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Eat organic? Sleep organic!

Back in the day, most mattresses were made of natural materials, and what we ate was much the same: no GMOs, hormones, antibiotics and very little processed foods.

Then, in 1967, everything changed. Polyurethane foam was introduced into our lives, and plastics became more prevalent. We all started sleeping on toxic goo and synthetic materials. Cancer rates and respiratory issues rose exponentially almost overnight. Coincidence?

The last couple of decades have seen a return to natural and organic foods as people realize that good health starts in our kitchens. Unfortunately, we can't stop there. The bedroom is as important to our health. We’ve made great strides with medical advancements, new drugs and technology, yet more and more people are getting sicker per capita—not just because of population growth.

One of the most advertised memory-foam mattress brands in the market introduces the sleeper to more than 61 volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Twenty per cent of them are known carcinogens, and four of them are benzenes. If that’s not enough, it emits formaldehyde. The memory foam made overseas is even worse. Imagine sleeping seven to eight hours a night, or a third of your life, on a mattress that is slowly poisoning you.

“With good health being one of our main concerns, we see more of our clients looking for greener options,” Sleepy’s manager Carling McLeary says. “Unfortunately, the term ‘organic’ is thrown around loosely. Customers recently visiting our store believed they bought a queen-sized organic mattress for $399 from a large mattress store, just because it had ‘organic cotton’ embossed on the fabric.”

The natural and organic mattress and bedding categories continue to grow in popularity, and Sleepy’s has focused on bringing in only the best in each category for their customers.

“Our latest introduction takes our organic mattress and bed linen offerings to the next level,” Sleepy’s owner Geoff McLeary says. “We have partnered with Organic Mattress Inc., the first global organic textile standard-certified eco-factory in North America and the only organic mattress maker that offers a purity guarantee. OMI is the only company in North America that sanitizes for purity by ozone, uses treated air and is audited randomly four times a year.

“Each mattress is made by hand, offers two-sided variable firmness, and we are backed by a 20-year warranty. We have showcased four of their popular certified organic mattresses in different price points, including the Pinnacle, which they consider to be a lifetime mattress. We are very excited to offer our clients only the best in certified organic.”

Your bed is a very personal space that encases your bodies, much like a cocoon. The bedding that surrounds you should be breathable, acclimatizing to each sleeper, naturally anti-microbial, made with naturally sourced fibres and not treated with any chemicals. The McLearys have hand-picked a beautiful collection of green to organic pillows, sheet sets, natural duvets, mattresses and mattress toppers to complete the cocoon.

If organic options are on your radar, Sleepy’s advises you to do your research and let common sense prevail.


Tourism at your fingertips


Touch Tourism is taking off like a rocket, and it is looking for businesses to come along for the ride.

The Kelowna-based digital advertising technology company started only nine months ago, but it has already attracted nearly 41,000 users who have produced more than 158,000 page views.

The platform used is called VIKE (pronounced VICK-ee), which is an acronym for Visitor Information Kiosk Experience. VIKE allows Okanagan visitors to easily search for the area’s top tourist destinations and experiences. Touch Tourism is putting out the call for businesses to join the list of local attractions that can be found on its screens this summer and beyond.

The kiosks have been installed at hotels, visitor information centres, museums and art galleries from Penticton to Vernon, and the number in service has doubled from 24 at the end of last August to 48 today.

“For local businesses that are looking for some more exposure, particularly in the tourist market, our locations are predominantly hotel lobbies and tourist information centres,” Touch Tourism founder Luke Weller says. “We’re a local directory for people staying in those locations or even just passing by those locations to find local businesses, to find activities, to find wineries, to find kids’ fun.”

There are several other attractive features about Touch Tourism, including its ability to create real-time data, its positive impact on the environment and providing hotels with valuable information for its guests. Tourists can click on a business and send a “digital brochure” to their phones that contains all necessary information.

“What we’re doing is reducing paper advertising and focusing more on getting local companies to invest in digital advertising rather than increasing paper waste and increasing the tourism industry’s carbon footprint,” Weller says. “The way we’re doing that is by offering what we call a digital brochure. So when somebody goes onto our screens, within two or three touches they’re able to send themselves a text message or an e-mail with a digital brochure of the company that they choose.

“Effectively you’re reducing paper waste. Paper brochures … where do they end up? They end up on a bench in the lobby or in the back seat of a taxi or in the bottom of a garbage can. We’re trying to do our part with sustainable tourism.”

Weller is also hoping to do business with local tourism associations by providing them with data that is collected with each touch of a screen. Touch Tourism, for example, can see when and where people are looking for wineries in West Kelowna.

“We’re surveying people constantly,” Weller says. “We’re finding out where they are, what time they’re looking for things to do and what they’re looking for every minute of the day.”

Touch Tourism has also teamed up with Castanet, which provides weather and local events for the platform.

Giselle a breathtaking story

The Great Russian Ballet is coming back to Kelowna next month, and this time it will be performing “one of the most breathtaking ballet productions” in history.

Giselle, which was created in 1884 for the Imperial Russian Ballet, will be on stage at Kelowna Community Theatre for two performances on April 7. The times are 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and tickets can be purchased here.

“The audience in Kelowna is amazing and so much into ballet, reading the story during the performance and appreciating the beauty of it,” The Great Russian Ballet director Vio Balan says. “We were doing so well in sales that a week ago we decided to add a second show for our Kelowna friends who we will be delighted to see at our performances again.

