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What is infrared sauna therapy?

Infrared light (experienced as heat) is the invisible part of the sun’s spectrum with the ability to penetrate human tissue to produce a host of health benefits.

Because infrared sauna therapy heats the body directly rather than simply warming the air, it raises the core body temperature and produces a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, where most toxins reside. Far infrared also aids in blood pressure reduction & weight loss, burning up to 600 calories in one 40 minute session!

What are the health benefits of a full-spectrum infrared sauna?

Detoxification

Sweating is good for you and is one of the body’s safest and most natural ways to heal and maintain good health.  Infrared saunas generate a sweat 7 x more detoxifying than a traditional sauna.

Relaxation

Relaxation is more important to health than most people realize. The American Institute of Stress estimates that 75 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems. Long-term stress is the cause of countless physiological effects on the body, including increased blood pressure, weight gain and weakening of the immune system.  Infrared sauas have been designed to encourage the purest form of relaxation and stress reduction.

Weight Loss

Maintaining a healthy weight is important to your overall quality of life. In a 2009 study, infrared saunas were shown to help lower weight and waist circumference in just a three month period. The common theme among subjects in the study was that far infrared sauna use was similar to moderate exercise but “much more relaxing”.  Therefore, infrared saunas can be an effective lifestyle adjuvant for those who cannot participate in traditional exercise programs due to medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, cardiovascular or respiratory problems.

Heart Health/Lower Blood Pressure

In the U.S. alone, one in three adults suffers from heart disease, stroke or some other form of cardiovascular disease in their lifetime. High blood pressure increases your risk of getting heart disease, kidney disease or serious stroke.

Only infrared saunas have been clinically determined to provide one of the best, natural ways to lower blood pressure. In a 2005 clinical study by the University of Missouri Kansas City, Sunlighten’s Solocarbon heaters were shown to lower blood pressure through a program of 30 minute infrared sauna session 3 times per week. The study concluded that Sunlighten infrared sauna therapy dilated blood vessels and reduced the volume of their inner lining, thus increasing circulation to promote healthy blood pressure.

Pain Relief

You too can toss the pain pills and step into a healing infrared sanctuary to relieve tension and relax muscles. Infrared sauna’s heat works by penetrating joints, muscles and tissues, increasing circulation and speeding oxygen flow. By reducing soreness on nerve endings, our infrared heat reduces muscle spasms and helps the body heal itself naturally.

Anti-Aging/Skin Rejuvenation

Forego expensive cosmetic treatments that may have limited effects or questionable long-term safety. Instead, rejuvenate your skin while also receiving all of the other health benefits associated with Sunlighten’s leading infrared sauna therapy. A study published in The Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy showed significant improvements in skin appearance after just 12 weeks of sauna skin therapy using near-infrared technology.     Participants experienced a reduction in wrinkles and crow’s feet, as well as improved overall skin tone, including softness, smoothness, elasticity, clarity and firmness.

Cell Health/Immunity

Infrared therapy stimulates the circulatory system, causing the heart to beat more vigorously and blood vessels to dilate, which help cleanse the circulatory system and more fully oxygenate the body’s cells.

Better blood circulation means more toxins flow from the cellular level to the skin’s surface to improve cell health, aid in muscle recovery and strengthen the immune system.

Sunlighten’s research-backed near infrared heating technology can strengthen the immune system. In fact, a NASA study showed this same near infrared therapy, delivered by LEDs deep into body tissue, can quadruple cell health and tissue growth.

Wound Healing

Skin plays a vital role in the protection of our bodies from the external environment. When broken, it is important repair it quickly to prevent infection or further problems. Studies conducted by NASA concluded that NIR LED light significantly promotes faster cell regeneration, wound healing and human tissue growth. Human cell growth increased by 155%-171% in some cases and wound size decreased by 36%.

Learn more about our relaxing infrared sauna’s built-in media center, including Pandora Radio, Netflix and multiple tracking features to calculate calories burned during your sessions!

