Category Archives: News

5 MYTHS SURROUNDING THE PELVIC FLOOR

Pelvic Health Clinic

Article by Sinead Boyle, Physiotherapist at Cosmetech

WHAT IS THE PELVIC FLOOR?

There has been a lot of recent media attention into the pelvic floor muscles, changes in surgical techniques and Physiotherapy input. The pelvic floor is a hidden gem of a muscle that is underestimated and often overlooked by us all however it is crucial for daily activity and function.  The Pelvic floor muscles are arranged like a hammock or sling that attach to the tailbone at the base of the spine and stretch forward and attach to the pubic bone at the front. They provide support to the pelvic organs such as the bladder, bowel, uterus and vagina. The pelvic floor is just like any other muscle- is must be able to contract and relax in order to complete a function. One of these functions is to control our bladder and bowel movements. When this muscle does not contract or relax correctly it starts to become dysfunctional and cause symptoms such as:

  • Incontinence
  • Chronic back pain
  • Feeling of heaviness or bulge internally
  • Difficulty/ straining with emptying bladder and bowels
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Pelvic girdle pain

The NHS estimates that between 3 and 6 million people in the UKhave some degree of urinary incontinence.

Estimates suggest that approximately 3.5 million women have urinary incontinence in the UK. In general, urinary incontinence is two to three times as common in women as in men.*

In another study only 17% of patients affected with a form of incontinence had sought professional help, the perception being that incontinence was a natural part of the ageing process.**

This is not the case- do not suffer in silence or think that this is an acceptable way to live your life.

Come and be assessed and advised by a local Women’s Health Physiotherapist.

 

5 MYTHS SURROUNDING THE PELVIC FLOOR

1. Your pelvic floor is always weak and needs constant strengthening

No! A proper assessment by a Women’s Health Physiotherapist will let you know how strong your pelvic floor is and what you need to do to increase or preserve the strength. Often we are completing pelvic floor exercises incorrectly, over-using the tummy muscles so the pelvic floor cannot get involved at all or that we are holding our breath. The next time you try your pelvic floor exercises- check you breathing- you should not be holding your breath. An overactive tight pelvic floor is as impacting on the system as a weak one- but there are solutions and rehab programmes for both so don’t delay!

 

2.Incontinence only affects pregnant women or older women

We are seeing an increase in the amount of active young people, including cross-fit competitors, swimmers, hockey players etc. attending the clinic with pelvic floor dysfunction causing a range of symptoms mentioned above. This is showing that everyone is more open to talking about the pelvic floor and taking away the taboo.

 

3.Stopping the flow of urine is a good way to exercise your pelvic floor

On a once off occasion to self-assess your urinary control this may be advised however not repetitively as it sends mis-match signals to the pelvic floor muscles which are meant to be relaxing when passing urine. This is a poor training pattern to get involved with and just like any other muscle- if we train the hamstrings incorrectly we get an injury and the leg cannot function properly- same as with the Pelvic floor.

 

4.It is safer to use the toilet ‘just in case’ before leaving the house

This causes the bladder and surrounding muscles to not work to their correct potential- our bladders can on average hold up to 400 ml of fluid- use it, don’t lose it! This pattern of behaviour also initiates a psychological issue with bathroom habits before leaving the house. It is often something that we are trained to do from an early age by our parents- ‘use the toilet before we go in the car’ etc.

 

5.Strong tummy muscles/core muscles = strong pelvic floor

Not always- often we see ladies of all ages, children or not, who are extremely fit and active however would experience leakage when at the gym/ out running or the dreaded trampoline! Teaching how to do pelvic floor exercises properly and use of biofeedback can re-train the muscles to work efficiently and correctly.

With it being Pelvic Pain Awareness month why not book in and see your Women’s Health Physiotherapist for an assessment and informative session.

Call today and arrange to speak with a Women’s Health Physiotherapist at Cosmetech: 02890423200.

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Sinead Boyle, Physiotherapist at Cosmetech.

