EMSELLA for Urinary Incontinence: Mission Possible


EMSELLA for Urinary Incontinence: Mission Possible

Many women experience a condition called stress urinary incontinence (SUI). SUI occurs when your bladder leaks urine during physical activity or exertion. It may happen when you cough, laugh, jump, sneeze, or exercise. SUI is most commonly caused by vaginal childbirth and hormonal changes due to age. The stretching and increased laxity of the tissues causes the bladder to sag over the anterior wall of the vagina, which can interfere with the proper function of the bladder when it is full.

Types of Urinary Incontinence Treated:

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control or leaking urine.  EMSELLA for urinary incontinence treats all types of incontinence:

  • stress (leak urine with a cough or movement)
  • urge (leak urine after you cannot suppress the urge to urinate)
  • mixed (the combination)

What is the EMSELLA treatment like?

The Couri Center is the first in Central Illinois to offer this revolutionary, FDA-cleared treatment: EMSELLA for urinary incontinence.  EMSELLA takes all the work and time out of strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.  The EMSELLA chair strengthens the pelvic floor muscles by focusing electromagnetic waves causing the muscles to contract and relax, exercising them in a similar way to Kegel exercises.  Each 28-minute session will provoke contractions equivalent to performing 11,200 Kegel exercises!

Click below to schedule your consultation today or call 692-6838.  


NIA24 Intensive Moisture Double Serum

NIA24 Intensive Moisture Double Serum

Intensely hydrating serum combines a powerful fusion of 6 types of hyaluronic acid with lipids and ceramides to deliver long-lasting moisture and visible plumping to skin.

Clinically proven*: 100% of subjects showed a significant measured improvement in skin hydration and skin barrier function

Key Ingredients

  • Pro-Niacin® to strengthen and nourish the skin barrier.
  • Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid to instantly hydrate for smooth, soft skin.
  • Encapsulated Hyaluronic Micro-spheres to visibly plump and reduce the look of wrinkles.
  • Slow-release Hyaluronic Acid to replenish skin’s natural moisturizing factors and deliver long-lasting hydration.
  • Lipids to seal in moisture and reinforce skin’s protective barrier.
  • Hexapeptide to improve water movement within skin surface for optimal moisture distribution and retention.

Schedule your complimentary consultation 309-692-6838 or click below:

NIA24 Rapid Exfoliating Serum

NIA24 Rapid Exfoliating Serum

Leave-on resurfacing treatment helps remove dull skin, gently exfoliates and targets enlarged pores for visibly improved tone and texture.

Key Ingredients

  • Pro-Niacin® to strengthen and nourish the skin barrier.
  • Pro-Niacin® is clinically shown to visibly improve skin tone, texture, dark spots, sun spots and discoloration.
  • Prickly Pear helps to remove dry dull skin.
  • Willowbark, a plant extract, contains natural salicyns for gentle exfoliation.
  • Red Algae brightens the appearance of brown spots and discoloration.
  • Rose Bud, a natural antioxidant, helps reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.

To schedule your complimentary skin consultation call 692-6838 or click below:

NIA24 Rapid D Tone Correcting Serum

NIA24 Rapid D Tone Correcting Serum

Rapid D Tone Correcting Serum, formerly known as Rapid Depigmentation Serum. The same best-selling brightening formula, now with a name that highlights more of its skin-transforming benefits. This concentrated, lightweight serum penetrates to visibly diminish the appearance of dark spots, sun spots and overall discoloration for a significant improvement in skin brightness, clarity, and tone. Delivers an overall softer, smoother, healthier looking complexion.

Key Ingredients

  • Pro-Niacin® to strengthen and nourish the skin barrier.
  • Pro-Niacin® is clinically shown to visibly improve skin tone, texture, dark spots, sun spots and discoloration.
  • Vitamin C a powerful anti-oxidant, helps to brighten.
  • Willowbark, a natural form of salicylic acid, helps to accelerate skin cell turnover, resulting in a reduction in the appearance of discoloration and smoother skin texture.
  • Hexylresorcinol, a potent brightening agent, improves the appearance of discoloration and evens skin tone.
  • Betaine, derived naturally from Sugar Beets, soften skin and helps to minimize transepidermal water loss, for an overall smoother, healthier looking complexion.

