Best Aesthetic Treatments for Summer

Time passes so quickly and summer is upon us before we know it. We look down and realize that we’re not prepared for revealing clothes or the events we have been invited to over the summer. We begin to panic. Our advice is not to worry! Refine Medical Spa in Chicago has a ton of beauty hacks that are guaranteed to get you to your personal best this summer.

CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting is a procedure whereby fat is frozen. An applicator ( we have large, medium and small) is attached to the area. Carefully regulated cooling plates to bring fat cells down to a temperature at which they are irreversibly damaged. The cells are excreted by the body as waste products. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and results can bee seen in as little as three weeks, although full results usually manifest in three months. Please click on the link to read more.

CoolSculpting

Cellulite Reduction

Dr. Bonnie Vulich uses Venus Legacy to reduce cellulite non -surgically. Venus Legacy’s multi-polar radio frequency and pulsed magnetic fields create a therapeutic heat matrix over the skin. This causes a thermal reaction under the tissue that stimulates the body’s natural healing response, increasing blood circulation and skin contraction.The results are a reduction of cellulite, noticeable tightening of the skin, and  a decrease in localized fat deposits. The treated area will immediately look smoother and firmer. Treatments last 30-40 minutes. Six to ten sessions are recommended for best results. The procedure is painless and there is no downtime. Please click on the link to read more.

Effective Cellulite Treatments

Fire & Ice

As we get older, our skin loses much of its former elasticity. After CoolSculpting, Dr. Vulich uses Venus Legacy to tighten and tone lax skin for a smooth, youthful appearance. Please click on the link to read more.

Non-Surgical Body Contouring with Fire and Ice Body Treatments

Dermal Filler

Dermal fillers, such as the Juvederm family, instantly restore volume to the face for a youthful appearance. Cheekbones are discreetly filled in to restore their shape, thus lifting sagging skin. Naso-labial folds, a tell tell giveaway of age are filled in as are deep wrinkles. Lip shape volume can be enhanced or restored with Juvederm Volbella. We use a topical anesthetic on your skin to numb it for a painless experience. Please click on the link to read more.

Injectables

Botox

Botox relaxes muscles and erases lines on the forehead as well as crow’s feet. It takes three days to see results and up to three weeks to see the full benefit. Dr. Vulich numbs the area with topical anesthetic for a pain free experience. Please click on the link to read more.

The Many Uses of Botox

Foot Renewals

Silk peel is a fantastic skin treatment for dry, cracked feet. Silkpeel Dermalinfusion or hydrodermabrasion skin treatments combine non-invasive exfoliation with the infusion of skin-specific topical solutions to improve and revitalize the skin. An advanced form of microdermabrasion, Silkpeel does not utilize crystal based technology. Please click on the link to read more about SilkPeel.

Silk Peel

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is painless, fast and much more convenient than shaving, waxing, or electrolysis. Beloved by men and women, Refine Medical Spa treats intimate areas as well as legs, backs, faces, chests, bikini lines and any where else where you have unsightly hair growth. Please click on the link to read more.

Permanent Hair Removal

Hydrating Facials

From Aqua Gold to PRP to IPL Photofacials to Silk Peel, we are sure that we offer the right treatment for your face and body to keep your skin in the best shape possible. Please take a look at all of our treatments by clicking on the link to read more.

Facial Treatments

 Facial Peels

chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel. The new, regenerated skin will be smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. We also feature the all natural Green Peel and Silk Peel.

Green Peel

Silk Peel

We hope that this has been a helpful guide to summer beauty hacks and we wish you the best summer ever!

Laser Technology and Beauty

Remaining youthful with Botox and Injectables

The pursuit of beauty and youth seems to be prevalent in our society. We live longer, are healthier and more active, and we want to look it as well. Some of us are fortunate enough to be wealthy but other must remain in the workforce and appearing youthful is a necessity in the competitive workspace.

To that end, we work out, color our hair, and maintain good eating habits. In years past, rich women and celebrities resorted to painful face lifts to achieve a youthful appearance but in many cases, such radical intervention is not necessary to build volume and prevent wrinkles.

We now have Botox, which lifts and erases lines on our foreheads and crow’s feet, and fillers, such as the Juvederm family of injectables. People as young as their twenties have embraced these modalities as preventatives and to subtly reshape their own features, such as fuller lips or more prominent cheekbones.

But the quality of our skin is a telltale giveaway to our age and that is where the use of aesthetic technologies, such as cosmetic lasers come into play.

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What do Lasers do?

Lasers have the ability to treat almost every skin condition from rosacea to broken capillaries and can remove unwanted hair, undo sun damage, and remove age spots and hyper-pigmentation. Some can tighten skin and reduce cellulite.

How do Lasers work?

Aesthetic lasers work by directing heat to targeted parts of the body that need to be treated while other parts remain unaffected. Various laser beams (light frequencies) are used to correct underlying issues or to create new collagen growth.

Types of laser technologies

We have a variety of lasers and applicators at Refine Medical Spa in Chicago. Dr. Bonnie Vulich, our founder, specializes in aesthetic procedures and anti-ageing medicine. She can direct you to the best treatment or combination of treatments for your specific problems.