Sinead graduated with her Physiotherapy MSc in 2013 after studying in Manchester and Galway. She completed her core rotations in the NHS developing skills in areas of respiratory, neurology, orthopaedics and musculoskeletal injuries. In 2013 she undertook training with the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI) enabling her to become a Physiotherapist teaching Pilates to a wide range of clients from beginners to advanced level as well as developing an interest in women’s heath with her ante and post-natal groups. Her personal experience of the benefits of Pilates-based rehabilitation programmes following sporting injuries ensures she can transfer this knowledge and skills to her clients.

Sinead has completed many post-graduate CPD courses including kinesoptaping, Pilates and and acupuncture. She developed a specialised interest in Women’s Health Physiotherapy following a sporting injury and has completed courses in Real time ultrasound, Pelvic pain (Dr. Ruth Jones), PelviPower Chair and Biofeedback (Pontemed) alongside study evenings and national conferences run by the Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP). Most recently she has completed the Mummy MOT (Maria Elliot) course offering a tailored post-natal assessment and rehabilitation programme to all mums no matter what age to ensure a safe return to activity and function. She is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and an affiliate member of thePelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP). She was proud to have been selected for a training scholarship by PINC and STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Trust which is due to complete shortly. She has a wide variety of musculoskeletal experience and continues to work with sports teams at various levels of competition.

She is currently working within a small unique multi-disciplinary team in the Pelvic Health clinic in Maypole, Hollywood offering Women’s Health Physiotherapy assessment and treatments for a variety of patients experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction, incontinence and pelvic pain among other conditions.

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*(Cook K et al; Urinary Incontinence in the Older Adult, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, 2012)

**(Cooper J, Annappa M, Quigley A, et al; Prim Health Care Res Dev. 2015 Jul16)

Pelvic Floor Training Chair at Cosmetech in Belfast & London

PelviPower

Incontinance Young Mothers Female Vitality Male Vitality Back Pain Tissue Toning

Pelvic Floor Training Chair at Cosmetech in Belfast & London

Cosmetech are delighted to introduce the new Pelvic Floor Training Chair to our clinics in Belfast and London. It is now available at Cosmetech’s Chelsea Private Clinic in London and The Maypole Clinic, Northern Ireland.

The Pelvic Floor Training Chair was developed to help men and women whose life can be restricted by embarrassing and often painful symptoms. The Chair treats patients with conditions ranging from damage and weakening of the pelvic muscles caused during childbirth, to post prostate surgery. The clinic offers a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care, and the diagnosis and treatments of pelvic floor disorders.

Approximately 1 in 3 women experience women’s health problems from a weak pelvic floor at some point in their lifetime. For many years women thought that their incontinence, bladder control and other problems, especially after childbirth, were to be expected and that they just had to tolerate them. They were sometimes either too embarrassed to seek help, or unaware that there are effective treatments available, and sometimes had to plan their days and journeys around knowing where toilets are located, in order to avoid ‘accidents’. Very often we can help these people.

The clinic undertakes a number of assessment procedures. Patients present typically with a variety of conditions, including poor bowel control or incontinence, long term constipation problems and difficulty in emptying the bowel. Treatment may require surgery, but more often it involves non-surgical options including bowel habit retraining with the Biofeedback Training, Pelvic Floor Treatment Chair or ThermiVa & Viveve (radio frequency) treatments.
Biofeedback Training
Bowel habit retraining known as Biofeedback. This non-invasive treatment involves retraining muscles to relax, or the strengthening of muscle tone in the back passage and pelvic floor, depending on the patients’ symptoms. The programme can last around six months and has an 80% success rate.
Pelvic Floor Training Chair
The clinic has introduced a new non-invasive training method for your pelvic floor which is a treatment chair that treats you with Magnetic field therapy to strengthen the musculature. You sit on the chair and train in your normal clothing, for 20 minutes per session (for a minimum of 4 sessions depending on the programme) with a specialist nurse or physiotherapist. It is more effective than standard individual training and is confirmed by scientific studies and recommended by doctors. You will notice improvement in your muscles from the first session.
Indications include:
• Incontinence (bowel weakness, bladder weakness, leaking, prevention)
• Young mothers (post natal, bladder weakness, increased libido) Female vitality (menopause, cellulite, libido)
• Male Vitality (increased potency,post- prostatectomy rehabilitation) Back pain (relaxation and posture)
• TissueToning (prevention, strengthening and tissue toning)
ThermiVa
Cosmetech has also introduced a new radio frequency device called ThermiVa. This is a new non-surgical treatment that rejuvenates the vagina and vulva without plastic surgery. The treatments use radiofrequency energy to gently heat tissue, without discomfort or downtime.

