By Alex McCray

We recently stopped by SculptHouse to put our muscles to the test. And boy, were they tested when we gave its Woodway Curve® treadmill and Megaformer™strength training combination a try. The award-winning studio’s signature CardioSculpt class tackles a different muscle each day of the week. Managing editor, Laura J. Downey, and I took the CardioSculpt Down class, which focuses on the hamstrings, quads, inner and outer thighs, and glutes.

Twenty-five minutes of strength work on the Megaformer™ had our lower bodies feeling the burn. The constant tension of the springs amplifies the amount of work the muscle has to do and turns simple moves like lunges into complete calorie torchers. This technique makes SculptHouse classes a little extra challenging for beginners but also great for those who are more advanced. Our instructor guided the students (who ranged in age from 20s to 50s) through all the moves and was sure to intervene if someone wasn’t doing something quite right. For the second half of the class, we hopped on the human-powered Woodway Curve® treadmill for intervals of running, jogging, and walking, which was a great way to systematically increase and decrease our heart rates.

Overall, this workout was a winner in our book because of its dual fat-blasting and muscle-building benefits.

Details: SculptHouse.com

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Exhale at Loews Atlanta Hotel
By Laura Janelle Downey
When I think about feeling and looking my best, I turn to the team at Exhale inside Loews Atlanta Hotel. That is why I signed up for the facility’s 60-minute Barre+Yoga class. The full-body workout, which includes everything from strategically moving four-pound weights in a small range of motion to the challenging chaturanga pose, also comes with its fair share of fold-overs, thigh and heel work, and lots of pliés. There were a couple of times where I had to resort to child’s pose because my lethargic body needed a break. But once I had the “You can do this, Laura!” chat with myself, I was back at it as my instructor Stephanie Johnson—in her positive tone and perfect demeanor—called out the counts to another exercise.

After the barre and yoga combo, we laid our backs flat on our mats and stretched. It felt great doing a modified sleeping pigeon pose and more. Plus, my body needed it! From there, I was ready to leave the studio and rinse off in one of the six showers with Exhale products infused with essential oils and vitamins. At this point, I couldn’t wait to experience the 60-minute True Facial. As I relaxed in the lounge before my esthetician Svetlana Smirnova called me back, I savored a cup of tea.
Feeling at peace, I headed back to my treatment room. It was there that Svetlana went to work on my skin. She cleansed my face with iS Clinical’s cleansing complex, which removes everything from oils to the extra junk that lands on my face daily. From there, she exfoliated with a multifruit acid peel from emerginC. Then, she gave my shoulders, hands and feet (paraffin, anyone?) a nice rub before applying Jimm Harrison’s facial treatment serum to my face. This essentially helped to nourish my skin with its shea butter, Vitamin E, raspberry seed oils and more.
After extractions were done—mostly to my T-zone area, a recovery mask from emerginC was applied to my face followed by the luxe hydra-intensive cooling masque from iS Clinical. The antioxidants combined with hyaluronic acid helped to refresh and hydrate my skin. And finally, iS Clinical’s hydra-cool serum was applied to revitalize my face. Plus, the brand’s pro-heal serum advance+ helped to reduce any signs of aging that I might be showing at 40 and it also worked to increase antioxidant protection.

The treatment ended with an application of iS Clinical’s extreme protect SPF 30, which aids in guarding my face from sun damage and smoothing the derma. Overall, I would return to Exhale because its one-stop- shop for fitness and fabulous spa therapies are just one reservation away. The instructors and therapists are highly trained and qualified. I trust the team here to take care of my body both physically and mentally.

Details: 404.720.5000. 1065 Peachtree St. NW., Atlanta, GA 30309; exhalespa.com/locations/atlanta/midtown-atlanta

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Best Self Atlanta will once again host its “30 Days of Healthy, Beautiful Skin” blog and Facebook LIVE series throughout the month of March.

Healthy, Beautiful Skin

We will invite readers to follow along with us for 30 days as our staff visits local med spas and dermatology offices to receive skin care treatments and more. As we complete each day of Healthy, Beautiful Skin, we’ll blog about our experiences to let you know what to expect from each treatment or procedure. We’ll even let you take a peek at some of the services we’re receiving in “real time” via Facebook LIVE! In addition, we’ll be sharing some of our own personal skin care routines and tips.

