often both warm and worrisome as we head into the New Year. Nothing like the holidays to stress us all out!

That's why I personally swear by MEDITATION.

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Just what can Vitamin C do for your cold?

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Many of us take Vitamin C supplements, but getting this nutrient in food sources like oranges is always best.

I've been knocked out for more than a week with a cold. And as those who know me will tell you, I'm not a good patient. I'm used to being busy and keeping an active schedule, but sometimes our bodies have other plans. And despite social obligations and ongoing work pressures, there comes a time when the body just shuts down - forcing you to stay in and get much-needed rest.
 
Because I believe so much in the use of natural products and vitamins when it comes to healing ourselves, of course I turned to good old-fashioned Vitamin C to help fight off my cold. But is that really the best thing to cure what ails you?
 
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Instead of buying gifts, why not give of YOURSELF this holiday season?

If you're most people in America this month, you're running around town, trying to check names of your holiday gift shopping lists. But this is stressful! How much fun is dealing with crowded parking lots, cramming into packed stores, and standing in cashier lines until your feet hurt? Not much.

So why not try something revolutionary? DON'T spend this season, but consider sharing of YOURSELF instead. This may sound strange coming from a spa owner who also sells lovely gift items, but during these tough economic times--and this recession has been hard on us all--but perhaps the way to best honor the season and those we like and love is by offering something personal that comes from the heart.

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Avoiding 'swine flu' takes common sense, simple precautions

It's the time of year when many of us worry about catching colds and coming down with the flu. But with the H1N1 virus taking center stage this year, fears about contracting so-called "swine flu" are very real. By this time, many of us know someone--or know someone who knows someone--who has come down with this scary-sounding flu. I am one of them. And because I take maintaining good health so seriously--and want to make sure those I know and love are doing all they can to keep themselves healthy--I turned Dr. Vinay Goyal for direction by reading about a recent lecture he gave on the origin of and precautions against H1N1.

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5 'Living Well' things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving

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Whether you get a massage from a trained professional at a spa or your romantic partner, there's nothing like a strong, caring touch.

The Thanksgiving holiday is almost here, and we're all making our plans for the big day. I certainly have lots to be grateful for--we ALL do. And since my business is health, beauty and wellness, I'm especially gratified that my work through the Tiffani Kim Institute Medical Wellness Spa (TKI) is all about helping people restore their lives and achieve a total sense of health and well-being.

So this Thanksgiving, I say we all say a collective "thank you" for five things that make our lives healthier and so much more beautiful:

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Younger-looking facial skin isn't a myth, but know the facts

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Because I'm in the beauty, health and wellness field, I'm often asked by both friends and clients about the latest wrinkle-removing treatment that promises a "fountain of youth" to the woman that gets it. The reality is that there are MANY products and treatments that promise younger-looking facial skin. But before you make decisions about which ones to try, keep these four anti-aging myths in mind:

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Green tea each day may help keep the doctor away

 

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Within Asian cultures like the Korean one I come from, green tea has played an important role in health and rituals for hundreds and thousands of years. In these places, it has been known that drinking a daily cup of green tea can have tremendous effects on your health, leading to a longer and healthier life.  I drink green tea all day long.  My favorite green tea is Jasmine Silver Pearls green tea from Foot Joy.

Not only does it help relax you and soothe away stress, but its healing properties may go a long way toward keeping the doctor away! You'll enjoy your next cup of green tea even more when I tell you about some of the benefits that come from each one:

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Saving your skin once the temperatures turn cool

We have traded our open-toed sandals for boots and have covered up our bare arms with turtlenecks and sweaters, but that doesn't mean we can forget about caring for our skin until next spring and summer! Cooler and colder temperatures outside--and warmer, drier temperatures inside--bring with them many challenges to our skin. It becomes drier and rougher, with flakiness and itchiness (not to mention chapped and sore lips) often the result of these temperature extremes.

But you can combat late fall and winter skin woes. Here, I'm offering nine tips to help you maintain smooth, supple skin all the way through the cold months. Don't you want to re-emerge next spring with a beautiful canvas? I do!

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Living healthy not a 'luxury,' but a lifestyle!

As someone who has been in the fashion, beauty and wellness industries for nearly 30 years, I have seen and experienced so much of the beautiful side of life. Above all, I consider myself an artist--and artists always imagine the world as it CAN be. This mindset inspired and encouraged me to create an environment of health, beauty and wellness under one roof. Since 1998, the Tiffani Kim Institute Medical Wellness Spa in River North has helped men and women achieve fulfilling, healthy, and yes--more beautiful lives. 

I have had the opportunities, challenges and blessings to make my life what I've wanted it to become. I continue learning and growing each and every day through my work, my artwork, and my passion for life.

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