request A Consultation

Author: Monarch Wellness

10 Years in the Making

10 Years in the Making

Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre celebrates a huge milestone this year. Its 10th anniversary Q & A with Dr. Marianna Switchuk, BSc, MD, CCFP

Q: Why did you start Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre?

A: After my children were in school, I wanted to begin my own full time “practice” that encompassed the procedures, treatments, and services that my own age demographic would want or need. Over the years, I have added different services and products that my clients desire. Ultimately, I want Monarch to be synonymous with Looking Better & Feeling Better.

Q: What is your training?

A: I am a licensed medical doctor. I was trained as a general practitioner and I have taken extra training to learn medical aesthetics like Botox, enhancement fillers, laser treatments, sclerotherapy and the art of using bio-identical hormones. I often attend conferences and continuing medical education courses to stay current and learn new ideas. I recently obtained my Certification with the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP).

Q: Why don’t you practice Family Medicine?

A: I have chosen to practice the areas of medicine that I truly enjoy. While I don’t have a traditional practice, I feel that we offer unique and sought after services that are making a difference.

Q: Where did you learn about operating a business?

A: I have not had any formal training in business other than my paper route at age 11. Perhaps, I learned about business by 1) being a great consumer and 2) being a good observer. I like to run my business and treat my staff/clients/customers, as I would want to be treated.

Q: What have been some of the highlights over the last 10 years?

A: I have to say I have had many highlights. Most of all, meeting so many great, kind and wonderful people along the way. I even got to meet Oprah as a VIP sponsor of her show in 2013 in Hamilton. Almost daily, I learn something new. Each challenge has been an education. There has never been a dull moment. Coming to work each day has been a lot of fun, to the point I can barely call it work. I have surrounded myself with a great team of colleagues who work hard, but know how to make it enjoyable.

Q: Where do you see Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre over the next 10 years?

A: I see this business growing by adding new services and treatments. For example, this fall we are adding osteopathic treatments for those who want to ‘Feel Better’ and micro blading eyebrows for those who want to ‘Look Better’.

We will continue to offer the latest in bio-identical hormone replacement for thyroid, adrenal and sex hormone deficiencies for men and women of all ages. Most of all, my priority is and will always be to offer excellent care in an easy going and fun atmosphere.

I want Monarch to be the place, people enjoy coming to, so they will bring their family and friends. May we all “grow old gracefully” together.

Sunscreen. The Good. The Bad, and the Ugly

We’ve been conditioned to believe that sun exposure has a negative impact on our health. However, as with most things in life, moderation is key. You needn’t barricade yourself in a dark room to protect your skin. In fact, sunlight is essential in helping our bodies produce the crucial nutrient, Vitamin D. Without Vitamin D, a whole myriad of conditions can rear their ugly heads. Obviously, too much of a good thing is, well… too much.

This is Why It’s Important to Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure.
Our hands and face are particularly vulnerable to sun damage since they receive most of the exposure to the sun’s rays. On this end of the spectrum, overexposure can lead to accelerated aging, manifesting in visible signs such as fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Additionally, on a much more serious scale, excessive, prolonged sun exposure can raise the risk for skin cancers, such as carcinomas and melanomas.

Naturally Protected
The advances made in sun protection have evolved in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Achieving a healthy, sunkissed glow while still shielding your skin from sun damage is easier than ever. The best part is, all of this can be attained with the use of natural earth-based ingredients such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These mineral-based ingredients have been used for decades to block out the sun’s harmful UV rays, but now their unsurpassed sun protection benefits are available without the white pastiness.

Be aware of the fact that many commercial sunblocks on the market contain chemicals that can have a negative impact on your health.

Common ones to avoid include hormone disrupters like Oxybenzone and Oxtinoxate. The chemical Octocrylene is particularly irritating to sensitive skin, causing reactions, so should also be avoided. Other ingredients such as Avobenzone and Homosalate break down easily, making your sunscreen less stable.

Remember, it’s all about finding the safest and the perfect sunscreen that will suit your skin. So you can be sun ready and healthy at the same time!

Finding the Good. What to Look for in a Sunscreen
How do you choose the right sunscreen for your needs? Here are some general guidelines that can help you decide on the best options for your requirements and lifestyle:

Consider how long you’ll be out in the sun. SPF (sun protection factor) helps determine how long you can safely remain in the sun before overexposure becomes an issue. For instance, if you spend the majority of your time indoors, with short periods of time outside, a sunscreen offering an SPF of 15 may be adequate. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time outside, you’ll want to kick it up a few notches to ensure that you don’t outstay the effectiveness of your sunscreen. You should always re-apply every 2 hours.

