Author Archive

Your Forever Diamond

Community licensed to provide care at virtually every stage of life.

The small stretch of 47th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Manhattan is one of New York City’s most iconic areas. It’s a bustling block of commerce where merchants and shopkeepers buy, sell and trade diamonds the way brokers buy, sell and trade stocks.

Flanked at Fifth and 47th by diamond-shaped streetlamps, the area known as the Diamond District is where Anna Simon worked for her father and eventually met her husband.

“My father had a jewelry store there, and I used to run errands for him,” Anna remembers. “I actually met my husband on a blind date. He was in the diamond business, too. He was a diamond setter, and he wound up working for my father.”

During their 50 years of marriage, Anna and her husband raised three children and moved their home base to Florida, where he owned a jewelry store and later a bicycle shop.

After his passing a couple of years ago, Anna devoted herself largely to volunteer work while still living alone in the family’s Tampa home. When caring for that home became too great of a chore for Anna, her daughter suggested she move.

“I gave up driving recently, and my family wanted me to move where I had people who could look after me a little bit,” Anna explains. “It was my daughter who suggested Weinberg Village.
When she did, I thought, I remember Weinberg Village. I used to play mahjong with some ladies there. I remembered it was a very nice place, so when my daughter mentioned it, I thought, We should go and see what it’s like.”

All Are Welcome

Amid a warm environment where the independence of private living is combined with the security of knowing assistance is always available, Weinberg Village offers residents a blend of assisted living, memory support and respite care.

The community is situated on a beautiful 21-acre campus, with a pond and 75 spacious private apartments, where residents can celebrate the best in Jewish heritage, culture, traditions and values. But Weinberg Village is not exclusively a Jewish community.

“We welcome diversity,” says Dan Sultan, executive director at Weinberg Village. “About 35 to 40 percent of our residents are not Jewish. They simply chose us for the quality of care we provide.”

Weinberg Village holds an extended congregate care (ECC) license that allows it to provide care at virtually every stage of a resident’s life. That care is provided through a variety of health disciplines, including hospice care.

“We have the capacity to help our residents transition into memory care,” Dan notes. “That is a transition that is made over time. It’s not as though one day you’re in assisted living and the next day you’re in memory care. That’s a plus for the resident and family.”

Helping to make those transitions is a nurturing staff of more than 50 employees who have more than 325 combined years of senior care experience. Dan notes that many have been with Weinberg Village since it opened in 1995.

No matter their level of experience, each staff member’s objective is to help residents enjoy the fullest, most active and meaningful lifestyle possible. They achieve that by creating a friendly, engaging atmosphere and providing care in a dignified manner.

“I’m very content here, and I love the way they treat everyone as if they’re all members of their own family.” – Anna

Those efforts are enhanced by an array of amenities that includes multiple activity/lounge areas, two dining rooms, reading alcoves, a well-stocked library, hobby and craft rooms, a beauty/barber shop, therapy/exam rooms and a sanctuary.

“One of the qualities that makes Weinberg Village truly unique and sets us apart from other senior living communities is that our campus is multigenerational,” Dan notes. “By that I mean we have a preschool here as well as a community center.

“Before COVID-19, the preschoolers would come over and create lifelong memories sharing activities with the residents, and the residents enjoyed participating in many of the programs going on at the community center. That way, it’s not all about seniors all day every day.

“We’re eager to get back to our normal activity schedule because it’s very robust. We regularly have entertainers of different kinds who come and perform, including piano players, guitar players and opera singers. Every month we have painters come in or people who do portrait drawings. And of course, we have a community bus that takes our residents to places and events outside of our community, such as the mall or the Straz Center.” The coronavirus pandemic has not forced Weinberg Village to abandon all of its activities. Many events are offered through the community’s television channel, which allows residents to participate virtually from the comfort of their apartments.

Personal Attention

Anna appreciates the personal attention she receives at Weinberg Village, where she and her daughter decorated her spacious apartment with many of the furnishings and keepsakes from the home she shared with her husband.

“This is my home now,” Anna says of Weinberg Village. “I feel comfortable and secure here. I’m very content here, and I love the way they treat everyone as if they’re all members of their own family. Someone is always dropping off a book or something else they think I might want to read and asking if there’s anything they can do for me. They look after you very well here. There’s nothing I need that they can’t get for me or take care of for me.

“On Fridays, I like a bowl of matzo ball chicken soup, and they make a very good matzo ball chicken soup here. In fact, everything they make here is very good, and there’s always plenty of it.

“But the best thing I like about Weinberg Village is how everyone is treated here. They make everyone feel as if they are someone special. That’s what makes Weinberg Village so special to me. It’s why I’m comfortable calling it home.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings.Photos courtesy of Weinberg Village. mkb

Robotic Revolution

Da Vinci surgical system can help reduce patient trauma, recovery time.

Jenny Rodriguez

When she moved from Puerto Rico to Florida 17 years ago, Jenny Rodriguez didn’t speak a word of English. Now, she speaks the language so well that she’s part of a team that helps non-English speakers learn English and adjust to life in the states.

“I work for the School District of Manatee County; I’m a secretary for the director of the ESOL program,” Jenny explains. “ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. We help students and people from other countries succeed.”

Jenny, 41, began her journey to success 14 years ago, while pregnant with the second of three children. She was also carrying dozens of unwanted pounds, a burden that grew as years passed.

“I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life, but the last 14 years were the worst, by far,” Jenny confides. “I eventually became so overweight that a couple years ago I started to have trouble walking because the weight caused so much foot pain.

“There was one day where I went to Universal Studios with my kids, but after a while, I had to tell them, You just go ahead without me because I can’t do it anymore.

Jenny recalls resting nearly two hours until the pain subsided before catching up with her family in the Orlando theme park.

“But that wasn’t my only problem. I had other serious health problems, like sleep apnea, prediabetes and high blood pressure. It was awful. I wasn’t even 40 years old, and I felt like I was dying,” she laments.

“But it wasn’t just physical pain. There was emotional pain, too. There were days when I would go shopping for clothes and I would sit in the fitting room and cry because nothing looked good on me. I didn’t feel pretty or confident. I just felt awful.”

Jenny insists she tried everything she could think of to lose weight.

“If someone suggested a diet to me, I was like, Yeah, I know that diet. I tried it. It didn’t work. Nothing worked for me,” Jenny says. “That’s why I finally went to see Dr. Rekkas.”

Bariatric surgeon Stelios Rekkas, MD, FACS, FASMBS, of Manatee Weight Loss Center/ Manatee Physician Alliance, is medical director of the bariatric program at Manatee Memorial Hospital. All facilities are members of the Manatee Healthcare System.

Jenny learned of Dr. Rekkas through a friend who had undergone a vertical sleeve gastrectomy at Manatee Memorial Hospital, where Dr. Rekkas performs the surgery using a sophisticated tool called the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System.

da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System


“An Incredible System”

This system allows surgeons to complete a variety of minimally invasive procedures while sitting at a remote console, where they view a magnified 3D image of the work area and control the da Vinci system’s robotic arms with toggle sticks.