To schedule your complimentary consultation call 309-692-6838 or click below:

NIA24 Eye Repair Complex

Eye Repair Complex

This ultra-rich eye repair cream quickly penetrates to deliver critical anti-aging, firming and brightening actions to the total eye area. Correct today’s imperfections – from darkness to puffiness to lines – while fighting future damage.

Key Ingredients

  • Continuous, deep delivery of Pro-Niacin® strengthens the skin barrier.
  • Pro-Niacin® is clinically shown to visibly improve skin tone, texture and hyperpigmentation.
  • Peptide blend reinforces collagen and elastin to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Vitamin C, Licorice and White Birch visibly brighten to illuminate under eye discoloration.
  • Caffeine helps to reduce the appearance of puffiness.

To schedule your complimentary skin consultation call 692-6838 or click below:


The Art of Healing: Intersecting Intellect and Compassion By Michele A. Couri, MD, FACOG, ABIHM

The Art of Healing: Intersecting Intellect and Compassion

I recently read a disturbing article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “It’s Time to Fire Your Doctor” written by Andy Kessler, an American businessman, investor, and author who writes the “Inside View” column for the Wall Street Journal opinion page.  In this article, Kessler recommends firing one’s doctor in exchange for taking doctoring into one’s “own hands”.  He proposes to start using web-based companies that offer health related services and to rely on apps that can track blood pressure and irregular heart beats like atrial fibrillation.  He also proposes to order one’s own blood work through companies like WellnessFX and get results on a smartphone app.

Kessler admits that he is “borderline: hypertensive, high cholesterol, though only ‘pre’-diabetic”. He relies on his Apple watch to do a simple electrocardiogram (EKG tracing of his heartbeat pattern). In fact, he states that when he is asked who his primary care physician is, he responds, “Dr. Webb”.   He feels that technology is lowering costs and improving care on all fronts.

Just when I think that he may be starting to make sense in this article by saying that if one does get sick, it is still necessary to see a doctor – as he states that “they have that prescription pad”, he disappoints again.  He goes on to recommend using walk-in clinics like Sutter Health that offer appointments for $129.  He then continues to amaze me by stating that online care is cheaper so Anthem Blue Cross encourages customers to use LiveHealth, a videoconference platform, for $49.  Aetna apparently has a deal with Teladoc for $38 consultations.  Really, this is what the sacred physician/patient relationship has come to?

As an OB/GYN, one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is seeing my patients year after year. The continuity of seeing them throughout their life journey is a beautiful gift and privilege that very few of us are blessed with.  I truly believe that it is an honor to share that sacred space with patients.  Over the last twenty-two years that I have been a physician, I cherish the vivid memories that patients and I have shared. We have laughed together, cried together, embraced each other over the loss of a parent or the loss of their marriage. We have navigated cancer together, have overcome depression, have triumphed over diabetes and heart disease, and have walked the path of surgery step by step together.  I have spent many a night lying awake worrying about sick patients, praying for their recovery and for their comfort.  I have traded witnessing many of my children’s milestones and accomplishments for being bedside with a sick patient who needed my human touch every bit if not more than my medical acumen.

As a patient myself, I am blessed with extraordinary physicians that take amazing care of me. These physicians have seen me at my most vulnerable and through their impeccable knowledge and dedication to the art of medicine, have restored not only my health but also my faith in what it truly means to be a healer.  Healing is an art, it resides at the intersection of intellect and compassion. It cannot be bought or downloaded for $49, $129 or even $199.  It does not have an app and cannot be delivered by “Dr. Webb.”

In the final paragraph of his article, Kessler triumphantly states that with replacing the time-honored physician/patient relationship with a new model of technologically driven healthcare, “the revolution is coming.  But not from your doctor.”  If this new type of medicine is revolutionary, Mr. Kessler, I would happily accept the firing.