Use a product tailored to your lifestyle. If you’re active and sweat a lot, finding a sweat/waterproof sunscreen is going to be essential to ensuring full protection. Perhaps you just need a light sunscreen to wear under your makeup. Many are formulated for sensitive skin and to be non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).

Natural is usually better. A sunscreen that contains “supportive” ingredients in addition to a natural SPF can actually help improve your skin’s health. Look for products that contain botanicals and natural ingredients.

Choosing a sunscreen that’s just right for you should be easy. Follow these tips and guidelines, and you’ll be on your way to healthier, protected skin!

Our Healthy Sunscreens


Vivier Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 is optimal for all skin types including oily or acne-prone skin. This pharmaceutical grade water-based facial sunscreen provides true broad-spectrum UVA/UVB and SPF 30 protection in a light, sheer formulation that absorbs quickly into the skin. This elegant formulation is ideal for daily use and may be used alone, under makeup, on compromised skin post-procedure or with photosensitive medications.

– Provides daily UV protection for environmentally challenged skin
– Provides true broad-spectrum UVA, UVB and SPF 30 protection
– Elegant formulation optimal for use either alone or under makeup
– Great for all skin types including oily or acne-prone skin
– Ideal for use post-procedure or with photosensitive medications
– Light, sheer, water-based formula absorbs quickly into the skin
– Fragrance-freeVivier Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF 45 is a silky, soft and weightless pharmaceutical-grade sunscreen. It contains a unique combination of UV filters that provide a broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, powerful antioxidants and silica which gives it a sheer, soft-touch texture. It spreads evenly onto the skin and dries quickly, leaving no residue. Ideal for all skin types, even post-procedure.

– Pharmaceutical-grade broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
– Matte, soft touch texture with a weightless, no-residue finish
– Essential part of daily skin care
– Ideal for use alone or with makeup
– Can be used following a Vivier Peel™ or non-ablative in-office procedures
– Ideal for all skin types, even post-procedure
– Oil-free, fragrance-free, PABA-free and recommended by physicians




Wrinkles and Blotchiness

Wrinkles and Blotchiness

Willie-600You don’t have to compromise your rugged good looks to the effects of time. Aging is a natural process, but sometimes the word “graceful” doesn’t enter into the equation.

Men’s skin may be thicker, but it can still show the ravages of the environment. Sun exposure, pollution and other factors can contribute to premature aging through deep lines, wrinkles and blotchiness, making it difficult for you to show the real you.

Luckily, there is a variety of solutions available to correct these issues without surgery or other highly invasive procedures.


Not just for women, Botox® is an excellent choice if you’re looking to lessen your laugh lines or relieve tired skin around the eyes. It’s also great for the jawline, forehead and around the mouth. By targeting the nerves in the injection areas, Botox® interrupts the signals that pull your skin into the creases and lines that can tack on the years.

Botox® is an outpatient procedure, using injections of Botox® solution in focalized areas. The best part is it lasts for several months, allowing you to go about your daily life without worrying about keeping a rigid treatment schedule.


For sagging skin, deep lines or other areas that can benefit from “plumping”, fillers may become your new best friend.

Using substances that are compatible with your tissue, but not quickly absorbed by the body, your specialist will carefully inject these fillers into problem spots, instantly restoring fullness and youthfulness.

Fillers are also incredibly useful for restoring the appearance of thinning hands and fingers. Fillers need to be repeated to maintain optimum results; your specialist can recommend the best option for your desired outcome, budget and lifestyle.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)/Photorejuvenation

If you’d like to even out your skin tone, whether it be due to sun spots and exposure, freckling, spider veins, birthmarks or general aging changes, fine lines or even dark hair, you can rest assured that safe, effective treatment is yours. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) uses non-ablative, non-invasive high intensity pulses of light to target and eliminate a wide range of visible aging signs.

Photorejuvenation requires a series of treatments to obtain maximum results.

Regardless of which products and procedures you choose to use, our specialists can help guide you toward the perfect choices for your budget and lifestyle. You deserve to look and feel your best and we’re here to help you achieve that goal!

Honouring Mothers this May

This month let us honour our mothers for all that they have done for us.

Let’s honour the sacrifices they made for our well-being over the years; honour the jobs they didn’t take so they could care for us; honour the times they cared for us when we were sick; honour the cheering they did for us when we accomplished; honour the tears they shed in private when we hurt; honour the worry they felt when we came home late; honour the hope they had for us to become capable women.

I am fortunate to still have my mother, Angela. She is 89 years old this month.

She raised five children in a very small house with a ringer washer, no dryer, sewed homemade clothes, fed us home cooking daily and sacrificed so that we could have anything we wanted in our future.