“It’s an incredible system, and when I tell a patient I’m going to be using it, they inevitably ask me, Well, who’s doing the surgery, you or the robot?” Dr. Rekkas relates.

“I can assure you, the surgeon is doing the surgery. The surgeon is in complete control of the robot. The robot does not make any decisions, and it does not do any cutting. All the robot does is assist and augment what the surgeon does. But everything the surgeon does is done remotely.”

The surgeon works in the same room as the patient. Instead of standing over the patient, however, the surgeon sits comfortably at a table and controls the camera and robotic arms, which perform the surgical motions normally done by the doctor.

Surgeries using the da Vinci system are typically completed in less time than traditional surgeries and considered far safer for the patient because the robotic arms are more stable than any surgeon’s hands.

In addition, the work is performed through three 8 mm-long incisions, not a long, deep opening. This results in better outcomes and shorter recovery periods. In many cases, surgeries that traditionally required weeklong postop hospital stays require one or two days.

“The hospital has done a great job of providing us with the tools we need to do our best work,” – Dr. Rekkas

Dr. Rekkas performs these surgeries at Manatee Memorial Hospital, which he lauds for its investment in robotic platforms.

“The hospital has done a great job of providing us with the tools we need to do our best work,” he states. “It has taken the initiative to be an advanced minimally invasive surgical center, and it provides excellent nursing care.

“In addition, it provides a bariatric coordinator for all patients that we work hand in hand with. As a result, most patients stay only one day in the hospital, and with the coordinator’s help, we make an impact and a difference in our patients’ lives.”

Surgeons must be trained in the use of the system to operate it.

Dr. Rekkas, for example, is certified as a Surgeon of Excellence in Robotics by Surgical Review Corp. And while he specializes in bariatric surgery, other procedures can be performed using the da Vinci system.

“There are a lot of applications that this system can be used for,” says Stacey South, MD, chief of staff at Manatee Memorial, where she has completed more than 1,500 surgeries using the da Vinci system.

“It can be used to remove endometrial cancers, pelvic masses, abnormal bleeding as well as many other surgeries. We can even use it with some ovarian cancers. It’s something that is becoming more and more common in hospitals these days.

“It offers the surgeon the opportunity to take a minimally invasive approach to surgery. That allows patients to get back on their feet more quickly because there’s less trauma, less pain, less blood loss and less risk of infection.”

Down More Than 120 Pounds

In treating Jenny, Dr. Rekkas used the da Vinci system to accomplish two surgeries. In addition to the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, in which 60 to 80 percent of the patient’s stomach is removed, he also performed a hernia repair.

“Everything is done through little incisions, one of which is about an inch long, while the rest are less than half an inch in length,” Dr. Rekkas states. “The size of those incisions is one of the reasons people have less pain and recover so quickly.”

For years, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy was done through an incision about a foot long, and the surgeon had to stand over the patient and manipulate his instruments.

“It was hard to see sometimes, and it was a very stressful procedure,” Dr. Rekkas explains. “But now, once those incisions are made, a camera goes inside one of them that allows me to see everything inside clearly and in a three-dimensional environment. Next, a retractor elevates the liver, which allows me to go in and free up the stomach.

“Then a special robotic stapler actually clamps the stomach, seals it and cuts it. Finally, the part of the stomach that has to be taken out gets removed from the body through another small incision in the abdomen.”

When she first met Dr. Rekkas, Jenny weighed 260 pounds. Since the surgery in December 2019, Jenny has lost more than 120 pounds and regained the confidence and self-esteem lost through her weight gain.

“I would still like to lose another 8 pounds just to be on the safe side, but I’m doing great and feel so much better about myself,” Jenny raves. “I feel better wearing my clothes, and I look better.”
Most importantly, Jenny says she now has a lot of energy.

“I can do a lot of things that I wasn’t able to do before, like hiking. I’ve taken up hiking, which I love. It’s something I was never able to do before or really had any interest in doing. But now, I’m doing a lot of things I never used to do.”

I urge anyone who has a weight-loss problem like me to see him. The surgery he did for me at Manatee Memorial Hospital has been absolutely life-changing.” – Jenny

Jenny isn’t done with her self-improvement. She still wants to tone her body.

“So, I’ll look even better,” she expounds. “I’m not going to say, Well, I had the surgery, and everything is good. If you want to look good after the surgery, you have to work at it, and I’m working at it.”

Jenny calls the procedure “a breeze” and the recovery “much easier than I thought it would be.” It took her about two weeks to get back to normal.

“I was thinking I’d be down for a couple of weeks because I had two surgeries, the vertical sleeve gastrectomy and hernia repair, but I was out of bed and walking again after three days,” she recollects.

“Dr. Rekkas is a great doctor and I urge anyone who has a weight-loss problem like me to see him. The surgery he did for me at Manatee Memorial Hospital has been absolutely life-changing.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Jenny’s photo courtesy of Jenny Rodriguez. Before and after images courtesy of Manatee Weight Loss Center / Manatee Physician Alliance. mkb

Walk This Way

Comprehensive evaluation reveals root cause of chronic heel pain.

During his 26 years in the Air Force — the last two serving as a chief advisor to a general — Edward Slavin followed a regimented daily routine that included plenty of exercise. Years ago, he carried that routine with him into civilian life.

After two or three treatments, Edward’s heel pain began to disappear

Now 85, Edward still makes a point of exercising regularly. Some of that exercise comes from working in his yard, where Edward still cuts the lawn and trims the hedges. Most of the rest comes from jogging.

“I say jogging but what I do is more like speed-walking,” Edward confesses. “Either way, I jog or speed walk about a mile every other day. I’m usually out there for a little more than half an hour. It helps keep me in good shape.”

Last October, a stabbing pain that ran from his right heel to his right big toe slowly derailed Edward’s jogging routine. After trudging through the intensifying pain for two weeks, Edward finally gave in to it.

“I couldn’t even walk anymore,” he laments. “And I’m not talking about just speed-walking. It hurt to walk anywhere. It was sheer pain just to get up and walk into the kitchen or go to the bathroom. I tried everything I could think of to get rid of it. I tried ice and heat, and when that didn’t work I bought an arch support and put that in my shoe.

After a couple of weeks with no improvement, Edward went to a podiatrist, who determined the pain was due to plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes, and a heel spur, a calcium deposit that causes a bony protrusion on the heel.

For the plantar fasciitis, Edward received a steroid injection that provided little to no relief. For the bone spur, the podiatrist recommended surgery but suggested that Edward first visit Regional Rehab in Spring Hill.

Assessing the Whole Patient

At Regional Rehab, Charles C. Donley, PT, and Paul Ernandes, PT, PhD, perform a very comprehensive evaluation of every patient, taking into consideration the individual’s entire well-being, not focusing purely on one specific complaint.

“Once we’ve each evaluated a patient, Paul and I will then collaborate and discuss the findings of our individual comprehensive assessments,” Charles clarifies. “We believe the comprehensive evaluations and collaborations are the keys to our success.”

It was for Edward. As Paul explains, the assessments revealed that the root cause of Edward’s heel pain was elsewhere in his body.