Be sure to like us on Facebook to follow along each day, or bookmark this post, where we’ll update the links as we go through each day in the month.

If you have favorite treatments of your own, tell us about them in the comments section or on social media with #30DaysofHealthyBeautifulSkin @BestSelfAtlanta!

Day 1                     Day 11                    Day 21

Day 2                     Day 12                    Day 22

Day 3                     Day 13                    Day 23

Day 4                     Day 14                    Day 24

Day 5                     Day 15                    Day 25

Day 6                     Day 16                    Day 26

Day 7                     Day 17                    Day 27

Day 8                     Day 18                    Day 28

Day 9                     Day 19                    Day 29

Day 10                   Day 20                    Day 30


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Dr. Vahan KassabianBy Jennifer Colosimo and Vahan Kassabian, MD, FACS, FRCS(C) Medical Director of Georgia Urology in partnership with Vituro Health

It’s not the most talked about subject around the water cooler … but it’s on more people’s minds than you would think. In fact, according to The American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men, after skin cancer. The good news has always been that it can be treated successfully in most cases; but gather round for a new conversation, boys, because now the news is even better.

Dr. Vahan Kassabian, Medical Director of Georgia Urology in partnership with Vituro Health, is the first and only surgeon in the state of Georgia to introduce the revolutionary HIFU procedure to treat prostate cancer. Originally from Canada, where the procedure has been approved for many years, he’s been successfully treating men with prostate cancer for over a decade. Now that the FDA has approved the procedure in the U.S., he brings his niche expertise to our community.

The acronym stands for high intensity focused ultrasound, something Kassabian describes using the analogy of a harmonic scalpel. The result is a truly minimally invasive, outpatient procedure without the side effects or downtime associated with radiation or the general risks of surgery.

Georgia Urology - Prostate Cancer“With HIFU, I am killing as much or as little of the prostate cancer, or prostate gland, as I want, using heat,” said Kassabian. “People go home the same day. They don’t even need to take pain medication. They have a catheter for about 10 days, but they’re feeling great without any of the discomfort or pain associated with surgery.”

To say it’s labor intensive – which Kassabian does – is an understatement. The surgery takes anywhere from two to three hours and uses an impossibly tiny (3mm, to be exact-think a grain of uncooked rice) ultrasound beam. “

There’s a very steep learning curve involved with this procedure,” he said. “But I can avoid damaging surrounding tissue, such as the nerves responsible for erections. As I am treating, I’m looking at it, I’m getting a lot of technological feedback, seeing heat changes, visual changes and more, all in real time.”

Whereas traditional treatment options are surgery to remove the entire prostate gland or radiation to radiate the entire gland, HIFU allows a surgeon more control over how much tissue gets destroyed. Physicians direct the ultrasound energy, also known as sound waves, toward the diseased prostate tissue and burn away the malignancy. As a result, they can destroy only the targeted prostate cancer cells and leave surrounding tissue unharmed.

Surgery without the aftermath is reason enough to book the new surgery with Dr. Kassabian, but the benefits go beyond that. “This is truly an outpatient, minimally invasive procedure,” he reiterated. “But the biggest difference is a very low effect on sexual function.”

According to Kassabian, one year after the procedure, 90 percent of the men he has treated are still sexually able to function – something not guaranteed with traditional surgery to remove prostate cancer. This new procedure also helps patients avoid complications with urinary function and the short and long-term effects of radiation. In turn, it helps patients avoid secondary malignancies, often caused by treatment with radiation. In that sense, it’s also much more in line for people who are taking a holistic approach.

“I am using sound waves to create heat,” Kassabian said. “That’s about as natural
as one can get.”

Learn more at HIFUWorks.com and GaUrology.com

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Dr. Grattan Woodson and April Secen - HairRegenBy Grattan Woodson, M.D. and April Secen, L.M.A.