Michele A. Couri, MD, FACOG, ABIHM


How to Lead your Teen Toward a Healthy Lifestyle By Leslie Rusch Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

What we discuss with your teen daughter at the Couri Center:

Survival. It is never easy. Retrospectively, survival always provides a life lesson. Whether titled middle school, puberty, teenagers or ‘kids these days,’ the age from 13 to 19 can be quite traumatic, confusing and all sorts of awful.

Me? I felt overweight and inadequate. At age thirty-five, I still wonder how I made it out of middle school with only a few ‘bumps and dings.’ I desperately wanted to be skinny and beautiful.  Even without social media, gossip, friends, grades, developmental changes, and body image issues haunted me every day.

I had an excellent support system. My parents were, and still are, the perfect parents for me. However, like many teens, I was close-minded and “knew” my parents had no idea how bad it felt. My parents saw me as a growing, young, beautiful girl. I saw and felt entirely different.

The Couri Center understands the need for support and guidance for young teens. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) is recommending girls visit the gynecologist for the first time between the ages of thirteen and fifteen. This first appointment at our office is multi-faceted. We discuss gynecological issues, as well as topics including how to reach or maintain a healthy weight, diet, exercise, guidance toward healthy relationships, emotional well-being, acne and smoking, and drug and alcohol prevention. Our goal is to create healthy relationships with teens that ensure a safe, non-judgmental environment where communication is encouraged.

The Couri Center will provide suggestions and guidance for your daughter; however, we strongly encourage parents, family members and guardians begin talking about health and showing children what a healthy lifestyle looks like through personal actions.

Here is a list of ideas to help your teen nurture a healthy lifestyle:

  • Do not openly complain about your weight or use terms like fat and ugly.
  • Set strict guidelines for screen time and social media use.
  • Set an example of a healthy exercise routine. Let your children see you active. Mow the grass, go for a walk or take an exercise class.Take them hiking, kayaking or biking.  Encourage your children to play outside and run. Children and teen activity recommendations include greater than sixty minutes daily of movement and activity.
  • Prep healthy snacks together.Teaching teens to wash and cut vegetables in not only a great life-skill, but it also provides the perfect time for relaxed conversation while establishing healthy eating habits early on.
  • Cook together. Encourage young children to help bake or cook dinner by measuring or stirring. Give older children the responsibility of preparing dinner once a week.
  • Talk to your daughter about what a healthy relationship is and looks like. Talk about sex, birth control and/or abstinence.
  • Eat together. Turn off all screens and talk. Ask about their day. Laugh. Cry.
  • Set guidelines for extracurricular activities. Encourage children to be involved, but find a healthy balance between school, sports, events and rest.
  • Tell your children it is okay to mess up or fail. Discuss healthy coping strategies. Apologize when needed. Show maturity to children. Discuss learning from mistakes.
  • Model confidence in your own abilities by being a role model.  Encourage confidence and resilience by teaching them proper social skills, to make eye contact and how to act confidently.
  • Encourage and praise children when you see healthy habits forming and maturity developing.
  • Love children no matter what.

The world is hard to navigate. Social media makes it even harder. I encourage you to schedule your daughter’s first visit with one of our providers to help gently guide her toward understanding her body, how certain choices impact her body, healthy attitudes, and relationships.

I am happy to report middle school did mold and shaped me for the better. I eventually found my forever friends. Sports created an outlet for my competitive nature and changed my body. My experiences through my teenage years paved the way for my current lifestyle and career. I am great at what I do because of what I went through, and what I learned.

Let our team-approach to ‘all things female’ guide your daughter through her teenage years.

Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

Turning the Page…By Terry Polanin, APRN

The Telomere Effect—Aging, Longevity, “Canaries in the Coal Mine”

As I write this last newsletter article for the Couri Center, I am very proud to have been a part of a practice whose very foundation is about promoting healthy lifestyles for women.  It has been a privilege guiding our patients through our integrative lifestyle focus to embrace a future full of beauty in themselves and their surroundings and finding moments to appreciate joy and peace.