“Edward had the heel pain and plantar fasciitis, but it was the way he presented himself that told me his posture was the origin of his problem,” Paul reports. “With the way he stood and walked, he was putting a lot of extra unnecessary pressure on his feet.”

Edward stood with what is known as an anterior pelvic tilt, where the shoulders slouch downward while the belly protrudes forward. This kind of a stance can cause a muscle imbalance throughout the body that puts undue stress on the feet.

In Edward’s case, the stress resulted in the development of the bone spur and plantar fasciitis, which were treated with three advanced modalities: the Class IV deep tissue therapeutic laser, the HIVAMAT® 200 deep oscillation therapy device and iontophoresis.

The laser uses specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared light to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal cells. It works by releasing nitric oxide, which removes congestion and swelling, promotes rapid healing and reduces discomfort while increasing blood circulation.

The HIVAMAT 200 creates gentle impulses that relax muscles and penetrate all tissue layers to remove the inflammatory byproducts that cause pain in cells.

With iontophoresis, a medication is delivered through the skin, typically with a patch that allows the drug to be absorbed slowly. In Edward’s case, his foot was placed on a small mat that allowed acetic acids to dissolve the bone spur and correct the plantar fasciitis.

“Helpful and Friendly”

At the same time, the team at Regional Rehab worked to correct Edward’s posture by stretching his tightened muscles, strengthening his weakened muscles and monitoring an exercise program designed to develop stability.

“His tight muscles were in the calf, thigh, low back, hips, pectorals and chest,” says Louis Arevalo, PTA, who monitored Edward’s treatment. “The weak muscles were the ones between the shoulder blades.”

“For the posture, we basically did gait training. In doing that, our goal is to correct the body’s mechanics, so Edward walks with the proper posture. That way, there is no common deviation that leads to pain in the future.”

“Now I have no pain in my heel whatsoever. The treatments worked great!” – Edward

Edward visited Regional Rehab for treatment 10 times. During each visit, his heel and posture were treated. After just two or three visits, Edward’s heel pain began to dissipate. After seven treatments, he felt well enough to resume jogging.

“Now, I have no pain in my heel whatsoever,” Edward exudes. “The treatments worked great! I’m telling you, visiting Regional Rehab was the best move I could have made. I’m really glad my podiatrist suggested it because the people there are great.

“From Charles, Paul and Louis on down, they’re all truly professional, helpful and friendly. They’ve got outstanding expertise, but the thing that really makes them stand out is how much they care about their patients. These people really care, and they’re exceptional.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb

Look Fabulous, Not ‘Freaky’

Right choices at med spa deliver fresh, natural-looking results.

A funny thing often happens whenever Janie Rushnell, CME, owner of Skintastic Med Spa, and her husband go out to dinner or a party and start talking with a couple they just met.

Janie Rushnell, CME

“When the conversation turns to what we do for a living and the couple learns that I own a med spa, I almost immediately see a look of terror on the husband’s face as he turns to his wife
and looks at her with a slanted eye,” Janie remarks.

“Seemingly anguished by the thought of her somehow being corrupted by me, it’s as if he’s letting her know then and there not to get any ideas because he’s never going to allow her to get BOTOX treatments or any of that other med spa stuff.”

The wife often responds by saying something like, “Oh, I’ve seen Botched,” the reality TV show about plastic surgeries gone bad. Or, she’ll ask a silly question like, “Isn’t BOTOX botulism?”

“Well, short story long,” Janie goes on, “I recently turned 50. I officially have my AARP card now. I’ve been in this industry as the owner of a med spa for almost a decade, and the chart detailing the treatments I’ve had done looks like a novel. I’ve done absolutely everything. And I’ve done it often. I feel like I’m a walking example of what good work using good products at a med spa really looks like.”

The point Janie is making is that there is nothing to fear.

“At Skintastic, you can get the same treatments I’ve had, and you will not look freaky,” she says. “You will look like yourself, you will look natural, and you will look refreshed.”

Facials, Massages and More

With more than 50 treatments, including BOTOX® Cosmetic, Ultherapy® and intravenous vitamin therapy, Skintastic is a boutique med spa that offers the most extensive menu of health, wellness and aesthetic services in Hernando County.

Alongside Cynthia Brooks, MD, Janie oversees a sizeable staff of professional technicians that includes three medical aestheticians, two nurse practitioners, a physician’s assistant and a massage therapist. They offer wellness shots, body scrubs and hormone replacement therapy.

“We also provide laser skin treatments, acne treatments, even CoolSculpting,” Janie adds. “We offer massage therapy and every injectable on the market. We develop a personalized treatment plan designed for each client.”

The goal, Janie proclaims, is to ensure that all patrons look and feel their best.

“We want our customers to live the happiest, best life possible,” Janie relates. “We do that by offering services your typical med spa simply doesn’t have.

“When it comes to aesthetics, for example, no one outfacials Skintastic. I am a CIDESCO diplomat, which means I am a true master aesthetician. And I am all about facials. From European facials to clinical facials and everything in between, we offer it all.

“And we guarantee natural-looking results. That is my promise to our customers. No one will know you’ve had anything done unless you tell them, but be prepared to get lots of compliments because people will notice a difference. Your husband, boyfriend or other friends may ask you if you got your hair done or if you’re wearing a new lipstick. They’ll tell you things like, You look really well-rested, or You look great.

The Right Stuff

The key to producing those natural-looking results is simple, Janie reveals. It’s a matter of not overdoing it. “Less is more” is the motto Janie and her staff follow for many of the services they provide, especially with aesthetic treatments.

“I believe in doing the right thing at the right time in the right way,” Janie explains. “For example, Galderma, the manufacturer of Dysport®, an injectable we use to erase and prevent wrinkles, recommends getting treated once every four months. Following that recommendation is the key to getting the natural-looking result customers want from that, or any treatment. And getting those results starts with a one-on-one consultation with me.

“It’s rare that someone calls up and says, I’d like to make an appointment for your ResurFX laser to treat my acne scars. Most people call and ask what we can do about a specific problem, and we always say, Come in and let’s talk about it.”

“I look natural because this is what it looks like when a med spa does it right.” –Janie

At that point, the client and a staff member will discuss goals. Based on that, a treatment plan is developed that is unique to that person’s needs and wishes.

“And the beauty about Skintastic is that we service most any need,” Janie explains. “If you want to do that acne treatment, we can. But if you’re feeling a little run down and want to address that as well, we also do hormone therapy, IV vitamin therapy or peptide therapy.”

Skintasic also works with clients inside or outside, whereas most med spas work only on the outside.

“There’s a lot that this industry has to offer, and it can be confusing, overwhelming and yes, even scary,” Janie insists. “But there’s no reason to be fearful. When these treatments are done the right way and at the right time, the results are marvelous. And I’m proof of that. I’ve been getting these services done since I was 36, and when I tell people that, they sometimes can’t believe it.

“They’ll say, Really? But you look so natural. And I say, Yes, I look natural because this is what it looks like when a med spa does it right. When treatments are done right, you won’t look like you belong on an episode of Botched. You’ll look great. You’ll look natural.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo courtesy of Skintastic.js

Feel It In Your Bones

Innovative once-a-week, 15-minute exercise sessions reverse osteoporosis.

