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You could opt for a premade retreat package (either Relaxation or Wellness) at the Phoebe Pember House, located at 297 East Bay St., but who wants to be unoriginal while recentering at the birthplace of a celebrated nurse, maverick thinker, and free spirit like Pember? Anne Shue, innkeeper at the House, encourages individuals, couples, and small groups to pick and choose from the activities offered within the quaint bedrooms, walled gardens, and open piazzas. The list includes personal and group yoga, private meditation sessions, massages, lifestyle consultations, life coaching, and, for those who want the ultimate downtown tourist experience — carriage rides. Call The Phoebe Pember House at 722-4186 or visit
After Louis Yuhasz’s family watched him struggle with prejudices and eventually die from complications created by obesity, they vowed to fight the problem from the ground up — starting with childhood obesity. The family now runs Louie’s Kids, a Charleston-based charity that fights obesity “one child at a time.” The organization sends children who wouldn’t typically have the means to camps that encourage healthy lifestyles. Louis Yuhasz, son of the organization’s namesake, runs the organization and says these camps explore the physical, nutritional, emotional, and psychological dimensions of overeating and obesity rather than fad dieting. The environment, he says, is one that fosters self-esteem and provides a community environment for kids isolated by their condition. The organization raised $34,000 this year and sent four kids and two families to camp. Among the success stories is 16-year-old Jahcobie Cosom, who lost 180 lbs. in the year after he attended one of the camps. “Jahcobie is on his way to a long, healthy life. We’re hoping to give that gift to hundreds of more children,” Yuhasz says. For more information about Louie’s Kids or to donate, visit
or call Louis Yuhasz at 343-5746.
ERGONOMIC IS THE WAY TO GO
Researchers at Duke University totaled the bill Americans rack up treating their back pain each year: $26 billion. That figure reflects 2.5 percent of annual health costs and translates into demand for stores such as Relax the Back, the specialty retailer that opened at Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre this May. Locals Todd and Pam Lowery opened this branch of the franchise to offer some treatment for the Lowcountry’s back woes. The store carries all kinds of be-good-to-your back toys, including Tempur-Pedic mattresses and ergonomic office furniture. Massage lactic acid away yourself with the Backnobber or Happy Heart Massager (pictured) or have a go at a charlie horse with the Knuckle Baller. The names might be silly, (Theracane and Fitballs, anyone?) but the relief they provide is anything but. Visit the store Mon.-Fri 10-7, Sat. 10-6, and Sun. 12-5 at Towne Centre, or call 881-1866.
Last month, the FDA approved Gardasil, a series of shots to prevent cervical cancer in women and the world’s first cancer vaccine. Gardasil works by fighting four strands of human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that can cause genital warts and cervical cancer. Although 100 types of HPV exist, Gardasil protects against the strands that cause the most virulent genital warts and account for more than 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. Insurance carriers are not yet paying for the $120 three-shot series, but Dr. Patricia Hutchinson, a physician for adolescents at MUSC and her Girls2Women Health Center, says primary care physicians have the shots, and administering them should be addressed during physicals for girls ages 11 to 12. “By age 13, one in five teens has attempted or completed sexual intercourse,” Hutchinson says, “so it’s important to get the vaccine in their bodies before they even think about it.” The FDA approved the vaccine for women ages 9 to 26, but Hutchinson emphasizes administering it before any exposure. Some estimates suggest that by age 50, as many as 80 percent of all women are infected with HPV, the most significant risk factor for a cancer that causes 3,700 deaths annually in the U.S. For those nervous about promoting sexual activity by bringing up the subject, Hutchinson says she can cite study after study that says otherwise. She says the vaccine can instead offer the perfect segue for discussions about sex and each family’s perspective on it.