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Our Lasers

InMode Diolaze hair removal targets the root of the hair follicle. A diode laser beam passes through your skin to penetrate the hair follicles. The laser energy heats up the root of the hair follicle causing it to die off, which in turn prevents future hair growth. In this way, Diolaze reduces the number of sessions necessary to get hair free skin. Diolaze has a built in skin cooling effect, which makes the procedure comfortable and painless.

Diolaze can be safely used on most areas of the body with unwanted hair growth, including:

  • Bikini area
  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Stomach
  • Neck
  • Chin
  • Hairline

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Inmode Lumecca

Lumecca is a revolutionary IPL (intense pulsed light) device that delivers photo-rejuvenation in one to two treatments rather than the standard four to six.  Lumecca photorejuvenation treats a range of issues such as sun damage, wrinkles, age spots, freckles, spider veins, vascular lesions, and rosacea. It can improve overall skin texture and be used on all areas of the body.

Your skin might appear redder for a couple of days but it can be covered up by make-up. Avoid strenuous activity, exercising, or hot showers for forty-eight hours after your treatment, as heating the skin could affect the efficacy of the treatment.

InMode Fractora is the most advanced fractional radio-frequency treatment providing anti-aging improvements to skin tone and texture for a more radiant appearance through ablation and skin resurfacing. Fractora can be used in areas that have fine or deep wrinkles, acne scars, scars or discolored red and brown areas. It can be used on eyelids, smile lines, neck, mouth, cheeks, and forehead, among other areas. Results will be apparent immediately but will be best after two weeks.

Fractora is minimally invasive and uses micropins, much like microneedeling, to resurface and rejuvenate the skin, while heat penetrates deep layers in the skin to boost collagen growth resulting in a youthful appearance.

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Votiva Vaginal Rejuvenation

Votiva delivers vaginal rejuvenation that works on the internal and external tissue of the vagina without the need for painful surgery or significant downtime. Votiva increases blood flow and sensitivity, increases elasticity, and tightens sagging tissues of the labia and vulva.

Please click here to read more about Votiva.

Venus Legacy

Venus Legacy is a cutting-edge FDA approved technology that utilizes multi-polar radio frequencies and pulsed magnetic fields that cause a thermal reaction in the tissue that stimulates the body’s natural healing response.

Venus Legacy is used for two specific purposes:

  • tightening loose and sagging skin, common during the aging process and after weight loss or childbirth.
  • reducing cellulite, which is caused by underlying fat deposits that give the skin a dimpled or lumpy appearance.

To read more about cellulite reduction, please click here.

To read more about skin tightening, please click here.

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When you come in to Refine Medical Spa in Chicago’s vibrant Streeterville, Dr. Bonnie Vulich, will offer you a complimentary consultation to determine which treatment or combination of treatments would be best to address your needs and goals. Call today to make an appointment 312.867-0600.

Preparing for Your Summer Wedding

Bridal bootcamp? Take the easy way out with non-invasive fat removal!

Brides, we think you are beautiful as you are, but we understand that you want to look your best on your wedding day, particularly as your special moments will be recorded either in photos or on video.

It’s not that difficult to learn to pose for a still photo which will take advantage of your best angles -but what about those spontaneous shots from the rear and sides? To that end, we want to spare you.

We know you are stressed enough with all the preparations you have to make, so instead of taxing your adrenals even more and having your dieting and exercise efforts backfire when you plateau, we suggest CoolSculpting, a non invasive method of fat removal, which eliminates fat cells by freezing them. Your body will secret these cells through the body’s waste elimination process. You can see incredible results in as little as three weeks, though you might want to start a few months ahead of the wedding for full results. We also feature CoolSculpt Advantage for arms, or for petite persons, and Coolsculpt Mini for those problematic double chins.

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Tightening skin and improving the look of cellulite

To tone and tighten areas where Coolsculpt has been applied or to reduce cellulite we feature Venus Legacy, an advanced technology which uses heat to naturally boost collagen production and break down fat cells, smoothing cellulite and improving the look of sagging skin.  If you are having a beach honeymoon, it might be wise to begin somewhat ahead of time. Depending on the severity of your dimpling, as many as ten sessions might be necessary to see optimal results.

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Laser hair Removal, Eye lash lengthening, Microblading for eyebrows, PRP restoration

It’s funny that we humans have come to think of lush brows and lashes and full heads of hair as beautiful while we work diligently to pluck, shave, and wax the rest of our body hair- but there you have it.

Whether you desire thicker hair, longer lashes, or full brows, we have the right treatment for you. If you need laser hair removal or waxing, we can also help. Again please begin treatments ahead of time, particularly regarding laser hair removal and eyelash growth.

Grooms, we welcome you to come in as well!

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Face and neck tightening, Removing skin discolorations

Young brides won’t need it, but not all brides are in their first bloom and as the mother of the bride or groom you will also want to look your very best. Venus Legacy is used for tightening skin non-invasively. We have a number of wonderful facials and peels for reducing spots, redness, and acne, such as Silk Peel, Green Peel and HydraFacial.

