Urinary Incontinence Can Take A Seat

BTL Emsella chair therapy strengthens pelvic floor muscles to control bladder leakage.

Many a professional chef will tell you that the hardest part of their job is not the challenge of creating tasty new dishes. Rather, it’s the hours.

Kathleen Szabo

“You work nights, weekends and holidays, so it’s tough,” Kathleen Szabo points out.

Those long, difficult hours are certainly what drove Kathleen out of the profession.

“I was a chef by trade, got married and moved to Miami, but after two years, my husband said, You need to quit this because I never see you,” Kathleen remembers. “He wasn’t wrong.

“Once I quit, though, I was miserable. I was sitting around the house all day doing nothing. Then one day, I walked into a pet store and bought a blue and gold macaw. That was in 1972, I’ve been raising exotic birds and medium-sized cats ever since.”

On a five-acre farm in Lake Worth, Kathleen raises mostly parrots and African servals, a golden-haired bobcat with black spots. She sells the parrots to pet stores and the servals to people who have a license to own one.

“For a while I also bred Savannah cats, which are a cross between an African serval and a domestic cat that people can own without a license,” Kathleen explains. “I’ve neutered a small colony of those, and they’re all living here on the property with me.”

Kathleen’s passion for birds and cats keeps her on the run throughout the day. Recently, this 74-year-old “semi-retiree” found herself running to the bathroom every time the need to urinate presented itself. Too often, she failed to run fast enough.

“The first time it happened, I was out shopping,” Kathleen recalls. “I thought it was just a bad moment, but then it happened again and again. Finally, I went to my internist and my gastroenterologist to find out what the problem was.”

Kathleen learned she was suffering from urinary incontinence, an involuntary loss of urine that can be sparked by something as simple as a laugh, a cough or a sneeze and typically results in the loss of a few drops of urine.

As with Kathleen, the condition can also present itself as a strong urge to urinate or an inability to hold urine when the urge arises. No matter the symptoms, it’s typically caused by a weakening of the bladder or sphincter muscles, an overactive bladder or nerve damage.

And while urinary incontinence typically affects older women, those who are pregnant, have had children or are going through menopause, it can affect men as well. Like Kathleen, many people affected are forced to make drastic lifestyle changes.

“I had to start wearing absorbent underwear, but the biggest issue was that the problem wouldn’t go away,” Kathleen reveals. “It was a real annoyance I put up with for years. Then a friend suggested I visit Karen Fish at Palm Beach Wellbeing.”

Take a Seat

Karen is a certified wellness professional and practitioner. She is also the founder of Palm Beach Wellbeing, where her medical director is Jeffrey Kotzen, MD, FACOG, of Distinctive Women’s Health Care in West Palm Beach.

In areas where she is certified, Karen teaches the principles of whole health and offers leading-edge wellness solutions, which include wearable light therapy and the use of the Avacen® device for microcirculation .

Karen recently expanded her practice’s services by adding a drug-free protocol for urinary incontinence that uses a core-rejuvenation device called the BTL Emsella®chair.

BTL Emsella® chair

As a patient sits fully clothed in the chair, the device stimulates the pelvic floor muscles and restores neuromuscular control by delivering high-intensity electromagnetic energy.

“A typical BTL Emsella chair session lasts 28 minutes,” Karen explains. “During that time, the chair provides the benefits of roughly 12,000 Kegel exercises.

“Kegel exercises are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor, but no one can do 12,000 in 28 minutes. This chair not only provides that effect, but it also impacts the entire pelvic floor, whereas Kegel exercises typically affect only 25 percent of the pelvic floor muscles.

“As a result, BTL Emsella chair sessions can also improve fecal incontinence as well as overall core strength. That’s important because it keeps people more stable, which is helpful in preventing falls. So the BTL Emsella chair has many benefits.”

Another benefit is there are no side effects. Unlike other incontinence treatments, BTL Emsella chair therapy is noninvasive, and it allows patients to return to normal activities immediately afterward.

Best of all, it works. Studies show that 95 percent of all patients receiving the therapy report improvement of their incontinence symptoms while 73 percent experienced a complete resolution of their symptoms.

“This is a treatment that’s good for everyone, including men,” Karen states. “I even know women who have no incontinence who are using the chair because they want to avoid those issues. So it’s a preventive treatment as well.”

Dr. Kotzen agrees, noting that Karen “is providing a good service, a very safe service and one that has results for the indication of the machine she’s working with. I’m happy to be sharing office space with her.”

Back in Control

After an initial meeting with Karen, Kathleen began treatment on the BTL Emsella chair in September. She followed a typical protocol with two 28-minute sessions each week for three weeks.

The results were incredible, Kathleen raves.

“The treatment is not uncomfortable at all,” she details. “You feel the vibrations, but they don’t feel strange or anything. It’s actually kind of comforting. And the effects are almost immediate.

“After three weeks, I had total control of my bladder for the first time in years.” – Kathleen

“I felt a difference after the first session, which was an introductory session. It was a demonstration session that Karen offers just to show you how it works. That session only lasted about 15 minutes, but afterward, I already felt like I had more control.

“As time went on and I completed the full course of therapy, I couldn’t believe the difference it made in my life. After three weeks, I had total control of my bladder for the first time in years. It was absolutely amazing.”

Kathleen is so impressed with the results that she has already passed the word on to others about Karen, Palm Beach Wellbeing and the BTL Emsella chair. She also plans to sign up for regular “maintenance” sessions to keep her incontinence in check.

“It’s a great therapy that can help a lot of people, and I strongly urge people to visit Palm Beach Wellbeing,” Kathleen concludes. “Karen is a very caring and understanding practitioner who has your best health at heart.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Kathleen’s photo by Jordan Pysz. Emsella graphic courtesy of BTL. mkb
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    • Palm Beach Wellbeing

      Palm Beach Wellbeing is dedicated to holistic, whole-body solutions for both women and men. Every client receives the utmost personal care designed to improve health and bring wellness to life!... Read More

    • Jeffrey Kotzen, MD

      Jeffrey Kotzen, MD, is a board-certified OB-GYN who earned his bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine, where he graduated with ho... Read More

    • Karen Fish

      Karen Fish is a certified wellness professional and practitioner of advanced holistic therapies. As the former CEO of a medical supply company, Karen teaches principles of whole health and offers leading-edge wellness solutions. She also has c... Read More