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Alternative Wellness: Reset your body from the ground up with an ionic detox foot bath

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily’s Tricia Swenson searched the valley for alternative wellness modalities that are lesser-known and have proven benefits. Follow along each Sunday in January and discovery other ways to work wellness into your life in 2023.

New Year, new habits, right? At least that is what you tell yourself. But, one way to get on a healthier track is to reset your system to prepare for the changes you want to make habitual. The ionic detox foot bath at Vail Valley Wellness is a good place to start.

I’d heard about detoxification through the feet and how “black” the water can get, so I was very curious about the process and benefits behind putting your feet into a copper tub full of warm water with little red and black cables that remind me of what I jump my car with. Becky Burgess, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine and owner of Vail Valley Wellness in EagleVail, quickly put me at ease, explaining the scientific process and procedure.

“Basically, we all have this buildup of positive ions and that’s from stress and toxins such as environmental toxins, from being sick, from surgeries, poor diet, all of that. What we’re trying to do is remove free radicals from your system and remove cellular waste so that we can bring your body back into ideal balance,” Burgess said.

At Vail Valley Wellness, Ionic Detox Foot Baths have been done on kids as young as 5 and adults as old as 90.

“It’s really safe for nearly everyone and it’s great if you are trying to reset your body. If you’ve been sick for a while, this reset cleans your system. This is good if you are about to start a new habit, like eating healthier or just make a big change in your life,” Burgess said. “It is equal to a seven-day cleanse over a 35-minute period while you’re sitting down enjoying a cup of tea.”

I did get a cup of tea that I selected from a whole wall full of jars of loose-leaf tea. Then, it was time to dip my feet into the process, literally.

A copper foot tub is used to amplify the effects of the detoxification process.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

“We have you in a copper foot tub because that is going to amplify the effects of this detox. The main unit in there is called the optimizer and then you have a positive and a negative electrode in there, then we connect it to our machine and we add some salt to the tub and the salt is going to be your connector, so right now we are creating a circuit,” explained Burgess.

“Your body is made up of mostly water so we are working via osmosis. We are trying to pull out the toxicity and refill your cells. When your cells get toxic and taxed, they start to shrivel up like raisins and we want them to be full like grapes. So, you can kind of think of this as if we are using clean water from the tub to refill your cells and then we’re pulling any free radicals and cellular waste out so we can optimize your pH,” Burgess said.

I must admit, I really wanted my water to look as clean as possible, almost like I was trying to pass the test, or be the “best” at the Ionic Detox Foot Bath challenge, but slowly and surely, my water turned many dark colors.

“Nearly everyone’s water looks pretty disgusting,” Burgess said. “The good news is that it is out of your body and not in your body.”

Burgess went on to explain the different colors we were seeing and what they mean. The lighter yellow in my tub referred to the digestive system, the orange can indicate oxidative stress on joints, the darker black areas indicate kidney function. Foam can highlight issues with your lymphatic system.

“Something like dry brushing is going to help relieve your lymphs and you just need to clean out your lymphs because they’re not going to move on their own,” Burgess said. “We’ll look at your foot bath, read your results and we’ll make some recommendations based on that. Everything from taking probiotics to doing a candida cleanse to dry brushing, so then you can take that information and use it not only to detox but also as a tool for diagnosis, so that you can help yourself moving forward.”

Throughout the 35-minute process, various colors appear and indicate different factors about your wellness.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

Burgess said the benefits range from improving blood circulation and skin tone and texture, to decreasing swelling and easing chronic pain. She also said Vail Valley Wellness uses this a lot to help those who have lime disease and mold toxicity.

“Most people, after they do this, feel lighter, they feel more clear-headed, like their brains are just working a little bit better. Ideally, if they are starting to feel sick, they feel that congestion just break up and are able to heal much, much faster,” Burgess said.  

I will admit that I did feel lighter. I felt like I was ready to tackle some projects and was clear-headed. And, it was only 35 minutes. It was a time where I could relax and drink some delicious tea. I realized could get used to this. They even have a room where you can bring a few friends and you all do the Ionic Detox Foot Bath at the same time. It’s the ultimate catch-up session while doing something good for the group.