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Teeth whitening, Injectibles, and Botox

See immediate results with the Juvederm family of injectibles. Whether you desire plumper lips or a more youthful appearance, we can achieve it by injecting the area around your naso-labial folds, your marionette lines, and your cheeks for an instant face lift.  Botox ,which reduces forehead lines,and sagging, as well as crow’s feet, will take three days to begin demonstrating results and three weeks to show up fully.

Teeth whitening  can be accomplished in three 20 minute sessions.

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PRP and Aqua Gold

Refresh and refine your appearance with the vampire facial, also known as the platelet-rich plasma facial. The (PRP) facial uses your own drawn blood, which is centrifuged to separate the platelet-rich plasma and then is applied directly to the skin. The platelets are high in growth hormone, and the microneedling procedure stimulates the skin to regenerate.

PRP can be combined with Aqua Gold for a gentler facial. Aqua Gold fine touch works to boost collagen production by rejuvenating skin with a custom blend of anti-aging ingredients. You can expect plumper, softer skin.

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Votiva

If you need relief from embarrassing incontinence, painful sex, dryness or itchiness, you can get it without surgical intervention or dangerous hormone treatments.

Refine Medical Spa in Chicago is offering Votiva Vaginal Rejuvenation, an amazing, fast acting treatment developed to help urinary incontinence, strengthen the pelvic  floor, tighten and tone lax muscles and refine the outside appearance of your vulva.

Dr. Vulich specializes in the Votiva Vaginal Rejuvenation treatment in the privacy of the relaxing surroundings at Refine Medical Spa, where you can be confident that your concerns, whether aesthetic or functional, will be treated with discretion.

It’s not just for brides

We welcome all members of the wedding party, family, and guests. If you would like to look your best this wedding season, we are certain that we have the right service for you!

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Hair Loss and Balding Prevention

Thinning Hair, Hair Loss and Baldness

Hair loss can affect the scalp or body. It can be the result of heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions, or medications.

Gradual thinning on top of head is the most common type of hair loss, affecting both men and women as they age. In men, hair often begins to recede from the forehead. Women typically retain their hairlines but have a broadening in the part of their hair.

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Causes of Hair Loss

WebMD states that hair loss is typically related to one or more of the following factors:

  1. The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. It usually occurs gradually with aging and in predictable patterns — a receding hairline and bald spots in men and thinning hair in women.
  2. A variety of conditions can cause permanent or temporary hair loss, including hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and thyroid problems. Medical conditions include alopecia areata which causes patchy hair loss, scalp infections such as ringworm, and a hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania
  3. Hair loss can be a side effect of certain drugs, such as those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure.
  4. Radiation therapy to the head. The hair may not grow back the same as it was before.
  5. Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary.
  6.  Excessive hair styling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows, can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Hot oil hair treatments and permanents can cause inflammation of hair follicles that leads to hair loss. If scarring occurs, hair loss could be permanent.

 

What Can We Do to Prevent Hair Loss?

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Nutrition

Protein is important to strengthen hair and promote growth. The recommended daily amount is about two to three 3-ounce servings of meat or a combination of four to five servings of dairy and beans.

Include nuts and seeds, eggs, and fish in your diet. All are important sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower inflammation and create a healthier scalp.

Supplement with zinc, biotin, saw palmetto, and iron, if you are deficient.

Rogaine

Minoxidil is available as Rogaine or Theroxidil, or in generic form. It’s sold as a liquid or foam and in two strengths: 2% and 5%.  Minoxidil works for about 2 out of 3 men. It’s most effective for people under age 40 who have only recently started to lose their hair.

Rogaine has primarily been tested only on the crown of the head in men, and so it is  not recommend for use on the front of the scalp. However, note that minoxidil cannot reverse or move a receding hairline, nor can it regrow hair on a completely bald scalp.

Rogaine side effects are:

  1.  rapid weight gain
  2.  headache, dizziness, confusion
  3. swelling of hands or feet
  4. chest pain
  5. rapid heart rate
  6. severe scalp irritation
  7. unwanted facial hair

 

Hair Transplants

Hair transplants are typically associated with men seeking a remedy for male-pattern hair loss, but the number of women looking to the procedure has been on the rise.

Hair transplants are not suitable for everyone.  The person must have enough donor hair to supply the areas that are thin or balding. Those with male pattern baldness, caused by high level of the male hormone androgen are the best candidates for this procedure.

There are two different methods for achieving a successful hair transplant, both of which require local anesthesia. Healthy hair follicles are harvested from the back of the head either by extracting a thin ellipse of the hair-bearing scalp and closing the area with sutures or by extracting individual hair follicles one by one

However, the high cost of transplants may be prohibitive for many people.

 

Wigs and Hairpieces

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Tina Turner, Raquel Welch and Sean Connery look fabulous in them. You may be able to pull a wig or a hairpiece off, but many people, especially men find them uncomfortable and fake looking.

 

PRP

PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy for hair loss is a three-step medical treatment in which a person’s blood is drawn, processed, and then injected into the scalp.

PRP injections trigger natural hair growth and maintain it by increasing blood supply to the hair follicle and increasing the thickness of the hair shaft.

