By David Martin, RN

Do you ever find yourself awake in the middle of the night, counting sheep, and trying not to think about how restless your legs feel? Or, while working long hours at your desk, are your legs begging you to get up and move around? Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder that affects 10% of adults in the U.S. and is a potentially debilitating sleep disorder that should not be ignored.

VeinInnovations UltrasoundTaking a Deeper Look

After 16 years of studying and treating legs at VeinInnovations, we have found that many of our patients complain of restless legs at night. They describe sleepless nights caused by a tingling or crawling underneath the skin that makes them feel the urge to move their legs, or even cause them to jerk uncontrollably. Some patients also complain that they experience these symptoms throughout the day when they’ve been seated for long periods of time. Moreover, many patients come to us because they have been diagnosed with RLS and their medications are not working for them. Having an ultrasound can determine whether or not their RLS symptoms are being caused by vein disease.

“The ultrasound examination is a definitive way to rule out significant venous disease. If we rule out vein disease, then we can refer the patient out for neurological treatment of RLS. We know that the causes of restless legs can be neurological, however these symptoms mimic vein disease so we better not automatically assume the symptoms are being brought on by one or the other. On the other hand, if restless legs are based on venous disease, we have seen dramatic resolution of restless legs through vein treatment procedures,” says Darrell Caudill, Medical Director of VeinInnovations.

Don’t Suffer in Silence

Venous disease is treated using minimally invasive vein procedures done in a doctor’s office setting that help diseased or malfunctioning veins redirect blood into other veins for improved circulation. Many patients not only experience improvement of their RLS symptoms, but also many other symptoms caused by damaged veins. Some patients who have symptoms similar to those with restless legs syndrome are pleasantly surprised when they get their first good night of sleep post treatment. Better yet, when there is a positive ultrasound for vein disease along with one or more symptoms, about 90% of these vein treatment procedures are covered by insurance.

The ultrasound guides our treatment and is an effective diagnostic tool, whether the patient is suffering from varicose veins, swollen ankles, skin changes on the legs, restless legs at night or leg cramps. If you’ve had an ultrasound and vein disease was ruled out, restless legs could be caused by a myriad of other things such as central nervous system abnormalities, neurological abnormalities in the spine or brain, cortisol or iron deficiency, family history, medications, or caffeine. However, if you suffer from any RLS-like symptoms, or just tired, heavy legs, call VeinInnovations and make an appointment for an ultrasound to be performed by one of our registered vascular technologists to determine whether you may be suffering from treatable venous disease.

VEININNOVATIONS • (678) 731-9815 •

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By Jill M. Golsen, DMD

When you got married your partner didn’t snore. Now, there is a chain saw in the bedroom. You have now moved to the guest room. You are grumpy, have dark circles under your eyes, are always tired and are probably grinding your teeth too! Or, even worse, your child is snoring and sleeping with his or her mouth open and not breathing well! They are grinding their baby teeth down to nubs and everyone just says, “Oh, it’s normal.”

snoringNo, It’s Not Normal

This is not just snoring. Behind the “snoring curtain” are issues that must be diagnosed and resolved! There are so many levels to this problem. People can die during an apneic event because they stop breathing! At the very least when we snore, we are not going into deep sleep. It’s all about the airway and if it’s blocked, which is not good.

Resolving the Issue

In our office, we see people who are grinding their teeth or their front gums might be red and bleeding, which is our first clue that something is wrong. Next, we ask a few questions about their sleep habits. The CPAP machine is not always the answer. So don’t stop reading! After a discussion with the patient, we talk about the route to diagnosing this issue. Since there can be so many causes and treatment options, it’s important to not put the same label on everyone. We must listen to the patient and really think about the plan of action. Not getting this resolved can break up marriages! I have had patients come to me who are incredibly upset over their situation. Depending on our chat, we determine if it’s a sinus or dental issue.

If it’s a sinus issue, I always refer my patients to a great ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist who knows sleep issues and how to resolve them. You want to get this resolved! In children, this is terrible to let go on. So please don’t! Children especially feel the effects. Chronic sinusitis, throat infections, mouth breathing, flattened baby teeth, poor performance in school—these are all signs. Facial bone development can be affected by a child’s inability to breath. Think about that.

If any of this sounds familiar, “Houston, we have a problem!” Another round of antibiotics for their 6th sinus infection is not acceptable! Your poor child needs to be seen by an appropriate doctor who can resolve the issue.

