What I Learned During COVID-19 By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

It is hard to believe it has been almost four months since we unexpectedly altered our lives due to COVID-19. Schedules, plans, trips, and vacations are cancelled. Gym memberships are put on hold. Jobs are in limbo. Trips to the grocery store cause anxiety. Social media is anything but safe or positive. Stress is immense. Unlike celebrities, most of us have not had the ability or time during this pandemic to perfect our summer body.

Anxiety, depression, and mental health issues continue to rise throughout this pandemic. Increased stress often results in stress eating. Alcohol sales are skyrocketing. Soda, sugar-sweetened coffee drinks, and candy help many people push through their mid-day slump. Inexpensive, processed, and packaged foods, which are often calorie-rich and nutrient-poor, may be the only form of substance for families struggling with the unexpected financial loss. The stress of this pandemic, children and spouses at home, gym closures, sports cancellations, and ever-changing Illinois spring weather has also decreased personal and family physical activity. No wonder #COVID15 is trending.

The medical community is starting to accumulate new research and hypothesize what affects the broad spectrum of COVID-19 symptom severity. Symptoms could be affected by duration of exposure, vitamin D levels, gut health, uncontrolled chronic disease, and overall health. COVID-19 has exposed possible insecurities in our health.

We must all take measures to understand, protect, and improve our health, especially during the pandemic. Do not let COVID-19 negatively affect health and weight. Instead of relying on “youth” and hoping for immortality, we should focus on improving health, instead of depending on medical options that manage health. Treating a symptom is not the same as finding the root cause of the symptom. The most significant lesson I have learned during COVID-19 is to protect and prioritize my family’s health.

As sunshine, summer weather, and slightly looser regulations approach Central Illinois; it seems many are starting to seek change. Is it possible to flourish and avoid the #COVID15, while maintaining proper risk reduction from COVID-19?

Taking Charge of Your Health:

  1. Understand your health. Seek information and new recommendations if you do not understand your current health. If current medical recommendations are not helping, seek alternate options. The Couri Center specializes in women’s health and integrative medicine. Objective and comprehensive labs will identify areas where improvement is needed. If you have never had labs drawn, the time is now! Consider a personalized disease prevention program like TLC: Total Lifestyle by Couri, which is now on sale in JULY!
  2. Move. Exercise at an intensity that challenges your lung capacity. Sweat! The heart and lungs are organs that require exercise and adapt to intensity levels over time. Remember to alternate low, moderate, and high-intensity levels throughout a variety of exercise options.
  3. Consider your gut health. If you struggle with IBS, acid reflux, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea, I recommend a consultation to further discuss dietary options.
  4. Evaluate your weight and your lifestyle. Plant a garden to help decrease grocery store costs. Decrease consumption of inflammatory foods. Consider an exercise buddy for accountability. Quit nicotine use. Seek positivity. Weight loss is never easy and can be very frustrating. If you are struggling to implement weight loss changes, please call the office to discuss our new TLC: Weight Management program.
  5. Check your mental health. Prioritize stress management. Reflect. Enjoy the sunshine. Talk to your spouse or a friend. Enjoy the sounds of your children laughing. Breathe. Figure out ways to appreciate what you have. Consider counseling or therapy.
  6. Detox. Detoxification may look different for many people. Consider a dietary, alcohol, financial, social media, or mother-in-law (HA!) detox. Everyone has a weakness for something unhealthy. Balance is key. A detox will help “reset” your lifestyle. If you are looking for a dietary detox, consider the 6-Day Micro Detox by Xymogen.

Women’s “health” is multi-factorial, complex, and never the same for each person. Let the practitioners at the Couri Center help you to understand better and improve your health. Consider a complimentary consultation to discuss our many programs and options.

Difficult circumstances and “storms” in life force great change, and most challenges are understood in hindsight. Charge yourself to implement positive change during this pandemic. Dr. Mark Hyman, MD said “As a doctor, on the front lines of the chronic disease epidemic, it is increasingly clear that our health crisis, along with our social, environmental, climate and economical challenges start with food.” Seeking an “outside the box” perspective may change, and improve, your life. Do not be the person looking back wishing things would have turned out differently.

 

Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

 

 

SALE: Integrative Wellness Programs

Take advantage of our summer sale: $50-$100 OFF all TLC™ Integrative Wellness Programs!  Sale ends July 31, 2020.

Programs can incorporate tele-health visits, if preferred.

What is Total Lifestyle By Couri, TLC™

TLC™ is a customized lifestyle program based on traditional and integrative medicine principles. Total Lifestyle by Couri is science-based and incorporates your lab results, detoxification, nutrition, physical/exercise goals, and infrared sauna therapy. Together, your provider and our Registered Dietitian/Certified Personal Trainer, prepare a wellness program based on in-depth labs including:

  • Food sensitivity testing
  • Hormone balancing/labs
  • Metabolic and expanded lab profiles

Whether you need a boost to lose weight & improve eating habits or a comprehensive wellness program, our experienced team can help guide you.

In 2012, Dr. Couri, MD, graduated from a 2-year Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under the direction of the all-inspiring Dr. Andrew Weil. Inspired to share the integrative principles gleaned from her Integrative Fellowship, with her patients, Total Lifestyle By Couri was born. The TLC™ program combines the power of Integrative Medicine with the foundation of traditional Western Medicine for an unsurpassed experience that you will benefit from for years to come.

Is TLC™ a one-size-fits-all program?

No. TLC™ is completely personalized and programs can incorporate tele-health visits, if preferred.  At your complimentary consultation, we’ll help you determine what best suits your needs:

  • Integrative Consultation: 60-minute consult with nutrition/labs/detox/exercise
  • TLC™ Core: 12-appointment program
  • TLC™ Plus: 15-week program

Each is customized just for you. Some also utilize our infrared sauna therapy. Schedule your complimentary consultation for details and to review pricing options.