Pam Townsend standing on the golf greem with her club in her hand.

OsteoStrong has given Pam the strength, balance and confidence to resume her active lifestyle.

Like a lot of young children, Pam Townsend probably worked harder at getting out of her piano lessons than she did at getting into them. After all, it wasn’t her idea to take up the piano. It was her mother’s. And back then, Pam just wasn’t into it.

She is now, though.

“After several years, my mother finally relented and let me give up the piano lessons,” Pam relates. “But after I retired, I thought, You know, I’d really like to learn the piano now, sort of in honor of my mother.

“So, my husband bought me a really nice piano, and I started learning again just before the COVID thing struck. Now I practice at least an hour every day, and I really love it. It’s funny sometimes how you appreciate things more after you get older.”

Pam gladly squeezes her piano lessons into a busy schedule that is geared, in part, to correcting the effects of osteopenia and osteoporosis, two potentially severe conditions that can greatly increase the risk of bone breaks.

Found most often in postmenopausal women, osteopenia and osteoporosis develop when new bone growth fails to keep pace with natural bone degeneration to the point where bone mineral density becomes dangerously low.

About 54 million Americans suffer from osteopenia, osteoporosis or low bone mass, all of which place patients such as Pam at an increased risk for hip, spine, wrist and other bone breaks.

Osteoporosis can even cause some to lose height, as it can affect the bones in the spine and lead to a stooped posture. Considered a silent disease by many physicians, osteoporosis often goes undetected until a fracture occurs.

“I have both, osteopenia and osteoporosis,” Pam reveals. “I was diagnosed about five years ago, and I was originally put on Forteo, a medicine you inject yourself with every day.

“But you can only be on that for two years, then you need to do something else. So I was looking at going on Prolia, which is another medication that you get injected with every six months. Except I didn’t want to do that because of the side effects.

“Then one day I was at a doctor’s appointment for my husband, and while we were waiting I saw a copy of Florida Health Care News and read an article about OsteoStrong. And I thought, This is something I should try.

Revolutionary Program

OsteoStrong, which has a new location in Boca Raton, is a groundbreaking program that has helped more than 25,000 people reverse the negative effects of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Statistics show that half of all women and one-fourth of all men will deal with an osteoporosis-related fracture. Those odds are among the reasons Pam decided to check out OsteoStrong.

“After reading the article about OsteoStrong, I felt like this was something that I could do for myself and feel comfortable with,” Pam explains. “So I tried it out, and I can tell you that it has made a huge difference in my life.”

“On average, our studies show that OsteoStrong improves people’s bone density from 7 to 14 percent a year.” – Oxana

The OsteoStrong program is designed to help people rebuild bone through once-a-week, 15-minute workout sessions that utilize specially designed strengthening equipment.
The apparatus includes four biomechanical machines that allow users to perform resistance-based pushing and pulling exercises with their arms and/or legs. During these sessions, users can safely exert pressure four to 12 times their body weight.

“The difference between our biomechanical equipment and that used at a traditional gym is that our equipment creates an osteogenic load, which means tension is developed without contraction of the muscle,” states Oxana Voinarevich, owner of OsteoStrong Boca Raton.

“There is no force pushing against you, which means you create the force. On the lower body exercise equipment, for example, I’ve had ladies in their 80s who weigh 100 pounds produce 1,000 pounds of force.

“For a person who weighs 100 pounds to develop new bone using traditional weight equipment, they would need to lift more than 400 pounds. That simply can’t be done for 99 percent of all people in a gym environment because it involves weights they couldn’t physically move. Or, if they could move them, they’d be at high risk of injury.”

Resistance Yields Results

Oxana invites people to come in and try out the equipment, noting that her facility offers a free session for newcomers to experience the OsteoStrong workout.

“This is an amazing concept that is the culmination of 12 years of research that looked into the body’s adaptive response to growing new bone and muscle structure, and improving the density of the bones we have,” Oxana says.

“As a result of that research, it is now a known medical fact that when you put certain forces on the bones, the body responds by growing new bone tissue. The results of these short workouts are absolutely amazing. On average, our studies show that OsteoStrong improves people’s bone density from 7 to 14 percent a year. In addition, people will increase their strength by an average of 73 percent over their first year.”

Oxana also points out that similar studies show that doing an OsteoStrong session more than once a week does not promote any additional benefit. As a result, the workouts are impactful and efficient.

Oxana encourages men and women of all ages to accept her invitation to try the OsteoStrong equipment. She further notes that it’s important to know that osteoporosis is not a disorder exclusive to any age group or gender.

“Osteoporosis is not something that develops only when we get older,” she explains. “We have clients from young to old and everything in between. And men are not immune.
When they start losing their testosterone, their bone loss becomes more rapid.

“I can tell you that it has made a huge difference in my life.” – Pam

In addition to helping them recover from bone loss, OsteoStrong wants to help educate people about it.

“The skeletal framework is the most important part of the body, and you need to take care of it and be aware of changes to it,” Oxana points out.

Routinely Recommended

Pam has not had a bone density scan since beginning the workouts but says she is feeling the effects of the 15-minute sessions.

“I’ve definitely gotten stronger, and my balance is much better since I started doing OsteoStrong sessions,” Pam informs. “For example, I can stand on one foot and tie my shoes now.”

There’s something else making Pam even happier.

“My husband and I are avid hikers,” she relates. “We used to go hiking all the time, but after I was diagnosed with osteoporosis, we stopped taking our hiking trips. Then last year, thanks to OsteoStrong, I had this new sense of adventure and exploration. After two years of OsteoStrong training, I felt like I had the strength and balance to go hiking again.”

They traveled to Bryce Canyon in Utah and spent about six hours a day hiking through the mountains.

“I know that had I not done the OsteoStrong training I would not have made it, and now we’re planning another hiking trip to Maine because OsteoStrong has given me the confidence that I’m building bone again,” Pam reports.

“I can feel it in my bones, so I wholeheartedly recommend OsteoStrong. In fact, I’ve already told my daughter about it and encouraged her to try it because at some point she may be facing this problem, too.

“OsteoStrong is a great program and all the people you work with are great as well. They’re all so nice and accommodating, and I can honestly say that my OsteoStrong sessions are something I look forward to every week.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb

Need A Lift?

Take years off your appearance with nonsurgical rejuvenation treatment.

The white, cotton eyelet dress that Lana* wore to her first Holy Communion wasn’t purchased off a rack at a department store. It was designed by her mother and sewn by her father, and it inspired her to become the successful woman she is today.

Sufeeya (left) and Jasmine standing with arms crossed by the Evoke machine.

Sufeeya (left) and Jasmine are both certified Evoke technicians.

“I absolutely loved that dress,” Lana says. “My parents gave it to me as an early Communion present, and I will never forget how moved I was by the fact that it was something they created together.

“That was also the first time I realized what my father did for a living. Before that, all I knew was that he worked in a clothing store. What I didn’t know was that he was a very talented tailor with a long list of loyal clients.”

Inspired by the dress’s beauty, Lana tried her hand at designing and sewing clothes herself but found her niche selling designer women’s wear. She now owns a boutique that caters largely to young professionals.