Used to treat:
• Urinary Incontinence (improves bladder control)
• Vaginal Tightening
• Vaginal rejuvenation
• Improves sexual Function
• Sexual Enhancement
• Labia reduction
• Female Genital Enhancement
“The therapy has shown great success. Almost all patients experienced a substantial improvement or complete alleviation of their symptoms.” – Dr. MED. UNIV. Darius Chovghi

 

Treatment available at:

Maypole Clinic

Chelsea Private Clinic

Caroline Clegg shares her experience of non-surgical Thread-lift

It’s not your wrinkles but your JAW LINE that is ageing you: Latest cosmetic treatment sees patients having their jowls and double chin tightened with Thread-Lifts.

Before front thread-lift                    After Front thread-lift

Photographs of Caroline Clegg before and after non-surgical Thread Lift treatment at Cosmetech.

 

Thread-lift at Cosmetech Chelsea Private Clinic

Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon Mr Ashok Songra sees a host of celebrities at his Holywood (Northern Ireland) and Chelsea Private clinics and says that the most recent trend is patients coming in every day asking how to improve a sagging jawline and double chin.

The first thing that our mind assesses when it comes to judging the age of the person is the shape of their face, a youth full face is the shape of an upside down triangle with high cheek bones and a defined jaw line as we age the shape of the face changes to a square shape with the development of  jowls and a sagging chin.

The shape of the face is much more important than the lines and folds. In fact, according to recent research we universally recognise as younger, a person who has wrinkles but has a youthful face shape. Thus, traditional anti-wrinkle injections on the forehead alone doesn’t improve youthfulness, but changing the shape of your face and tightening your jaw line, does.

Side before thread-lift                    Side after thread-lift

Photographs of Caroline Clegg before and after non-surgical Thread Lift treatment at Cosmetech

 

Caroline Clegg shares her experience of this non-surgical Thread-lift

‘I have been going to Mr Songra for years at the Cosmetech, Chelsea Private Clinic – he is very gentle and caring, and I trust him implicitly. On this occasion, I went in with a saggy jawline and double chin and came out with a much smoother defined jawline 45 minutes later!

Some areas were a bit uncomfortable, but apparently I was unlucky and some people hardly feel anything. I had 30 mini-threads inserted in total.  I was coated with industrial amounts of topical numbing cream one hour beforehand and looked like a man about to have a big shave, so you need to take a book along with you. There is no downtime whatsoever – I could have gone to a party that same night!

Although I was told there’s a one in ten chance of bruising and to expect bruising which can last up to two weeks, I was lucky in that I had no bruising or swelling at all.  The treated areas feel a little tight and tender, but even these feelings seem to be rapidly disappearing.  Out of the three people I have seen, separately, so far, each one has paid me a compliment, and said I was looking good! 

That suits me fine – I always think if people can tell what you have had done, then it was too much.  All in all I could not recommend mini-threading more highly.’

 

Autumn Offer

Mention this article to receive 10% off your first Thread-lift treatment.
Offer ends 30th November 2017.

