Embrace Your Beauty

You may be aware of the buzz surrounding microneedling and the FDA as of late. One of the most serious issues is that of transmission of blood-borne diseases from one person to another. Microneedling is not currently regulated by the FDA, but the FDA did issue a statement on it to define what standards devices need to meet in order to maintain patient safety.

The majority of microneedling devices used in the medspa setting are designed to break the skin in order to stimulate new tissue healing, resulting in a more youthful look. They can also smooth wrinkles, scars and cellulite. However, when a device is designed for use on different people, it must be able to be cleaned and not transmit tissue or blood from one person to another. You shouldn’t have to think or worry about this when you come in excited for a youth-enhancing treatment, but unfortunately the majority of devices being used today do not meet this standard and will place you at risk.

Here at the Genesis Medspa, we offer the only FDA-approved microneedling device, SkinPen. This device has a totally isolated disposable needle attachment, with no possibility of tissue or blood retained in the handpiece. We at Genesis are proud to offer the best services with the best safety for our clients.

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Let's be well. Such a simple phrase and concept. Yet, we do not follow this concept in the United States very well. I have spent the better part of 25+ years helping people recover from serious, sometimes life-threatening illnesses. As I have progressed through my career, I have often thought that I would never want to personally need any of the operations I have had to perform for my patients. We have all been raised with the mentality that “once I’m sick, I’ll try to recover.” As you probably know, once you become seriously ill or need a major surgery, you will never be as good as you were before. Hmm. Maybe we should do something different and try not to get so sick!

In the last decade or so, I have spent an increasing amount of time trying to educate myself on how to stay healthy. There is a tremendous, growing body of information on health maintenance, wellness, and optimal aging that is rooted in research and hard science. What I mean by that is the information is obtained by medical researchers across the world applying the same standards as they do to discovering new cancer cures.

However, some of the new information conflicts with currently accepted recommendations from the medical community. This may lead to doctors disagreeing on what is best for you. I have also found that the lay press routinely picks snippets of information from a medical study and then portrays it as the whole truth without explaining the study’s complete findings. The net effect on patients is confusion and mistrust of the medical community. I think we all can understand that seeking consistent, reliable information in today's world is challenging.

My point in writing this is that there are many factors that we can control to improve our chance of staying healthy. If we embrace wellness and healthy aging, research shows we can lower our odds of many major illnesses. The basic outline is very simple: eat clean, sleep 7-8 hours daily, exercise 30 minutes or more daily, minimize visceral fat, maintain hormonal balance throughout life, minimize environmental toxins, no smoking, and minimal alcohol intake. Most of this seems obvious and the majority of it is free! You just have to do it.

Healthcare in the United States is very good, but we are making ourselves sicker through our lifestyles and food choices. Take control of your health and be well. Your body will thank you.

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For many of you who know me, you know that I exercise almost daily. When compression sleeves came out, I began to use them during my runs or other aerobic workouts. After many months of wearing them faithfully, I began to doubt the need for them. I’m no different than other people in that when something works regularly and is of benefit, it begins to lose its value and I begin to doubt the need for it.

So recently, I stopped using the sleeves but have continued to exercise. The intensity of my exercise routines continued to increase, and I began to notice that my legs felt rather sore and heavy at work. I usually am at the gym by 5:30am and then am on my feet at work all day. I hadn’t ever had any issues with my legs, even after years of standing in operating rooms and office days. This was a new and very annoying phenomenon, and I really didn’t put two and two together at first. This went on for about 3 months before I had the revelation that the only change was being too lazy to put on the sleeves before going to the gym.

A few weeks ago, I began wearing them again. What a surprise! My legs weren’t heavy and achy at work. This in retrospect all seems a little silly, but I am writing this blog to relate my experience to you so that all of you will benefit from wearing these compression sleeves while you exercise. However, you must remember that the sleeves are not a substitute for thigh high compression for those of you with vein disease. They are for use only during the period of exercise, and will be of value to everyone whether you have venous disease or not.

So, if you enjoy running, walking or any other form of aerobic exercise, come and get a pair of our exercise compression sleeves. Your legs will thank you!

