Medical professionals continue to battle insurance bureaucracy and speculate on an unpredictable health care future. Cash-based aesthetic treatments supplement practice revenue. Cosmetic treatments are no longer limited to the traditional plastic surgeon and dermatologist. From dentists to family practitioners, they are adding cosmetic treatments as the baby boomer market continues to expand.
It is becoming increasingly common for patients to receive injections of Botox® or Juviderm® type products, along with other invasive procedures, such as laser resurfacing, from a dentist or OB-Gyn’s office. While these services clearly fall outside their specialty, these doctors are taking advantage of vertical marketing opportunities from their existing patient base by offering aesthetic services.
Are aesthetic treatments a viable option for chiropractors? Limiting factors include that most states preclude chiropractors from giving injections or services that are invasive. So what’s left to offer?
Anti-aging supplements are offered by many chiropractors; however revenue seems negligible at best.
On the other hand, a number of chiropractors have integrated aesthetic treatments, not as a part of their practice per se, but as a separate business opportunity similar to MD‘s. Substantial growth is trending to non-invasive, natural solutions because of the cost invasive procedures in the exiting economy but, as importantly, the risk. The chiropractor patient base provides an equally, if not more lucrative, women dominated vertical marketing opportunity.
Chiropractors have, or can seize, a distinctive role in this vast market by relying on their own commitment to natural solutions coupled with numerous emerging products, equipment and techniques driven by the growing demand for effective but safer alternative cosmetic treatments.
One option is microcurrent, a low level of sub-sensory electrical current that mirrors the body’s own natural current. Proven and accepted properties range in application from wound healing, muscle rehabilitation, macular degeneration of the eye to lymphodema and lymes disease.
A 1982 study proved ATP levels were increased by 500% on tissue that was treated utilizing less than 1000Ua. The study also indicated that ATP levels plummeted and depleted when treated with more than 1000Ua (visible muscle contractions). This is important because ATP plays a critical role in the firming and toning of muscles for aesthetic improvement. Professional units provide constantly monitored results between 100Ua to 1000Ua.
Compare hand held consumer devices seen on TV using as high as 5000Ua. While some may provide instant tone when used cumulatively, these non-professional units can create flaccid and lifeless muscles that are completely void of ATP.
Muscle re-education is most related to the term "facial toning." There are 32 different muscles of the face manipulated during the average Microcurrent treatment. It is also effective for firming and toning the body and circumference reduction.
Since ATP can be stockpiled micro current treatments results are cumulative and become better as a series of treatments progresses. Advancements in other areas, such as plant bio-technology, also now offer natural, new non-invasive options. For example, "Elastatropin®" was discovered during a regenerative medicine study of the Department of Defense with a goal to assist wounded soldiers in Iraq. The product mimics tropoelastin, which is the precursor to the human elastin protein. The body stops producing elastin at 12, it diminishes with age and was considered irreversible. A new protocol infusing this human protein in topical form during a non-invasive procedure broadens the scope and effectiveness of natural inspired modalities.
Sophisticated extraction processes of collagen from bovine hide and fish now preserve molecular structural integrity, providing the ability to penetrate deeply into the dermis versus injection.
A new group of products packaged in glass ampoules to ensure potency and freshness will be available in the US June 2010. This new mesotherapy product range uses Liposomes as the delivery molecule. Made out of the same material as a cell membrane, Liposomes can be filled with various drugs/active ingredients, and used to deliver the solution to the cell. As the Liposome is made up of the same material as the cell membrane, it will not be rejected. The lipid bilayer can fuse with other bilayers, such as the cell membrane, thus delivering the Liposome contents of selected active ingredients.
Using micro current, light therapy or ultra sonic are available options for chiropractors that further enhance effectiveness of these new age topical products, providing results not previously available. At home product sales coupled with non-invasive, safe, and easily mastered treatment protocols can result in a spouse or CA generating substantial additional revenue.
Chiropractors considering the advantages of cash based aesthetic services may be reluctant because of professional perception concerns. However many would argue that offering aesthetic services based on treatments using natural products and cell stimulation is consistent with the chiropractic creed, "The body is capable of healing itself." The difference? These natural healing modalities result in cosmetic recovery.
Nelson Thibodeaux is President and founder of Texas Beauty Institute (TBI). He developed the protocol for Iontophoresis Elastin Infusion Therapy. Each November, he attends the Logan Unique Options for Your Practice post-graduate CE program. TBI continues research on non-invasive cosmetic recovery with equipment and products from around the world, with emphasis on safe, natural, chiropractic acceptable products and protocols.