Sauna media center

SALE: Laser Hair Removal 20% OFF

SAVE 20% ON OUR UNDERARM TREATMENT PACKAGE NOW THRU AUGUST 31!

SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION TODAY:  info@couricenter.com or call 692-6838.

Tired of constantly shaving and waxing unwanted facial and body hair?

Unwanted facial and body hair is a common problem. Frequent hair removal techniques include shaving, depilatories, plucking, and waxing can be time-consuming, inconvenient and often painful. At best, these methods offer only temporary results – for some only a few hours.

Free yourself from the constant need to shave and wax unwanted facial and body hair and feel your best! Our state of the art laser technology gives you safe, effective, permanent hair reduction anywhere on your body including the face, legs, underarms and bikini areas. Treatments are fast, easy, and practically pain-free.

During laser hair removal, energy is used to target and destroy hair follicles responsible for hair growth. The follicle absorbs the energy and is destroyed, unable to produce hair again.  According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, laser hair removal is the 3rd most performed non-surgical cosmetic treatments in the US. Isn’t it time your life got a little smoother?

Benefits of our state of the art laser hair removal:

  • Convenience (no more shaving/waxing/tweezing!)
  • Fast
  • Easy
  • No more unsightly ingrown hairs or bumps
  • Safe
  • Amazing, smooth results

For more information on our latest promotions, please schedule your FREE 15-minute consultation with one of our providers here: info@couricenter.com or call 692-6838.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does it work?

The device emits powerful light energy that targets and heats hair follicles. After the treatment, the follicles are damaged and permanently unable to produce new hairs, or can produce only very thin, tiny hairs that are virtually invisible.

Am I a good candidate for this hair removal?

Our laser hair removal can be safely used on all skin types from very light skin to very dark skin. It is most effective on individuals with dark hair. Candidates with very light or gray hair are not ideal. However, we will determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure based on a variety of factors during your consultation.

What areas can be treated?

Hair on most areas of the body can be treated including face, underarms, bikini areas, legs and arms. We do not treat eyebrows.

What results can I expect?

You can expect to see a gradual decrease in hair thickness and the amount of hair in the treated area. Since this treatment only targets hair in the active phase of growth, multiple treatments are needed for maximum reduction.

How long does the treatment take?

The treatment takes just minutes for small areas and about 30 minutes for larger areas.

Can this technology get rid of all of my unwanted hair?

Hair follicles are continually cycling through three phases: anlagen or growth phase, catagen or transitional phase, and telogen or resting phase. Hair is most susceptible to this treatment while in the anagen phase. Because of this timing, it’s not possible for any laser treatment to achieve 100% hair removal, but it is possible to significantly reduce the number of growing hairs by as much as 85%. Multiple treatments can be administered for maximum results.

Is hair removal permanent?

Laser hair removal is permanent. After treatment, the hair follicles within the anagen phase that were damaged are permanently unable to produce new hairs, or can produce only very thin, tiny hairs that are virtually invisible.

What will the treatment feel like?

Most people feel only a slight momentary “snap” like a rubber band at the treatment site during the procedure.

How many treatments will I need?

Since your hair grows in 3 stages, several treatments are needed to affect all of the unwanted hair. The number of treatments can vary between individuals, depending on the amount of hair, the area to be treated, skin color, hair color and hair coarseness. Typically 4 – 6 treatments are needed but this will depend on a number of factors including your type of hair. One of our providers can give you a more specific treatment plan during your consultation.

How far apart are treatment sessions?

It depends on which area is being treated. In general, face, underarms, arms, and bikini are about 4-6 weeks apart. Back and legs are about 8-10 weeks apart.

Can I shave in between sessions?

Yes. In fact, the area needs to be freshly shaved before your treatment session. You may shave the area the day before the treatment or the day of the treatment before coming in for your session. You should not wax or pluck the hairs between treatments.

How quickly will I recover?

You can resume regular daily activities immediately following treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Typically, most people experience a mild, sunburn-like sensation, possibly accompanied by some minor redness and/or swelling immediately following the treatment. This usually lasts 2-24 hours. Ask your provider to discuss other possible side effects and the necessary post-treatment care with you.

