Cosmetic body sculpting and weight loss, formerly for medical specialists, continues to rise in popularity for DCs looking for a new revenue stream
As chiropractors, we have always looked to the spinal adjustment as our main focus of income, and it’s been that way for over 120 years. However, as time progressed and so did the profession, everyone has looked at additional ways to not only add a viable and excellent service for our patients, but to add a substantial income source from that addition without costing a fortune or needing an expansive clinic addition or staff.
Many have added spinal decompression, which is a fantastic therapy. Class IV laser has proven to be a major player and probably the fastest-growing modality on the market today as far as results and the ability to grow your income.
There have also been various weight-loss programs introduced, ranging from diet and nutrition to various machines using LEDs or at times low-powered Class III lasers. It appears that all of these services can produce extra income and patients for your practice. However, there are two new clinical treatments chiropractors can add that are inexpensive, produce excellent results, and the fee per service is extraordinary.
New revenue stream: aesthetic cellulite reduction
These new therapies break into a field that very few of us have gone into, and that is aesthetic cellulite reduction, fat reduction and body sculpting, treatments that have been reserved for medical specialists.
Currently, body sculpting and cellulite removal and reduction is basically offered only by high-end medical spas, plastic surgeons and MDs. They charge anywhere from $200-$800 per 30-minute session and it is a fully staff-driven service after consultation, exam and report of findings, which includes areas to be treated and number of sessions needed.
This is an exploding area in the cosmetic realm and patients will pay your fee for excellent service and excellent results. The interest in body sculpting, fat loss and cellulite reduction and removal is amazing.
There are various modes and machines to do body sculpting fat loss and cellulite reduction and removal, and these range from laser in both Class III and Class IV ranges to potions and pills to EMS. It should be noted that some of these work much better than others, while some therapies do nothing more than waste time and money.
Cellulite is a unique tissue and has to be addressed as such. As we age, the stretchy or elastic properties of the skin are reduced. When you combine this with a decrease in the production of collagen, you have the formula to start cellulite production.
As internal collagen drops, these fibers loosen up and the underlying matrix begins to droop or sag. This matrix allows the outer skin to in turn droop or sag to match the internal changes going on.
Cellulite happens when fat cells that are, or have become enlarged, become fixated underneath the skin. The physiological occurrence produces a snowball effect that causes a visual change in the skin, that being dimpling, bumping or the “cottage cheese” visual. Also as we age, the skin does as well, and takes on a thinning appearance as these morphed fat cells and resulting cells clump, thus resulting in more lumps and bumps and the “cottage cheese” or “orange peel” that can be both seen and felt through the natural skin thinning process.
Cellulite is non-racial and can form on any sex, with women being affected more due to the production of estrogen. Women also usually have a higher natural percentage of body fat and hormonal changes that men do not have.
The 3 phases of cellulite development
Many don’t realize, but there are three distinct phases of cellulite development:
- Stage One — Cellulite dimpling is noticeable when squeezing the involved There could be pockets of fluid with toxins stored in the adipose tissue, but these adipose or fat clusters have not been pushed up into the connective tissues yet.
- Stage Two — A much more prominent visualization of dimpling/bumping is noticed when standing or lying down and does not need the “squeeze test” to be seen. The toxins in these cells are acidic, which makes them draw more water into the tissues, which could cause neuritis.
- Stage Three — This is the final and more aggressive stage of cellulite It is here where the cellulite tissues can begin to harden and take on a more firm shape. It is this stage where the cellulite can be tenderer and sensitive due to the congestion of fluids and toxins in the tissue. It is this stage that needs an aggressive treatment regimen.
As discussed previously, there are many methods in the field that supposedly combat the cellulite problem. First, cellulite is difficult to address due to its makeup. Cellulite rubs, lotions and creams simply do not have the penetration power to address the fat cell-clumping and loss of collagen.
These are superficial types of treatment and if anything, may cause a bit of smoothing of the skin due to rehydration, but do little to address the core problem. There have been various lasers and LED machines and some of these are very good, but also could be very expensive. As a manufacturer of high-quality Class IV therapy lasers, I have learned that for laser or LEDs to be effective, and also from scientific published fact, that the emission needs to be as close to the skin as possible to avoid scatter radiation.
