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We started using a "cold laser" two years ago in my practice. When we grew to the point where a second unit was needed, I purchased an infrared LED unit. Both yield results. Our statistics give an edge to the infrared unit. The probable reason for this is that this unit has 16 treatment pads, consisting of 30 diodes each, which at maximum output provide about 14mw of energy each. The cold laser, on the other hand, only has two treatment paddles with 8-10mw diodes each. The infrared unit affords about eight times the area covered with over 30 times the total energy input. Even assuming equal results, the infrared unit has my recommendation, as it is substantially less expensive to purchase.

Our statistics show that measurable circumferential reduction occurs in the vast majority of our patients. We measure the abdomen at the umbilicus, 2" above and below. When we summate the inch loss from these three areas we have obtained results similar to the above referenced study.

The patient benefits when we can set reasonable treatment goals and achieve those goals. A series of treatments frequently acts as a motivating factor to "jump-start" a weight loss and health improvement program (additional services that may be offered through your office). Done properly, there will be a high degree of patient satisfaction. (Our practice has a 5-star Yelp rating).

The practice benefits in numerous ways. Diversification of income streams, additional patient inflow creating other income opportunities and supplemental incomes are some of the benefits. Our practice generated more than $250,000 in 2012 from income derived from body sculpting and ancillary services, while changing rates that are often less than half of what non-chiropractor providers of similar services charge.

Whereas training on the mechanical aspects of treatment is straightforward for any chiropractor accustomed to the use of physical modalities and procedures; creating a business is more complex than simply purchasing a unit, plugging it in and starting to treat patients. Two years of experience has shown that there are many intricacies in the appropriate selection of patients, setting of realistic goals, making recommendations for other services, sales and marketing and a host of other items that go into creating a successful business. Proper intake and management forms are required. Program sales are an art form that needs to be perfected. Successful marketing without wasting thousands of dollars is critical to success. Training by a successful doctor experienced in body sculpting is highly recommended to ensure success of your new venture.

In conclusion, substantial economic benefit may be derived by adding body sculpting and other associated revenue sources to your practice. Use of infrared light is a proven technology to affect circumferential reduction; the effects of which are enhanced by concurrent weight loss. An infrared diode unit may be superior to laser diodes for start-up cost, results and patient satisfaction. Properly performed, the high degree of patient satisfaction can further promote your business, while adding significantly to your bottom line.

Editor's Note: In Part 2, Dr. Weed will discuss the specifics of how body sculpting and it's associated ancillary services can substantially increase your practice.

References:

  1. Low-Power Laser Therapy, Chapter 48. Tiina I. Karu, Institute of Laser and Information Technologies; Russian Academy of Sciences, Troitsk, Moscow Region, Russian Federation.
  2. Mechanistic Studies for Local Fat Reduction, Caruso-Davis M, Guillot T, Yu Y, Mashtalir N, Bissoon L, Dhurandhar N, Greenway F. Published in Obesity Journal 16(suppl. 1):S161, 2008. Presented at NAASO Annual Scientific Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona. October 3-7, 2008.
  3. Effects of Low-level Laser Therapy in Subcutaneous Fat Reduction and Improvement in Body Contour, Vinod Podichetty MD, Daniel Bourassa, DC. Presented at ASLMS 30th Annual Conference Phoenix, Arizona, April 14-18, 2011.
  4. Fat Liquefaction: Effect of Low-Level Laser Energy on Adipose Tissue, Rodrigo Neira, M.D., José Arroyave, B.S.C.E., T.E.M., S.E.M., Hugo Ramirez, M.V., Clara Lucía Ortiz, M.D., Efrain Solarte, Dr. rer. nat., Federico Sequeda, Ph.D., and Maria Isabel Gutierrez, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Dr. Douglas Weed performed undergraduate and graduate work at UC Davis. He graduated third in his class from PCC in 1979. He co-founded the first group-owned chiropractic rehabilitation center in the country and assisted in the founding of similar facilities throughout California. He currently focuses on functional medicine, weight loss and body sculpting. His business "Integrated Lipo-Light Solutions" assists chiropractors with a turn-key business solution for body sculpting.

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