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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Age is Just a Number at Tula Wellness

May 01, 2016 09:23PM ● By Suzie Agrillo

Dr. Arianna and the Tula Wellness team

Dr. Arianna Sholes-Douglas had a vision when she started Tula Wellness: uplifting a woman’s life journey with inspiration, education and tools that create a holistic balance. She strives to help women feel their personal best, which includes both looking better and feeling better. “After all, how a woman sees herself physically is a part of her mental health,” she opines. “At the end of the day, we have to deal with health, wellness and beauty.”

In Sanskrit, “Tula” means “balance”, and that includes the mind, body and spirit. Sholes-Douglas has over 20 years of experience in obstetrics and gynecology. As her practice evolved, she learned that women were interested in more than just their physical health. She relates, “My whole practice has grown as a result of my patients’ needs and wants, and women want to look good.” Now that her practice is divided about 50/50 between medical care and aesthetic treatments, she observes, “People walk out of the office and they’re happy.”

Utilizing event seminars to inspire, empower and educate women, Sholes-Douglas hosts Women, Wellness and Wine seminars. The topics might be vision boarding with a life coach; women’s sexual health, including her vaginal rejuvenation specialty; or discussions about hormones, happiness and healing. She also teaches a seminar on the importance of learning how and when to say “no”—a difficult response for some women.

Teaching women how to care for their aging skin is a priority for Sholes-Douglas. She emphasizes it is critical to wear sunscreen, rain or shine, and extols the virtues of exfoliation. Tula’s lead aesthetician, Karina Dabdoub, is committed to helping clients achieve their skin care goals. Dabdoub’s favorite treatments include micro-needling, which is one of their most popular treatments, as well as ThermiSmooth, a non-invasive procedure that uses radio frequency for improving skin laxity. She says, “It is ideal to tighten the skin around the eyes and mouth.”

Facials are also provided by Dabdoub, including microdermabrasion facials that exfoliate the skin and promote new collagen growth. Another popular treatment, the dermaplaning facial, includes a complete dermaplaning treatment, which uses a dull scalpel to eliminate facial fuzz and slough off dead skin. This facial also includes massage, extractions, mask serum, moisturizer, eye cream and sunscreen.

Barbara Cooper, NP, CNM, a midwife for 30 years and nurse practitioner for 25 years, is part of the team specializing in Integrative Gynecology at Tula Wellness. Cooper also teaches yoga and specializes in health and nutritional coaching. With her patients, Cooper begins by completing a comprehensive questionnaire about their lifestyle, then takes an integrative approach to the individual, including hormone balancing and bioidentical hormones, as well as thyroid issues, including hypo- and hyperthyroidism. Cooper is strong advocate of taking the time to listen to people to find out what’s going on. She notes, “The healing begins when women feel heard and cared about and feel that their concerns are validated and addressed.”

A consultation might also address sexual function. “A lot of women talk about decreased libido or response, and we give them permission to go there and talk about sex without any stigma,” says Cooper. “We have enhancement tools to get people to have a fun, playful and satisfying sex life. We’re very excited about helping women come in to their fullness, regardless of their age.”

With respect to detoxing the body, weight loss and diet, Cooper comments, “It’s not rocket science. As Michael Pollan has said, it’s basically about eating real food, mostly plants, and not too much.” Cooper will provide consults to improve a patient’s diet. She is passionate about her work as a healer, harnessing the body’s innate ability to heal.

Women are caregivers, and sometimes that means we neglect to take care of ourselves. It is critical to create some time for carefree activities in our schedules. Cooper is a proponent of exercise, yoga, meditation and time outdoors in nature as components of a healthy lifestyle to minimize stress. “Self-care is important. Women get so busy taking care of others that they neglect their own needs and joys and passion.” she counsels.

Sholes-Douglas’ medical aesthetics practice to enhance women’s beauty includes dermal fillers, injectables for lines and wrinkles, as well as Coolsculpting for the body. Fillers can slow the aging process by stimulating collagen and adding volume to plump wrinkles. Injectables like Botox work by temporarily stopping the contraction of the muscles that are responsible for creating wrinkles. Coolsculpting is an innovative way to contour body fat away, by freezing unwanted fat cells.

An even more revolutionary treatment offered for females is ThermiVA, which uses painless radio frequency heat energy to shrink and regenerate vaginal tissue. Sholes-Douglas is impressed by the results her patients have experienced. It can improve mild to moderate stress incontinence, increase vaginal lubrication and help with menopausal vaginal atrophy, vaginal laxity and sexual function.

The success of Sholes-Douglas’ practice has resulted in a heavier workload, but she recognizes that there are more important things in life than work. “My motto is: create freedom, flexibility and fun,” she says. When not working, she loves spending time with her husband and two children, and participating in community activities.

Tula Wellness is located at 2404 E. River Rd., in Tucson. For more information, call 520-577-1129 or visit See ad, page 27.

Suzie Agrillo is a freelance writer in Tucson and a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. She focuses on writing on the arts, inspirational people and the human connection.