That said, I would like to share with you some recent scientific research about our telomeres. Being able to see a future bright and healthy, does require some effort on our part, preserving our telomeres. For the past 40 years in nursing, I have seen many changes in healthcare and the health of our American people.  I am grounded in the belief that staying healthy, emotionally and physically, can help to “turn back time” and most of my passion in this profession has been promoting healthy habits and lifestyles.

As you know, it is not an easy path for many of us as we navigate our way through the multitude of “diets” and exercise recommendations available today.  I was enlightened recently by a speaker at a national conference discussing The Telomere Effect, a theory on cellular aging impacted by lifestyle factors and stress.  Telomeres are the end caps of our DNA.  When telomeres critically shorten, the end of the DNA is exposed to damage, and the cell dies.  Telomerase is a cellular enzyme that rebuilds telomeres and has additional non-telomeric roles in cell survival.  Who doesn’t want their cells to survive or thrive for that matter?  Telomeres typically shorten as we age.  Many studies have shown that life stress, or perceived life stress (if you feel like the things happening to you are stressful) can shorten telomeres.  Shorter telomeres will increase cortisol (stress hormone) and over time increase inflammation in our bodies.  Adverse childhood events will shorten telomeres, even stress exposure intrauterine (babies in the uterus) can reduce the telomeres as we age.  Dr. Couri was one of the first physicians in the Peoria area to integrate the philosophy of adrenal health and stress management, into western medicine at the Couri Center practice in early 2010.

The good news is cell aging by telomere loss can be reversed with telomerase!  Several studies have shown that accelerated telomere loss can be reversed within 4 weeks by reactivating telomerase.  This raises the question—can molecular aging be reversed? That answer seems yet to be determined, but many studies are showing promising results.  In the book, The Telomere Effect (Eppel and Black, 2017), the research they have performed suggests favorable measures to improve the telomeric effect on our bodies.  Such as:

1) Regular exercise

2) Dietary “Restraint.” Eat a more plant-based diet, with less processed and sugar-laden foods.

(See research from Dr. Ornish Lifestyle Study published in Lancet, 2008)

3) Vitamin C, D3, E, folic acid in foods or vitamin supplements (See our Couri Center store for quality brands such as Xymogen or Metagenics, or Nordic Naturals)

4) Omega 3 fatty acids-Fish oil (We suggest Nordic Naturals for quality fish oil)

5) Social Support

6) Mindfulness, Meditation, Yoga

7) Stress Management (Such as time for yourself, a walk/hike in the woods, weekend get-a-ways)

8) Statins (Yes, this was on the list and suggested for lowering cholesterol and its anti-inflammatory properties)

9) Estrogen (Yes!! Especially if started in early menopause.  Talk with your provider for further information)

10) Sleep

11) Anti-depressants (Yes, it was on the list, and of course, many of the measures mentioned above will also naturally boost your mood if actively done regularly in our lives)

Unfavorable measures on our telomeres were: obesity, insulin resistance (Pre-Diabetes), elevated homocysteine levels (a measure of inflammation), and cigarette smoking. Have your labs checked!

If you need assistance in improving your lifestyle habits and reducing the telomeric effect, please see your Couri Center health care provider and/or Leslie Bayer, our Registered Dietician, who will help navigate you.  It has been my pleasure to work with Leslie, over the years, as she has been a vital component of the integrative health care we provide at the Couri Center.

And now, please bear with me as I reflect back on the 44 years I have spent fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming a nurse, and the 39 years as a Nurse Practitioner/Advance Practice Registered Nurse.  I am feeling melancholic, as my retirement in March 2019 draws near.  I honestly cannot put into words the joy I have received through the patients that I have met along the way who trusted and allowed me into their personal lives as a health care provider.  You have really taught me much more than I did you, I am sure.