“Enjoy a fantastic journey through epically decorated sets, fabulous costumes and a masterful choreography that leads the heart through this touching and deeply romantic love story.”

Giselle is about a young peasant woman seduced by a prince who hides his noble origins. It is soon discovered that the prince has a fiancee, and Giselle dies of a broken heart. She returns in the second act as one of the Wilis—the spirits of young women betrayed by their lovers—whose mission it is to dance any man they encounter to his death. When the prince visits Giselle’s grave, the story does not unfold how you would expect.

“With its irresistible combination of a heart-breaking story and exquisite choreography, Giselle is the perfect way to discover classical ballet,” Balan says.

Balan says two of the most accomplished dancers who have performed the role of Giselle are the “world-famous” Petra Conti and Nadya Ivanova, who are The Great Russian Ballet’s principal ballerinas. Ivanova, who trained in the historic Perm ballet academy and has performed most of the classical ballet principal roles on the biggest stages across the world, will be playing the role of Giselle in Kelowna.

“The role of Giselle is one of the most sought-after characters in ballet. It demands both technical perfection and outstanding grace, as well as great dramatic skill,” Balan says. “(Ivanova) will be joined by an all-star cast of 40 highly skilled ballet dancers, mostly from Moscow, all trained in the Vaganova method.”

Vampire facial safe, effective

Have you heard of the vampire facial?

While it may seem like something out of a bad thriller movie, it’s actually a thrillingly great treatment for the face.

A vampire treatment, otherwise known as PRP therapy for the face, is an anti-aging skin treatment that works by concentrating the healing power and regeneration of skin through activation of platelets.

The results of PRP treatment for the face include improved skin texture and tone, reduced appearance of dark circles under the eyes, reduced appearance of fine lines and healthy, glowing skin.

We know these results are wanted by almost everyone when they look in the mirror. So what are you waiting for?

Kelowna’s Dr. Chelsea Gronick offers PRP treatment, and there are five reasons why it would be worth your time.

1. The vampire facial is safe

When we say PRP, we are referring to platelet-rich plasma, which we often refer to as “nature’s anti-aging and healing miracle.” Platelets are cells in the blood that help tissues heal and grow healthy new cells. PRP injections for the face promote the body’s own collagen to grow and regenerate new tissue. When this happens, it results in smoothing and tightening of the skin. Other ways to use the healing potential of your own PRP include injections to the scalp with PRP for hair loss and to joints, ligaments and tendons that are injured or damaged.

A vampire facial is safe on all skin types. There are no allergic reactions because your body will not reject your own blood.

It starts with a simple blood draw to extract out the PRP. Using a PRP MicroPen, these growth factors are introduced deeper into the dermal layer of the skin. This is where stem cells will get activated to grow new tissues, resulting in younger skin.

2. PRP injections are natural

In a world full of unnatural procedures, the vampire facial/PRP skin treatment is 100 per cent natural. As mentioned above, the technology simply uses your body’s own anti-aging growth factors to increase collagen production.

Some fillers can have the effect of looking uneven or unnatural. But with PRP injections, it doesn’t look overdone and the effects are long-lasting.

No surgery, botox or fillers are required for beautiful, young-looking skin.

3. The vampire facial treatment is an easy procedure

There’s nothing to be nervous about when coming into the office to see Dr. Gronick for your first vampire facial treatment. Lay back and relax in the clean and modern rooms while she works her magic.

One micro-needle therapy treatment will take years off your face in less than an hour. Dr. Gronick uses the Eclipse MicroPen, which is FDA approved. The treatment is most commonly done on the face but can be done on many different parts of the body including scalp, neck, decollete, arms, hands, legs, abdomen and back.

When you receive the micro-needling part of the PRP treatment, a topical numbing cream will be applied to your skin. A sterile needle tip containing 12 micro-needles is then attached to the Eclipse MicroPen. Then a combination of hyaluronic acid and your PRP are applied to your skin. In one motion, the pen will be gently pressed against your skin while gliding in one direction.

Once the treatment area has been fully covered, the PRP treatment is finished.

Cleansing, numbing and the blood draw are done at the start of the procedure, and then the micro-needling takes 15 to 30 minutes.

4. Micro-needle therapy doesn’t hurt

With the use of anesthesia, micro-needle therapy is essentially painless. People compare the feeling of the treatment to light sandpaper being moved across the skin or even a simple, deep exfoliation.

The speed of the PRP injection MicroPen reduces the discomfort in even the most sensitive areas.

5. It requires zero downtime

This speaks for itself. There are some treatments that will have a long recovery period with bruising sometimes happening, but with the vampire facial there is next to no downtime. This means you can carry on with your regular routine, right away, as soon as you leave the office.

You may notice a redness to the face and a tightening of the skin right after your PRP injections, and that can last up to 48 hours.

Quality skin care products are recommended to help speed up the healing process and to provide moisture to the skin’s surface.

Many patients notice an immediate glow once they have a vampire facial at Dr. Gronick’s office. Additional texture and changes to the skin develop over the following days, with results continuing to improve up to six months after the PRP treatment.

You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Gronick, who will go over the vampire facial with you and the other benefits of micro-needling by easily booking your treatment online or by phoning the office at 778-478-0048 and speaking with her patient care co-ordinators.

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