Four to six treatments are necessary to see improvement. These quick and affordable injections take just a few minutes and don’t require any downtime.

PRP promotes hair growth when follicles are present. People with extreme hair loss or non-existent follicles are generally not candidates for this PRP hair treatment.

 

Bald is Beautiful

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Studies have found that bald men are viewed as more honest, intelligent, dominant, confident, masculine, and stronger than their hirsute counterparts.

Before you decide on a treatment, please give us a call to learn more about PRP and read:

Read more about PRP and hair regrowth from the Cleveland Clinic

Winterize Your Skin

Winter Skin

Winter can wreak havoc on our skin particularly as we move from the cold outdoors into our heated homes and work environments.

Wind, precipitation, and dropping temperatures can leave us with dry, flaky patches, or grey dull skin from lack of cell turnover.  Redness and rosacea can become unmanageable.

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Our Top 10 Tips for Maintaining Your Skin

You can spend a fortune on products but good skin comes from the outside in.

  1. Wrap your scarf around your face. There’s a reason the bedu wrapped shemaghs around their faces. It was to have protection from the elements.
  2. Forgo processed foods. Nothing is worse for your skin that junk food and sugary carbs.
  3. Remember dairy is inflammatory. Many skin problems vanish when we stop consuming gluten, grains, and dairy.
  4. Good fats like avocado and olive oil contain essential fatty acids and nutrients to feed your skin, as do fatty fish.
  5. Forgo hot baths and showers. They feel so good, but they are so drying. Settle for tepid instead.
  6. Just because you don’t feel as thirsty as you do in summer, doesn’t mean you should stop drinking water. Remember hydration doesn’t just happen when you drink liquids. Fruits and vegetables are essential to keeping your tissues supple and healthy.
  7. Try rose hip oil, avocado, almond oil for after shower moisturizing. Sometimes, natural really is best and most compatible with skin.
  8. Use a mild liquid facial cleanser mixed with table sugar for an effective scrub. Or make a mask from raw honey or aloe Vera. Japanese women swear by rice water, Eastern Europeans by egg whites. Inexpensive, easy to use and naturally biocompatible.
  9. Don’t overwork your skin with elaborate skin care routines. On a daily basis, sometimes less can be more.
  10. Get a facial.

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Winter Facials.

  1. Silk Peel

The perfect winter facial. DermalInfusion three- in -one advanced skin-resurfacing treatment simultaneously exfoliates, extracts, and infuses skin for a 70% increase in volume.

2. Queen Bee

Exclusive to Refine Medical Spa, the Queen Bee facial combines Silk Peel with the skin tightening effects of Venus Legacy, a cutting-edge technology that utilizes multi-polar radio frequency and pulsed magnetic fields that cause a thermal reaction in the tissue that stimulates the body’s natural healing response.

3. The PRP or Vampire Facial is done using your own drawn blood that is centrifuged to separate the platelet-rich plasma, which is then applied directly to the skin. The platelets are high in growth hormone, and the microneedling stimulates the skin to regenerate. The entire procedure stimulates cell turnover. PRP can be combined with AquaGold’s superfine micro-needles to gently deliver a custom blended serum designed specifically for your needs into your skin.

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The better you care for your skin today, the less you will need to do (and spend) as you age.

 

Batwings

Batwings

The dreaded batwing. You probably saw it materialize on your body sometime in your late thirties or early forties. You might have caught sight of yourself in a reflection or on a photograph, upper arm flab waving about like a flag in the wind. Since then you’ve restricted your range of motion so much that you resemble the Queen of England.

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Working Out

It may be that you used to play sports or work out in the gym, but life has interfered with your schedule. You have a demanding job, older parents, or a family to look after. Maybe you’ve been ill or injured and have had to take time off from your regime.

Fat Storage

Perhaps you always had large arms even though the rest of your body may be slim or average in size. We all hold weight differently and some people have heavy arms, just as some have heavy calves. If you are fine with it, we encourage you to celebrate your unique body. If, however, you are restricting your life or feel ashamed of your upper arms in short sleeves, sleeveless dress, or your clothes never fit correctly, this article is for you.

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Coolsculpting vs Liposuction

That’s fine, you say, but I’m not subjecting myself to surgery and the pain and inconvenience afterward. Well you needn’t. The science behind Coolsculpting is called cryolipolysis and it’s about freezing fat cells, which your body processes and excretes naturally. Coolsculpting is non-invasive with no downtime, although some people may show a bit of bruising after the applicators are removed. If you are planning a beach holiday or an intimate get away, we urge you to give yourself some time to allow the bruising to clear up.

What to expect

So how does it work? The protective sleeve or gel is placed on the body prior to the applicator. The fatty flesh has been previously outlined by the doctor and the applicator now goes over it. While you read or nap, the Coolsculpting process does its work. After thirty-five minutes, the applicators are removed. Results are individual and you may need several sessions to see best results.

You will, however,  see changes in thirty to ninety days and the cells that have been eliminated will never return. You may, however need to watch your weight since there are other cells in the area which fight fill up with fat if you are consuming excessive calories or the wrong types of food for your individual needs.

