MonaLisa Touch Testimonial

After menopause, when estrogen levels decline, many women experience changes that can really affect their quality of life. Symptoms include:

  • Painful intercourse
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Burning
  • Itching

MonaLisa Touch™ treats these common female symptoms without hormones or surgery!

MonaLisa Touch™ addresses these problems without hormones or surgery. Dr. Michele Couri is thrilled to be the first physician in the greater Peoria region to offer this state of the art technology here at the Couri Center. It is ideal for menopausal patients, post-menopausal patients, and breast cancer survivors who are often unable to receive conventional treatments for these debilitating symptoms.

How it works:

MonaLisa Touch™ delivers gentle laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue that stimulates a healing response by generating new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. A typical course of treatment is three procedures over 18 weeks.

  • Painless
  • In-office procedure
  • Requires no anesthesia
  • No downtime
  • Minimal side effects
  • Each treatment is <5 minutes
  • FDA-cleared for gynecologic use
  • Thousands of women have been treated worldwide since 2012

If you struggle with these common symptoms, we can help. Schedule your consultation today to see if Monalisa Touch Treatment is right for you.

Watch a video to learn more:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The Issue

Even with the passage of time, many women still retain their youthful energy and enthusiasm, but post-menopausal changes can affect a woman’s quality of life in unexpected ways. Now, there is a gentle laser therapy that can help millions of women who are silently suffering.

What is the MonaLisa Touch™?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is a gentle laser therapy that delivers controlled energy to the vaginal wall tissue. It restores vaginal health by generating new collagen, elastin, and vascularization. The MonaLisa Touch™ was first available outside the US where thousands of patients have been treated worldwide.

Are there clinical trials on the MonaLisa Touch™?

Dr. Mickey Karram, Director of Fellowship Program on Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery at The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, and Dr. Eric Sokol, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Stanford University Medical Center has completed a multisite study.

The trial assessed the use of CO2 fractional laser therapy on 30 women with vaginal health issues due to natural or induced menopause.   All patients in the trial received MonaLisa Touch™ laser therapy. Results were:

  • Overwhelmingly positive and immediate
  • Highly statistically significant improvement in symptoms after the first treatment
  • Escalation of progress with each subsequent treatment
  • *Women in the study either experienced natural menopause or induced menopause as the result of hysterectomy or drug-induced suppression of ovarian function (chemotherapy, radiations, and anticancer drugs such as Tamoxifen).

Dr. Stefano Salvatore*, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vita- Salute San Raffaele University completed a study to assess the feasibility of fractional C02 laser in the treatment of 50 women suffering changes in their gynecologic health.

84% showed significant improvement in their physical and mental quality of life scores over baseline and were satisfied with the treatment.
In addition to the multisite study, there are currently eight published studies with six ongoing studies.

Where can I have this done?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is an in-office procedure that Dr. Michele Couri can perform right here at the Couri Center for Gynecology and Integrative Women’s Health, in Peoria, IL. Dr. Couri is the first physician in Central Illinois to offer this treatment.

Does the procedure hurt?

The procedure is virtually painless and requires no anesthesia. Some patients may experience some discomfort when the probe inserted the first time, but the actual treatment is not painful. Many patients report that it feels like a gentle vibration.

How long does MonaLisa Touch™ take?

Patients receive three treatments, spaced six weeks apart, which each take less than five minutes to perform.

For which patients is this treatment appropriate?

The MonaLisa Touch™ is appropriate for any female suffering from issues from a decline in estrogen, as well as those who are experiencing symptoms as a result of a hysterectomy or breast cancer treatments, for any woman with vaginal atrophy due to physiological hormone changes, which become inevitable over time. In particular, MonaLisa Touch™ is the ideal treatment for those who are looking for a less invasive procedure, compared to traditional surgical or pharmaceutical treatments. Remember, no one can advise you better about MonaLisa Touch™ and what is best for you to achieve your best results than your doctor.

When will I see results?

Most patients feel improvement after the very first treatment, although the procedure calls for three sessions spaced over an 18-week period.

How long does MonaLisa Touch™ therapy last?

Patients should expect to come back annually for their maintenance treatment to ensure results last over the course of time.*

*Your doctor will determine if follow up treatments are required.

What are my limitations following the procedure?

Patients should refrain from sexual activity for 2-3 days. Your doctor will determine a post-procedure regimen that is right for you.

Is this MonaLisa Touch™ safe for women with breast cancer?