The jury is in and the news is great. The hard work of many hair scientists has hit pay dirt and resulted in a breakthrough in our understanding of women’s hair loss. The causes of the two most common reasons for women’s hair loss have been revealed. With that insight came effective treatment, which is now available in Atlanta. Effective therapy that restores growth of your natural hair is available for these common causes of hair loss affecting Atlanta women. These two causes are androgenic alopecia (AGA) and chronic telogen effluvium (CTE).

Modern Solutions

The new treatments available are Minca Scalp Spray and platelet rich plasma (PRP) combined with scalp microneedling. Research has shown the ingredients we include in Minca are efficacious in both AGA and CTE situations, while platelet rich plasma administered with microneedling and Minca is an excellent solution for women with AGA. These new approaches are designed to cause the regrowth of hair organically and to protect the existing and newly regrown hair follicle from future loss and damage.

The new treatments available are Minca Scalp Spray and platelet rich plasma (PRP) combined with scalp microneedling.

The Minca Scalp Spray developed in our laboratory, expressly for use in women, enhances the follicle’s immediate environmental health by increasing the delivery of resources from the blood stream to support its growth and development. The spray ingredients protect the follicle from predatory hormones and immune cells and reduce the stress placed upon the hair follicle. Use of Minca Scalp Spray in our patients results in growth of substantial new hair after three months of therapy.

Minca Scalp Spray - HairRegen - Womens Hair LossA Dynamic Duo

Platelet rich plasma combined with microneedling is a powerful new tool used to awaken dormant hair follicles put to bed by testosterone in women with androgenic alopecia. This is the most common cause of hair loss in women. It is inherited and progressive. PRP with microneedling is very effective for AGA. We obtain PRP from your own blood, concentrate it in our lab, and work it into the affected areas of your scalp after treatment by microneedling. Again, it takes about three months to see results. Minca Scalp Spray is used with PRP to protect the newly grown and existing hair from testosterone attack. Women with early AGA can be treated with Minca Scalp Spray alone but once they have lost scalp cover, PRP with microneedling is recommended for best results.

Women with CTE are successfully treated with Minca Scalp Spray alone. The components in Minca address the disordered hair cycling that is at the heart of this cause of chronic hair loss in women.


For more information about our services, please visit our website at www.HairRegen.net or call Kim Teasley at 404.574.2373. No insurance provider covers our services and products. For specific cost information please go to our website.

Grattan Woodson, M.D. a native Atlantan focuses his professional efforts on assisting women to navigate the rigors of menopause. He has assembled a dedicated team of specialists to assist women regrow lost hair; restore and conserve sun-damaged skin; and reduce excess body fat while restoring lost muscle, joint cartilage, and bone mass. April Secen, L.M.A. is his senior aesthetician responsible for hair and skin restoration and conservation. April utilizes advanced imaging technologies to diagnose and monitor diseases affecting hair and skin and uses efficacious topical therapies and microneedling to treat these disorders.

HairRegen • Grattan Woodson, M.D. • 404-574-2373 • 1418 Dresden Dr., Suite #225 Atlanta, GA • HairRegen.net

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Karen FoleyBy Karen Foley

Midtown Athletic Club has a nearly 50-year history as an upscale tennis and fitness leader, dating back to 1970 when Kevie and Alan Schwartz opened the first tennis club in Chicago. Today, the flagship club has transformed, evolving into the largest premier health and fitness property in the United States. Still owned and operated by the Schwartz family, Midtown has set a standard for health clubs and has expanded to include eight locations across the US and Canada. Within the greater Atlanta area, Midtown’s Windy Hill Athletic Club offers a premier health, fitness, and wellness location and has done so in the community since 1997.

The Options You Want

The meaning of living a life based in health and wellness has evolved immensely since Midtown was founded. Today, health is no longer limited to time spent on a treadmill; rather, health and wellness translate to a lifestyle that encompasses mental, physical, and social wellbeing. To stay on par with these shifts in attitudes and behaviors, Midtown works to not only meet healthy consumers’ needs, it leads the industry in delivering a holistic health and wellness experience. Each Midtown Athletic Club location shares a mission to provide the best of everything for its members all under one roof. At the eleven-acre, resort-like Windy Hill Athletic Club location, members can find a unique experience that combines athletics, community, and personalized attention.