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Coolsculpt Cooladvantage Petite

There are several types of Coolsculpting applicators for various uses. We are thrilled to introduce Coolsculpt Cooladvantage Petite, which has been designed for arms and small areas of the body and for petite persons. It can be used on the arms, flanks, abdomen, and back (bra fat). In order to debut the device, we are offering a buy three sessions and get one free special.

Coolscultping can always be combined with Venus Legacy,which will tighten the skin after the fat has been removed for a tighter and more toned appearance. Venus Legacy accomplishes that with radio wave frequencies.

Coolsculpting has been approved by the FDA as a non-invasive way to remove fat non-surgically and the scientific evidence behind Coolsculpting has been published in over  one hundred peer reviewed abstracts and papers .

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The Science behind Coolsculpting

Cryolipolysis is the non-invasive cooling of fat tissue to induce the breakdown down fat cells without damage to other tissues. It is based on the principle that fat cells are more vulnerable to energy extraction than surrounding tissues. A non-invasive applicator is attached to the targeted procedure area to extract energy from the underlying fat tissue while protecting the skin, nerves, muscles, and other tissue. The cooled fat cells undergo  cell death and are gradually eliminated, reducing the thickness of the fat layer.

During the procedure, exposure to cooling causes fat cell apoptosis, which leads to the release of cytokines and other inflammatory mediators. Inflammatory cells gradually digest the affected fat cells in the months after the procedure. Lipids from these fat cells are slowly released and transported by the lymphatic system to be processed, much like fat from food. Because the lipid clearance process is gradual, there is no harmful change in blood lipids or liver function.

Lipids in fat cells crystallize at warmer temperatures than other water-containing cells. This is how cryolipolysis targets only fat cells for destruction and spares other tissue such as skin, muscle, and nerves. The CoolSculpting system controls the rate of energy extraction or cooling during the procedure.

Call us today for a free consultation: 312.867-0600

Please click on the photos to see all our Coolsculpting pages.

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Remaining Youthful from the Inside Out

Chicago’s Refine Medical Spa’s Anti-ageing Recommendations

You’ve probably arrived at Refine Medical Spa’s website because you are looking for aesthetic procedures to refresh and improve your appearance. We’re thrilled to have you here, but today we want to talk about the ageing process and what you can do to make the second half of your life even better than the first.

Stress and Ageing

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We’ve all heard that stress kills by weakening our physical systems and organs over time. The sad fact is, we have lifestyles that are deleterious to our health. Competition for status and resources play a part of our development from our earliest days and continue into school and the job market. Keeping up and maintaining our position, our possessions, our retirement funds, our children’s schools, and worrying about their place in the world takes a toll on our health. We have so much materially but we have little enjoyment in our lives. Statistically, Americans take fewer vacations and enjoy life less than their first world counterparts.

Few of us can afford to pick up and change our lifestyles, becoming a fitness expert on Bali or artisanal cheese maker in Vermont. If we choose to remain locked within the system, we will never experience significant reductions in stress. So what can we change? We can begin with our thought processes and our response to stress. How we chose to think about events has been ingrained in us from earliest childhood. But there are ways to reprogram our unconscious and our subconscious mind to respond as if we were living in the slow lane, even though we are not.

Meditation

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Meditation is the single most effective method of calming both mind and body and stepping out of the ego centered mind. You don’t need a fancy technique, classes, or a teacher to begin. You just need a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted for ten to twenty minutes each day. Yes, you do have time for it-just substitute it for your binge watching or social media time suck.

You can begin by sitting in a quiet space and bringing in the light –whether you want to call it God, the Universe, your higher Self, or nothing at all-through the top of your head. Then simply breathe and follow your outbreath with a mantra. Om is simple enough or God, Love, Forgive, Secure-whatever turns you on at the moment will work. Keep sitting. Your thoughts will jump all over the place but eventually they will clear, though it may take a few sessions. You will then discover a whole other world beyond your daily concerns –somewhere where your true self intersects with larger cosmic truths.

Yoga

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Unfortunately, the way yoga is taught in the United States is more akin to calisthenics than anything else. True yoga is a discipline, which affects your entire life and your entire system: body, mind, spirit, and soul. We’ve had a hundred years of quantum mechanics and yet the paradigm that our medical system is built on is still mechanistic. It has not yet incorporated the notion that we are pure energy, or that there could be more to a methodology of integrative medicine than incorporating a few acupuncture sessions on top of the existing system, which treats disparate symptoms with pharmaceuticals or aggressive therapies.
While there are a variety of yoga styles to choose from, they should always be practiced mindfully, and at your own speed to the best of your ability.

Hypnosis

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In the hands of a qualified practitioner, hypnosis can be used to circumvent years of talk therapy, which makes one aware of one’s issues but rarely can resolve habitual thought patterns by reprogramming the parts of the mind that we so often can’t access by conventional means.

The point is to change the way we habitually process information and react to that information.

Other Calming Therapies

Forest Bathing

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Sure, the Japanese term has gained currency in recent years but regular nature walks really work to drain your organism and mind of tension. Even in cities, walking by waterfronts or through parks is adequate for decompressing. In the West, we like to think we have mastered nature but really we’re just part of the whole and we need the outdoors to restore our well being.

Earthing can be considered a subset of our time in nature. Take off your shoes, walk through the grass or sand, put your bare feet in the water, and connect to Earth’s energy field.  There have been scientific studies done on Earthing, so give it a Google and see if it doesn’t make you feel better.

Massage and Body Work

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Massage feels fantastic though the effects are temporary. Body work will release habitual blocks and body armor and work through the emotions that we have not released and that are stuck in our bodies. Remember mind, body, and spirit are not separate but are an integrated whole. Working on one will affect the others.

Facial Exercises

We’ve all accepted the way to keep our bodies healthy and in shape is to give them a combination of strength and aerobic training. Facial exercises can relax habitual tension and fixed expressions and keep the underlying facial muscles from atrophying. There are a number of very good videos on Youtube you can learn from. The actor Cary Grant did them daily and swore by them.

Nutrition

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It’s the elephant in the room but unless our diets are whole and organic, we can’t expect to be in prime shape or to look particularly youthful. There is no right diet for anyone within those parameters. Allergy testing should be part of our physicals, because we can be eating the healthiest foods on the planet but they could be causing our bodies damage. Raw, cooked, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, pescetarian or gluten, oxalate, dairy, and nightshade free-don’t follow even the best intentioned advice from so -called experts. You will have to do an elimination diet to see what works for you. However, you can begin by eating whole foods and eliminating processed foods altogether. Experiment with alcohol as well. We love it, but it does raise blood sugar and it is harmful to your liver.

Rest and Sleep

Good sleep is critically important to good health. New studies reveal what ancient systems have long known and implemented, sleeping and rising with Earth’s rhythms are healthiest. The hours between 11 pm and 2 am are most critical to regenerating the body.  Do what you need to do to be in bed with eyes shut by 10.30 pm.  There are excellent sleep enhancing videos on YouTube you can play to stop your thoughts from racing and relax the mind. Experiment and see what works best for you: music, nature sounds, or a soothing human voice.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and Telomeres

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A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighboring chromosomes.  Telomere length is considered a key marker in measuring a person’s biological age as opposed to their chronological age. Shortened telomeres have been associated with cellular aging and dysfunction.

We feature TA-65® , a patented, all natural, plant-based supplement that can help maintain or rebuild telomeres that diminish as people get older. By activating an enzyme called telomerase, the TA-65® compound can help slow down and possibly reverse age and lifestyle-related telomere shortening. Telomere length is considered a key marker in measuring a person’s biological age as opposed to their chronological age. Shortened telomeres have been associated with cellular aging and dysfunction. By activating an enzyme called telomerase, the TA-65® compound can help slow down and possibly reverse age and lifestyle-related telomere shortening.

Hormones control many bodily functions. They serve as an internal communication system between cells and coordinate growth, digestion, appetite, immune function, mood, and libido. Even mildly out of balance hormones can have a big impact on your health and well-being. Bio-identical hormones are man made hormones derived from plants that are chemically identical to those the human body produces. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are among those most commonly replicated and used in treatment.

BHRT is a treatment used to augment the body’s natural hormone levels. BHRT can be used to treat men and women when their hormone levels drop or become unbalanced. Used most often to combat the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, it can be used to improve symptoms of cancer treatment or to treat conditions such as adrenal and thyroid disorders, insulin resistance, osteoporosis, and fibrillation.

Dr. Bonnie Vulich is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, meaning she had the same training as an MD, with one exception. She examines your entire body as a whole, not just as symptoms arising from disparate and unrelated parts. As she completed a fellowship in anti-ageing medicine, she is qualified to recommend a whole body approach to healing from the inside out with the right blend of therapies, nutrition, and supplements that are unique to you and your needs, and to help you to remain youthful from the inside out.

Holiday Eating

Bad Advice from Experts and the Media About Food

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For years, women’s magazines have been giving us ridiculous advice on how to eat over the holidays, such as: Before a party, load up on carrot sticks. When you get there, skip the appetizers, and drink white wine spritzers.

Let’s get real. Few of us overeat appetizers at holiday parties. What we do is over drink, eat carb rich, and sugar laden foods. In the meantime, there are other things going on this time of year that are contributing to our cravings.

It’s bad enough that the days are getting colder and we are spending less time outdoors, but we have the additional burden of daylight savings time, making for shorter days. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like eating cold crudities dipped in yogurt on days like this. Additionally how many of you come home from a long day at work and can’t wait to get into the kitchen to make a gourmet meal. Yeah, me neither.

So there remains the question of what to eat.  It’s easy in summer when you can pop something on the grill and make a salad, but that’s not going to work to satisfy your bodily requirements now. This is why so many of us gain weight during the winter months; we grab the richest ready made foods we can find, which usually consist of flour and bad fats.

For those of us who work in office environments and are who are constantly exposed to sugary treats like commercial candies, donuts, cookies and the like, something more that willpower will be required to overcome temptation.