After a thorough evaluation by us, and possibly an ENT doctor, and maybe a sleep study for a spouse, then the recommended treatment can be prescribed. This could be as simple as an appliance to wear to change the jaw position or nasal or sinus surgery.

Any of the prescribed solutions will help you breathe better and sleep better, which will make you feel better!

Get your partner back in the bedroom! Call our office if anyone in your family snores! We would love to help guide you and your family to be healthier—and happier!

Golsen Family Dentistry • Jill M. Golsen, DMD • (770) 667-0669 •

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By Mohammad Wehbi, MD

hemorrhoidsThanks to a nonsurgical procedure called the CRH O’Regan System®, patients do not need to suffer in silence from hemorrhoids. This safe and effective technique enables patients to be treated quickly, return to work the same day and resume normal activity with very little discomfort.

Hemorrhoids are very common in both men and women—especially pregnant women—and about half the population will get them by age 50. Hemorrhoids are actually swollen veins in the lower rectum and anus and can be extremely uncomfortable. For most women, hemorrhoids caused by pregnancy are a temporary problem resulting from the pressure of the fetus on the abdomen, hormonal changes and pressure on the blood vessels during childbirth. For both men and women, they can be caused by constipation, diarrhea, obesity, heavy lifting, or long periods of sitting.

Most patients only decide to see a gastroenterologist when the bleeding, pain, burning or itching becomes unbearable. When symptoms do become a problem, the physicians at Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates have been trained and certified in the CRH O’Regan System® to offer patients relief. In the past, surgery was frequently recommended to treat internal hemorrhoids. This nonsurgical method involves using a small rubber band to strangulate the base of the swollen vein and cut off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. Some patients may need more than one treatment, but the treatments can be spread out a couple of weeks apart. The procedure itself is minimally invasive and is over 90% effective. Plus, it does not require anesthesia, lasts less than five minutes and is typically performed in the office. Many patients go back to work after their appointment and resume normal activity. With this procedure, patients can finally end their discomfort for good.

Advantages of the CRH O’Regan System®

  • Highly effective treatment for hemorrhoids
  • Minimal pain or discomfort
  • Patients can quickly resume normal activity and return to work
  • No anesthesia needed
  • Procedure lasts about five minutes
  • Performed in office or endoscopy suite

Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates •

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By Vamsi Kancherla, MD

Laser spine surgery—we hear more about it every day. But what is it really? In this edition of Partners in Health, we share more about this treatment tool and answer common questions about it.

Common Questions

What is laser spine surgery?

A laser is merely a tool (like a scalpel, burr, etc.) used in performing minimally invasive or open spine surgery. It can:

  • Help make necessary cuts (rather than using the traditional scalpel)
  • Aid in removing and/or shrinking tumors and/or disc material around the spinal cord

Is there any medical evidence for the use of lasers in spine surgery?

Laser Spine SurgeryWhen used safely, lasers may play a very small role in minimally invasive or open spine surgery. There is no scientific evidence in well-respected medical journals to suggest that lasers are critical and/or useful in the vast majority of spine surgeries.

Can lasers be harmful?

Yes. A laser is a straight beam of light that is ill-suited for removing lesions hiding around corners. The ability to navigate angles safely is an important feature of the traditional scalpel. Because nerves are often tucked into narrow anatomic structures, a straight beam of light, like a laser, can accidentally injure a nerve, causing permanent neurologic problems. The heat from a laser can sometimes be transmitted to adjacent anatomical structures and also damage nerves.

Can lasers be helpful?

Very few conditions require the use of a laser. But in certain areas of surgery, lasers have been helpful. For instance, in lipomyelomeningocele surgery (removal of fatty tissue that is pressing on the spinal cord unnaturally and dangerously) the laser can be a useful tool. However, its role in the surgery is small.


Myth 1: Laser Spine Surgery is Medically Recognized

Laser spine surgery is not readily accepted in the medical community. It is not a topic of discussion among medical professionals at meetings of the North American Spine Society and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Myth 2: Laser Spine Surgery is Affordable

Because the technology is not clinically accepted and has not been proven, laser spine surgery is typically not covered by health insurance. As a result, procedures have been known to add up to $20,000 to $50,000 in out-of-pocket costs.

