Woman making heart with hands

Ladies, take a moment and envision yourself setting a timer for 10 minutes while dinner bakes in the oven. By the time that timer beeps, around 15 people in the United States will have experienced a heart attack. Every 40 seconds someone in the US has a heart attack according to the CDC. In fact, heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. February is American Heart Month, and although heart health is not our speciality at Women’s Surgery & Aesthetic’s Center, we care about all health matters related to women. Black History Month is also in February, and heart disease is more prevalent in black females than in caucasian females. Due to this, we have decided to use this month’s blog to educate African American women about their risk in an effort to save lives. 

Let’s Talk Numbers

80%. That is the percentage of cardiovascular disease and stroke that can be prevented according to the American Heart Association. However, it is estimated that only 36% of African American women realize that heart disease is their greatest health risk. On top of that, of all African American women over the age of 20, close to 50% have heart disease, and many of them just might not know it. Our goal in sharing these numbers is not to cause fear but to encourage African American women to take action in talking to their primary care providers about their risk and ways it can be lowered. 

Why are African American Women at a Greater Risk? 

Researchers have been working to answer this question. The American Heart Association said that researchers did find a gene that they believe makes African Americans more sensitive to the effects of salt. This means that their risk of developing high blood pressure is greater, and high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. In addition, black men and women are more likely to have diabetes or be overweight. Both of these are heart disease risk factors. 

Risk Factors & Taking Action

Risk factors play a major role in increasing a person’s risk of developing heart disease. In fact, the more risk factors you have, the higher your risk. The vast number of risk factors you can change simply by making heart-healthy lifestyle choices. However, there is not anything you can do about your risk of heart disease caused by your family history and age. Preeclampsia, which makes a woman’s risk of developing heart disease twice as high, can also be included in this group. 

Other risk factors include high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol levels, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. These factors can be improved simply by making changes to your eating and exercise habits. When it comes to eating, make sure you are not eating too many foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, which can raise your cholesterol levels. Avoid foods high in sodium as well to keep your blood pressure levels down. Added sugars and alcoholic beverages should be limited too. Instead, opt for whole-grain items and fruits and vegetables full of nutrients and vitamins. Make sure you drink plenty of water every day as well. In terms of exercise habits, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that everyone gets 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week. Find an activity you enjoy like kickboxing, walking, running, or swimming and get moving because being physically active can lower your risk of heart disease by 20-35%. (Source)

One final tip to lower your risk is to completely cut out smoking. Both the person smoking and anyone who is exposed to secondhand smoke long-term is at an increased risk of heart disease. 

Talk to Your Doctor 

Bringing up heart disease with your doctor can be scary, however, speaking up can save your life. To begin lowering your risk of heart disease, you first need to know your risk. Your physician can provide you with additional health tips and can make sure you understand the signs of heart attack and stroke to look for. 

Each year, close to 50,000 African American women die from cardiovascular disease. That is 50,000 women too many. Together we can work to lower this number and save lives. To learn more about cardiovascular disease, we encourage you to visit the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women website.

Can you believe that Christmas is less than two weeks away? Now, don’t panic. We know you probably just realized that you are running out of shopping days. The good news is we are here to help because we have found the perfect gift for all of the women on your list this year: Emsculpt Neo! Why not give the gift that will help your loved ones start 2022 by saying goodbye to fat and hello to muscle? For our blog this month, we want to share with you everything you need to know about this gift that will keep on giving and make your loved ones feel and look amazing.

What is Emsculpt NEO?

If you’ve been one of our patients for a while or you follow us on social media, then you’ve probably heard us talk about this incredible non-invasive, body-sculpting technology. However, you may still have questions about what it is and how it works. The Emsculpt NEO is the gold standard in body-shaping technology because it combines fat reduction and muscle building into one 30 minute session. How does it do this? The answer: HEAT. The Emsculpt NEO simultaneously emits radio frequency (RF), which helps with fat reduction, and high-intensity electromagnetic energies (HIFEM+), which helps build muscles. When the radio frequency heats up, the muscle temperature also rises preparing the muscles for exposure to stress. In other words, it is kind of like what happens to your body during the warm-up portion of a workout. According to the brains at BTL Industries who are behind this groundbreaking technology, less than 4 minutes into the procedure, the temperature in the subcutaneous fat will reach levels that will cause fat cells to be permanently damaged. From there, those cells will be removed from the body. When it comes to muscle building, HIFEM+ energy contracts the muscle fibers in the area at intensities that you cannot achieve during a regular gym workout. Due to extreme stress put on the muscles, they will begin to adapt which will result in an increase in the number and growth of fibers and cells. (Source)

Are People Seeing Results?