Some people will do just one ionic detox foot bath every now and then, just for a reset, but if you are really focused on what detoxing you can do for you, Burgess suggests you do one a week for five weeks.

“Ideally, you do see the bath get lighter and lighter each time, but it’s never going to be clear. That is something that the naysayers point out and say, ‘oh, well, you can do this without feet” and we’ve experimented where we have that (the tub) next to you and the water turns a light yellow but that is because our water is toxic, our air is toxic, we’re lining the copper tubs in plastic, things like that, so it will never be completely clear, but ideally you see a change. It’s going to pull where you need to detox, from where you need it most first, so when you are doing the series, you can get a little deeper,” Burgess said.  

After the ionic detox foot bath is over, your feet are rinsed and lotion with magnesium is applied.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

The ionic detox foot bath is priced at $49 per 35-minute session or five sessions for $200.

“This is totally manageable, I feel like this is our “gateway drug” for holistic medicine. Especially for men coming in here and it might get minds thinking about what else I can do for their health. It’s a low-cost investment that doesn’t take much time and it’s a good way to get the wheels turning,” Burgess said.

So, grab a friend and take some time, 35 minutes at least, to reconnect, have some tea and reset your body for good things to come in the new year. For more information, go to VailValleyWellness.com.

Dogma Athletica: Where physicality meets psychology

Dan Swenson believes in following your passion and purpose-driven living. That’s why he decided to leave a successful career in finance in Chicago and buy a gym post-pandemic in Edwards.

“Every few years I actually sit down and re-evaluate what I think my purpose is in life. For a long time, my purpose was using my skills in corporate finance to be an executive leader and create opportunities for others to provide fruitfully for their families,” Swenson said. “A few years ago, I realized that my values were the same but the way I wanted to live those values out had changed and I identified that I really wanted to have more of an intimate impact on people through the health and wellness industry.”

Swenson is no stranger to wellness. He’s a long-time endurance athlete, participating in ultra races and Ironman triathlons. But Swenson realized it’s more than just a workout, it’s where muscle meets mindfulness.

“I had a call with the founder of Dogma, Rod Connolly, when I heard it was for sale and the first question I asked him was, ‘What is your philosophy for Dogma Althletica?’ And he said, ‘to really bring connectedness and to help individuals find their center, physically as well as psychologically,’ and when he said that I knew this was it, this was the perfect fit,” Swenson said.

Rod Connelly and his wife, Michelle, opened Dogma Athletica in 2006 and had built a strong base of clients and developed relationships throughout those years.

“Dogma Athletica translated means a belief in the athletic process and in getting to know Rod and Michelle, we came to appreciate how authentic relationships are the basis for how Dogma Athletica and its wonderful staff express that translation,” Swenson said.

Dogma Athletica believes in fitness with a purpose – a holistic approach to how the business interacts with staff, clients and the broader Vail Valley community.

Swenson kept the same staff and trainers and is picking up where the Connolly’s left off.

“The focus is having trainers who have advanced degrees, so they are really well-informed experts of the human body and human movements, but then they also have their own authentic voice in helping our clients find that centeredness,” Swenson said.

The pandemic was hard on fitness centers and many gyms across the country had to close, but Swenson believes people want to get back to doing workouts in person.

“We are social animals, we crave connectivity and community and there were a number of opportunities I looked at that were more virtual or self-instruction or remote types of gyms but I identified that people wanted to connect,” Swenson said. “It’s like the “Cheers” bar, where ‘everybody knows your name’ when you come through that front door, that’s the wonderful thing about this sense of community and belonging and relationships we form.”

Swenson believes that after the COVID-19 lockdowns, people are ready to get back into the gym and have that sense of community again.

Beyond the relationships and the fitness results people see after consistently working on their health, Swenson wants his clients to have a ripple effect of positivity.

“I want everyone who comes across that threshold to feel wonderful when they walk out. Physically wonderful but also psychologically wonderful and thinking, ‘Hey, I’ve really found my center through my time at Dogma and I can use that to benefit my other relationships throughout the day.’”

Abortion rights protesters ‘rage’ at Friday rally in Eagle

EAGLE — Around 100 pro-choice protesters gathered at the Eagle County campus on Friday evening to rally in support of reproductive rights. 