Windy Hill Athletic ClubFrom tennis to cycling, swimming to boxing, group fitness to yoga, basketball to Pilates, there are endless ways for members to get moving and enjoy their health experience at Windy Hill Athletic Club. Members can find activities for the whole family, including youth programs, events, camps, and high-performance tennis.

A Home Away from Home

It’s equally important that the member experience goes beyond physical activity. Each Midtown Athletic Club strives to be a third space – a destination beyond work and home. Windy Hill Athletic Club boasts spaces for socializing and to truly celebrate its community. Beyond that, amenities such as the Club’s café, massage services, full-service locker rooms, and outdoor patio ensure no matter what members seek, they can find it at Windy Hill Athletic Club.

Together, the wealth of activities and amenities offered at Windy Hill Athletic Club creates personal, unique member experiences to help in each individual’s pursuit of health and wellness. This commitment to exceeding member needs sets Windy Hill Athletic Club apart from other health and fitness offerings and is what will continue to keep Midtown at the forefront of the health and wellness space in Atlanta and beyond.

As the General Manager of Windy Hill Athletic Club Karen Foley considers it her mission to help members achieve their fitness goals, no matter how big or small. A fitness enthusiast herself, Karen loves to bike, cross-train and play tennis. She encourages members to focus les3s on sticking to a tedious exercise routine and more on working out in a fun environment however they like to move. With world-class indoor and outdoor tennis courts, swimming pools that rival those of five-star hotels, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, and social events for the whole family, Windy Hill offers members a place to practice a healthy lifestyle and the coaching team to help them do so. The club’s promise is “to inspire you through movement, community, and personal attention”, which Karen lives by every day.

Windy Hill Athletic Club • WindyHillClub.com

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Dr. Lisa Perez 1

By Lisa Perez, M.D.

If your parents or grandparents received treatment for their varicose veins in years past, you might have heard horror stories about painful vein stripping and long recovery periods. Many people with venous disease avoided being evaluated because of what they’d heard, the treatment sounded far worse than the disease. The good news is that now, it is easier to treat varicose veins than ever before.

The Long and Short of Venous Disease

Varicose and spider veins result when valves designed to keep blood from running backward away from the heart and back down into the legs fail or become loose and leaky—allowing backflow of blood, which stretches out veins and can cause high pressure in the veins. This pressure is transmitted up to the surface, causing spider and/or varicose veins, and can even push fluid into ankle and leg tissue, causing swelling. Aside from the unsightly purple snake-like veins, varicose veins can cramp or throb at night and can even develop blood clots. So much blood pooling in the legs can cause the legs to feel heavy and leaden. If fluid from the dilated vessels seeps into tissues, it can affect circulation to the skin, causing an itchy rash and even a painful ulcer.

Today’s Treatments

Fortunately, thanks to less invasive procedures, varicose veins can be treated on an outpatient basis. The treatments to eliminate varicose veins have improved dramatically in recent years. Patients no longer need to endure painful surgical vein stripping under general anesthesia. Thermal ablation treatments including endovenous laser or radio frequency treatments are performed in a doctor’s office and do not require sedation or a hospital stay. Medical lasers have proven their safety and effectiveness in all kinds of medical procedures and offer far less chance of complications than traditional surgical approaches.

“The treatments to eliminate varicose veins have improved dramatically in recent years.” 

Venous DiseaseNow, a thin radio frequency catheter or laser may be inserted into the diseased vein, heating the vein and causing it to collapse and eventually be reabsorbed by the body. This is done under local anesthesia in less than an hour. Healing is relatively easy although there may be some bruising and the vein may take several months or more to reabsorb.

Another technique often used is called foam sclerotherapy. Through a small needle or IV catheter, a medication that is made into foam is injected into the diseased veins, causing them to collapse and eventually shrink until they are absorbed by the body. Thanks to the recent advancements in medicine and technology, modern vein treatments are noninvasive, more effective and less dangerous than the old methods of treating this disease. Now is the time to seek treatment for your venous disease. Don’t let your grandmother’s bad experience keep you from treating your varicose veins!