Yes, they absolutely are! We are the only office in the Chattanooga area with this technology. Even though we have only had the Emsculpt NEO for a few months, our patients are already seeing some incredible results. 

It is important to keep in mind that it will take several treatments to achieve maximum results, and you may not fully see those results until three months after your final treatment. We typically recommend ladies undergo four 30 minute treatments. These should be scheduled between 5-10 days apart. These treatments do not require any downtime, so you can return back to your daily activities immediately.

Also, according to BTL Industries, seven clinical trials have been conducted using the Emsculpt NEO. Results from those studies were consistent in showing that fat was eliminated and muscle was built. When the data from three of those studies were averaged together, BTL found that users gained 25% more muscle and had 30% less fat on average. Results will vary for each person, but the outlook is very promising. (Source)

How Do I Give The Gift of Emsculpt Neo?

If you are ready to change a life by giving the gift of Emsculpt NEO this Christmas, give us a call at 423-899-6511. No one ever said you cannot give yourself a Christmas present, so feel free to schedule an appointment for yourself as well. We cannot wait for you and your loved ones to experience everything the Emsculpt NEO has to offer!

Women who are living life with endometriosis experience internal battles many of us will never know. Bethany Stahl, who is the author of the book Endometriosis: It's Not in Your Head, It's in Your Pelvis” said, “I am amongst a community of warriors.” She is 100 percent correct. At Women’s Surgery and Aesthetics Center, we are committed to helping women who have endometriosis live life to the fullest by minimizing their pain. This blog is part of a series we’re doing on endometriosis, which affects 1 in 10 women according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). In September, we shared an overview of endometriosis and all it entails. For this month’s blog, we’re going to be sharing tips to help women minimize the pain that comes along with this chronic condition.

Say Goodbye to Stress

As if dealing with endometriosis pain was not enough, anxiety, depression and stress like to squeeze their way into the situation. Now, the stress that comes along with endo can actually be attributed to the condition itself because chronic pain can raise levels of cortisol, which is known as - you guessed it - the stress hormone. Ultimately, a hormone imbalance can occur due to high cortisol levels over time. On the flip side, chronic pain itself can cause you to feel stressed. For you to find relief, we need to resolve this big stress mess. (Source)

Stress Relief Techniques 

One of the best things you can do to relax and lower your stress levels is to develop stress relief techniques. This could include deep breathing exercises or visualization techniques where you close your eyes and imagine you are somewhere else to get your mind off of reality. Seeing a counselor is also a great option because you can share your feelings and get professional advice on which techniques will work best for you. There are a lot of meditation apps you can try as well. Headspace and Calm are two of the most popular apps out there right now. If you are into essential oils, try diffusing lavender oil. Not only does it smell amazing, but it will help you feel at ease too. There are a ton of stress relief techniques available that you can try. What matters is that you find something that works for you and helps you feel better. 

Hit the Gym

Let’s be honest, no one wants to work out when they are in pain. However, you may want to reconsider. Getting your body moving and your blood flowing can be beneficial for women with endo. Need more convincing? According to an article published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, women who participate regularly in high-intensity workouts have a drastically lower risk of developing endometriosis. Even if you have already been diagnosed, high-intensity workouts could help ease your symptoms. Swimming, running, biking and cardio are great workout options to try. If high-intensity workouts aren’t your thing, we suggest adding yoga to your daily routine because stretching can also help provide you with pain relief. Working out can cause your body to release those wonderful, happy, pain-relieving chemicals called endorphins as well. If you are still on the fence, then just try breaking a sweat and seeing what happens. It is absolutely worth a shot. 

Exercise and stress relieving techniques are just two of the many things out there that can help you manage life with endometriosis. Our doctors can provide you with additional ideas and strategies to fit your lifestyle. Give us a call at 423-899-6511 or visit our website to request an appointment. Stay tuned for the final blog in our three-part series on endometriosis.