Myth 3: Laser Spine Surgery is Effective

Commercials for laser spine surgery often promise significant relief with less risk of complications and shorter recovery times. The truth is that it has not been proven what can actually be accomplished with a laser. Laser surgery is not the same as minimally invasive back surgery, which does produce results. And pain does not show up on X-rays or MRIs. This means that even if pain goes away, it can be hard to prove whether the surgery cured the pain or the pain just went away on its own.

When considering minimally invasive spine surgery options, ask yourself a few important questions: 

  • Does the practice or institution you are considering teach courses on the use of its technique at national spine meetings?
  • Is this procedure something that other respected surgeons have adopted?

If the answer to these questions is “no,” you may want to investigate other options.

Resurgens Spine Center • Non-surgical & Surgical Spine Care • 23 Convenient Atlanta Locations •

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Just in time for summer, chef Michelle Matlock of Sage Woodfire Tavern Buckhead shares a sweet and savory watermelon salad with an Agave Poppyseed Vinaigrette to serve at your next gathering.

photography by Becky SteinINGREDIENTS:

Agave Poppyseed Vinaigrette

¾ cup agave syrup

¾ tablespoon Dijon mustard

¾ cup rice wine vinegar, unseasoned

¾ cup poppy seeds

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 teaspoons black pepper, fine ground

¼ cup smoked paprika

1 fresh lime, juice and micro zest

1 ½ cups EVOO


Roquefort Watermelon Napoleon

12 watermelon disks, seasoned with Kosher salt and black pepper

¼ cup micro cilantro per salad

2 tablespoons crumbled Roquefort cheese per salad

2 tablespoons crushed smoked almonds per salad

2 tablespoons sliced dates per salad

¼ cup Agave Poppyseed Vinaigrette per salad


In 1-quart container, combine the agave syrup, Dijon mustard, rice wine vinegar, poppy seed, kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, lime juice and zest. With a blender, purée until all ingredients look well blended. While blender is still running, pour the EVOO into the mixture one cup at a time to create an emulsion.

To create four salads, assemble three watermelon disks in a layered tower fashion. Sprinkle remaining salad ingredients on and top with Agave Poppyseed Vinaigrette. Details: 3379 Peachtree Road NE., Atlanta;

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Best Self Atlanta took to the kitchen at Team Building with Taste to sharpen solidarity, add a pinch of trust and a dash of appreciation for one another.

By Annie Paschal

Team Building with Taste, Mammoth Studio 3Love to watch “Chopped,” Food Network’s culinary showdown series? Can you turn on an oven or whip up crème brûlée like a pro? Want to connect more with your coworkers? If you answered yes to any of these questions, visit Team Building with Taste (TBWT). Best Self Atlanta, one of Atlanta Best Media’s flagship publications, joined forces with its sister publication, My Home Improvement, and its friends in the home improvement industry to take on a cooking challenge.

Started by chef Paul McKeon and Jack Gerblick in 2012, TBWT invites businesses to strengthen their teamwork through collaborative cooking. During the culinary challenge, teams have 55 minutes to prepare a three-dish meal while handling the occasional curveball.

Team Building with Taste, Mammoth Studio 6Our group was strategically split into four teams. This allowed people in departments that don’t interact on a regular basis an opportunity to get to know each other better. Once the clock started, we were off to make the “healthy” menu (seven other menu options are also available, including Bistro, Italian, South of the Border and more). We got organized to make kale salad, poached salmon, and warm quinoa. Someone in each group immediately took charge by assigning roles, brainstorming ways to enhance the recipe, and more. A pantry stocked with fresh vegetables, plenty of spices, bacon, cheeses, and everything in between was at our disposal. With written recipes in hand and a TBWT-designated chef at each station, the groups worked together to create a meal that would impress the judges.

Team Building with Taste, Mammoth Studio 1 When the timer sounded, everyone put down their bowls and added finishing touches to their plate for the judges. Then it was time to present our dishes to fellow competitors and convince the judges to choose their group as the winner. Some chose catchy sayings and others went with creative music and dances. Team Two featured editorial assistant Wyndi Kappes on the megaphone giving a funny speech and starting a “Kale Yeah!” chant. Getting the audience involved definitely scored them extra points.