 

To book a complimentary consultation please call 02075650333
or e-mail: cosmetech@me.com

August Newsletter Chelsea Private Clinic

CPC Logo

Lena

I hope that you are all enjoying the summer holidays. We appreciate your loyal business throughout the year and as a thank you this month we have a promotion to help you to prepare for your holiday!

To book your complimentary consultation and receive 10% off your treatment in August please call and quote: August 2017 Newsletter* 

Best Regards
Lena Gillespie MD 

 


Juvederm Volite

Voilte

Juvederm® Volite is new treatment here in the UK using injectable HA (gel)to increase hydration, smoothness and elasticity of the skin. Volite can be used in the face, hands, neck and décolleté area. It is one of the 1st products on the market for the improvement of skin characteristics. Juvederm® Volite is injected to improve skin quality.

One treatment can last up to 6-9 months.Book a consultation with Dr Kate Bishop.

 


ThermiVa with Prof Dornan

ThermiVa Newsletter

ThermiVa is a new non-surgical treatment that rejuvenates the vagina and vulva without plastic surgery.

Used to treat

  • Urinary Incontinence (improves bladder control)
  • Vaginal Tightening
  • Vaginal rejuvenation
  • Improves sexual Function
  • Sexual Enhancement
  • Labia reduction
  • Female Genital Enhancement

This treatment is carried out by Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Professor Jim Dornan at the Cosmetech, Chelsea and Holywood Clinics.

Professor Jim Dornan has delivered over 6,000 babies and was known for decades as ‘the baby doctor’ and remains very well regarded by his patients for his care and attention through pregnancy and childbirth. He is now offering ThermiVa.

His special interests also include: Menstrual disorders and contraception, pre-menstrual and menopausal problems, psycho-sexual issues (libido/pain/consummation), general gynaecological surgery including prolapse, incontinence, hysterectomy and aesthetic vaginal surgery.

 


PRP Skin Rejuvenation (Vampire Facial) and HA Dermal Filler Combination

PRP

To achieve the best results with PRP we use a combination treatment with HA dermal fillers and  PRP.
The HA dermal fillers restore the lost volume to the face creating a natural fresher look.

Following this the doctor harvests the growth factors from the patient’s blood that would normally be used to heal and repair an injury. Then by using a centrifuge the doctor isolates platelets from the blood (platelet -rich plasma /PRP). The growth factors are then injected back into the skin. The effects of the procedure continue up to 4 months and last up to 1 – 2 years. For the best results a course of 3 treatments is recommended.

Book a complimentary consultation with Dr Kate Bishop.


Combined Thread-lift and Dermal Filler

Thread Lift Newsletter

If you would like to reverse the signs of ageing to the face, a ‘non-surgical facelift’ called the Thread-lift may well be the best possible option outside surgery. This treatment uses absorbable threads to lift and rejuvenate the facial skin, resulting in a fresh and youthful appearance.

To achieve the best results with the Thread-lift we use a combination treatment with HA dermal fillers. The HA dermal fillers restore the lost volume to the face. Following this we perform the Thread-lift. Thread treatment repositions sagging skin, providing definition and contouring. At that point, its regenerative action kicks in, increasing oxygen supply to the cells and stimulating collagen and elastin production.

Thread-lifts are a new lifting method based on the implantation of multiple threads, creating a vectoral network that acts as a support to the skins tissue. Results last for up to 2 years. This treatment is performed by our Consultant Dr Kate Bishop and our Principal Consultant Surgeon Mr Ashok Songra.

 


What is Oloplex?

Oloplex 600

Ask Maria Papachristodoulou at the Hair Lounge at Cosmetech to add Oloplex to your next hair colouring session to begin the transformation back to stronger hair.

Oloplex is a Bond Multiplier that dramatically eliminates breakage from chemical services and leaves hair feeling amazing!

Benefits of Olaplex

• Stronger hair
• Healthier hair
• Prevent Breakage
• Longer lasting colour

 


Zen Luxury Hair Extensions

Hair Extensions 600

Luxury Hair Extensions 
There is an ever-increasing demand for higher quality hair extensions to keep in line with modern elite hair trends and creations. We have selected a really special hair range that can withstand today’s high expectations.