Black-clad protestors lined the East lawn along Sixth Street, chanting and waving signs with pro-choice messaging (often witty and often written in pink). Activity at the rally went on from 7 p.m. through around 8:30 p.m., eliciting almost exclusive support in the form of honks and thumbs-ups from cars driving past. Counter-protesting came in an unconventional form as a single motorcyclist sped by with a revving engine. The rider was promptly pulled over by Eagle police.

Remove the Eagle County building from the background, and the image could be mistaken for any number of parallel protests across the country. 

The demonstration kicked off what organizers called the “Summer of Rage” in the Eagle River Valley, a nationwide protesting movement borne of the Supreme Court’s recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling. The landmark decision cleared the way for states to reshape abortion rights in the U.S, overturning Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years after the court first held that women have a fundamental right to abortion under the United States Constitution.

In Colorado, access to abortion at all stages of pregnancy remains legal. Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order on July 6 strengthening abortion security statewide. The mandate implemented new protections for individuals and organizations that provide abortions, including those who have traveled to Colorado from out of state to obtain the procedure.

Protesters encourage drivers to honk for abortion rights during Friday’s rally in Eagle.
Tess Weinreich/Vail Daily

Outside of Colorado, roughly half of the states in the country have enacted (or are in the process of enacting) legislation to ban or severely restrict abortion. Neighboring states such as Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and Wyoming have uniformly sought to implement anti-abortion laws, leaving Colorado and New Mexico as strongholds for legal abortion care. 

Dylan Roberts, who represents Eagle and Routt counties (District 26) in the Colorado House of Representatives, and is running for the District 8 seat in the state Senate, was among the crowd at the Eagle protest. Roberts commented on Colorado’s unique geopolitical relation to the issue of abortion.

“In Colorado, the right to reproductive health care is the law of the land. I’m very thankful that this is a place where women haven’t lost their freedom,” Roberts said. “As a state, we have a responsibility to the people who live here and also the people who come here from across the country seeking health care. We have to do what we can to protect them and make sure that their freedom and liberty are not taken away by other states trying to persecute them for making certain choices,” he continued.

‘It feels like a funeral for our rights’

According to Nancy Tashman, a rally organizer and precinct committee person for the Eagle County Democrats, one of the primary goals of the rally was to make local Coloradans more aware of the important role their state will play in a Dobbs-era America.

“We have to encourage each other to continue the fight. We’re not going to give up on what we can do to help women in other states,” she said.

A crowd gathers outside of the Eagle County campus of buildings for Friday’s “Summer of Rage” protest in support of reproductive rights. Parallel protests have been happening across the country since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion last month.
Tess Weinreich/Vail Daily

Tashman added that she, Ross and co-organizers Jennifer Filipowski, Lisa Lewis, Megan Peyton hoped that the rally would provide time for community members to process the ruling collectively.

“It feels like a funeral for our rights. We need a space to express our sorrow and anger that this has happened,” Tashman said.

Indeed, for protestors on Friday, “Summer of Rage” signified more than a banner head or rallying cry. Many expressed feelings of disappointment, disbelief and indignation in reaction to the court’s decision.

“Women have been delegated to second-class citizens and that’s not OK with me,” said Hannah Ross, a member of the Eagle County Democrats and co-organizer of the demonstration. “We can’t be silent.”

For many present, the issue of abortion is more than legal abstract, but rather a deeply personal issue.

Kay Delanoy, a longtime Eagle Valley resident recalled feelings of triumph when Roe was initially passed in 1973. Her mother suffered lifelong health complications after undergoing two illegal abortions during the Great Depression.

“We’ve been fighting this fight for a long time, too long a time,” she said. 

According to Stephen Gordon, a former doctor of obstetrics and gynecology who attended the protest, medical problems from unsafe, illegal abortions are not something from a bygone era. 

Gordon practiced for almost 40 years in Missouri and Kansas before retiring to Eagle five years ago. While the duration of his career was post-Roe, he recalled professors and mentors’ “horror stories” of women suffering sometimes-deadly complications caused by illegal abortions.

“It’s going to happen again,” he stated. “If women can’t get safe abortions … women are going to die. It should be their choice between them and their doctor.”

“I spent 36 years of my life taking care of women, and their daughters, and their mothers, and their granddaughters. It worries me as to what’s going to happen next,” Gordon said.