For more information on our latest promotions, please schedule your FREE 15-minute consultation with one of our providers here: info@couricenter.com or call 692-6838.

Juice: A Beverage of the Past? By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

As a child of the 1980’s, I thought I was making a healthy choice by drinking a glass of my favorite Five Alive juice for breakfast. Capri Sun or Sunny Delight juice boxes were among my favorites during the hot summer months. Often I felt like my parents were being “mean” because they always purchased the “healthy” juices and would never buy my sister and I Kool-Aid.

As is typical in the medical field, we learn with age. The Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP) recently revised their recommendations for juice allowance for infants and children. This is the first juice recommendation update they have made in 16 years. As of May 2017, infants less than twelve months old should NOT be given any juice. Juice should be limited to no more than four ounces (1/2 cup) daily for children ages 1-3, no more than 4-6 ounces for children ages 4-6 and no more than 8 ounces (1 cup) for children ages 7-18.

The AAP cites an increase in children with dental cavities, weight gain and reduction of intake of whole foods and their naturally occurring nutrients as reasons why to limit consumption of juice. The AAP also states that juice provides NO nutritional benefit to children of any age.

Infants (newborn to age 12 months) should ONLY be given breast milk, formula or water, if recommended by their Pediatrician, to meet water intake needs. Infants’ Diarrhea is a medical problem that many infants face when their parents give them too much juice. First line therapy from a pediatrician is often to remove all juice from the babies’ diet. The only time juice should be given to a baby is IF that child’s pediatrician recommends it for short-term use, often for constipation. IF juice is recommended to your infant, it should only be given in a transitional beginner’s drinking cup, not a bottle. It should not be sipped all day. Juice plays a large part in dental cavities in children, which can begin during infancy. The AAP states that specialty juices marketed to infants are overpriced and not necessary.

Many dietary habits are developed in children ages 1-3 years old. Introduction of unprocessed, whole foods is of the most importance during these ages. If the first foods children rely on are juices and ultra puréed and processed foods, children then have a hard time accepting the different textures and flavors found in whole foods. Juice provides no fiber and also lacks the natural phytonutrients found in the skin of whole fruits and vegetables. Just as with adults, lack of proper nutrition, or malnutrition, is the biggest contributing factor to obesity in children.

As a child who suffered from lots of cavities (I think I missed the memo from my parents on the benefits of brushing my teeth) and now has anxiety issues at the dentist, I CLEARLY understand the benefits of preventing the problem in my own children. Dental health, whether in children or adults, is a large indicator of health. Juice, even diluted, and healthy gummy snacks made of juice are easily lodged between teeth causing cavities. Again AAP states these products are overpriced and contain NO nutritional benefits.

The impact and importance of these recommendations will soon be felt in government programs like WIC (Women Infants and Children) by helping change guidelines from giving juice to giving whole fruits and vegetables.

There is certainly no reason to panic if your child enjoys some apple or orange juice on occasion. Try to instill healthy habits like making water your child’s beverage of choice. If you or your child prefers a little extra flavor (and vitamin C) think of adding fresh lemon, orange or strawberry slices to your water.

Unfortunately in 2017 fruit juice is not the only unhealthy beverage making it’s way into the mouths of our children, young adults and older adults. Sports drinks, energy drinks and sofa pop are still adapting their marketing strategies to make their products look healthy. Juices are now sold and marketed using new and trendy phrases including fresh squeezed and cold-pressed. None of these phrases are regulated and have no medical research to back up their claims. Juice is juice. There is no comparison whether measuring cost, nutrition or satiety; real food always wins.

Children are the future and amazing creatures at that. Childhood is when the rate of growth is the fastest and some life-altering and life-long habits are created. Throughout my life, career and especially the last two years as a mother, I have learned the best thing I can do for myself, my child and my family is to “keep it simple.” We tend to get ourselves into trouble when we overthink or try and improve things that are perfect the way they are. Eat the apple. “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid (or the juice)”.