As the “face of the boutique,” Lana believes it’s her duty to always look her best. That means dressing sharp and maintaining a healthy appearance. To ensure the latter, she recently took a step beyond using facial creams, peels and masks.

“I’m 58 years old, and I felt like I was starting to look very tired and much older than that,” Lana confides. “It was as though gravity was starting to win the fight in some critical areas of my face — especially my cheeks, jawline and neck.”

Loss of Laxity

Lana’s dilemma is common. As people age, their skin naturally loses elasticity and the muscles throughout the face atrophy. As a result, the skin sags and the cheeks, jawline and neck lose their youthful definition.

Face-lifts can correct such problems, but Lana had no desire to undergo surgery. She was happy to learn she wouldn’t need to while discussing the issue with her dentist, Naved Fatmi, DMD, of Health and Wellness Dentistry.

“I was seeing Dr. Fatmi for some restorative work, and we got to talking about the issues I was having aesthetically,” Lana informs. “My timing was perfect because he started telling me about the aesthetic services his staff provides, such as JUVÉDERM® and BOTOX® Cosmetic. I told him I was looking for something a little different. That’s when he mentioned Evoke.”

Developed by InMode, Evoke is an innovative, nonsurgical facial rejuvenation system designed to restore a more youthful appearance. It targets the cheeks, chin and neck, where subdermal tissue is remodeled and youthful definition is restored.

Evoke achieves these results through the use of a hands-free headset that delivers radiofrequency energy to areas of the head and neck where skin can sag. Dr. Fatmi says the treatment provides the effects of “a mini face-lift” without any cutting.

“This is not just another spa treatment,” Dr. Fatmi adds. “This treatment uses a controlled device and changes your facial anatomy. That’s why it must done under a licensed doctor’s supervision.”

Health and Wellness Dentistry is one of only two Florida dental practices providing treatment using Evoke technology. It has two technicians certified in its administration:
Sufeeya Irani, who treated Lana, and Jasmine Camareno.

“Her biggest complaint was her sagging jawline, or jowls,” Sufeeya says of Lana. “She also hated the way her neck looked. She covered it by wearing scarves regularly. Her goal was to add more definition and pull up the skin in both areas.”

Sufeeya determined that Evoke was the perfect option for Lana’s objectives.

“For people who have the kind of skin laxity she had, this treatment will decrease the fat cells, bump up the collagen production and reduce the laxity in those areas,” Sufeeya explains. “It targets the subdermal layer of the skin, the dermis and subcutaneous tissue, by causing an inflammatory reaction that increases the production of collagen cells and destroys fat cells.”

Looking Healthier, Younger

Evoke technology does not discriminate against any skin tone, according to Jasmine, nor does it burn the skin as do some other machines. Jasmine adds that treatment can begin immediately after an initial consultation.

The protocol begins with a thorough cleansing of the areas to be treated. An ultrasound gel is applied, and the headset is secured onto the patient and adjusted to ensure a comfortable fit.

“We then change the settings depending on the person’s skin type,” Jasmine explains, “and they sit back and relax.”

The treatment lasts 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the patient’s objectives. Afterward, sunscreen is applied to the targeted area, Jasmine says, “and the patient can go about their day.”

Dr. Fatmi, Jasmine, and Sufeeya recommend that patients receive four treatments to obtain optimal results. Lana followed those guidelines and was elated with the outcome.

“When you see yourself every day the results come rather subtly, but I can tell you that I no longer look as tired as I once did,” she says. “My face definitely looks more sculpted.

That puffiness is definitely gone. I look healthier and more youthful. Evoke took years off my appearance, and I didn’t have to go through all that microneedling that a lot of people do.

“This treatment was exactly what I was looking for. It was like getting a mini face-lift without surgery. I definitely recommend it, and I strongly recommend Dr. Fatmi and his staff. He really has a quality practice.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photos courtesy of Health and Wellness Dentistry. js
* Patient’s name changed at her request.

Grounded No Longer

Injured flight attendant to soar again thanks to therapy on MCU machine.

Though it’s not as glamorous as it’s sometimes made out to be, working as a flight attendant for a major airline certainly has its perks. That’s especially true for those who work international flights the way Becky Ramirez does.

Rebecca Ramirez riding her bike.

Becky calls MCU therapy a “godsend” because her neck has
“never felt better.”

Becky has served aboard international flights for 30 “wonderful” years and has been all over the world, from Atlanta to Athens and Toronto to Taipei. She loves visiting new places and discovering new cultures, but being a flight attendant also has its difficulties.

For starters, the hours can be brutal. And pushing a cart loaded with 200 pounds of canned soft drinks up a narrow aisle is never fun. Neither is dealing with that guy who insists on shoving both of his overpacked carry-ons into an already stuffed overhead bin.

There’s also some danger. Becky found that out firsthand six years ago, when she was one of five crew members onboard a landing jet that skidded off the runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, stopping just short of Flushing Bay.

“We were in winter whiteout conditions, and it was uncontrollable,” Becky remembers. “We went off the runway and hit the embankment right before the water. When we finally came to a stop, the cockpit was actually hanging over the water.

“I was working the tail cone that day, which means I had the last seat on the plane, and when you’re going 150 miles per hour and suddenly veer off the runway, you get thrown around a lot in your seat. Afterward, I felt like I had hit a brick wall.”

It wasn’t just Becky’s body that got shaken up. Recently divorced, in the middle of a move to Florida and on the cusp of her 50th birthday, her mental well-being took quite a hit, too. As a result, she spent four months rehabilitating.

“I was a mess. I was more worried about my mental health than my physical health,” she confides. “I should have been taking care of both, but I focused mostly on getting myself right mentally and getting back to work.

“I did go through some physical therapy, but once I got to the point where I could open the doors to the plane and do what’s physically required of me, I was released to return to work. I still wasn’t quite right physically because I’ve had issues ever since.”

Becky says those issues began with general soreness throughout her neck and shoulders. In time, the discomfort became more intense and irritating. When it became persistent and aggravating, Becky began seeking treatment.

She first tried massage therapy, which provided little relief. She then tried traditional chiropractic care, and while that provided a temporary respite from her symptoms, it did little to resolve the issue entirely.

Frustrated, Becky gave up all of her in-office treatments in 2019 and turned to some at-home remedies using devices that claim to alleviate bothersome neck and shoulder pain. That, she says, proved to be a big mistake – her pain intensified in January 2020.

“I can’t remember exactly what I was doing at the time, whether I was vacuuming the house or raking leaves in the yard, but all of a sudden I was in serious pain, and my left arm just went numb,” Becky recalls.

“I also started to experience a lot of tingling in my arm. I immediately called the airline, which said, Go straight to the emergency room, which I did. While I was there, they took x-rays and a CT scan and came back and told me I had cervical radiculopathy.”

Nonsurgical Device

Cervical radiculopathy results from a compressed or pinched nerve in the neck. It can be caused by arthritis, a disc herniation or degeneration of the cervical spine, but it is treatable.