Breast density and what it means for you, according to the new medical director of Shaw Cancer Center’s Breast Care Program

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in addition to reminding women to do self-breast-exams regularly and schedule a mammogram per their doctor’s recommendations, there is another topic that women should be aware of: breast density.

Dense breast tissue refers to the appearance of breast tissue on a mammogram and is a normal and common finding. Dense breast tissue is detected on a mammogram and can be found in all sizes of breasts.

“Half of the women who have a mammogram will have dense breast tissue,” said Dr. Julie Barone, medical director of the Breast Care Program at Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards. According to the Shaw Cancer Center, women with dense breasts have a four to six times higher risk of developing breast cancer and in Eagle County, more than 60% of women have dense breasts.

According to Dr. Barone, dense breast tissue is more common in:

  • Younger women (breast tissue tends to become less dense as women age);
  • Women with lower body mass index (women with less body fat are more likely to have dense breast tissue)
  • Postmenopausal women who take hormone replacement therapy

“Dense breasts can make it more difficult to detect breast cancer on a mammogram since dense breast tissue can hide a potential cancer,” Dr. Barone said.

The phrase “finding a snowball in a snowstorm” is a good way to describe it. Dense breast tissue appears whitish in color on mammograms, which is similar to how cancer appears on mammograms. In addition to an annual mammogram, women with dense breasts may benefit from additional technology.

“Mammograms are still the most effective screening tool for detecting breast cancer. Women with dense breasts should get a 3-D mammogram or breast tomosynthesis,” Dr. Barone said. “Tomosynthesis uses X-rays to collect multiple images of the breast from several angles to form a 3-D image of the breast,” Dr. Barone said.

At Sonnenalp Breast Imaging at the Shaw Cancer Center, they offer automated whole breast screening ultrasound. Breast ultrasound may detect some cancers not seen on a mammogram.

“A breast MRI is another imaging modality which is useful in patients with dense breasts who also have a greater than 20% risk of developing breast cancer based on a risk calculation performed at the time of mammogram or performed at the time of the visit with the breast surgeon,” Dr. Barone said.

Despite all the advanced technology available in Eagle County, Dr. Barone says being your own advocate is key.

“In addition to an annual mammogram, women should get an annual breast exam with their doctor. Not all cancers can be seen via breast imaging. If you or your doctor feels a lump, even if the imaging does not show an abnormality, you should see the breast specialist for evaluation,” Dr. Barone said. “If we can detect breast cancer early, we can save lives.”

Pumpkin races, artwalks, mindfulness and live music: Tricia’s weekend picks 10/09/20

ARTwalk in Eagle

It’s the second Friday of the month and that means that Eagle ARTS is hosting another ARTwalk from 5-8 p.m. Parts of Broadway in downtown Eagle will be blocked off so guests can stroll down the street take advantage of specials at participating businesses. Stop by the various booths that line the street and celebrate the arts and celebrate the fact that you have a fun, socially-distanced activity to do on a Friday night.

In addition to the art and business offerings, there will be a special street dance performance by students of More 2 Dance Studio at 6:30 p.m. and live music by The Evolution from 5-7 p.m. Then DJ Kirby will start spinning tunes at Katch of the Day from 7–9 p.m.

Don’t miss this month’s ARTwalk Scavenger Hunt, which has become popular. Download the app and follow the clues to different businesses on Broadway. Finding unique art could earn you a prize.  

The Vail Valley Art Guild’s Eagle Gallery at 108 W. Second Street will be having its Second Friday event in conjunction with the Eagle ARTS event. From 5 to 8 p.m., stop by the gallery and view the work of featured artist Missy Octave. In addition to Octave, other artists include Cindy Kelleher, Soodi Lick, Christine Sena and Barbara Holden. The gallery will also feature works by photographers Raymond Bleeze, Rick Spitzer and Jon Sheppard as well as ceramics by Ann Loper and woodworking by Ken Kolano.

Admittance to the ARTwalk is free and tickets to participate in the scavenger hunt are $5 per person and available for purchase at www.eaglearts.org.

Gypsum Fall Festival

Gypsum is hosting its Fall Festival by spreading people throughout the town hall and library parks, Lundgren Amphitheater, and even Lundgren Street to provide a socially-distanced celebration.

