The MonaLisa Touch



Mona Lisa Touch® is a laser treatment for improving vaginal health. This innovative technique can help restore intimacy in the lives of menopausal women. Here’ s information provided by Mona Lisa Touch for Friend for the Ride readers:

Finally, women have a clinically proven treatment that works to address the painful symptoms of menopause, which affect intimacy.  MonaLisa Touch is an innovative laser therapy that delivers fractional CO2 laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue to promote vaginal mucosal revitalization.  The MonaLisa Touch procedure is easy, safe, gentle and effective. In just three 5-minute, in-office treatments, which require no anesthesia and are virtually painless, women can get back their smile and quality of life.

How does it work?

  • The MonaLisa Touch fractional CO2 Laser delivers controlled energy to the vaginal tissue which generates new collagen and increased vascularization, thus restoring vaginal health.
  • Patients receive three 5-minute treatments, at six week intervals, with a recommended annual follow-up treatment.*
    • *Your doctor will determine if follow-up treatments are required.

 Who can benefit?

  • The MonaLisa Touch is appropriate for any female experiencing the painful symptoms of menopause, including issues with intimacy, as well as those who are experiencing a change in their vaginal health as a result of a hysterectomy or breast cancer treatments.

Where is it available?

  • The laser therapy is available at OB/GYN, Urogynecologist, and Urologist offices, as well as top medical institutions across the country.
  • For more information and to find a doctor in their area, consumers can visit

Has MonaLisa Touch been clinically studied?

  • There are fifteen (15) published studies, as well as numerous ongoing studies.
  • A multi-site study was conducted by two renowned Urogynecologists in the US who are leading experts in the field of vaginal health.
  • The trial assessed the use of fractional CO2 laser therapy on 30 women with vaginal health issues.
  • All 30 patients in the study experienced a positive result with many having complete resolution of their symptoms.
  • Study results include: 1) Initial symptom improvement almost immediately following the first treatment. 2) No side effects or adverse reactions, and patients showed an escalation of progress with each subsequent treatment.

How much does it cost?

  • Patients should contact their healthcare professional for additional information on the treatment.
  • The MonaLisa Touch is offered to patients as a cash paid treatment.

 Here are the results of a study on the effectiveness of MonaLisa touch from the NIH website.

The findings of the women’s Empower study were just announced at the meeting of the North American Menopause Society. Women are still uninformed about safe and effective treatment for vaginal issues in menopause. Read more about the study here. 

This video explains the Mona Lisa Touch procedure: 

I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by MonaLisa Touch, and I received compensation for this post. While I have no personal experience with MonaLisa Touch, I strive to present information on current treatments for conditions affecting menopausal women.

Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom–A Book Giveaway




Teacher and healer Acharya Shunya explains the science, tradition, and practice of Ayurveda. I loved the stories passed down from Baba, the author’s grandfather. And who could resist the recipes for body scrubs and facial cleansers! Here’s a description of the book and its wisdom:

Ayurveda is founded on the belief that true health is everyone’s birthright—and that each of us is a self-healing entity who can use nature’s abundance to restore and renew ourselves.

Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom is a breakthrough book for yoga practitioners, spiritual seekers, and anyone ready to learn a “doable” approach to this time-tested art and science of health and well-being. Internationally renowned for her ability to make Ayurveda accessible and practical for Western audiences, Acharya Shunya presents a narrative-based guidebook that meticulously covers the how-to’s of morning and evening self-care, daily contemplations, self-massage and skin care, cooking (including recipes), beauty rituals, and more.

“To rid ourselves of the suffering that afflicts the body, mind, and soul, what we need is an affirmative knowledge of life and how to live it in alignment with nature,” writes Acharya Shunya. Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom opens the gates to this profound knowledge.

Giveaway: The publishers of Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom sent me a copy to review and are offering a copy to one of you.To enter, please leave a comment by February 1. U.S. only. Thanks!


Meet the Author: Acharya Shunya is an internationally recognized spiritual teacher, ordained lineage holder, and authoritative scholar of the Vedic Sciences of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Vedanta.

“Acharya” is a customary title earned from traditional schooling in India and meaning “a master spiritual teacher who teaches not only by word, but through role modeling,” which Shunya earned after 14 years of study. Described by her students as a truth teller and an awakener of health and spiritual consciousness, she is known for her embodied wisdom, impassioned knowledge, unique self-expression, and inspirational style of teaching.

In 2007, Acharya Shunya founded Vedika Global, a spiritual foundation in northern California, with a wisdom school, illuminating the sciences of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Vedanta. Here, Shunya leads regular satsanghas, where she expounds upon rare spiritual insights and the non-dual meditation tradition from Vedic and Upanishadic scriptures as well as awakening spiritual practices.