Healthy  Fats

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Your secret weapon during the cold months of the year is fat. Yes, you heard me right. For years, fat has been demonized in the press and by the medical establishment. This push has been made by lobbyists on behalf of processed food companies. Of course, those companies use bad, cheap fats to create their Frankenfoods.

The fats you should rely on are not only good for your heart, your skin, hair, and overall health, but they are deeply satisfying and will leave you sated for a very long time afterward.

So what kind of fats should you be eating? This is very individual and you will have to either experiment on yourself or get tested for food allergies and sensitivities, but generally grass fed butter, coconut oil, MCT Oil, and olive oil are your best bets. Dairy can cause inflammation, so you will have to experiment with cheeses and not overeat them. Generally speaking, you should be looking for grass fed, hormone free products. Skip milk and cream altogether. Nut butters can also be problematic due to mold overgrowth and for some people who react to histamines, avocado can be a problem as well.

Superfoods

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What other superfoods can we rely on during the winter months? Sardines are a nutritional powerhouse-and all you have to do is open a can. Fatty fish like salmon can be made in minutes –either baked or broiled-with a bit of spice, lemon juice, and butter. Tuna takes a quick sear and a splash of soy sauce -gluten free of course. If you require meat, then the slow cooker can be your best friend.

Have you been avoiding egg yolks in the mistaken belief that they can damage your arteries? Nothing can be further from the truth. Eggs are a perfect food. Just make sure you buy organic and free range to get the most nutrients from them.

In terms of vegetables, look to dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. They take minutes to steam. Add garlic powder, sea salt and olive oil and you’re ready to go. Additionally these nutritional powerhouses have the advantage of being liver friendly. And that’s critical if you are going to be drinking.

Lose Weight by Refrigerating Carbs

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The quickest way to lose weight is to get carbs out of your diet. Add sweet potatoes instead. Forget Granny’s Thanksgiving recipe, which is laden with brown sugar-sweet potatoes are already sweet enough! Baked or steamed with the addition of grass fed butter such as Kerry Gold-and you will be in heaven. Baking, refrigerating for 24 hours, and then reheating potatoes increases their resistant starch content by 280%, according to some studies. You can do the same for beans, pulses, purple potatoes, and rice. But limit your intake to once or twice a week, if you want to lose weight.

After you make dietary changes to include healthy fats and still have sweet cravings, up your red meat intake. If you still crave sweets or need to sweeten coffee and tea, consider Stevia, a South American herb, which comes in a powder form and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. It has none of the metabolic dangers associated with commercial sugar substitutes. If you must have dessert, purchase organic cocoa powder, and in your mixer combine it with avocado, vanilla, Stevia/or maple syrup, and chocolate almond milk to make a rich and satisfying chocolate mousse which is not only healthy but indistinguishable from the dairy and sugary original.

Holiday Drinking

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And now we come to the one thing that can sabotage our best efforts during the holidays: alcohol. So what should we drink over the holidays? Whiskey, vodka, brandy, gin, tequila, and other pure alcohols have zero carbs. The lowest-carb wine option is a flute of champagne with 1 gram of carbs. Dry white and red wine have around 2 grams per serving. A typical beer has 13 grams.  It’s more than likely that the health benefits of alcohol, particularly wine, have been exaggerated. No alcohol is liver friendly, although fortunately, the liver is a self-regenerating organ. So to help you drink moderately, ask for a chaser. A bubbly mineral water will fill you up, provide much needed hydration, and help you to drink less.

Please click on the photo below to find out what your cravings really mean and which healthy foods you can substitute.

 

Gut health, Supplements and Probiotics

 

The Importance of Food for Maintaining Good Health

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said, ‘Let food be they medicine and medicine be thy food.’ In modern times, we have paraphrased this aphorism as You are what you eat.

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However, since the era of the Madmen in advertising, we have allowed ourselves to be fooled into thinking that prepackaged, fast, or otherwise adulterated food is actually good for us. Nothing can be further from the truth. While improvements in hygiene and waste disposal, along with powerful antibiotics, have contributed to lengthening our collective lifespans, we are entering old age more debilitated than our counterparts did in previous eras.

Partly due to our sedentary lifestyles, or indulgence in excessive sports, we are ever more reliant on technologies and surgeries to help us retain mobility. Some of us resort to hair color, plastic surgeries, or injections to look younger. We go on diets to remain slim and sexy, following every fad from low fat to low gluten.

However, we rarely think about the impact our actions have on our long-term health. True, most of the health conscious have stopped smoking, but have replaced that indulgence by guzzling supersized glasses of wine, focusing on the heart healthy benefits of Resveratrol while ignoring the effects of carbohydrates and sugars on their bodies. Additionally we indulge in so-called whole grains and healthy carbs, while wondering why our waistlines never seem to shrink.

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Some people, on the other hand, believe our cave ancestors ate nothing but meat, which could not be further from the truth, and err on the other side of dietary spectrum. Others follow the Okinawa diet or the Mediterranean diet ignoring that the less stressful lifestyles and general contentment of those populations relative to our own culture might be the real clue to their good health.