My journey began in the late 70s when I was teaching Nursing at OSF at the time, and we were asked to continue our education.  The request was honored by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Nursing. This was a time when very few nurses had Bachelor’s Degrees, and the University of Illinois had just opened their graduate school at the Peoria School of Medicine.  I was accepted and asked to consider starting a new, expanded role for the nurse. Mind you, at this time in Peoria there were very few female physicians and certainly no nurses who would provide health care, other than at the hospital bedside, under the Doctor’s orders.   It was a “man’s world” in medicine, but a concept that intrigued me (the women’s movement was also gaining momentum) and the University of Illinois was preparing to lead the way in this new concept for medicine and nursing.  We decided to call ourselves Nurse Practitioners, but we were still practicing under our RN license and signing the physicians’ name to prescriptions.

The landscape was changing. With more complex technology, HMOs and evidence-based medicine, and more complicated patients were coming on the horizon, there were a few “broad-minded “physicians that welcomed the concept of “collaborative practice” with an RN willing to expand their role and basically see the healthier, wellness-type patients for routine physical exams and acute care in offices or clinics.

Preventive, patient education was my passion, so I delved into developing diabetic, weight control, hypertension, and chronic disease programs for our patients to complement the physicians’ medical care. (And offered to perform the women’s health exams which were welcomed). There were about six Nurse Practitioners in Peoria at that time striving to advance this new role, which was met with skepticism and some resistance from much of the medical community at the time.  However, by the mid-90s, it seemed that hospitals were starting to expand into primary care and buying physician practices which led to the need for more primary care providers since the growing population of seniors and chronic diseases were over-whelming physician practices.  A perfect opportunity for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants (PAs) (a few PAs had been in the area also at that time) to integrate into the primary care practices, especially pediatrics and family practice.

At that time, I was given the opportunity to become the Coordinator of the Mid Level Provider group (a term I felt confusing to the public and somewhat demeaning to the professions) at Methodist Medical Center, which by this time had about 20 NPs and one PA. This was an opportunity to develop standards of care, position descriptions, and develop collaborative practice incentives.  It was also a time to change our group name, which I fondly called the Advance Practice Providers, now shortened to APPs.

It was an exciting time.  I was given the opportunity to develop a collaborative practice at the Friendship House for Christian Services in an underserved area of Peoria.  Additionally, I was asked to help begin a family practice in a school-based clinic housed in the Valeska Hinton School (with a progressive Principal, Ken Hinton, who believed children and families needed to have health care to be fully able to learn/succeed).    As time progressed, our nurse practice act was amended, and by 2002 we officially became APNs (Advance Practice Nurses) with the ability to sign our own names to prescriptions, based on our credentials, while working collaboratively with a physician(s).

Now, as I look back, I am so amazed and thankful at the progress we have made from the “ghost” provider in the 80s to a respected colleague and an integral part of health care teams in the 21st century.  We’ve come a long way!

This is probably way more than you wanted or did read, but thank you for listening as I “stroll down memory lane” to I look back on the joys and challenges of this “calling” I’ve been privileged to be part of.  And thank you to my patients, over the past 39 years as an APRN (that title recently amended), who have shared your lives with me and taught me about life.  I will never forget you.

Lastly, thank you to Dr. Michele Couri and her husband Tim Couri, who had the vision to bring contemporary women’s health care into the 21st century in central Illinois, with a focus on women, and designed by women.  It has been an honor to work with you and with the marvelous providers and staff that I have spent the past eight years with as colleagues and friends.  As my strong, loving 93-year-old mother always says…God never closes one door that He doesn’t open another.”

As I transition into retirement, I plan to focus on our three amazing children and their spouses. There is so much to look forward to!  We are expecting our first grandchild in May, our daughter’s wedding in October, as well as, a full schedule of international travel with my wonderful husband of 40 years. We also have a new 8-year old rescue bulldog Mack, my elderly 32-year-old horse Copper and my dear 93-year-old mother keeps ME young with lots of shopping!  I hope this keeps my mind off retiring from the Couri Center and the bittersweet close of this door.  So, I will remember the saying as I walk out the door in March, “Don’t cry because it’s over, but smile because it happened.”  I will probably do both.


God bless and to your health,

Terry Polanin, APRN