If you are interested in discussing your health, diet and how you could improve both, I encourage you to call the Couri Center and schedule a free consultation to learn more about the programs we offer.

 

Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

 

 

Sage Advice By Terry Polanin, MSN, APN

I know there have been many proud parents of graduates this spring and in years past. Recently, I had the blessing of attended my daughter’s graduation as a Physical Therapist and was so impressed with the speech from the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Bellarmine University in Kentucky, that I wanted to share some insights I gleaned.

As Dr. W. Patrick Mulloy spoke to the graduating class, his words seemed applicable to not just the graduates, or our children, but to each of us as we walk through the stages of life.

We live in some very tumultuous times in the United States today. We have seen much division in our country and around the world. He challenges us to apply three characteristics that will be required as we go forward in this century:

  1. Be creative. We no longer live in a world where things are black and white. Use your creative brains to develop new techniques, new ideas, new theories, new ways of living and surviving in your personal and professional lives. Don’t be afraid to embrace change and to lead the way for change in your lives.
  2. Be courageous. It will require courage to go out and enhance the world, your professions, and your lives. Have courage to do that.
  3. Be flexible. Be able to adapt to situations, to be flexible when asked to lead or follow. Be flexible in your thinking which may be different than you have thought in the past. Be open to adapting, as you will need to do so in our world today. Always embrace truth.

He also reflected on educating our students, our children. Here are some of the suggestions he spoke of in regards to educating and mentoring our younger generation:

  • Love them. Appreciate them and let them know.
  • Set high expectations for them. They may not always achieve them but they will have tried because you expected them to do so.
  • Hold them accountable. Don’t let them quit. Help them to keep trying and be responsible for their actions.

Personally, I happened to think that this is exactly what good parenting is, as well.

Lastly, he suggested two points for all of us to consider:

  • We must stop the “comfort of opinion”.
  • We must embrace the “discomfort of truth and thought” in order to better our lives and the lives of those living in our country now and for generations to come.

With all that said, as we all go forward in the 21st century, when things seem difficult and uncertain—“Find the eye of the hurricane and go there…give yourself a moment to step back, reflect, think, and find your peace.”

Wishing you all your “eye of the hurricane”, Terry Polanin, MSN, APN

Creative Healing By Hope Placher, MMS, PA-C, IFMCP

When was the last time you did something creative for the pure joy of expressing yourself? One of my functional medicine mentors, Deanna Minich, posed that question a while back. She was researching how our health is affected by creativity.  I had to think – am I creative? Yes! Yes, I used to be very creative as a vocalist. I still love to sing, but have not been intentional to express that component of who I am. As many of you know, I am a first time mother of twins and most, if not all if my time in the past seven months has been consumed (and enjoyably so) with caring for my family. I was disappointed in myself when I reflected on my lack of intention with my creative side.  It’s not uncommon for creative endeavors to be pushed aside when time is sparse.

If you, like myself, have not been indulging in the enjoyment of creative energy, you may be missing out on a vital piece of your overall health and well-being. In the past few months I’ve had a string of patients who have been extremely motivated to make major changes in their health. Diet, lifestyle, hormone balance, exercise-you name it. They do it and they do it well. And although they feel ’95% better,’ they have expressed frustration that they were ‘missing a piece of the puzzle to total wellness.’ I didn’t have the answer and that weighs on me. I now wonder if the absence of creativity could be hindering people from complete healing.

So what do I mean by creativity? Singing, dancing around your house, looking at a piece of art, doodling, scribbling down your hopes and dreams, taking a painting class, watching clouds float by, enjoying a novel – to name a few. It’s hard to objectify creativity because the options are endless. Don’t be scared of judgment or the potential to fail! Even just listening to music or looking at art has healing benefits. A systematic review of the health benefits of music found that it has the power to positively influence inflammatory cytokines (any of various proteins, secreted by cells, that carry signals to neighboring cells) and cortisol, as well as reduce stress, and thereby provide health benefits for stress-related illnesses. Another study found that listening to music during childbirth reduced the level of postpartum anxiety and pain, and it also reduced the rate of early postpartum depression.