Organic Food, Soil Depletion and Supplements

Now you might say, that’s not me, I eat an organic and balanced diet. The only trouble with that is that the organic label doesn’t always mean food is entirely raised or initially sourced organically. Even grass fed cows spend the last portions of their lives in feedlots, thus undoing most of the benefits beef eaters hope to derive from consuming ‘organic’ meat.

The most disturbing aspect about agriculture in the United States is that our soils have been leeched of vital nutrients and minerals and poisoned by pesticides and petrochemical fertilizers for decades. We think we are getting the fuel and vitamins we need to maintain a healthy body, but we are not.

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We then resort to supplements. However, we might not realize that not all vitamin and mineral formulas are of the same quality. Those on sale at our local drugstores, or even in stores that specialize in vitamins, have been found to be full of additives, fillers and contaminants.

If you are going to supplement, it is advisable to purchase physician/pharmaceutical grade supplements available from holistic health practitioners. These supplements will be the ones most able to deliver benefits without any additional fillers or contaminants.

While we carry a wide range of supplements manufactured by Metagenics and Xymogen, Dr. Vulich recommends that almost everyone can begin to improve overall health by taking probiotics. As Hippocrates also said, Health begins in the gut.

Gut Bacteria and Well-being

What do we actually mean by the gut? The gastrointestinal system, also referred to as the gastrointestinal tract, digestive system, digestive tract, or gut, is a group of organs that includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon, and rectum.

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What then is gut bacteria?  There are three to five hundred different kinds of bacteria within the digestive tract. Along with other tiny organisms like viruses and fungi, they make up the unique microbiota that is different in each human being. One’s microbiota is determined by the mother’s microbiota, the environment that the body is exposed to at birth, and from diet and lifestyle.

Bacteria lives in the entire body, but the bacteria in the gut may have the biggest impact on well-being. Though they line the entire digestive system, the majority live in the intestines and colon.

Chronic stress, antibiotics, poor overall health, C-section births, and environmental toxins can all deplete the beneficial flora found in the gut. Symptoms can present as heartburn, constipation, bloating and excess gas while having far-reaching and damaging consequences for overall health.

Chronic inflammation can cause the body to seek to protect itself, launching an immune response and damaging its own tissues and organs in the process.  Studies indicate that poor gut health may be responsible for depression, headaches, fatigue, fibromyalgia, autism, Parkinson’s Disease, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, dermatitis, obesity and diabetes.

We also have to consider the fact that our entire system works symbiotically and that the metabolism and thyroid cannot function properly without good gut health. Some physicians suggest that those with subnormal thyroid function need to improve their gut health in order for thyroid medications to be completely utilized by the body.

Certainly, gut health can be improved by eating fermented foods, such as sauerkraut or Kimchee, consuming bone broth, oinions and garlic, while avoiding sugars and limiting gluten or processed carbohydrates. However, supplementation can help the body get a jump-start in creating good gut fauna and eliminating a host of underlying health problems.

Dr. Bonnie Vulich will be happy to discuss your symptoms and goals with you and suggest a nutritional program along with the proper supplementation to improve your overall health. Please call today 312.867-0600.

Non-Surgical Body Contouring with Fire and Ice Body Treatments

With our busy schedules, few of us can afford to devote hours to physical fitness, but even if we do, we can still have pockets of unsightly fat that are completely resistant to our efforts.

Liposuction was the old way of treating this areas, but not only is it expensive, it also carries risks such as any surgical procedure might do.

That’s where CoolSculpting comes in. CoolSculpting is a non-invasive, risk free treatment with no downtime that melts fat away naturally. Fat cells are frozen with the CoolSculpting device, painlessly, and then eliminated by the body’s natural processes.

Protective gel is placed on the area and then the device is utilized to freeze the fat cells, while the skin and muscles remain undamaged. The most amazing part of CoolSculpting is that those cells die off and leave the body permanently. Generally, when a person gains or loses weight, the fat cells either expand or contract, but they remain in the body. In other words, with CoolSculpting the fat cells that were frozen will never return.

Patients will see improvements within three weeks, though it can take up to three months to see the full results, which can be dramatic.

CoolSculpting can be used on the abdomen, flanks, inner or outer thighs, chin, and upper arms.

However, CoolSculpting cannot improve the quality of skin. When we are older, our skin doesn’t bounce back as quickly after weight loss. That’s where Venus Legacy, the fire portion of the treatment comes in. Venus Legacy is a device that delivers radio frequencies is used to heat the collagen below the skin, causing it to tighten and then regenerate. Venus is often used to treat cellulite eliminating the dimples found on the thighs and buttocks, smoothing skin and tightening sagging.

After both treatments are applied, you will experience fat reduction and the skin, where the fat loss occurred, will be firm and not saggy.

Come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Vulich, who will explain both procedures in depth and devise an individualized treatment protocol specifically for you, no matter where your problem areas may be occurring. Do remember that CoolSculpting and Venus Legacy aren’t a short cut to weight loss if you are obese.

To get you into shape this summer, we are now offering  20% off the total package, which combines both treatments. Call us today 312.867-0600.

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Fat Reduction with CoolSculpting meets tightening and toning with Venus Legacy