She is physically slowing down but still has tenacity and a strong will to live. I think her strong will has been passed along to this daughter. Happy Mother’s Day Mamma!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there!




Our New Big Brothers Campaign

A Successful Campaign Ends and a New One Begins

Thank-You-SoupfestOur SoupFest was a tremendous success and we want to thank all who participated. Our goal was to support the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Hamilton/Burlington and we’re thrilled to announce we were able to write them a cheque for $460.


Our next campaign starting April 7th is going to be even more fun!

April 7th: It’s all about Bowling!

click to enlarge photo

Here’s how to get involved. Here’s a link to their website with all the details.

  • Pick a bowling date and register
  • Gather a team of (up to) six people
  • Raise pledges (a minimum of $100 per team member or $500 per team is requested).
  • Come out to bowl (arrive 15 minutes prior to the event)
  • There will be lots of prizes and giveaways at each event
bag and bowl
click to enlarge photo

There’s a lot more to this than what we have written here, so visit the website to get the details here.

Monarch has some very special bonuses for you if you choose to participate.

For all those who support Monarch’s initiative, you’ll receive a Monarch bag, along with a bowl and spoon.

Again – here’s that link to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Hamilton and Burlington.





Top 7 Facts You Should Know About Lasers

Not all lasers are created equal.

Over the years I have learned a lot about lasers used in the cosmetic business. Here are some of the pearls I have learned since buying my first laser in 2006.

1. Not all lasers are created equal.
This means that just because a place owns a laser, it does not mean that you will get the same results from the procedure. Each laser has different capabilities. Some are more powerful than others. It’s like buying a car, a Mercedes doesn’t have the same specs as a Ford or GM.

2. The person operating the laser needs to be well trained.
Lasers are powerful machines and in the wrong hands can harm you. Unwanted side effects like burns, scars and eye damage can occur. Ineffective treatments can cost a lot of money and be a big disappointment.

3. Certain skin types need specialized treatment.
Dark pigmented skin may require testing prior to being treated. Brown skin can burn easier if not properly assessed. Again, a well trained operator is essential to prevent this from happening.

4. Different lasers are needed to accomplish different treatments.
In order to remove hair, remove pigmentation or remove tattoos one must have the appropriate laser to do the treatment effectively. In order to remove a tattoo a ‘Q switch’ laser is required. While to remove pigmentation an ‘Intense pulsed light (IPL) type’ machines is used.

5. Lasers need regular maintenance and service.
If lasers are not kept in good working order they can lose their power and effectiveness. Like any kind of technology things wear out and need repair or replacing.

6. All lasers hurt the same.
While a lot of laser treatments can be uncomfortable, not all feel the same. Some lasers have a built in cooling mechanism to help prevent damage to the skin. Other times anaesthetic needs to be applied before the treatment. For example, tattoo removal is best done when the skin is “frozen” with local anaesthetic. Only a licensed medical doctor can inject this type of anaesthetic.

If a treatment hurts too much, chances are you can’t sit through it to be effective and you won’t return to finish the job.

7. The number of treatments needed depends on the quality of the machine.
This point brings us full circle to point number one, that not all lasers are created equal. There are many types of lasers on the market. It is difficult to know what is fact or fiction. Laser companies can promote their laser on the internet and they can sound marvellous.

Bottom line
When considering laser treatments get a recommendation from a friend, go to someone you trust and do your homework before signing up.

-Marianna Switchuk, MD

PRP Platelet Rich Plasma


PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is a natural product created from our own body. It is a new alternative medical aesthetic treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing capacity.


PRP is a relatively simple process. A patient’s own blood is placed into a centrifuge that rotates at high speed separating red and white blood cells from the platelets and the plasma. Next the physician takes the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)portion of the blood and injects it directly into the patient’s areas of concern and the treatment is complete.


  • Crepe-like skin
  • Eye Area
  • Fine lines and Wrinkles
  • Textural Improvement
  • Dull Dry Skin
  • Back of Hands
  • Full Face Regeneration
  • Decollete


The full collagen regeneration takes 6 months. Improvement of skin texture and tone are noticeable within 3 weeks.



Minimal swelling, bruising and redness for the first 24 hours are normal. A bruise may develop from needle injection site and should dissolve in a week’s time. Other side effects that could occur due to the needle injection are: pain, infection, and bruising. Avoid aspirin for 10 days prior to treatment, anti-inflammatory medication should be avoided as well for the first 5 days to minimize bruising.