Dr. Perez moved to the Atlanta area in 2000, and has been an active member of the medical community since that time. She began treating veins in 2011, and became the medical director of Circulatory Centers. She joined the VeinInnovations medical staff in 2015, and works out of their Midtown and Sandy Springs locations. Her passion for treating venous insufficiency comes, in large part, from the joy she receives in watching patients lives transform following treatment. 

VEININNOVATIONS • (678) 731-9815 • Veininnovations.com

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By Jacob A. Strong, M.D.By Jacob A. Strong, M.D.

If you have ever experienced lower back pain, you are not alone. Studies indicate that 60 to 90 percent of the population has experienced it at least once in their lives. The good news is that 50 percent of back pain will resolve in one to two weeks, and 90 percent will resolve in six to 12 weeks. Now the question becomes when and when not to seek treatment for your back pain.

Acute or New Onset of Lower Back Pain

You are working in the yard and feel a “pull.” Sound familiar? This may be due to a simple sprain/strain or to problems with structures in the spine. Apply ice during the first 48 to 72 hours. Then follow with heat therapy to reduce muscle spasms, stiffness and injury. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers can also be used.


People often ask, “How active should I be with back pain?” It’s tempting to lie on the couch all day. However, studies show that bed rest for more than two days actually increases recovery time for back pain. Consult your physician to determine your activity level.

Back Pain

Physical Therapy

Tissue injury can cause muscles in the back and neck to spasm. Physical therapists can provide you with an individualized treatment program with exercises specific for your area of pain and symptoms.


A massage therapist can relax tense back muscles and increase blood circulation to the back, which accelerates healing. Massages also release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.

Smoking and Obesity

Back pain is more common in individuals who are smokers and/or overweight. Extra weight strains the muscles while smoking robs the spine of oxygen and nutrients. Your physician can assist you with starting a diet and exercise program in addition to a smoking cessation program.

Back Pain Red Flags

If you have one or more of these symptoms, you may have a serious issue with your back and should seek medical assistance.

  • You are younger than 20 or older than 55 and experiencing back pain for the first time
  • The pain follows a traumatic or violent injury, such as a car accident
  • You experience back pain at night
  • Your back pain is constant and getting worse
  • Your back pain is in the upper part of the spine
  • You presently have cancer or have had it in the past
  • You are on corticosteroids
  • You use illegal drugs or are infected with HIV
  • You generally feel unwell, have back pain and are feverish
  • You are experiencing back pain and have had a significant weight loss
  • You have back pain and continue to have great difficulty bending forward
  • You are experiencing numbness, loss of function in your legs, loss of bowel or bladder function
  • You have developed an obvious structural deformity of your spine
  • Debilitating back pain that is not reducing after four to six weeks

Summary If you experience any of the “red flag” symptoms, persistent back pain, or just have questions about your back and how to keep it healthy, contact your healthcare provider.

Jacob A. Strong, M.D. received his medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and his fellowship in Musculoskeletal and Pain Medicine at UMDNJ/Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Strong is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

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

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By Ho N. Lin., M.D.By Ho N. Lin, M.D.

Healthcare consumerism is a current hot topic and will continue to shape the future landscape of healthcare. As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, the patient consumer will be burdened with an increasing share of costs. Patients will also be tasked with making more decisions about aspects of their healthcare—from doctors, pharmacy, and hospitals to medical imaging.

“OPI adheres to the guiding principle of providing high-quality medical imaging at an affordable price.” 

Medical imaging accounts for a large proportion of healthcare dollars that are spent, as it is an invaluable diagnostic tool for physicians. Empowering patients to make informed decisions regarding their healthcare requires readily available information relating to costs, quality, and access to care. Outpatient Imaging LLC (OPI) was founded in 2003 on the basis of healthcare consumerism.

Knowledge is Power

There is currently an almost complete lack of transparency in regard to the cost of healthcare and specifically medical imaging. Coverage provided by insurance companies for the same procedures and diagnostic tests can be vastly different. Hospital charges for the same procedure and tests are also widely disparate. It is nearly impossible for the patient consumer to ascertain the actual cost to make a comparison. At OPI, the cost of imaging is published and readily available. Next, quality measures are similarly difficult for the patient consumer to discern. At OPI, all imaging centers are staffed with a board-certified radiologist and American College of Radiology-accredited technologists. Lastly, access to care is equally important in healthcare consumerism. Prolonged wait times for appointments and results are typical of hospital systems. OPI offers convenient evening and weekend hours with rapid turnaround of results and reports.