To get that treatment, Becky turned to Active Health Center in North Palm Beach, where a team of doctors confirmed her condition and wasted little time in testing her on a Multi-Cervical Unit, or MCU.

Active Health Center is the only provider in South Florida offering treatment on the MCU, which is a nonsurgical device that isolates and strengthens muscles around the neck and provides a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s physical progress during therapy.

A tool doctors refer to as evidence-based medicine, the MCU records 16 ranges of muscle movement for strength to determine the areas of the neck where there are weaknesses, imbalances or a loss in range of motion.

Once that data is revealed, a treatment program is designed that allows the MCU to correct those problems. Considered the most complete, efficient system for assessment and rehabilitation of the neck, the MCU has proven to be a highly effective instrument.

Studies show that after MCU therapy, patient pain levels decreased by 66 percent while strength levels increased by more than 70 percent, with more than 90 percent of patients making a full recovery, according to Active Health Center.

An MCU session lasts 20 to 30 minutes, with patients usually going through three sessions a week for nine weeks. During that period, patients are retested at least three times to determine the effectiveness of the treatments.

“We retest the patient every three weeks, or nine visits, and compare the results of those tests with the results we received from our original examination,” says Colin O. Behrue, DC, at Active Health Center. “That shows us how well the patient is progressing. Based on the findings, we make clinical changes. The changes could be different exercises, different angles or different weights that help the patient continue to improve and build strength.”

Do As I Do

After nine weeks, patients are typically given a maintenance program that includes at-home exercises to maintain strength. Becky is in the maintenance phase now, several months removed from her first experience with the MCU. Due to delays caused by the coronavirus, that didn’t occur until March 2020, when she was tested on the MCU.

Based on the results of that test, she began treatment on the MCU immediately after.

“When they first tested me, the doctors were all in agreement that the problem was stemming from weakness in my neck,” Becky reports. “That made sense to me because I was literally having trouble holding my head up. I was compensating in other areas because of the weakness in my neck. That’s why I was in so much pain.

“Proper neck strength was the missing link, so the goal was to get my neck strong so that I could rehab the rest of my body.”

Becky’s pain and discomfort began to diminish shortly after beginning treatment on the MCU. However, when her first course of treatment was completed, she still had not developed the neck strength desired by the team at Active Health Center.

“They told me the right side of my neck still wasn’t strong enough, and the left side was going to overcompensate for that,” Becky explains. “That led to another three-week session. Let me tell you, it really was the missing link.

“This treatment was like a godsend to me because my neck has never felt better. When I first went to Active Health Center, my neck was curving, my shoulders were rounding, and I couldn’t lift five pounds with my left arm. It was all because of the weakness in my neck.

“Now, my neck is strong. I can hold my head up, and my posture is good again. I’m still retraining all of the other muscles in my body, but I can do that now because the muscles in my neck are strong again. I have Active Health Center to thank for that.”

A Real Head-Turner

Gesenia with her daughter doing jiujitsu. .

Treatment on the MCU machine is allowing Gesenia to learn jiujitsu with her daughter.

It wasn’t long after her 10-year-old daughter began taking jiujitsu classes that Gesenia Quinones decided to take her own deep dive into the martial arts discipline. Her desire to improve on some self-defense techniques was at the heart of her decision.

“Jiujitsu is similar to the self-defense classes I used to take, and I really like that aspect of it,” Gesenia says. “But I could also see that my daughter was really enjoying the classes. The more I watched her, the more I thought to myself, I want to do that.

“My daughter started taking the classes about a year ago, and I started taking classes five times a week last June. It’s something we’re enjoying doing together, which is nice.”

Gesenia, 38, appreciates the classes even more now that she’s finally free of the nagging neck, shoulder and arm pain that almost prevented her from jumping into jiujitsu in the first place. The issue, which regularly brought on a severe stiff neck, went on over six years.

“I have no idea what triggered the pain. I don’t remember anything traumatic happening during my childhood nor was I ever in a major car accident or anything like that,” Gesenia states. “At first I thought I was sleeping the wrong way because I’d wake up and not be able to move my neck. It actually happened so much that I got used to it.”

The injury worsened a couple of years ago to where she couldn’t move her neck at all. She sought treatment with a rheumatologist, but nothing was resolved.

“The doctors couldn’t figure out why this was happening,” she remembers.

“After starting jiujitsu, something happened that really made me nervous. While performing some of the moves, I got this tingling and numbness all the way down my arms and into my fingertips, which made it hard to get out of certain situations.”

Gesenia didn’t suffer through tingling and numbness only while practicing jiujitsu. She experienced them two or three times a week even while going about her normal daily activities.

That raised even greater concerns and sparked another search for a remedy. She tried ice, heat, ointments and even standard chiropractic adjustments, but nothing worked. Then in September, she got a tip from someone in her jiujitsu class.

“Dr. Behrue’s niece does jiujitsu, and we train together,” Gesenia shares. “One day she said, You should go see my uncle. He’s a chiropractor at Active Health Center. So, I canceled my membership at the other chiropractic office and went to see him.”

Dr. Behrue began his care for Gesenia by ordering an MRI, which showed that her pain and discomfort were largely a result of several herniated and bulging cervical discs, including a couple threatening to pinch her spinal cord.

“He could also see on the MRI that the muscles in the back of my neck were deteriorating,” Gesenia adds. “They were wasting away. When he saw that, he told me that most doctors would recommend surgery, but he recommended the MCU machine.”

Gesenia’s first experience with the MCU was a test to determine the strength of her neck muscles. The results showed them to be extremely weak and set the course for her treatment, which she received three times a week for nine weeks.

“At first, I was a little intimidated by the MCU. It’s a big machine and has this halo that they put on your head,” Gesenia states. “As I went through the testing and saw how the machine works, all that scariness went away. After that, I thought, I can do this.”

Faded Symptoms

Gesenia was astonished with the results. After three weeks of standard chiropractic adjustments following an MCU treatment, the tingling and numbness in her arms and hands faded away.

“It was the same with the stiff neck,” she adds. “The pain started to go away about three weeks after I started on the MCU, and it continued to get better and better. Now, I’m completely off the MCU, and I continue to do exercises at home that they recommended.

“Those exercises help me strengthen my shoulder and back muscles, which helps me maintain the posture I need to keep my neck strong. I feel so much better now, better than I have in a long, long time. I can turn my head from right to left without any pain, which is something I hadn’t done in years. Dr. Behrue even joked with me about that, saying he feels safe driving behind me on the road now because everything is OK.”

Gesenia divulges that she’s getting ready for her first jiujitsu competition.

“I’m feeling great. I can’t wait for that,” she exclaims.

Becky is just as happy as Gesenia. She’s on the brink of returning to her job and says she probably wouldn’t had she not discovered Active Health Center and the MCU.

“When I talk about my experience, I get a little emotional because I’m thrilled that I found Active Health Center and ecstatic to be out of pain,” Becky concludes. “I love them. They’re all great people and they provide remarkable care.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Patient photos by Jordan Pysz. Office photos courtesy of Active Health Center. mkb

Big Nana On Campus

Engaging resident embraces special role at senior community.