Remy Hair
Our Hair is sourced from 100% Virgin Hair a careful selection of the finest remy hair, together with the World’s most advanced processing techniques, ensures that the extensions perform exactly like your own hair. They guarantee the most natural wave, fullness, lustre and longevity of Virgin Hair.
The raw materials  used are meticulously hand selected from  Virgin hair, and we choose only the finest, healthiest and strongest hairs from that source.

Book a complimentary consultation with Maria Papachristodoulou at the Hair Lounge and receive a 20% discount in the month of August.


MLD – Manual Lymphatic Drainage can Help with Sinus Infections and Allergies

MLD 600

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), also called Lymphatic Drainage Massage, is a highly specialised form of massage, created by Dr Emil Vodder in the early 1930’s, which uses a unique range of movements to relieve conditions such as sinus congestion and catarrh.

Since this pioneering work, MLD has spread worldwide and has become a popular treatment in many European hospitals and clinics. It has now gained acceptance worldwide as a component in the treatment and control of lymphoedema.

Book in with one of our specially trained therapists Yumiko, Jan or Young Sun.

 


Who Are Colonics For?

Colonics 600

Almost anyone can benefit from a colon hydrotherapy treatment, whether they are currently experiencing digestive problems or not. An ARCH survey found that around 53% of our clients choose colonics for digestive problems, while the rest have the therapy for general health and well-being reasons. Of those surveyed, over 90% would recommend treatment from an ARCH therapist.

ARCH members are professional therapists and do not make exaggerated claims about ‘curing’ digestive problems. However, experience shows us that colonics can provide relief from the symptoms of a wide range of digestive disorders, including IBS, constipation, bloating and wind. Many of our clients find that colonics offer help where modern medicine has failed, especially where symptoms have been dismissed under the catch-all diagnosis of IBS.

However, colon hydrotherapy is not just for digestive problems, it can also work to keep your bowels healthy, in the same way that visiting the gym can help keep you fit. Book an appointment today with one of our team today.

 


*Promotion for complimentary consultation and 10% off is available until 01.09.17

Complimentary Consultation Evening Monday 26th June

ThermiSmooth

Complimentary Consultation Evening at the Cosmetech Maypole Clinic Monday 26th June 

Attendees will receive a complimentary consultation and 10% discount on all bookings made on the evening.

 

  • Canapés and drinks reception from 5-8pm
  • Mini Consultations from 5-8pm

 

Dermal Fillers, Anti-wrinkle injections and Obagi skin peels with Dr Lisa Neligan
Treat wrinkles and lines with dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. We use a variety of products which can be used to treat different areas, from fine lines to facial volume loss.

 

Thermiva with Professor Dornan  
ThermiVa is a new non-surgical treatment that rejuvenates the vagina and vulva without plastic surgery. Used to treat – Vaginal Tightening, Vaginal rejuvenation, Urinary Incontinence, Sexual Function, Sexual Enhancement, Labia reduction and Female Genital Enhancement.

 

Vein Clinics with Consultant Surgeon Mr Alastair Lewis 
Consultant Vascular Surgeon and leading specialist Mr Lewis  provides a comprehensive range of treatments including Microsclerotherapy, Ultra sound guided  sclerotherapy, Laser(EVLT) or RFA(VNUS) and surgery.

 

Semi-permanent  Make-up with Katrina Morrow
Industry leading Semi- permanent Makeup Artist , performing eyebrow, eyeliner, and lip treatments alongside medical tattooing.

 

Reflexology for pregnancy, post- pregnancy and wellbeing with Nichaan Brice 
Nichaan has been in clinical practise for 12 years, specialising in fertility, pregnancy, postnatal and baby reflexology, including all aspects of hormonal imbalance from adolescence to menopause. Nichaan is CNHC registered and therefore can be referred through the NHS or privately.