Costumes are encouraged as folks come out to enjoy the various activities for all ages. Zone One (Lundgren Amphitheater) will have a “daylight friendly” movie screen and will be showing “Ghostbusters” at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. followed by a costume parade.

Zone Two (Gypsum Library Pavilion and Lawn) will house the food and live music with bands from 1 to 7 p.m. Food trucks will be available and don’t forget to sign up for the Apple Cider Holding Competition at 2 and 5 p.m. There will be adult and child categories.

Zone Three (Lundgren Blvd.) features a pumpkin decorating contest, pumpkin race and ax throwing. Heats in the pumpkin race will go off at 1:15, 3:15 and 5:15 p.m. Ax throwing will happen between 1 and 7 p.m.

All information on the races, costume contest and decorating contest can be found at townofgypsum.com.

World Mental Health Day

Saturday is World Mental Health Day and local suicide prevention group SpeakUp ReachOut has several ways to get involved.

“World Mental Health Day is a day to remind us to slow down and acknowledge what we need for mental wellness,” said Erin Ivie, executive director of the nonprofit SpeakUp ReachOut. “This year we are offering most of the sessions online so that more people can participate. Intentional mental health care is more important than ever as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ivie said.

Schedule (some events are in-person and streaming):

8 a.m. – Virtual Meditation with Becky Hesseltine

9 a.m. – Yoga/Meditation with Twyla Gingrich of Samya Yoga Healing

10:30 a.m. – Mindfulness Mandala with Alpine Arts Center

12 p.m. “A Mental Health Toolkit for COVID-19” – Lunch and Learn with Dr. Justin Ross

1 p.m. – Financial Wellness Basics w/ Michelle from Cornerstone Financial

2 p.m. – “Practical Steps to Taking Control of Your Life” – Tess Johnson of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team.

If you don’t have enough time to participate in these events online or in person, Ivie said they are suggesting that everyone takes 10 minutes out of their day to just be still.

“Suicide is complicated and is rarely caused by one factor. The pandemic affects everyone in a different way and therefore it is difficult to predict how this will affect suicide rates in our community. With that said, being aware of your own mental health and what is happening for your friends and loved ones is more important than ever, ” Ivie said. To learn more, go to speakupreachout.org.

Pop-Up Music

Scott Rednor, musician and owner of the Shakedown Bar in Vail Village has been busy playing all over the place this summer. Where there’s a stage, there’s a show and Rednor and his talented team of musical friends will host a few more pop-up shows before the month is over.

This Saturday, follow the sounds of the music in Lionshead and sit back and listen to free live music between 2 and 7 p.m. This week’s band is Mark Levy & Friends featuring Scott Rednor, Joey Porter and Garrett Sayers.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, Rednor hasn’t been able to host musical performances at Shakedown Bar at the top of Bridge Street. He created Shakedown Presents and approached the town of Vail with a few ideas for music during the pandemic. Rednor has so many connections in the music world that he’s been able to bring plenty of performers to the Vail Valley and play at pop-up locations throughout town and at the main stage in Ford Park.

“It’s been a blast!” Rednor said. “It’s been fun to explore all the new opportunities. The town of Vail has been supportive and we’ve learned a lot about what live music can do for businesses who are near the pop-up stage,” Rednor said.

If you miss this Saturday, Shakedown Presents will host shows from 2 to 7 p.m. for the next four Saturdays with a special Halloween show on Oct. 31. For more information visit shakedownpresents.com.

Cocktails and Canvas

The Alpine Arts Center is hosting its popular Cocktails and Canvas event this Saturday where adults get to show their creativity while also having an adult beverage. Alpine Arts Center provides all the supplies and instruction for a group project.

Advanced registration required and it’s $45 per person to attend the class. Due to COVID-19, classes are available in-person or virtual. You can still participate via Zoom and that cost is $25 per person, but it doesn’t include materials. You can purchase class kits if you don’t have the right supplies at home.

Get those creative juices flowing with wine or beer for $6 a glass. Please note, you can’t bring in your own alcohol, all alcoholic beverages must be purchased through the Alpine Arts bar. There are some non-alcoholic beverages and snacks available, too.