How do I get pricing and learn more?

Do you have Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance? You may be COVERED!

Do you have Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance?  You may be COVERED!

The current COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the importance of optimal health and disease prevention into mainstream conversation. Do you understand your current health? Are you truly healthy?

It is understood that chronic inflammation contributes to chronic disease, but did you know 80% of the human immune system is found in the gut? Many factors, including medication, environment, and DIET can impact your immune health.

If you struggle with any of the following symptoms, BCBS may cover appointments with a Registered Dietitian.

Gut dysfunction:

  • IBS
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • acid reflux
  • bloating
  • food sensitivities

Abnormal labs:

  • cholesterol
  • triglycerides
  • blood sugar
  • insulin

Bone health:

  • osteopenia
  • osteoporosis

Other issues:

  • autoimmune disease
  • migraines
  • acne
  • chronic congestion
  • fatigue
  • joint pain

The time for change is now. It is not worth the risk.

To schedule an appointment call 692-6838 or visit our 24/7 online patient portal.

For questions regarding your BCBS coverage email Leslie.

Couri Girl Proud

Isn’t It Time You Become a Couri Girl?

At the Couri Center, we specialize in women’s health.  From traditional gynecology & surgical procedures, integrative health programs & aesthetics, take comfort in knowing you can trust the Couri Center. We are proud to provide Central Illinois women with an individualized approach to optimal health and well-being during every stage of life.

  • Well-Woman Exams
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Menopausal Management
  • Family Planning
  • Contraception
  • Pap Smears
  • Pelvic Ultrasounds
  • Treatment of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding and/or Fibroids
  • Treatment of Abnormal Pap Smears
  • da vinci® Robotic Surgery/In-Office Surgeries
  • MonaLisa Touch™ Vaginal Laser
  • Emsella for Bladder Leakage
  • harmonié Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Food Sensitivity Testing
  • Customized Nutritional Supplements
  • TLC™ Integrative Lifestyle Programs
  • Weight Loss Programs
  • Integrative Cancer Programs
  • Genetic Screening
  • Infrared Sauna Therapy
  • Aesthetic Studio:  Laser Hair Removal, Wrinkle/Age Spot Removal, Scar & Stretch Mark Removal, Rosacea & More
  • SkinCeuticals Skincare

New patients welcome!  Telemedicine appointments also available. Schedule today: 692-6838  

Infrared Sauna Therapy: Unpacking the Benefits

At the Couri Center, we can address your gynecological issues and also have a focus on integrative medicine. Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. Disease prevention incorporates eating a balanced diet, exercise, and also stress reduction. An excellent way to de-stress is to try our infrared sauna. The radiant heat from an infrared sauna surrounds you and penetrates deeply into your joints, muscles, and tissues, increasing oxygen flow and circulation. This infrared energy can help your body relax and detox. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?!

Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas don’t heat the air around you. Instead, they use infrared lamps (that use electromagnetic radiation) to warm your body directly. This makes for a more tolerable environment. Our infrared sauna offers several sessions to choose from detox, cardio, pain relief, weight loss, relaxation, and skin health.

Many benefits come from a session in the infrared sauna. A recent study published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that a sauna session was as equivalent to moderate physical activity by increasing heart rate and blood pressure with increased body temperature. These physiological effects help the body to detox by sweating. This detoxification can help with anti-aging. This will also increase circulation that helps with cell health (improve blood vessel functions), muscle recovery, wound healing, and also can reduce pain. The infrared sauna is a tool to help achieve relaxation. People underestimate what long term stress can cause, increased blood pressure, weight gain, lowered immune system, and depression.

Come enjoy a session in our infrared sauna as we all wait anxiously for the summer sunshine and warmth!

 

Be Well,

Renee Alwan Percell, PA-C

 

SALE: Infrared Sauna 2 for $50

Infrared Sauna Sale: 2 for $50 (Regularly $35/ea.)  Ends February 28, 2020.

Benefits of Infrared Sauna Therapy:

  • Detoxification
  • Pain Relief
  • Relaxation
  • Weight Loss
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Circulation
  • Skin Purification

A Team Approach to Weight Loss By Leslie Rusch-Bayer

Weight loss and obesity continue to be problems for women. Even though women have many concerns regarding health, we tend to rationalize negative symptoms as ‘normal’ due to lack of time, cost, concern, and knowledge. It is becoming more common to blame age or family history for new problems, instead of looking to see how lifestyle modifications may improve or correct health, symptoms, and labs. Diets, medications, and even surgery have been considered when trying to solve the obesity epidemic; however, these options are only helping temporarily. Even if weight is lost, most people struggle with regaining weight.

In 2013 the American Heart Association (AHA) created guidelines for weight management for overweight and obesity in adults. Standards of practice were created to help document which type of programs produced the best results. The GOLD standard is an on-site, long-term, comprehensive lifestyle program run by trained and certified professionals. These programs should be longer in duration, six to twelve months, and include laboratory testing, diet, physical activity, and behavior modification. The typical outcome for this type of program is a 5-10% weight loss.

Programs directed by primary care offices, gyms, and weight loss facilities–unlike those directed in conjunction with a registered dietitian–have shown in research to be ineffective, especially long term. Because these programs fail to provide proper education, personalized dietary recommendations, and lifestyle guidance, they leave their patients at a high risk of regaining weight. Over a four-year period, patients who completed a comprehensive lifestyle program maintained a 3.6% greater weight loss than patients who only made dietary changes. Web-based and accountability-style programs should only be used in conjunction with a comprehensive program if needed or necessary