Acharya Shunya personally mentors and supports Vedika graduates who are teaching Ayurveda lifestyle courses at Stanford University’s Health Improvement Program and in schools in Coimbatore, India. She also supports graduates leading Ayurveda staff trainings in California probation departments.

In 2015, Shunya was recognized as one of the “Top 100 Trailblazers in Yoga and Ayurveda” by Spirituality & Health magazine.

For more information, please visit and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter 

Barbie! And Me (and You): A Giveaway Too!


Menopause shocked me. How could so many years go by that fast? Even more shocking is that my Barbie would be well into menopause now too. Wow.

I found her under the tree Christmas morning of second grade, along with a bright red case. And Ken!

When I opened the case a few weeks ago, the years vanished. My favorite dress.

Another favorite. When my girls got into Barbies, I noted right away that the Barbie clothes of my generation were better made and more generously cut.


Here’s Barbie’s babysitting apron. I hated babysitting. Not sure the apron influenced me.


I tried my hand at candystriping later on and wasn’t a fan of nursing either. Barbie’s nursing cape and cap didn’t convince me.


And that gets to the point that many argue about the doll: Does Barbie influence girls?. Does  her fab figure make young women feel they need the same shape?

I’ve pondered the impression Barbie made on my body image. I wasn’t a kid who was anxious for makeup. Bras. Periods. Perhaps that’s why skinny Barbie and the world she lived in left little mark on me. (But clothes and fashion magazines most likely did, as I’ve faced body/weight issues like most of us have.)

And here’s Ken. I don’t remember giving him much thought in terms of future boyfriends. Cliff though, happens to have a raincoat very much like Ken’s. Does that count?


Barbie and Ken both came with tennis outfits. I ended up loving tennis, so perhaps that’s where Barbie influenced me the most.


Bravo to Mattel for letting Barbie take on a multitude of careers over the years and for introducing Barbies in many ethnicities. 

Here’s more news. Time Magazine announced in a recent article: “For 57 years, the world’s most famous doll has been stick thin, setting an  unrealistic–and studies show, damaging–beauty standard for generations of young women. That all changed in January (2016) when Mattel, faced with slumping sales, decided to make Barbie look more like the girls who play with her.” Barbie now comes in three new body shapes–petite, tall, and curvy.


My great-aunt and grandma called me “Barbie” when I was little, not because of the doll but because Barbara is my name. That still didn’t make me relate to Barbie any better. I never loved her like I loved my baby dolls. But opening the case a few weeks ago and studying her face, her figure, her clothes and accessories, and her boyfriend Ken made me so happy I saved them all these years. That’s love, isn’t it?

What about you? Were you a Barbie girl? Did she affect your thinking in any way?

For some more Barbie blasts from the past, check out this Etsy site.

Giveaway: I’m giving away a curvy Barbie. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by February 1. The dress is a nod to the sixties. Maybe the shoes are too!


My Kindle: Rocking These Aging Eyes


Hard core book person here.

I come from a family of book collectors.


I’ve still got some of my childhood books. (Note the”his” in the subtitle at the top of Baby’s House below. Circa 1950.)


I like the smell of books (both the brand new smell and the worn smell). I like turning the pages. I like measuring how much of the book I’ve read by putting a bookmark in it, closing the book, and eyeballing how much is left.

I had no interest in an electronic reader.

But when daughter Kath said, for the umpteenth time, “Mom, you need a Kindle,” I finally caved. Kath sent me the Amazon link. The Paperwhite was on sale. I bought one, mostly to make my daughter happy.

I sighed when the box came. Did I really want this? I set my new Kindle on the back counter for a few days. Finally, I charged it up, connected it to wifi, and ordered my first book. So easy!

And in that instant, my reading life changed.

On a Kindle, you can blow up the type. I’m sure Kath had told me this a dozen times, but the significance didn’t sink in. Small print is no longer an issue for me. And thanks to larger print, I can read at night, something I was having a terrible time doing.


The Kindle’s backlighting helps with night reading too. I don’t need to move the lamp closer. You can even read in the dark.

The Kindle has changed my world. Seriously. I’m not sure it’s marketed as a product to help those of us with poor eyesight, but it should be.

Thanks Kath! And thanks for helping me pick out my festive purple cover.

Giveaway Winners:

Meryl won the fifty dollar Bed, Bath and Beyond gift card in honor of Friend for the Ride’s anniversary.

Laura won the copy of Lorraine Miano’s The Magic of Menopause

Barbara, Pam, and Karen, won tubes of Sylk

Liz won the Cool Collection Dress!

Beth won the Chocolate Soaps from Uncommon Goods

And Sara won the Nano Cooling scarf.

Please always let me know if you do NOT receive a prize you’ve won. And thanks to those of you who write such sweet thank you emails. I love knowing your prize has safely arrived.