One hypothesis for why creativity is so beneficial to health is that it facilitates deep relaxation. Many of the studies above included patients who felt more relaxation or had reduced stress after creating or enjoying art. Studies have found that stimulating the relaxation response, which is the opposite of the stress response, is correlated with improved health. In one study that compared long-term practitioners of activities that stimulated the relaxation response, such as meditation, led to a decrease in ACTH (a polypeptide hormone, that stimulates the cortex of adrenal glands), which stimulates the stress hormones.

Just recently, Drexel University published an article demonstrating that coloring, doodling, and drawing all showed significant blood flow to the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This is the portion of the brain related to regulating our thoughts, feelings and actions. It is also related to emotional and motivational systems and part of the wiring for our brains reward circuit. And there was no significant difference between artists and non-artists! Creativity is mind-body medicine.  I don’t know what medium will work for you, but I hope you find joy in connecting to your creative spirit and letting it flow out of you.

 

Hope Placher, PA-C, IFMCP

 

Introducing Dr. Kaleb Jacobs, OB/GYN

The Couri Center is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Kaleb L. Jacobs to our practice. Like Dr. Couri, his practice will be limited to gynecology.

Dr. Jacobs completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He received his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University.

Dr. Jacobs’s interest in healthcare began while he was an undergraduate student at Bradley University when he worked at the American Red Cross. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Medical Technology, he worked in the clinical lab at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. After spending three years at Northwestern, he returned to medical school to pursue his medical degree.

As a resident physician, Dr. Jacobs received the Resident Award from the Society for Academic Specialists in General Obstetrics and Gynecology and he was recognized for his commitment to patients when he was nominated for OSF Saint Francis’ Dr. Mary Draeger Schultz Patient Safety Award. Dr. Jacobs also served as the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department’s representative on the Resident Council and served as the Administrative Chief Resident his final year of residency. He is an active member of the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and has presented research at its annual and regional conferences.

Excerpts from a recent interview with Dr. Jacobs:

 

What inspired you to pursue medicine/gynecology?

After my first medical school rotation in obstetrics and gynecology, I knew that gynecology was my calling.   Compassionate for my patient’s needs and concerns, I listen, provide solutions and educate to empower patients to feel their best.

It’s very rewarding to connect with patients and impact their lives, whether a routine office visit or a complex surgery, gynecology is beyond fulfilling. Gynecology is a unique specialty, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to serve our patients.

What are you most passionate about in women’s health?

I am passionate about patient education. In gynecology, many conditions have several possible causes and with that exist many treatment options. Every patient is unique, so we work together to find the best treatment option available. I am especially interested in providing solutions for women with abnormal uterine bleeding, contraception, menopause, as well as the many changes occurring to her body before, during and after menopause.

What is one word you would use to describe yourself?

Determined. I am a problem solver at heart, so I approach patient care determined to provide the best possible solution for my patients. Determined to listen with compassion. Determined to educate and make a difference.

What would a “perfect” day look like for you?

My perfect day would start with me waking up early when the sun is just starting to warm up and the entire neighborhood seems still. I would sit and drink my coffee outside on the patio. For breakfast, I would have frittata or huevos rancheros. During the day, I would either take the dogs for a walk, gather peppers from our container garden, or swim in the pool (which I wish I had). Essentially a day filled with Spanish or Mexican food and being outside would suit me just fine!

What do you do to keep fit?

I try to eat healthy and stay active. For dinner we try to cook at home and use fresh produce.   Brown rice, roasted asparagus, baked fish, and oatmeal often make a weekly appearance. Don’t be fooled however, I have a sweet tooth and dark chocolate is always in season! Probably most importantly, I take every opportunity to be outside, whether it is working in the yard, walking the dogs, or biking up the Rock Island Trail.

What message would you like to share with your patients?

I look forward to meeting you and providing the outstanding patient care you have come to expect from the Couri Center!