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How many times have you heard the phrase, "Well the blood work is normal" and yet you still don't feel well? In today's world, there is an increasing reliance on testing, be it blood work or radiologic exams. In my opinion, this is not necessarily a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, I rely on these tests frequently in treating my patients, but to exclusively use these as a method of diagnosis and to disregard the patient's symptoms and physical findings will lead to many patients not getting full relief from the issue which caused them to seek care in the first place.

"Normal" lab values may be better referred to as "reference ranges" in many physicians' minds. If you are feeling sluggish and tired, you may have a thyroid panel checked. Normal values, as stated on the lab results sheet, will vary slightly from lab to lab. Also, there is a wide range of "normal". For example, the free T3 level, which is an important predictor of proper thyroid function, has a range of 2.0-4.4 in the lab we use. If your level is 2.1 and you are still feeling sluggish despite taking your thyroid supplement daily, you may be told that it can't be your thyroid because your labs are "normal". Newer thinking would suggest that increasing your thyroid supplement to achieve a higher level of "normal" may be of benefit. This level would be approximately in the 90th percentile of "normal" and for this lab it would be 4. This is called hormone optimization and is the hallmark of feeling well.

Hormones should be optimized in order to feel well and perform your best as you age. Some of the important ones are thyroid, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, Vitamin D, and others. Optimizing these levels is clearly a newer way of approaching wellness than just saying "normal". Numerous medical studies have proven the benefit of hormonal optimization instead of just relying on "normal". I myself am a living example of how life has changed once I got optimized! I haven't felt this good in years and am physically fitter now than I was in my twenties. When you are ready to live life as well as you can, come in and let us check your hormone levels. You will be amazed as to what a difference there is between "normal" and optimized!

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I have struggled with losing my love handles since childhood and also with that last few inches of belly fat. This didn't get any easier with age or increasing family and job commitments! I had the solution in my practice for my patients in VASER liposuction, but I just couldn't figure out how to do it on myself!

CoolSculpting is a technology that has been around for a few years and I have observed many colleagues using it across the country. I have always had a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to non-invasive fat reduction, and many of them do not permanently remove fat cells; they reduce the fat within the cells at best or nothing at all.

So, I took the leap and had the reps do CoolSculpting on my love handles. I had no pain during the procedure, which lasted around 30 minutes per side. The massaging afterwards to warm the area was a little uncomfortable, but tolerable, especially when you understand that this will increase the number of fat cells destroyed permanently. Afterwards, I went to the gym daily without any pain. The area was a little sensitive to touch, but I didn't curtail my daily work or exercise routine.

My second treatment one month later included what we call dual sculpting. I did the abdominal fat and the love handles. No problems again with pain during the procedure, but the massage was a little uncomfortable. The tenderness to touch and some numbness lasted about 10 days this time, but again didn't stop me from my normal exercise routine.

It's now been two weeks and my pictures are unbelievable! The abdomen is significantly reduced and so are the love handles. I actually am 2 pounds heavier now and still can see the change! The changes will continue for the next few months and the skin will tighten. I cannot wait to see the final results and am really excited to share CoolSculpting with all of you.

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Vein Care at JCMG Laser & Vein CenterIt is hard to believe that we are about to begin our ninth year of service to our community. We at the JCMG Laser & Vein Center are truly grateful for the loyalty and trust that you have in us. I would like to reflect back on how the LVC became a reality.

For years, I had treated venous disease. However, before modern techniques came along, I had only surgical interventions to offer my patients. Because of the nature of the treatments and the perception that veins were primarily a cosmetic concern, both myself and my patients tended to wait until there was a severe problem before considering treatment. Frequently, patients would present to me with a sore or ulcer on the leg and would need help in getting it healed. These ulcers are very challenging problems and require highly specialized and expensive care. Eventually, in cooperation with St. Mary's Hospital, we opened the wound care center. This center has helped hundreds of people heal these terrible wounds. The better question, however, is how do we not get these terrible ulcers? Research into the cause of the wounds revealed that up to 70% of leg ulcers begin from vein disease.

So, you can now see why it is important to treat venous disease. If you keep your legs healthy when you are young, you will be less prone to getting bigger problems as you get older. If you are experiencing pain, swelling, restlessness, tired or heavy legs with no energy, call us to schedule an evaluation to see if you have venous disease. Remember, it is not about what you see on the surface, but what is underneath the skin causing the problem.

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