 

All mini-consultations* are held at the Cosmetech Maypole Clinic. Booking is essential, call or email now to reserve your place!

 

Tel: 02890423200
E-mail: zoe@cosmetech.co.uk
Web: www.cosmetech.co.uk
*Reservations to be  by Wednesday 21st June.*

 

Location:
Cosmetech
Maypole Clinic
5-7 Shore Road
Holywood
BT18 9XH

*Mini consultations are an opportunity to ask the doctors any questions that you may have about the procedures and are not a formal out-patient consultation. Some patients may require a full consultation or further investigation if they wish to proceed.

Osteopathy in Chelsea Private Clinic

Osteopathy in Chelsea

Susannah Makram on Osteopathy in Chelsea Private Clinic

Osteopathy – Why?

An estimated three million people in the UK are taking long-term sick leave or say they are unable to work due to back pain according to research from Nuffield Health.

Currently around 30,000 people in the UK consult their Osteopath every working day — and the number is rising!

 

How does Osteopathy work? 

Osteopathy is a primary care profession. Your Osteopath focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders and the effects of these conditions on your general health.

To an Osteopath, for our body to work well, its structure must also work well. Osteopaths work to restore our body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery.

Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. Your Osteopath may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.

Osteopaths are like ‘Pain Detectives’, highly skilled at working out where the main problem or issue is happening. Osteopaths trace back to the actual cause of the pain and deal with that too.

 

6 Reasons why you may see an Osteopath.

  1. You’ve had a minor injury but it’s now several days later and it isn’t improving
  2. You have ongoing pain and know you’re popping too many pills in order to cope with it
  3. After pregnancy your body is struggling to return to normal and baby is terribly unsettled too
  4. You’re in training for a sporting event and you want to perform the best you can and avoid injuries
  5. You’ve got a debilitating condition which can’t be cured but is causing you great discomfort
  6. You suffer with regular headaches and migraine which makes your life a misery

 

For more information about Osteopathy please contact Cosmetech, Chelsea Private Clinic and ask to speak with our Naturopath & Osteopath – Susannah Makram.

 

Available at:

Chelsea Private Clinic

Osteopathy in Chelsea

Cupping Therapy in London at Cosmetech Chelsea Private Clinic

Susannah Makram on Cupping Therapy at Cosmetech Chelsea Private Clinic

The use of Cupping Therapy is documented in the history of most great cultures and civilisations of the past with the earliest available records revealing extensive use by the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures.

Cupping is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. This is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation.

Cupping therapy is very versatile and can be modified to achieve a variety of techniques ranging from subtle lymphatic drainage to deep tissue release.

Cupping is one of the best deep-tissue therapies available. It is thought to affect tissues up to four inches deep from the external skin.

 

Different types of cupping are selected based on clients’ treatment goals. 

These include fire cupping, TCM cupping therapy etc. THESE TYPES of cupping may cause temporary bruising and soreness, depending upon the degree of suction created by the vacuum and the level of internal stagnation.

When circulation is sluggish or compromised in an injured or diseased area of the body, the cells receive insufficient oxygen, and there can be a local build-up of waste products. This why it’s such a popular treatment technique at Cosmetech Chelsea Private Clinic.

Cellulite is a combination of fat, toxic cellular wastes and fluids that form a gel-like material. Some of the science: Poor micro-circulation causes damage and a build-up of waste products.

Acupuncture

What is cupping used to help with?

Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite.

For fluid retention (weight loss) and cellulite treatments, oil is first applied to the skin, and then the cups are moved up and down the surrounding area.

Cupping massage at Cosmetech Chelsea Private Clinic is a treatment technique used as part of aesthetic (and non-aesthetic) osteopathy.

 

If you are looking for cupping therapy in London or if you are interested in finding out more information about cupping therapy in London, please call Cosmetech, Chelsea Private Clinic and ask to speak with Osteopath & Naturopath, Susannah Makram.