Team Building with Taste, Mammoth Studio 4Ultimately it was Team Four that smoked the competition with their Asian-inspired spin on the salmon and the off-recipe spontaneity (think flavorful touches and creative takes on technique) of Antonette Copeland, the design director at CR Home Design Center, and help from Paul Castell, president/owner of Dove Studio Kitchen & Bath.

After the judges made their decision based on presentation, plating, and taste, we enjoyed the fruits of everyone’s labor by digging into each team’s dishes. As we ate, we reflected on what we learned about our coworkers and our newfound trust, respect and dependence on each other.

Team Building with Taste, Mammoth Studio 5Each team chose a member that added something extra special to the activity and crowned the individual “MVP” with a chef’s hat. Sales/marketing assistant Halen Adair added spectacular creativity and quick thinking to team Team Three aka “This Just Thin.” Overall, this unique team-building experience, which more than 25,000 people have participated in, received rave reviews from our group. Now we know why 80 percent of other participants said this was the best team-building activity they have ever done.

Details: 2715 Peachtree Square, Atlanta;

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Richie ArpinoFor the 8th year in a row, your nominations and votes have made this contest a celebration of individuals who truly embody what it means to be your “best self.”

Thank you for the hundreds of nominations and thousands of votes. You guys really know how to pick ’em! I picked one this year as well.

I chose Laura Janelle Downey as my Publisher’s Pick because while not eligible to be in the contest because she works at Atlanta Best Media, I know firsthand of her commitment to physical and spiritual health and dedication to giving back. Meet our esteemed managing editor here.

What makes this year even more special is that we not only celebrated our 2018 winners, but we recognized our entire Over 40 & Fabulous! family of winners from 2010-2017. These like-minded men and women who are devoted to serving our community have become friends and colleagues, using their platforms and passions to collectively make an impact on the world. Check out the alumni who joined us this year for our contest winners photo shoot at King Plow Arts Center.

As for this year’s winners, I hope you enjoy their captivating stories and get inspired! We definitely did.

And last but certainly not least, thank you to our expert partners who make this contest and the events surrounding it possible. Learn more about them here.

All the best!

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Sarah Diller's PhotographsI must admit that the June/July issue is one of my favorites. Getting to know the winners of our Over 40 & Fabulous! contest during the photo shoot, events, and by reading their Q&As always inspires me. From the standout philanthropy work our 2018 winner, Lynne McDonald, does with youth who have Type 1 diabetes (which she also has), to the passion for health that lifted Lisa Mohager out of poverty, these 15 women and men are a shining example of what it means to be your best self. I’m sure their stories will leave you with the same feeling of awe that I felt when I first read them. Click here to see for yourself.

Also in preparation for this issue, the Best Self Atlanta and Atlanta Best Media team added some flavor to our usual Team Activity Day outing. In the past, we have taken a trip back in time to the ’80s by breakdancing with dancer Honey Rockwell and gotten Zen with Tai Chi. Recently, we took to the kitchen at Team Building with Taste. Far from the typical team-building activity, we bonded during a culinary showdown. Read about all the delicious fun here.

On a more serious note, we also dive into a life transition that can be one of the most difficult to navigate. According to the American Psychological Association, 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. The reality is bleak, but navigating the divorce process doesn’t have to be. In “Keeping It Together When Going Separate Ways,” we break down the legal and emotional intricacies of divorce such as custody agreements, therapy options and the impact it has on children. Sometimes, along this journey called life, we wind up on a road we never thought we’d be on or that presents challenges we don’t want to face. I hope the 2018 June/July issue reminds you that no matter where you end up, you always have the choice to learn and grow from every situation as our contest winners have.

Happy reading,

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Miguel Ortiz_LifeTime-  M-Squared PR


Q: How can I make sure my workout routine is well-balanced?

A: “First determine how much time you can devote daily to working out. For example, if you have an hour, try breaking it down into 10 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of stretching and 30 minutes of strength training,” says Miguel Ortiz, Life Time Athletic Sandy Springs National Program Manager TEAM CUT

Details: 5580 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs; LifeTime.Life

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Neighbor LoveNeighbor Love makes sure metro Atlanta seniors never feel forgotten. The group organizes special holiday parties throughout the year for nursing home residents. With the help of volunteers, these events provide the elderly with much needed social interaction and fun.

Join the organization for various Father’s Day events June 16-17 at nursing homes around the city. Assist with setting up party decorations, goodie bag preparation, and then spend quality time getting to know the attendees. Sign-up is available online.


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