This Saturday’s class is painting on canvas, but Alpine Arts mixes up the mediums and also has classes working with clay, glass etching, encaustic wax and more.

Follow Alpine Arts Center’s social media pages and website for more details on which classes are offered and look for Halloween-themed classes this month. For more information, go to alpineartscenter.org.

Sacred Cycle hosting virtual, in-person event on Wednesday to empower survivors of sexual abuse, assault

Due to this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits have had to come up with new ways to support their missions. The Sacred Cycle, which empowers survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault through therapy and cycling, is hosting a month-long virtual fundraiser with a goal of raising $30,000.

The virtual fundraiser started on Sept. 14 and goes through Oct. 12. Beyond asking for donations, the Sacred Cycle Virtual Heal Campaign also fosters community by hosting group bike rides, picnics, live painting classes on Zoom and virtual happy hours with games and other means of interaction between participants and more.

During its final week of the Virtual Heal Campaign, Sacred Cycle will host an event called Defining Success with keynote speaker Trish Kendall and panelists on the topic of overcoming obstacles on Oct. 7 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Kendall’s story starts at the pit of her despair and how she overcame many obstacles to find the success and happiness she embraces today. Kendall believes that her single most important lesson in life is that love is your choice.

There will also be a panelist discussion after Kendall speaks that will focus on how to support a survivor, watch for signs and build awareness offering the expertise of these local experts:

This will be an in-person event as well as streamed online to accommodate COVID-19 regulations and also allow this message to be heard by more people. The Highline Hotel in West Vail will host the event in the ballroom and is limited to 50 people. The Sacred Cycle asks that you RSVP for free or donation-based tickets at EventBrite.

The goal of the Virtual Healing Campaign is to raise $30,000 and was chosen because that amount covers the price of a five-month program for 15 women. Sacred Cycle helps women in Eagle County, Denver County and the Roaring Fork Valley, so it is looking to serve five women per region.

Sacred Cycle was founded in 2016 by Heather Russell during a long mountain bike training ride. Russell was a victim of sexual abuse and found that being out in nature and biking helped her heal. Through her graduate studies and working with sexual trauma survivors, she believed that biking, therapy and a sense of community could heal others. Sacred Cycle helps clients discover barriers and break through them to become more confident in their personal recovery journey. For more information, visit sacredcycle.org.

Had COVID-19? Your plasma is in demand

The Vail Valley was known as a hot spot for COVID-19 early on during the pandemic and now it’s a hot spot for convalescent plasma donations. If you’ve recovered from COVID-19, you can play a vital role in helping patients recover.

Over half a dozen mobile convalescent plasma drives have taken place in Vail since April. Dr. Nadine Lober, a local veterinarian who had COVID-19 back in March, had been driving to Denver to donate a few times when she started thinking about how she could bring the plasma drives to Vail.

With the help of Lober’s sister, Dr. Alma Juels, assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the pair was able to coordinate with Vitalant to organize a mobile convalescent plasma drive twice a week for a month this spring. Vitalant is the country’s second-largest independent blood provider with nearly 1,000 centers across 40 states.  

“The participation from our Vail Valley community has been tremendous. All 16 slots were filled each day so we were able to collect as much plasma as we could during each drive. Each convalescent plasma donation can help up to three people in critical condition in an ICU ward battling the disease,” Lober said.

Saving lives, saving beds

Although giving plasma to COVID-19 patients is still experimental, it’s been shown to benefit those fighting the virus.

“In some states where COVID-19 is spiking, they are actually giving plasma to COVID-19 patients and they can recover at home instead of taking up a bed,” Lober said.

The latest study entitled “Effect of Convalescent Plasma on Mortality of Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19: Initial Three Month Experience” is showing promising results of using convalescent plasma to help those afflicted with COVID-19 recover faster. The Mayo Clinic served as the academic research organization conducting the study.

The idea of using transfusions of plasma isn’t new. The report states that passive antibody transfer, including convalescent plasma or serum, has previously been used to treat infectious diseases that involve the respiratory system.

“This therapeutic approach was established early in the last century and included widespread use of convalescent plasma for treatment of the 1918 influenza. In this context, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has revived interest in the use of convalescent plasma for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Although there is substantial interest in the use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma, the efficacy signals are preliminary” the report said.

Dr. Lober personally knows a few people who were severely affected with COVID-19 symptoms and were given the convalescent plasma and it helped them.

It saved my life,” said Dr. Christoper Ciarallo with Denver Health, who was given convalescent plasma from a plasma collection drive in Vail when he was stricken with COVID-19. “I’m so grateful to Dr. Lober and Dr. Alma Juels for starting this plasma drive with the wonderful Vail Valley residents who have donated, and those who will.”

“The reward is getting a text from Vitalant saying that your plasma helped save a life,” Lober said.

During these difficult times when everybody is under stress and feeling helpless, Lober said it feels good to be able to give back.

“It has been very rewarding, I can’t even put it into words, but to participate in the success of treating sick patients and now that they are finding that giving convalescent plasma to patients early in the disease can prevent them from becoming even more ill is amazing,” Lober said. “I want to thank the Valley Valley for helping so many patients with the disease.”

Vitalant will be hosting a blood and convalescent plasma drive on Aug. 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon. For more information and to find out if you qualify to give convalescent plasma or blood and to make an appointment, contact Vitalant at 303-363-2300 or go to https://donors.vitalant.org/dwp/portal/dwa and reference code 10252.

Who can donate plasma

Not just anyone can donate convalescent plasma. The FDA is guiding blood centers on how to qualify these donors. According to Dr. Samantha Mack, Vitalant’s Medical Director for this region, you must meet four criteria:

  • You need to have a laboratory copy of a confirmed COVID-19 nasal swab test.
  • After being symptom-free for 14 days, you can repeat the nasal swab test showing a negative result. Or you can wait to be symptom-free for 28 days and you won’t need a second nasal swab test.
  • If you have not had a positive nasal swab test but had the COVID-19 symptoms and were sick and got a positive antibody test.
  • You have to qualify as a regular blood donor. Visit Vitalant.org for more information on general blood donation eligibility.

Open for Business: Wax It Skin Studio

Name of business: Wax It Skin Studio

Physical address: 70 Benchmark Road #101A Avon, CO 81620

Phone number: 970-343-4728

Email: booking@waxitskinstudio.com

Website: http://waxitskinstudio.com

What goods or services are you offering at this time?

We are a full-service skincare and aesthetics studio that offers various types of skin treatments such as microneedling, dermaplaning, and organic custom facials as well as waxing services. Eyebrows are our specialty! We have a variety of specialty brow treatments such as brow henna, brow lamination, and microblading, a semi-permanent technique used to create full, symmetrical, perfectly-shaped eyebrows. 

How have you adjusted to serve your customers during these unprecedented times?

In our line of work, cleanliness, sanitation, and disinfection are imperative! Everyone is required to wear a facemask at all times during all services. Guests are kindly asked to wash their hands upon entering the spa. We’ve added Dyson HEPA air filters to improve air quality and circulation. Additionally, we’ve added extra time in between each guest to ensure plenty of time for proper sanitation practices. 

The hardest change has been our no-touch greeting policy; all we want to do right now is to give everyone a big hug! Eventually, we hope this will change, but for now, air hugs and elbow bumps will have to do.

How can the community support you?

Come in and see us; we want to get to know you and be your go-to for all things brows, skin and beauty! We want to give back to our community and say thank you to all those who’ve supported us during this crazy, difficult time. During the month of July, get 20% facial treatments. Mention this deal while booking your appointment or during your appointment to receive the discount. 

What’s the best source to keep up to date with your offerings?

Check out our website at waxitskinstudio.com for current availability. Follow our Facebook page or Instagram (@waxitskinstudio) for news, deals, last-minute openings, fun spa content and local specials. 

What’s the response been? What comments have you heard from the public or from your employees? 

Everyone is so excited to be back in the studio, clients and staff included! We all feel giddy getting back into our self-care routines, especially after an emotionally taxing time. We’ve had nothing but positive responses from our guests and we are so thankful for that! We’ve really missed taking care of people. It feels very comforting getting back to some sort of “normal” routine again, even if it’s a little different!

What are your plans going forward as the “new normal” evolves?