 

ANTI CELLULITE BODY TREATMENTS AT COSMETECH CHELSEA PRIVATE CLINIC

Detox Cupping Massage 

  • Targets Cellulite
  • Tones and tightens

Normal cupping can leave marks because little papers are set on fire under glass cups to create suction as they sit on your back. While there’s suction with cupping massage it doesn’t leave a mark because the cups continue to move.

 

If your goal is natural body sculpting with MLD then try cupping massage for cellulite and water retention.

Anti-Cellulite Cupping Massage 

  • 60mins session – each £125.00
  • 90mins session – each £145.00

 

Ant-Cellulite Cupping Massage Packages

  • 6 x 60mins sessions – Pre-order 6 – each £104.00
  • 6 x 90mins sessions – Pre-order 6 – each £122.00

 

Cupping therapy in London is available at:

Chelsea Private Clinic

 

ThermiVa, a brighter forecast for women of a certain age…

Thermiva

FEELING WARM, WITH A REDUCED RISK OF PRECIPITATION

A brighter forecast for women of a certain age…

 Diane Eakin talks about a revolutionary new treatment for woman which is now available in Northern Ireland and London with 3fivetwo Healthcare and Cosmetech.

Do you remember that blissful point in your life when your first baby slept all through the night for the first time and you woke up fresh in the morning after a full night’s sleep?  A red letter day to be shared with all family and friends and an opportunity to bask in the shining thought that maybe this parenting thing was not going to be so difficult after all.

But let us move on a few years – and the odds are that you’re not sharing and talking about the unfortunate and mostly secret legacy of the birth of that baby, and subsequent babies…a legacy that is a common problem for many women – that of not being able to sleep through the night without waking and having to get up to pee.  That, and the stress incontinence – even mild – that means you leak when you laugh, when you cough, or God forbid, when you decide to humour the grandchildren and have a wee jump on their trampoline.

It gets worse (depending on your point of view)…those vaginal muscles were stretched and damaged during birth – sex is painful, the vagina is dry, either too tight or too flabby, an orgasm is difficult and sometimes almost impossible to achieve…and again all of these little milestones you certainly don’t share with women friends and family.  It’s your shameful secret.  Of course, giving birth isn’t the only cause of this damage – rotten old aging can have the same results – none of them good!

It’s a funny thing – women discuss almost everything personal – their husbands, lovers, partners, work worries, their illnesses, their children, teenagers, grandchildren…but not, it seems their leaks!

It is only when you notice that there seems to be a lot of advertisements on television and in women’s magazines for absorbent panty liners that you start to think that you might not be alone. Maybe other women also leak if they cough or attend an exercise class and bounce up and down, perhaps other women have to get up once, twice, even three times a night to go to the loo even when their last drink is taken at 6 p.m.…. maybe more women know that when they feel they need to “go” they “have to go” almost right away or there will be an accident.  Of course that is the price we pay for having children.  Or getting older.  And there is nothing we can do about it.  Or is there?

Well there is a procedure available which, it is claimed, could change our lives in the leaking, stress incontinence, flabby vagina, vaginal dryness, rare orgasm, poor sex, department.  It is a procedure that our American female cousins have been enjoying for the last few years, and it has just started to be used in Great Britain.  Next stop could be Ireland and I was invited to be part of the trial being conducted by the 3fivetwo Organisation to test the efficacy of the procedure.  Read again the sentence at the top of this paragraph and is it any wonder we don’t discuss this with even our most intimate friends.

Well, men are manning up – they are starting to discuss openly their testicles and prostate, and restricted flow.  We need to woman up!  We leak.  Get over it!  We need to talk, we need to try this, we are not alone…and this procedure would appear to be getting the forecasted phenomenal results.

I nearly laughed out loud when I went to try this treatment as I discovered that the long thin bit of equipment (rather like hair tongs only thinner) which is inserted inside the vagina is called a wand. But only nearly laughed as what can you do when the Gynae doctor is waving this around, calling it a wand and you are thinking “magic wand” and trying not to laugh as you know if you laugh you will leak all over his nice clean paper towels on the bed!