Yes, the MonaLisa Touch™ therapy is particularly well suited for patients who cannot, or prefer not to receive estrogen therapy.

How much will the procedure cost?

Patients should schedule a consultation or call 309.692.6838 for additional information.

Will insurance cover MonaLisa Touch™?

There is no processing code for this procedure.  We believe this is an investment in yourself and your quality of life.  We gladly accept CareCredit.

Are there any risks?

There are some minimal risks. MonaLisa Touch™ is an outpatient treatment. Most women report temporary side effects, slight redness or swelling, some discomfort that usually disappears in one or two days.

The MonaLisa Touch™ Laser system has been FDA-cleared as safe for gynecologic use; however, it has not explicitly been FDA-approved for treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vulvovaginal atrophy) or painful intercourse. MonaLisa Touch™ laser therapy is documented as an appropriate and efficacious treatment for vaginal symptoms due to menopause in the medical literature.

Emsella: No more leaking when you run

Exclusively at The Couri Center, this revolutionary, FDA-cleared treatment- EMSELLA for urinary incontinence.  No more worrying about pads, accidents, or trying to find the nearest bathroom!

TYPES OF URINARY INCONTINENCE:

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?

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!

WATCH THIS ANIMATED DEMONSTRATION:

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF EMSELLA?

  • painless
  • simple (you sit on a chair!)
  • non-invasive
  • no downtime
  • remain fully clothed
  • 4-week treatment

 

Schedule your consultation today or call 692-6838.  

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FAQ:

What is EMSELLA?

EMSELLA is a chair that uses a high-intensity electromagnetic field to activate motor neurons in the pelvic floor. Similar to an MRI, the technology is known as High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic Technology (HIFEM), and it causes deep pelvic floor muscles stimulation.

Who is a candidate for EMSELLA?

Women with stress incontinence (leak with a cough or movement), urge incontinence (leak after you cannot suppress the urge to urinate), or mixed incontinence. Stress incontinence is generally caused by vaginal childbirth and hormonal changes due to age. The stretching and increased laxity of the tissues cause 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.

How effective is EMSELLA for urinary incontinence?

In as few as three weeks, patients strongly agree their quality of life improved by 95%. Two-thirds of treated patients eliminated or decreased the use of pads for leakage and maintained results at a 6-month follow-up.

How does the treatment work?

EMSELLA is a non-surgical, non-invasive treatment for stress or urge urinary incontinence. Patients sit comfortably in a chair in their regular clothes. The chair focuses on targeted tissue in the pelvis. Muscles are strengthened, restoring the support for the pelvic organs. EMSELLA tightens the vaginal walls. Incontinence decreases. Also, sexual satisfaction may be improved.

Can Kegel exercises do the same thing as EMSELLA?

EMSELLA is powerful. In fact, during one short 28-minute treatment, EMSELLA will provoke contractions equivalent to performing 11,200 Kegel exercises!

Is EMSELLA painful?

The treatment is not painful. You can feel a sensation in the pelvic floor area during the procedure. There is no downtime afterward. You can come during lunch break, eat, read a book, and have a treatment!

How long does it take for EMSELLA to produce results?

There are some immediate results. The treatment protocol is two treatments per week for four weeks, for a total of 8 treatments.

Does insurance cover EMSELLA?

The treatment is FDA-cleared.  Insurance does not cover the procedure; however, we gladly accept CareCredit.  We believe EMSELLA is an investment in you. The Couri Center offers reasonable packages for our patients.

How do I learn more?

Schedule your visit today or call 692-6838.  

 

The Origin of the Gynecological Speculum By Dana Humes Goff

For some women, the most dreaded aspect of the annual gynecological exam involves the speculum. A speculum, which can be either metal or plastic, is a device, which is placed into the vagina in order to visualize the vaginal walls and the cervix. While this procedure may be uncomfortable for some, it should not be painful, and it is a useful tool for assessing female anatomy.

Variations of the speculum can be dated back to 130 A.D., and early examples of the device have been discovered in archeological digs as far back as 79 A.D. amidst the ruins of Pompeii. The design of today’s speculum is primarily credited to a physician by the name of James Marion Sims, a gynecologist in the 19th century who performed numerous experiments on slave women, those of whom he purchased and kept as property in the back of his private hospital in Montgomery, Alabama.

