Device does work of 12,000 Kegels to strengthen pelvic muscles.
To see Jamaica as Christopher Columbus did when he found the island in 1494, you have to travel east of Kingston, away from the glut of all-inclusive resorts in the west and north, to the coastal region where Andrea White-McNeil grew up.
You’ll still see plenty of tourists there, but you’ll also see beaches, waterfalls and mountain ranges that have been left mostly undisturbed by the explosion of expansion that has turned Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril into resort towns.
“My side of Jamaica is what Negril used to be before it became the Negril that it is today,” Andrea explains. “It’s more of an eco-tourism area, where everything is very natural and low-key. It’s very quaint there.”
Despite her hometown’s quaint approach, Andrea could not avoid being bitten by the tourism bug herself. A former high school teacher, she was recruited into the industry several years ago and now teaches hospitality at Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU).
“I mostly teach lodging and tourism,” says Andrea, who came to the US to attend college in 2000. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Andrea took on the professorship at B-CU, where she also does student advising.
Not long ago, Andrea sought advice on how to better deal with an annoying condition called urinary incontinence, an involuntary loss of urine that can be sparked by something as simple as a laugh, cough or sneeze.
Caused by a weakening of the bladder or sphincter muscles, an overactive bladder or nerve damage, urinary incontinence typically results in the loss of a few drops of urine, but it can also present itself as a strong urge to urinate.
“I first noticed it a few years ago, when I began to experience some leakage after I coughed or sneezed,” Andrea reports. “Ever since then, I’ve taken steps to make sure I’m prepared for those moments.”
As it is with many with the disorder, Andrea prepared by wearing protective pads. Pads don’t resolve the problem, though, so Andrea eventually sought medical advice from Delicia M. Haynes, MD, founder of Family First Health Center.
Join the Club
Based on the Direct Primary Care (DPC) model, Family First Health Center is an integrative, membership-based primary care clinic where Dr. Haynes empowers patients to look and feel their best from the inside out through a lifestyle medicine approach.
Unlike many traditional primary care offices, Family First offers members prompt appointments, expanded one-on-one time with the doctor, virtual visits and more through a monthly membership. There are never copays, deductibles or insurance hassles.
“It’s like having a gym-style membership to your doctor,” Dr. Haynes relates. “But the membership is secondary because care is our primary focus. And what I promote is personalized health care. I’m like an old-time family doctor with modern technology.”
The model followed by Family First Health Center is one of the fastest-growing movements in primary care, and Dr. Haynes is among those who have helped other physicians make the transition to it.
“Most doctors really love practicing medicine, but they hate the way it’s being practiced,” she says. “This model is all about getting third parties out of the exam room and going back to emphasizing the doctor-patient relationship.”
It’s that deeper, more personal relationship that attracted Andrea to Family First Health Center, where Dr. Haynes recommended treating Andrea’s urinary incontinence with a nonsurgical, drug-free device that is designed specifically to correct the disorder.
Take a Seat
That device is called the BTL Emsella®. It’s a chair that patients simply sit on. While the patient sits, the chair stimulates the body’s pelvic floor muscles and restores neuromuscular control by delivering high-intensity electromagnetic energy to the muscles.
“You sit on the chair for 28 minutes,” Dr. Haynes informs, “and during that time, the chair does the work of what amounts to more than 12,000 Kegel exercises, which are the exercises women are encouraged to do to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles.
“No one can do the number of Kegel exercises that this chair simulates, and the chair doesn’t cause any side effects. Oral medications can sometimes cause vaginal dryness, dryness of the mouth and dizziness. Best of all, it works.”
According to Dr. Haynes, more than 95 percent of the urinary incontinence patients who have used the BTL Emsella have reduced or eliminated their use of light, protective pads.
Dr. Haynes further notes that treatment using the BTL Emsella can also help patients more easily achieve orgasm and experience stronger orgasms, which can positively affect their sexual wellness and relationships.
“The BTL Emsella is great for anyone who is looking for a more natural approach to erasing their concerns about urinary incontinence,” Dr. Haynes concludes. “That’s exactly what Andrea was looking for when she first came to me about this.”
Andrea started treatments last year, shortly after Dr. Haynes obtained the device for her practice. Andrea followed the typical protocol, which calls for two sessions a week for three weeks. She is overjoyed with the results.
“I first started to notice a change about two months after I completed the treatment,” Andrea reports. “I noticed I wasn’t having leakage problems when I sneezed or coughed, and I thought, Hey, this really works.
“Since then, I’ve had no problems. My incontinence issues are gone. I don’t even think about it anymore. I still wear the pads just to be prepared if anything happens, but I haven’t needed them.”
Andrea is thrilled with the change the BTL Emsella chair has made in her life. She appreciates Dr. Haynes personal approach to health care as well.
“Dr. Haynes is very easy to talk to, and she listens,” Andrea offers. “She’s very relatable. We can sit and talk and have a conversation about what’s going on in my life, and she does a great job of finding solutions for me. I recommend her highly to anyone.”
© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb