Month: October 2016

Milk Alternatives? Advice from Sugar Land Medical Spa

Wednesday, 26 Oct 2016

With the wide variety of dairy alternatives on the market today, people often assume that regular cow’s milk isn’t as healthy as soy or almond milk. For those looking for milk alternatives, Julia Ward, MD encourages you to be aware of a few facts before making that decision. Her medical practice, Balanced Body Image, offers a whole-patient approach for resolving the underlying cause of health issues.

Not all dairy substitutes are healthy!
Known for causing digestive issues, one unhealthy component in most milk substitutes is carrageenan — a seaweed derivative used as a food stabilizer. Read the labels of dairy alternatives like coconut milk, hemp milk and almond milk and watch for carrageenan. Also, be sure to avoid products with added sugars.

What about soy?
Soy milk is a plant-based dairy alternative produced by soaking dried soybeans and grinding them in water. Although it is free of lactose, cholesterol and saturated fat, soy has natural toxins that interfere with the digestion of proteins.

Also, avoid processed soy proteins — such as isolated soy protein. Any possible health benefits of the soybean are stripped away during processing. Soy isolates are particularly allergenic since they are not really food, but fillers of the processed food industry. In fact, almost 90% of all soy produced in the United States is considered to be a genetically modified organism (GMO).

For those who choose to consume soy, it should be organic and in moderation. A better option for anyone looking for benefits of soy is to eat steamed edamame (fresh soybeans) for an occasional snack, or miso for a quick soup.

Balanced Body Image, your Sugar Land med spa, recommends almond milk as a great alternative to dairy or soy. Almond milk is lower in calories than dairy milk and free of cholesterol, lactose and saturated fat. It is important to note, however, that although it is high in protein, almond milk is not a good source of calcium like dairy milk.

Almond milk is actually easy to accomplish at home. Simply soak raw almonds in water overnight, rinse them well in the morning, and then blend them with fresh, filtered water. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth into a pitcher and add your preferred method of flavor (organic vanilla, sea salt, or natural, unprocessed sugar). You can store it in the refrigerator for up to one week. The almond milk will separate — just shake well before use.

Dr. Ward’s mission is to help you know more about – and understand – your body and your health. For more information about Balanced Body Image, contact our Sugar Land medical spa, call (281) 710-3380.

Gluten Sensitivity and Your Digestive Health in Sugar Land

Thursday, 20 Oct 2016

Gluten-free products and recipes are hot topics right now. Not just part of a fad diet that promotes eliminating carbs (specifically gluten and sugar), gluten-free eating may also contribute to your gut health. Does it really make a difference? Julia Ward, MD – an expert in digestive health in Sugar Land – weighs in on the subject.

Have you heard of celiac disease? It’s an autoimmune disorder caused by sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. For those with celiac, gluten causes the body to attack the small intestines, damaging the villi, which are fingerlike projections that line the small intestinal wall, which aid in digestion and absorb nutrients.

Common symptoms of celiac disease include abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, fatigue, irritability, fatigue and depression.

Gluten sensitivity also applies to individuals who, although they experience similar symptoms, do not have celiac.

It’s Not All in Your Head!

Gluten-sensitivity is real!

There are over 200 symptoms associated with gluten intolerance, which is why diagnosis is often so difficult. Usually when we experience symptoms like fatigue, achy joints, depression or even a skin rash, we may seek out vitamins, a massage, or a special skin cream. However, no amount of skin pampering – not even massage – will help.

With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Ward specializes in a holistic, natural approach to medicine. With services such as micronutrient testing and detoxification of environmental toxins, Dr. Ward and the Balanced Body Image team believes in healthy aging with grace, health and personalized care. Dr. Ward will lead you on a journey toward better health – from the inside out!

Not sure where to start? Learn more about digestive health, holistic medicine, and graceful aging. Call our Sugar Land medical spa at (281) 710-3380 today!

The Microcannula Method

Monday, 10 Oct 2016


Looking younger has never been easier using the microcannula. This dermal filler technique is ideal for injecting hyaluronic gels. Julia Ward, MD at the Balanced Body Image med spa in Sugar Land, Texas has been successful with using Restylane Lyft®, Restylane® and Restylane Silk® products, which is the most widely used, longer-lasting hyaluronic acid gel dermal fillers, when using the Microcannula technique.

What is a Microcannula?
The microcannula dermal filler technique is an innovative way to deliver fillers. Unlike the conventional needles, which stab with a sharp tip, the microcannula is a hollow, flexible, needle stick with a blunt tip, which offers minimal entry points, reducing pain and the chance of bruising. Microcannulas are optimal for injecting hyaluronic gels dermal fillers like Juvederm, and Restylane, as well as Voluma.

How does the microcannula technique work?
The microcannula method is rapidly gaining popularity. Its revolutionary method is spreading amidst leading med spas, cosmetic clinics, and doctors. Rather than piercing through the tissues, this technique opens up a pathway between the basic structures of the skin allowing minimal entry stabs.

First, a traditional needle is used to make an entry point for the micro cannula to enter the epidermis. Then, the microcannula is slid into the place of entry, kind of like sliding your hand through a stack of papers. The long length of the microcannula allows access to the areas where the filler is needed in the facial area from one entry point. Once the hyaluronic acid dermal filler is injected, your physician might lightly massage the area to conform to the contour of the surrounding tissues.

The technique minimizes bruising, although there is a slight chance. Be sure not to take aspirin, ibuprofen, blood thinners, or vitamins, such as vitamin E or fish oils for this may increase your chance of bruising. Many areas that are commonly treated with fillers such as lips, marionette lines, nose, nasolabial folds, cheeks, temples, prejowl areas, as well as hands can be injected using the Microcannula technique.
What are the advantages of using a micro cannula?

  • It is safer
  • Less painful
  • Less chance of bruising
  • Less chance of bleeding
  • Less chance of tissue trauma
  • Less swelling
  • Faster recovery

Dr. Julia Ward is the medical director at Balanced Body Image, an anti-aging, functional medicine and metabolic health practice in Sugar Land. She strives to help her patients reach their health and wellness goals.

Call Balanced Body Image med spa in Sugar Land, Texas at (281) 710-3380.

Find out if hyaluronic acid gel fillers will fulfill your desires.