One of the most common problems he encountered during his career was a condition known as a rectal or vaginal fistula, which can be caused by childbirth. A fistula is an opening that is formed between the bladder or rectum and the vagina. This tear can result in urine or stool collecting in the vagina, which can cause infections, pain, and incontinence. Repairing this type of tear required him to be able to look into and inspect the vaginal canal.

Dr. Sims was an imaginative man and utilized what he had at hand to draft a prototype of the first modern speculum: a gravy spoon. This allowed him better access to the vaginal tissues and he was able to perform the surgery necessary to repair the fistulas.

The introduction of the speculum by Dr. Sims, in the late 1800s, was very controversial and set off a vigorous debate within the medical community. The fear was that the use of a speculum might corrupt those women who were being examined and subsequently turn them into prostitutes or sex-crazed maniacs.

Thankfully, over the last 150 years, medicine has advanced, and the speculum design has improved and moved past the gravy spoon prototype, and gynecological exams have become routine. While there have been many attempts to improve upon the current speculum design, the basic design has remained unchanged.

So, for those women who avoid or fear gynecological exams due to perceived discomfort, I encourage you to discuss this with your provider. Often, the use of a smaller speculum, relaxation techniques, and gentle explanations with tips for making the exam easier can make your annual exam much more comfortable.

Recipe of the Month: Raw Exotic Avocado Truffles

If you want a quick, sweet and healthy vegan snack, make these raw exotic avocado truffles with just a few ingredients!

Prep time: 10 mins

Total time: 10 mins

Serves: 15+ truffles

 

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 kiwis, peeled
  • 6 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1½ Tbsp stevia powder (or any other healthy sweetener of choice, to taste)

 

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Put the avocado truffles composition in a bowl and start shaping the truffles – 1 tsp per truffle.
  3. It is best to leave them in a fridge for at least an hour before serving, but you can eat them right away too.

Recipe compliments of Author: Ruxandra Micu

Goumandelle.com

 

The Thermography Myth By Renee Alwan Percell, MS, PA-C

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend women have annual screening mammograms starting at age 40 and continue screening through age 75. There are recommendations about further imaging such as breast MRI or sonogram that should be decided case by case depending on your medical history, risk factors and family history. A mammogram is a low dose X-Ray of the breast tissue. A cancerous mass in the breast tissue would appear white on the image. A mammogram is the gold standard for detection of breast cancer. It can often detect cancer before there are any symptoms, resulting in a better outcome for many.

Several women opt for an “alternative” testing method called Thermography. Women are drawn to thermography because there is no radiation exposure, no compression of your breasts, and no real risks associated with the test. Thermography produces an infrared image that shows the patterns of heat and blood flow on or near the surface of the body. It tracks blood flow which has been thought to be sufficient in interpreting precursors to breast cancer. Although thermography is safe, there isn’t any evidence to prove it’s effective. People had looked at thermography as an early detection tool, but there is NO data to support such claims. The FDA approved thermography as an adjunctive (to be used with mammography) tool in the assessment of breast masses in 1982. Since then, there have been several offices, health spas and mobile imaging units that falsely advertise that thermography is an effective stand-alone test that is safer than mammography in detecting breast cancer. The American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging DO NOT endorse thermography for detecting breast cancer. Recently the FDA sent out a warning against thermography for breast cancer detection. This was a result of several cases reported where women had breast cancer and treatment was delayed due to thermography.

At the Couri Center, we care about breast health and have a variety of options for patients to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Prevent is a personalized, proactive, evidence-based program that will help you understand your future health risks. We can also calculate your lifetime risk for developing breast cancer and give lifestyle modification guidance. These are tools that we offer and recommend you use in addition to your annual screening mammogram so that you can be your healthiest self. If you would like more information on the programs we offer, please call our office to make an appointment. Most importantly, get your mammograms every year!

Be well,

Renee Alwan Percell, MS PA-C

TLC Integrative Lifestyle Programs

Personalized Integrative Lifestyle Programs

Let’s face it.  The more you know about your health, the better equipped you are to achieve your wellness goals.  Dr. Michele Couri’s personalized, integrative wellness programs include:

  • detoxification
  • food sensitivity testing
  • hormone balancing
  • metabolic labs
  • nutrition
  • exercise

Curious how TLC can change YOU?  

Schedule your complimentary consultation below or call 692-6838.

Infrared Sauna Detoxification Sale

 

Sauna Detoxification May Sale

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. Researchers have long told us how the body sweats out toxic substances, including heavy metals. As long as you maintain proper hydration, the more you safely sweat, the more toxins you’ll expel from your body.