Dr. Jacobs is accepting patients starting August 2017!  Schedule your visit today:  692-6838 or visit our patient portal.

 

 

 

Harvesting the Rewards of Mentorship By Dr. Michele Couri, MD, FACOG, ABIHM

 

I recently had the privilege of attending the graduation for the OSF Saint Francis OB/GYN residents. As you may have heard or read, one of the graduating residents, Dr. Kaleb Jacobs, will be joining the Couri Center starting August 1st as a practicing Gynecologist.   (To say that I am excited about this is an understatement.)   Attending this joyous event brought to the surface a flood of emotions and memories. It has been 16 years since I graduated from this same residency program. I was more than thrilled to attend to show my support for Dr. Jacobs and colleagues. However, as in many times in life, “in giving, you shall receive”.

I indeed received the best gift that night – I was able to see and reconnect with my two mentors from medical school and residency. These two physicians, Dr. Tom Gross and Dr. Ken Hodel taught me more than just the science of medicine. They both instilled in me the courage to see my possible future and believe that it can be obtained. Dr. Gross practiced Perinatology at OSF Medical Center for 30 years, and he was instrumental in bringing the specialty of high risk Obstetrics to Central Illinois. He just recently retired in 2016. It is because of Dr. Gross that I chose to dedicate my entire career to taking care of women. His shear intelligence is second only to his humility and selflessness. Dr. Gross is a man of few words, but his actions always told the story. No matter what time of day or night he was called in to take care of a patient, he always did so with grace and respected the dignity of life, both born and unborn, with unfaltering compassion. He was like a father figure to me, and I will always be grateful for the endless lessons he bestowed upon me.

 

Dr. Michele Couri & Dr. Ken Hodel, June 2001

Dr. Michele Couri & Dr. Tom Gross, June 2001

Dr. Hodel, a practicing Gynecologic Oncologist, gave me the most precious gift I could ever have imagined. He taught me how to operate. He taught me the sacredness of surgery, but did so with a dry sense of humor and an incredible badge of courage. Even in the most difficult of surgical cases, he never lost his “cool” and guided my every move with exact precision. He instilled in me the undeniable fact that God is in control and we are simply doing His work here on Earth. During surgery, he would quiz us residents and medical students not only about names of arteries and the tiniest of nerves, but also about stories and figures in the Bible. He was our Residency Program Director, and he “had our back” at all times. We were all his “kids” and were proud to have been trained by the best of the best. His generosity is a tribute to his giving spirit, and I likely will never meet someone with a bigger heart than his.

When I reflect on my career thus far, I ask myself what impact am I having on the next generation of physicians? With this soul-searching, I challenge you to do the same introspective examination. Who made a difference in your life? Who molded you into the person that you are today? I urge you to do two things in the next year – first, seek out your mentor(s) and let them know the profound difference that they made in your life. Communicate with them how grateful you are for their contribution to your success. Secondly, give back. Mentorship is like fine wine. The success of wine is deeply rooted in the soil of its vines. We often forget about the soil or take it for granted. Soil that is not properly tended to produces poor quality grapes. The best vineyards have had their soil tediously tended to for generations.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most urgent question is what are you doing for others?” Mentorship is within reach of all of us. Remember who believed in you and tap into that energy to propel others forward.   There is no limit on your potential as a mentor. Tend to the soil. The harvest will be your reward.

 

To Your Health,

Dr. Couri

 

 

July/August Recipe: Grilled Portobello Burger

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms, stems off
  • 4 slices of cheese
  • 1 to 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 gluten free/bun of choice or lettuce cups

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat up a grill to a medium heat
  2. Mix coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, sea salt and black pepper in a bowl.
  3. Coat both sides of mushrooms with mixture
  4. Grill mushrooms, stems side up, about 3 minutes, then turn and grill for additional 5 minutes.
  5. Grill Red Bell Pepper slices for 6 minutes. (3 minutes per side)
  6. With 3 minutes remaining place the buns on the grill, cut side down.
  7. Remove everything from grill and allow to rest for a couple minutes.