Healthcare costs

The OPI Difference

The founding radiologists recognized the evolving dynamics of medical imaging costs, quality, and access. Complete transparency is a tenet of OPI and has proved to be a successful foundation over the past 14 years. OPI is 100% radiology-physician owned and operated without outside influences. Given such, OPI adheres to the guiding principle of providing high-quality medical imaging at an affordable price. OPI costs are generally one quarter of those from a hospital for the same imaging test, which equate to lower co-pays and significant cost savings for patients. OPI provides all radiology imaging needs including X-rays, ultrasound, CT, mammography, fluoroscopy, nuclear medicine, bone density testing, and MRIs.   As an empowered consumer in today’s complex and costly healthcare environment, you have a choice in medical imaging. Choose OPI.

Ho N. Lin, M.D. received his medical degree from Medical College of Georgia in 1996, followed by a residency in diagnostic radiology at the Medical College of Georgia, which he completed in 2000. He serves as president of OPI.

OutPatient Imaging • 2284 Peachtree Road N.W., Atlanta, GA 30309 • (404) 225-5674 • OutPatientImaging.net

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By Jill Golsen DMDBy Jill M. Golsen, DMD

Let me explain. As dentists, it was always a challenge for us to get patients to understand the worrisome issues we were seeing in their mouths. So the idea among patients to wait to take action or make an appointment “until something hurts” prevailed—usually until the problem was far worse than it needed to be.

Utilizing amazing technological advancements, we can now show a patient a specific problem in their mouth on the monitor in real time. Within a second, the intraoral camera can pop up a photo so the patient can see exactly which tooth has the issue. The first comment I usually hear from the patient is, “Is that my tooth?” This makes it easy for the patient to make an informed decision about their mouth or condition. As a dentist, I get to be the messenger, not a salesman that is trying to convince you with a “trust me” attitude. I didn’t go into this profession to sell anything. I personally love these cameras! My office would be lost without them. We can see cracks, decay, broken teeth, document lesions and abnormalities as a historical record or as an ongoing reminder for the patient.

“Thanks to amazing technological advancements, we can now show a specific problem in a patient’s mouth on the monitor in real time. Within a second, the intraoral camera can pop up a photo so the patient can see exactly which tooth has the issue.” — Jill M. Golsen, DMD

Intraoral camera

An intraoral camera looks like a wand with a camera screen at the tip. This camera is linked to the patient’s computer file so the information is stored with the exact person the photo belongs to. So alongside a patient’s X-rays, their photos are there too.

Here are some specific examples of what these cameras can do: Another camera we utilize in our practice is called a “Spectra.” This camera can actually measure the depth of decay in the deep grooves of your teeth. Before this camera came along, we used to just check those grooves with the explorer to see if it got stuck. It sounds simple but, again, more damage done left untreated. These depth readings are documented and added to the patient’s records as well.

Tooth health scale

Inside of mouth








The best part about these two cameras is that there is no radiation used at all. So of the four ways we now use to visualize and diagnose—three out of the four use no radiation! As a patient and a dentist, I think this technology is a game changer!

Knowledge is power. Ask your dentist if he or she can take a picture of the issue and show you what they are seeing. To own what is going on in your mouth is being proactive. See something? Do something!

A native of Florida, Dr. Golsen attended the University of Georgia, and received a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a DMD from the Medical College School of Dentistry in 1993. Dr. Golsen was a clinical instructor at Perimeter College School of Dental Hygiene and past president of the Georgia Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry as well as, an international trainer for Kreativ air abrasion technology training dentists from all over the world on the technology. Dr. Golsen has been practicing for 24 years in Alpharetta, Georgia. Dr. Golsen has two sons. One is a first year Vet Med student at the University of Georgia and the other is a senior in high school. She is also a 7 year breast cancer survivor! 

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

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