Enjoy 2 for $50 sauna sessions during May 2019 (Regular price $35 each) Purchase in store today! Sauna sessions must be used by December 31, 2019.

Click below to schedule or learn more:

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 other health benefits of a full-spectrum infrared 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 saunas 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!

 

The Girlfriend’s Guide to DETOX!

Do you feel winter has taken a toll on your mood, energy, and waistline? Do symptoms like joint pain, fatigue, bloating and weight gain plague your daily thoughts? Food choices and intake play a more significant role in how people feel than credit is given.

The food and nutrition industries are challenging to navigate, even for someone with extensive education. It seems research and recommendations are constantly changing. Foods and food products are marketed to everyone, no matter the age, social status or education level, even when we are unaware.  Deciphering proper food choices can be frustrating, and fad diets often don’t work.   Consequently, our bodies are taking on the burden of these wrong choices.

Detoxification is how the body eliminates “toxins,” or substances that should not be left in the body. The organs that make up the gastrointestinal tract (GI) oversee the elimination of these substances. However, please understand, times of stress, sickness, intolerance and indulgence, food choices, medications, and other substances we are around and ingest, increase the burden on the GI system. When the liver, gallbladder and other digestive organs struggle to keep up with this burden, toxins are stored in fat cells, the nervous system and brain (hence all of the symptoms).

Detoxification is a trending topic. Many people associate it with fasting, colonics, cleansing or an intestinal purge. On the contrary, a scientific and research-based detoxification system revolves around giving the human GI tract a break. While the Standard American Diet (SAD) often consists of foods that are highly processed, cause inflammatory reactions due to sensitivities and intolerances, are grown with pesticides and herbicides, contain chemically-derived food products or are empty of nutrients, a detox, is easy to follow and allows the body to fall back into balance.

Why should I detox?

If you struggle with any of the following, you will benefit from a detox:

  • Extreme sugar cravings
  • Gastrointestinal disruptions: IBS, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, bloating
  • Chronic sinus issues or thickness in the throat
  • Overall non-healthy feeling
  • Acne and patches of dermatitis
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Joint pain
  • Extended time of high stress
  • Struggle losing weight
  • Trouble sleeping or sleep disturbances

How will this affect my daily routine?

Detoxifying is easier than most people expect. With the help of a few supplements (included in your detox kit) that are used to support regularity, create a healthy gut ecology and promote detoxification from the proper organs, the majority of changes are made to the diet. With the exception of some foods, an ultra-clean, whole food diet is followed for six days. Hydration, gentle exercise and rest are encouraged throughout the week. When the body is given the proper nutrients, rest and movement, symptoms improve quickly. I often discuss with patients the power, good or bad food, has on our body. As it is the only thing we can control which goes into our body, simple changes to our food choices can have a massive impact on our symptoms and how we feel!  No matter if you struggle with constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas or you are completely regular, negative digestive side effects are NOT expected when using this detox.

The Couri Center, along with many of its employees, are hosting the Girlfriends Guide to Detoxing May 16-May 23. We will use Facebook to help guide you through the detoxification process. Daily detoxification information, recipes, and testimonials from your favorite Couri Center employees will be shared. We will be detoxifying with YOU!

Investing in your health

If you are ready to wipe away winter, feel good again and implement the healthy lifestyle you have been struggling to start, this is the time!

The Couri Center will host a detoxification event beginning May 16. The detox kit includes the use of plant-based shakes, and an ultra-clean, whole food-based diet. A detailed instructional guide that provides clear supplementation and dietary recommendations, as well as the science behind detoxification, is included in each detoxification kit.

How do I get started?

  1. Purchase the detox kit.  This detox process is easy and outside of food choices, it will not interrupt your daily activities. Bonus! Detox kits are discounted ten dollars during the month of May.  If you would like to join us on this detoxification journey, kits are available for purchase at the Couri Center anytime during office hours (8-4:30) for $120.
  2. Like & Follow us on Facebook.  We are completing this together, as a community. To help you prep for the detox, Facebook posts will begin on May 13 . Make sure you have “liked” and ‘followed’ the Couri Center on Facebook!

Since everything is more fun with friends, be sure to invite your girlfriends to join you!  Start the summer of 2019 feeling and looking your best.

Got Questions?

Individual questions regarding detoxification can be directed to Leslie when calling the office at 692-6838.

 

Leslie Rusch-Bayer