Your eyes are not something you want to take chances with. Years ago, however, Glenda Stafford took a calculated risk with her eyes when she became one of the first people to undergo LASIK surgery. The gamble continues to pay dividends.

Glenda Stafford sitting with her hands crossed in a wicker rocking chair on the patio of Savannah Court of Orange City

Glenda Stafford

“Yes, I was a little concerned at first, but there was nothing to it at all, and it was one of the best things I ever did for myself,” Glenda shares. “Even after all these years, I still don’t need to wear glasses. Not for reading or for anything.”

While Glenda, 74, still has the vision of her youth, her health has declined in other areas. A few years ago, after a number of bad falls, she and her family decided it would be best if she moved into an assisted living facility.

“When we started looking around for places, my 15-year-old grandson went with us,” Glenda remembers. “With the first three or four we visited, my grandson said, Nope, Nana’s not living here. And I agreed with him. I didn’t like any of them.

Then they visited Savannah Court of Orange City.

“As soon as we walked into the lobby, my grandson said, This is where my nana’s going to live. And I felt the same way,” Glenda recollects. “I could tell right away there was something very warm and welcoming that I really liked.”

Savannah Court of Orange City is a senior living community nestled between metro Orlando and Daytona Beach that offers a cozy, small-town ambiance and the amenities necessary for residents to maintain an active lifestyle.

The amenities, provided by an experienced staff that specializes in personalized care and hospitality, include assisted living services in private apartments, senior day care services for caregivers needing a day for themselves and respite care for seniors recovering from illness or surgery.

“We provide the kind of support residents can’t get at home or at a lot of other places,” says Angel Jackson, executive director of Savannah Court of Orange City. “We’re a smaller, more intimate community, and that has many advantages.

“Because we’re smaller, we have a direct hands-on approach with our residents. This allows us to make sure they are cared for in the best way possible. We ensure they are as independent and active as they want to be with the various programs and activities we offer.”

Those programs and activities include arts, crafts, music and games. Savannah Court also offers exercise programs to suit residents’ needs and tastes as well as community events designed to promote camaraderie.

Glenda didn’t need a community event to develop camaraderie. An engaging sort, she started making close friends the day she arrived. She now serves as something of a resident ambassador, helping newcomers adjust to life at Savannah Court.

“Glenda is very socially involved with the residents and the staff,” says Angel. “She’s a very outgoing, upbeat and positive person, so when new residents arrive or someone is visiting, she often greets them and shows them around.

Glenda also keeps an eye out for her neighbors.

“She is very close with our residents,” Angel shares. If someone is having a bad day, she’ll let the staff know to check in on that person. She looks out for everyone here, and everyone appreciates that.”

Glenda has called Savannah Court “home” for almost four years, and it truly is home to her. Since moving from the house she shared with her daughter, Glenda has developed a bond she has no interest in breaking.

“Whenever I go to visit my daughter, by nighttime I’m usually ready to come home,” Glenda maintains. “This is home. When I walk in the door, I feel very comfortable. Everyone is so nice, and the entire staff is committed to taking care of all the residents’ needs. I love it here.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb

Rooting For Stronger Bones

Once-a-week workouts reverse osteoporosis, improve overall health.

“Location, location, location” is a mantra that applies not only to real estate, but also gardening. So says Karen Hebert, a certified master gardener who reveals that the key to growing a garden that stays beautiful year-round is, well, location.

Karen Hebert shows her husband, Darrell, how the equipment at Osteostrong functions.

Since Karen became her husband Darrell’s OsteoStrong coach, his A1C levels have normalized.

“It always boils down to the right plant in the right place,” says Karen, who recently retired from a long career in government service. “If you do that, your plants will need very little care, very little water and very little fertilizer.”

Karen, 64, earned her certification two years ago. She’s now part of Seminole County’s speakers bureau, for which she conducts live presentations to gardening clubs and trains aspiring green thumbs.

“I first became interested in gardening and took it on as a hobby about 10 years ago,” Karen reveals. “But ever since I became a master gardener, it has taken on a whole new life for me. I really enjoy it. It’s something I’m very enthusiastic about.”

Karen’s passion for gardening is matched by her love for golf and a new endeavor she took on after discovering a program designed to reverse the effects of osteoporosis.

Found most often in postmenopausal women, osteoporosis develops when new bone growth fails to keep pace with natural bone degeneration to the point that bone mineral density becomes dangerously low.

About 54 million Americans deal with osteoporosis; its precursor, osteopenia; or low bone mass; all of which place victims at an increased risk for hip, spine, wrist and other bone breaks.

Osteoporosis causes some to lose height as it can affect the bones in the spine and lead to a stooped posture. Considered a silent disease by many physicians, osteoporosis often goes undetected until a bone fracture occurs.

“I’ve struggled with osteoporosis for a lot of years,” Karen discloses. “It really goes back to the time when I was 16 when, like a lot of young women, I dieted because I wanted to be thin. But I was too thin and became anorexic. At a prime time in my life, I wasn’t getting the nutrients I needed to build good bone density. That’s how I more or less set myself up for the challenge I have with osteoporosis and why I’m so glad I found OsteoStrong.”

Revolutionary Program

OsteoStrong is a revolutionary, integrative health, wellness and fitness program that has helped more than 25,000 people reverse the negative effects of osteopenia and osteoporosis and improve skeletal strength.

At the core is a once-a-week 15-minute workout that has proved effective in helping people rebuild bone by using proprietary equipment designed to achieve osteogenesis. This includes four biomechanical machines that allow users to be placed in the safest and strongest position. During these sessions, users safely exert pressure four to 12 times their body weight.

“The difference between our equipment and the equipment at a traditional gym is that ours is designed to strengthen the skeletal system, which means tension is developed without contraction of the muscle,” states Bryan Repple, owner of OsteoStrong in Lake Mary.

“There is no force pushing against you, which means you create the force. On the leg press, for example, I’ve had ladies in their 80s who weigh 100 pounds press 1,000 pounds. That’s because the equipment is designed to keep you in a safe position.

“For a 100-pound person to develop new bone working out on traditional equipment, they would need to create a resistance of well over 400 pounds. That simply can’t be done by 99 percent of people in a typical gym environment.”

To understand the difference between an OsteoStrong workout and traditional workout, Bryan invites people to try out the equipment at his Lake Mary location, where he offers a complimentary tour and workout session.

“We help people build a stronger skeletal system, which further allows them to live a healthier, more active lifestyle,” Bryan adds. “It’s a truly amazing concept based on years of research into the body’s natural adaptive response to growing new bone.

“Through that research, we have come to learn that when you put certain forces on the bones, the body responds by growing new bone tissue. That’s a known medical fact. And the results of these short sessions are absolutely amazing.

“Our studies show that, on average, OsteoStrong improves bone density from 7 to 14 percent per year. Those studies also show that during their first year at OsteoStrong, people typically increase their strength by an average of 73 percent.”

Research also shows that doing an OsteoStrong session more than once a week does not promote additional benefit. As a result, the workouts are impactful and time efficient. And their benefits go beyond reversing osteoporosis.