Operating safely and responsibly is most important. We are following strict cleaning and disinfection practices while staying aware and informed of current regulations and prioritizing our own health. We’re fortunate to live in such a beautiful place with the mountains as our playground! The future may bring some more ups and downs, but for now, we are optimistic and hopeful that things are on the upward swing. 

Open for Business: Eye Pieces of Vail

Name of Business: Eye Pieces of Vail

Locations: Stores in Vail, Lionshead, Beaver Creek, Edwards and Snowmass

Email: CustomerService@EyePiecesofVail.com

Website: eyepiecesofvail.com

What goods or services are you offering at this time? 

At Eye Pieces, we provide a world-class selection of sunglasses, glasses, and goggles all available in prescription. We also provide eye exams, telehealth eye exams, contact lenses, cleanings and repairs for eyewear.

How have you adjusted to serve your customers during these unprecedented times? 

The team at Eye Pieces can now bring the shopping experience to you! From the comfort of your home, our opticians can come to you with the latest styles in eyewear for the ultimate private shopping experience. In our stores, our staff is working diligently to sanitize our showrooms, medical equipment and all product. We are asking customers to also wear facemasks while in the store and practice social distancing.

How can the community support you?

Gift cards are a great option for customers that can’t visit us right now. We also love Google reviews.

What’s the best source to keep up to date with your offerings?

Customers and the community can keep up to date with our offerings through Instagram (@eyepieces1984), Facebook (Eye Pieces of Vail and Snowmass) and our Website (EyePiecesofVail.com)

What’s the response been?

We have gotten a great response from the public and customers who are eager to get essential services and products for all their vision needs. We are so grateful for the support from all of our amazing customers, neighbors and community during this time.

What are your plans going forward as the “new normal” evolves? 

We are so excited to have all six of our stores back open and to have our wonderful team of opticians back. Moving forward, we want our customers to know that we are here for them in-store seven days a week and able to accommodate them through private appointments if needed.

Open for Business: Revolution Power Yoga

Name of business: Revolution Power Yoga

Physical address: 101 Fawcett Road / Avon, CO / 81620

Phone number: 970-748-3176


Website: www.revolutionpoweryoga.com   

What goods or services are you offering at this time?

At Revolution Power Yoga, our purpose is to elevate, transform and empower community to live in possibility, connection and discovery. We are all about community. We are a Baptiste Affiliate studio and all of our teachers have either trained directly with us or with Baptiste Yoga. Whether it is the first time on your mat or you have been doing yoga for several years, everyone is welcome. Our goal is to have our members leave Revolution connected to something bigger in their lives. You can expect to feel welcome upon entering our doors and feel as though Revolution is your home away from home. Our classes range from Power and Power Beats to Align and Flow and Aromarestore.

How have you adjusted to serve your customers during these unprecedented times?

On June 1st in Avon and June 8th in Glenwood Springs, Revolution Power Yoga reopened our doors to hold our classes live in the studios! Both studios have been professionally deep cleaned and we have put into effect local social distancing guidelines in order to provide the safest return to Community possible.

How can the community support you?

Come and be a part of our Revolution community! Start with our intro offer, then consider a monthly membership, corporate membership, or even a punch card. Gift certificates are always available as well.

One Week of Free Yoga:

As a token of our appreciation to our Revolution Power Yoga community, for our active members and for those of you who reactivate or purchase your memberships by June 28th, we are offering you opportunity to give the gift yoga to someone who is not a current member! All active members will receive ‘One Week of Free Yoga’ to give to a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker. This gift must be redeemed before July 12th, 2020.

What’s the best source to keep up to date with your offerings?

Our website (revolutionpoweryoga.com) Facebook page (facebook.com/revolutionpoweryoga/) and Instagram @revolutionpoweryoga.com.

What’s the response been?

The response has been incredible from the Revolution team and larger community. One student recently rated us five stars, stating: “Community/teachers/owners like none other, classes that elevate, challenge and transform. A truly life-changing studio!” Owner Julie Kiddoo said, “We are so grateful for all of our team members and students who have supported us over the last few months and look forward to seeing everyone on their mats!”

What are your plans going forward as the “new normal” evolves?

Moving forward, Revolution will continue to embrace and uphold public health orders specific to social distancing and maintain a commitment to cleanliness. As always, we will embrace community with open arms and open studio doors by offering a space to practice, connect, discover and transform.