LEDs or lasers that are 10-12 inches away from the skin and of very low power could be questioned on their efficiency due to the reasons already mentioned. Plus, any cellulite therapy treatment needs to be strong enough to affect the cells in question and cause not only cellular reconstruction but increase collagen production as well. Liposuction as well as cryotherapy have been proven successful, but these methods can be painful, cause health issues, and are considered an invasive procedure that only certain professionals can perform.
New revenue stream: acoustic wave
Currently, most medical doctors, high-end health spas, and plastic surgeons are using a scientific- and clinical-study-approved therapy that many of us may be familiar with, and that is acoustic wave or AW. The reasons for this are, again, that acoustic wave is relatively inexpensive to purchase, can be staff-driven, is non-invasive and has been shown to continually get excellent results as a revenue stream while producing huge income returns.
However, before you jump into the body sculpting, fat loss and cellulite removal and reduction arena with the acoustic wave or lipo laser you have in the clinic for your patients to treat frozen shoulder or similar conditions, you must realize that not all AW and lipo machines are the same.
Purchasing a machine and turnkey package
It is very easy to go on eBay or Amazon and find an acoustic wave machine from a dozen or more manufacturers from across the globe. Many of these are extremely affordable and offer all forms of treatment and some even for cellulite. However, the buyer needs to be extremely cautious when purchasing these machines.
First of all, is the unit FDA listed or registered? Many of these machines have no clearances whatsoever from anyone or any agency. Secondly, many of these AW devices are generic and many of the treatments are shotgun in nature, meaning most treatments are not specific to the problem and cellulite treatment — muscle contouring and body shaping take exact treatment protocols to be effective.
The third reason is customer service. Many of these machines literally have no customer service, repair, or even contact with the manufacturers if you have questions or concerns. Finally, just what exactly are you buying? In order to be successful, you must have, as mentioned, an excellent-quality acoustic wave or lipo machine that is actually dedicated to the treatment of cellulite reduction and removal, fat loss and the associated treatments needed to go with it.
Of course, good customer service is a must, and finally you also must secure a very strong presence behind you to help with marketing, advertising, clinic forms and clinical expertise. In other words, you need a turnkey package that can get you up and running, treating patients as a new revenue stream, and making a sizable return on investment quickly.
A good and proper acoustic wave machine will actually cause miniscule or micro tears in the targeted tissues as well as attacking fatty deposits and cells. This continued cycle of micro tears stimulates the body to increase its production of collagen, which is actually a part of the healing process.
When collagen production is increased, it helps to heal injured tissue. When these tendons and connective matrixes start to heal, they are replaced and/or rejuvenated with a stronger framework. This in turn causes smoother skin, a noticeable reduction in cellulite and even at times total elimination.
The second phase in your clinic that goes hand-in-hand with cellulite treatment is aesthetic body shaping and fat removal, which can be professionally addressed with the correct powered lasers that cause lipolysis. Some machines such as radio frequency or fat freezing actually kill and destroy the fat cells, which often takes a long period of time to see results and can cause cavities or voids where the fat died and was removed.
Laser lipolysis causes a rupture in fatty cellular membranes, which in turn allows the contents to escape and be absorbed by the lymphatic system. Results are often seen immediately and there is no pain or downtime. Some weight-loss machines use LEDs, which can be effective but need to be close to the skin to avoid scatter. Just perform due diligence to see which system is the right one for you.
High return on investment
Acoustic wave therapy and dedicated lipo laser fat removal are exciting and profitable new treatment ventures that can be added to any existing practice with the right equipment, training and company behind you.
These are two treatment procedures that have only been done by top-tier medical professionals who demand very high fees and now can be introduced to our profession as well as a new revenue stream. Most chiropractors have never thought about branching off into the aesthetic cosmetic field, but these treatments produce some of the highest returns on investment of anything you can do in your clinic. Just do it the right and correct way.
GARY HUDDLESON, DC, has been a practicing chiropractor for over 40 years and works exclusively in the film, entertainment and music industry. He is the owner of Accuflex Tables and Lasers, as well as Passion Celluloss. He can be reached at 573-745-1086, firstname.lastname@example.org or passioncelluloss.com.
ROB HANOPOLE, DC, is a successful chiropractor and lecturer and is the owner and CEO of The Laser Masters. He can be contacted through thelasermasters.com or at 954-296-8473.