The trial for this procedure was fairly uncharted territory for me, so I was relieved to find a brochure in the waiting room explaining what was to happen and what it hoped to achieve…it is called ThermiVa.   (It is, according to the doctor rather like the cosmetic treatment Thermage you can get on your face to restore collagen and make you look younger.  Not my bag, as they say, but I understand the analogy.)

So, here comes the science: 

Excessive stretching of the vaginal muscles is a common occurrence after vaginal birth or due to aging.  Damage can diminish sensation during sexual activity, reduce satisfaction and change the relationship between partners. 

ThermiVa treatments use radiofrequency energy to gently heat tissue to reclaim, restore and revive feminine wellness, without discomfort or downtime. ThermiVa uses a special wand applicator which may be applied externally to labia and vulvar tissues to restore normal tissue tone and function. The specially designed handpiece may also deliver radiofrequency energy inside the vagina to revive atrophic tissue and other structures.

A recent study of 23 patients showed:

All patients showed significant improvement in laxity.

Notable improvement was also seen in cases including:

  • atrophic vaginitis (n=5, improved moisture and comfort)
  • stress urinary incontinence (n=5, noticeable reductions and leakage)
  • orgasmic dysfunction (n=6, noticeable improvement reported)

Patients were able to resume all activity, including sexual intercourse, as normal, immediately after each treatment

That is the science, according to the brochure.  Then came the invitation to try it at The Maypole Clinic in Holywood, Co.Down, home to 3fivetwo Healthcare and Cosmetech, both part of the 3fivetwo Group.

In the waiting room I got talking to a woman who had just had the treatment.  A heavy dose of “sameboatness”  became obvious and I found myself discussing the most intimate details with her.  She was a mother of two boys who have grown up and left home.  She was chicly dressed and confident.  She was in her early sixties and was an enthusiastic runner. Running was causing all sorts of leaking problems.

I spoke to another woman.  She had had twins, had suffered a prolapse of the womb and was still suffering.   She wanted to avoid surgery and has tried other remedies to no avail.  She was trying this procedure to see if it made a difference.

The man with the magic wand is Prof Jim Dornan MD (Hons) FRCOG FRCPI, Chair Health & Life Sciences UU, Emeritus Professor Fetal Medicine QUB  – you could say a very serious baby doctor and gynaecologist.  “Would it help a prolapse in addition to all the other improvements?” I asked.  His reply was conservative but encouraging.  “It can help but it does depend on the extent of the prolapse”.   The patient with the prolapse has agreed to keep in touch with me and report back.

It is recommended that patients have three treatments, each one month apart, and then once a year to keep up the improvements.

I had my first treatment.  I am not sharing all my intimate details but I can say the most obvious improvement after this first treatment is that for the first time in decades I have been able to sleep through the night without getting up to  pee at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.   If you have a baby still waking for a feed twice a night you will understand the pleasure I’m having from this.  (Another notable improvement is only for me and my husband to enjoy!)

The treatment lasts 30 minutes.  On occasions the wand seemed to get a little warm and when I flinched the machine was turned down and I was comfortable again – and for me there was a desperate urge to urinate all through the procedure so I was lying with white knuckles and tensed vagina muscles for 30 minutes which probably did wonders for my pelvic floor but lessened the enjoyment of what would otherwise have been a surprisingly comfortable procedure.

I have now had my second treatment  (and perhaps it was as a result of the first or maybe because I was more relaxed) I didn’t feel I needed to pee throughout.

I am feeling the benefit, and I am going to discuss leaking and urinary urge and dry vaginas at every opportunity with my female contemporaries.  We need to have this conversation.  There is a sea-change out there and we need to do this – for ourselves.  What women used to accept as a prevailing condition no longer has to be such a gloomy forecast.

Diane Harron Eakin

ThermiVa Article by Diane Eakin