PRP is not suitable for patients who

  • Smoke
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Platelet or clotting disorders
  • Acute or chronic infections
  • Severe systemic disease e.g. cancer or undergoing chemotherapy
  • Chronic liver pathology
  • On anti-coagulant or anti-platelet therapy e.g. aspirin, warfarin
  • Autoimmune disorders


PRP is 100% your own cells and therefore there is no risk of allergy or rejection. PRP is inherently safe and is suitable for all skin tones.




New Year. New You.

New Year, New You

Each year is a blessing. However, the march of time does have its effects on our skin and youthfulness.

As our face loses volume from ordinary activities like sleeping on it, we can become more drawn looking and told we look tired. Furrows get deeper and at times make us appear angry when in fact we are not.

Our face is like a billboard and hence open to interpretation by others. How do you wish to be viewed?

Angry and tired looking? Or refreshed and happy? Fortunately, you have choices.

JUVÉDERM enhancement fillers help with restoring volume to the face in a natural, unassuming way.

It is made of naturally occurring complex sugar molecules called Hyaluronic Acid, HA for short. There is no foreign material in the product and over time breaks down without leaving lumps. Reactions to JUVÉDERM are rare.

The result you get is dependent on your injector. Putting too much filler into the wrong place can make your face look unnatural. Knowing anatomy and using proper techniques are key to achieving great results. Know about the experience of your injector. Price should not be the only deciding factor when it comes to choosing cosmetic procedures. Get a recommendation, search for ratings and ask questions.

At Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre, Dr Marianna Switchuk, M.D. has been injecting enhancement fillers for over 10 years. She is an expert in the field of cosmetic rejuvenation and has the scientific knowledge as well as an artistic flare. Combining both art and science to this procedure leaves clients with natural, healthy looking results.

See what Monarch clients are saying about enhancement filler procedures by checking our testimonials.

January Filler Sale: Buy one, Save $50, Buy Two, Save $100*
*Off Regular Price Fillers.

Call our Office For Details

2016 Resolutions

vision board exampleNew Years Resolutions…

Every new year we ponder what happened last year and what we wish to accomplish next year. Whether it is ways to improve ourselves physically or mentally, attain a new position at work, improve our home environment, go somewhere new in the world, the list can go on and on.

I write about things done all the time and make endless lists. However, recently I heard about an interesting new way to help us achieve our goals. This can be done by creating a Vision Board.

According to Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, “Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the statements you give your subconscious mind. And when those statements are the affirmations and images of your goals, you are destined to achieve them!”

He says, “Creating a vision board is probably one of the most valuable visualization tools available to you. This powerful tool serves as your image of the future – a tangible representation of where you are going. It represents your dreams, your goals, and your ideal life.”

Below are his instructions on creating and using your vision board: How to create a vision board that depicts the future you wish to create.

  • Find pictures that represent or symbolize the experiences, feelings, and possessions you want to attract into your life, and place them in your board.
  • Use photographs, magazine cutouts, pictures from the Internet–whatever inspires you. Be creative.
  • Include not only pictures, but anything that speaks to you.
  • Consider including a picture of yourself in your board. If you do, choose one that was taken in a happy moment.
  • You will also want to post your affirmations, inspirational words, quotations, and thoughts here. Choose words and images that inspire you and make you feel good.
  • You can use your vision board to depict goals and dreams in all areas of your life, or in just one specific area that you are focusing on.
  • Keep it neat, and be selective about what you place in your vision board. It’s a good idea to avoid creating a cluttered or chaotic board… you don’t want to attract chaos into your life.
  • Use only the words and images that best represent your purpose, your ideal future, and words that inspire positive emotions in you. There is beauty in simplicity and clarity. Too many images and too much information will be distracting and harder to focus on.
  • If you are working on visualizing and creating changes in many areas of your life, then you may want to use more than one vision board. You might use one for your personal goals and another for career and financial goals. You might even want to keep your career vision board at the office or on your desk as a means of inspiration and affirmation.

How to use your vision board.

  • Try keeping your vision board on the nightstand next to your bed. Leave it standing in an open position as often as you are comfortable with, and spend time each morning and evening visualizing, affirming, believing,

Final thoughts on using your completed vision board:

  • Look at your vision board often and feel the inspiration it provides.
  • Hold it in your hands and really internalize the future it represents.
  • Read your affirmations and inspirational words aloud.
  • See yourself living in that manner.
  • Feel yourself in the future you have designed.
  • Believe it is already yours.
  • Be grateful for the good that is already present in your life.
  • Acknowledge any goals you have already achieved.
  • Acknowledge the changes you have seen and felt.
  • Acknowledge the presence of God in your life.
  • Acknowledge the Law of Attraction at work in your life.
  • Look at it just before going to bed and first thing upon rising.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful happy, healthy and productive 2016!

~ Marianna

Newsletter Sign Up