Studies show the program also helps alleviate pain and symptoms associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, knee and back injuries, neuropathy, Type 2 diabetes and vertigo. The sessions naturally improve posture, strength and balance as well.

Those benefits are among the many reasons Bryan encourages all genders and ages to accept his invitation to try the OsteoStrong equipment. He also believes it’s important to know that osteoporosis isn’t exclusive to any particular demographic.

“Osteoporosis is not something that only happens to older people,” he explains. “We have clients from young to old and everything in between. And men are not immune. When they start losing their testosterone, their bone loss becomes more rapid.

“OsteoStrong wants to help educate people about bone loss. The skeletal framework is the most important part of the body, and you need to take care of it and be aware of changes to it.”

Turning Back the Clock

Karen started doing OsteoStrong workouts a couple of years ago. Soon after, she became so interested in the science behind the program that she began studying it. Shortly after, she was asked to become a part-time session coach.

“I eagerly accepted that invitation, and through all the training and education one of the things I learned is how OsteoStrong helps reduce or even reverse Type 2 diabetes,” she enlightens. “That intrigued me because my husband Darrell’s A1C level was 10.7, which is very high. If your A1C reaches 11, it requires insulin injections, so I convinced my husband to try OsteoStrong. He was reluctant at first, but I coached him through the sessions, and after five months, his A1C level was down to 6.1, which is high-range normal.”

OsteoStrong sessions have also improved Karen’s health. After 32 sessions across eight months, her bone density improved by 7.4 percent in her hip area and 4 percent in the femoral hip, which is the part of the hip socket that breaks most often.

Those improvements were enough to revert Karen’s diagnosis of osteoporosis to osteopenia. The program has also helped Karen improve her overall strength, balance and posture, she says.

“It’s turning back the clock for me,” Karen exudes. “There are so many benefits to OsteoStrong that it’s amazing. It’s a great program that anyone can benefit from.

“I’ve seen the results in myself and in my husband, and as a session coach I’ve seen the results with other clients. That’s the best part of this. It’s absolutely thrilling to see people improve their health through a program that is so simple and takes such little time out of their week.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb

A Sound Solution

Acoustic compression therapy alleviates elbow pain.

He has long since moved on, with far too much on his plate to spend time wondering what might have been. Still, if anyone could justify devoting even a few minutes to pondering such possibilities, it’s Greg Rivera.

Greg Rivera bending over at a golf course setting his ball up on a tee with his golf cart in the background.

Greg is playing pain-free golf again

An accomplished high school quarterback, Greg was at the start of what promised to be an impressive college football career when a back injury forced him to give up the game at the tender age of 19.

“I went to the Naval Academy but got hurt the week of the Army-Navy game in my plebe year,” Greg reveals. “Looking back, I was actually quite fortunate. If I had gone to another school, I probably would have lost my scholarship. At the Naval Academy, everyone is on scholarship so it all worked out.”

After six years of active duty with the Navy, he spent a year selling medical supplies, then got into recruiting. Now 50, he works for a federal consulting firm as the leader of a team that recruits veterans for jobs requiring specialized skills.

The job allows Greg to work from home and provides him the freedom to pursue his two great passions: physical fitness and golf. Greg’s pursuit of the latter recently resulted in the development of a disorder called golfer’s elbow in his right arm.

Up Around the Bend

A condition that can be experienced by anyone, not just golfers, golfer’s elbow causes intense pain and stiffness at the inside bend of the arm, where the tendons of the forearm attach to the humerus.

In severe cases, the pain and stiffness travel down the inside of the forearm and into the wrist. It can also result in a significant loss of strength. In Greg’s case, the condition affected his golf game and fitness routine.

Swinging through pain on every shot, he lost accuracy and distance on the golf course. While running, his right arm would stiffen to where it was painful to straighten.

In an effort to remedy the problem, Greg tried icing, heating and stretching his elbow. Those treatments provided only temporary relief. To gain long-term relief, he was told he’d likely need to rest the elbow for weeks, perhaps even months.

Unwilling to take that long of a break from golf, Greg opted to continue fighting through the pain — until about a year ago, when he visited Injury Health Center for a standard chiropractic adjustment.

Injury Health Center is the practice of Stacy Hudock Proscia, DC, with offices in Daytona Beach, Sanford and Orlando. The center provides chiropractic care as well as an assortment of pain-relief services.

“We do standard chiropractic adjustments, of course, but we also offer a great number of other modalities that complement those adjustments,” Dr. Hudock Proscia explains.

“The chiropractic adjustment and getting the nervous system back on track is at the heart of what we do. But we also treat muscles, tendons and ligaments, which the bones are connected to.”

“It’s a tremendous treatment, and for me relief started to come immediately.” – Greg

Dr. Hudock Proscia calls Injury Health Center a “one-stop shop” for patients seeking pain relief. Greg soon found out what that means. While receiving his adjustment, Greg mentioned his sore elbow to the doctor, who suggested acoustic compression therapy, or ACT, to correct the problem.

ACT is similar to lithotripsy, a sound-wave therapy used to break up kidney stones, Dr. Hudock Proscia educates. In this case, however, the acoustical waves break up muscle adhesions and scar tissue.

“When muscles get tight or after an injury, scar tissue builds up and becomes tight and rigid,” Dr. Hudock Proscia amplifies. “ACT breaks up the scar tissue, which can then be flushed out of the body. It also alleviates pain in muscles, tendons and joints while promoting healing by increasing circulation.”

ACT is administered through a small, handheld device that emits the sound waves in short, painless pulsations. Those pulsations penetrate deep into the body and affect it in much the same way that a deep-tissue massage or deep manipulation does.

When receiving ACT, patients will feel as if a small jackhammer is being used on the area being treated. That feeling is never painful, nor does it reach a point where it’s uncomfortable for the patient, Dr. Hudock Proscia asserts.

Immediate Relief

“The device they use in administering the treatment is like a small wand. You can feel it when that wand hits one of the pain points,” Greg reports. “And you think, Yeah, that’s the spot, right there.

“Once the technician hits that spot, you let them know and they’ll work over it for a period of time. During that time, you can feel the pain start to subside as the machine does its work. It’s a tremendous treatment. For me, relief started to come immediately.”

Greg initially received eight ACT treatments over a couple of months. Each lasted about 15 minutes and provided more than just pain relief. They also relaxed the muscles in Greg’s forearm and alleviated the stiffness.

“The treatments took away the pain in my elbow until I went out and teed it up again, then I would feel it a bit,” Greg states. “But the pain wasn’t anywhere near as bad as it had been, not even after playing golf a couple of times between treatments. It was tolerable, better than the alternative of doing nothing for months until the pain subsided completely.”

Encouraged by the effectiveness of the treatments, which he initially received every other week, Greg began getting ACT once and sometimes twice a week.

“I’ll still tweak that elbow every now and then, but the pain is much more tolerable than it was,” Greg concludes. “I can manage it a lot better than before, and that’s because of the ACT treatments. I’m really glad Dr. Stacy mentioned it to me.

“Dr. Stacy is an amazing chiropractor. I feel the same way about her staff. Everyone there does a great job; their facilities are awesome and they’re very flexible with their scheduling. The whole place is just tremendous.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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