Episode #6: The Real Regenerative Medicine

Published: December 24, 2019


Show Notes:

Speaker 1: (00:00)
What's going on, Doc. Welcome back to the supplied integration podcast. Episode number six, the real regenerative medicine.

Speaker 2: (00:10)
Leonardo da Vinci once said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and I agree. You see the problem with the way that most consulting groups approach medical integration is anything but simple. In fact, it's the exact opposite. It's expensive, it's complicated and quite frankly it's exhausting. Enough is enough. There are far too many amazing integrated clinics that are struggling. Well, I'm on a mission to change that. What I've come to find from over five years working with integrated practices is that simplicity really is the secret. The old saying of less is more is true. Through a streamlined approach, I was able to create multiple successful seven-figure integrated clinics, and now I'm going to show you how you can do the same. Join me as I share with you the secrets to successful medical integration and practice growth. Join me on a journey to greater sophistication through innovation. I'm Dr. Andrew Wells and welcome to the simplified integration podcast.

Speaker 1: (01:08)
Hey Doc, welcome back. So this topic is really polarizing in the chiropractic community. And I'm gonna, I want to be talking about regenerative medicine. Now some doctors will call this STEM cell therapy. I'll talk about what that really means. But I wanted to talk about this topic because it is so polarizing and it's also incredibly popular right now in the chiropractic profession and even in the medical profession. So if you're not new, if you don't know anything about regenerative medicine, I want to kind of define it. So regenerative medicine is a, is a particular area in medicine, which with a really, really broad scope. And what it is, is using cells and human cells and different, um, growth factors to help repair damaged tissue. And this can be damaged tissue because of age, degenerative conditions, injuries, you name it. A regenerative medicine helps rebuild the body.

Speaker 1: (01:57)
So this is the opposite of regenerative medicine. Combat degenerative disease. So you have degenerative disease. Regenerative, regenerative medicine is to combat that. And the nice thing about this is that it doesn't treat symptoms. And chiropractors are all about not treating symptoms. And it's funny that there's kind of a paradox here because this is a part of the medical community who, uh, would you be recognized is mainly about treating symptoms. Not everybody, but a lot of it is just treating symptoms with drugs and masking symptoms where regenerative medicine is getting to the root cause of the problem. So that's why this is particularly interesting to chiropractic because it actually, despite the fact it's a medical procedure, it actually fits our philosophy and, and sometimes people try to debate me on that and I'm not, there's like, we could talk about this all day, but I want to talk about like define what it is and how this applies to healthcare in general.

Speaker 1: (02:45)
So there are three different parts of regenerative medicine. One part would be tissue engineering. So that's not what chiropractors are doing. Tissue engineering is like what doctors are doing in labs where they're growing heart tissue in lung tissue and like regrowing organs with a STEM cells. So even like with three D printing right now, you can actually three D print organs with STEM cells. It's freaking amazing. Right? And this is like the future of healthcare where if someone needs like a valve replacement in their heart or a new kidney, three D printers are now able to actually reproduce Oregon and cell tissue from a patient's own body. So crazy, crazy stuff. That's like the cutting edge stuff. It's actually been around for a long time. Uh, STEM cell therapy. Uh, so you've heard of STEM cell therapy, 99.9% of chiropractors who do regenerative medicine and are calling it STEM cell therapy aren't really doing STEM cell therapy.

Speaker 1: (03:34)
So STEM cells are when you're taking a patient's own cells and you're injecting them back in your body, and you can get them from two different places. You can get the, uh, STEM cells from bone marrow and you get them from fat cells. Now the problem with this is that in the U S the FDA does not allow us to reproduce, manipulate, regrow, or culture cells. You can't manipulate cells in any way, shape or form. So, for example, if you take STEM cells, these are the limitations in the U S if you take STEM cells from a, from a 70 year old patient, like from their bone marrow, the problem is those cells are old, they're weak, they're lazy, they don't produce very many viable cells. So most patients seeking STEM cell therapy in the U S aren't doing that because their cells aren't viable. So in order to make that work, he has to go outside of the U S you can go to the Cayman islands, Mexico, Panama, Europe, Asia, and you can do STEM cell therapy with less limitations.

Speaker 1: (04:26)
So the governments there allow doctors to manipulate, regrow, and culture cells and make it a lot more potent. So this is why you hear of like professional athletes and, and patients going around the world to do STEM cell therapy is because it's a lot more effective than in the U S because they have less restrictions and less regulations. Now in the U S we have a lot of limitations and that's a good and a bad thing. Limitations are great because it protects us as patients. It protects us as doctors, but also the bad side is it can also limit progress. So in the U S when you're, when we're doing, uh, air quotes, uh, STEM cell therapy or regenerative medicine, you're actually using growth factors. So most chiropractors are using things like PRP, uh, amniotic tissue, Wharton, Shelly exosomes, uh, peptides, all these things that help the body repair itself. That's what chiropractors are doing.

Speaker 1: (05:13)
So, uh, this approach is not new, by the way. I hear this a lot from doctors like, Oh, this is, this is too new. It needs more research. Uh, that's not right. So this has been around for decades. It's not new. Uh, if you're living under a rock, then maybe it may seem new to you. And I don't mean that in a bad way, but this was new to me five years ago. I didn't even know it existed. But regenerative medicine is not new. It's very, very well researched. If you look at almost every major hospital around the world, they are doing regenerative medicine in one way, shape or another. So it's not new. It's not experimental. It's not snake oil. The first time I heard about regenerative medicine, I'm like, Oh, that sounds like too good to be true. Is this like a snake oil thing?

Speaker 1: (05:54)
It's not. If you go to the Mayo clinic, they're doing regenerative medicine. If you go to the Cleveland clinic, uh, if you go to Stanford, Yale, Harvard, they're all doing regenerative medicine. So it's not new. Um, sometimes in the chiropractic profession we sort of smell a salad as snake oil. And I know a lot of doctors that do that and that's not the way to do it, but it's a very real thing. And so it's not new. Now there are lots of different applications for regenerative medicine. Everything from orthopedic issues, which is the big one too. You can use it for cosmetic reasons. You can use it for a sexual dysfunction. You can use it for uh, immune issues, lung issues, heart issues. But what I want to focus in on today is using a regenerative medicine for orthopedic issues. And this is like the, the, the primary use for regenerative medicine, especially in the U S now this is especially good for patients who have worn out knees, osteoarthritic Kips, um, a really worn out neck and back joints.

Speaker 1: (06:48)
Uh, you can use it for basically any joint in the body. So if a patient has an osteoarthritic joint, they could be a potentially a good candidate for regenerative medicine. It also helps with soft tissue injury. So if you've torn your meniscus or you have a rotator cuff tear, these are common applications for regenerative medicine. Now, can chiropractors do regenerative medicine? No, it's a medical procedure. And so if you want to do this within your, the four walls of your clinic, you need to hire a medical doctor, have a medical entity. Each state is a little bit different. So there are legal ways to do it and ethical ways to do it. But a chiropractor cannot do, uh, the diagnosis, the recommendation or the injections for regenerative medicine, that it's not within our scope. Um, the, our chiropractor is well suited to do regenerative medicine or, or to integrate this into their practice.

Speaker 1: (07:34)
I think absolutely. So there are two, uh, there are two really main categories of physicians that are doing this or are promoting it. You have the MDs and you have chiropractors. Now, the good news for chiropractors is that traditionally MDs are very awful at doing regenerative medicine because it involves a sales process. For the most part. This is not covered by insurance. So there's typically an out of pocket costs for patients. So MDs are not used to eating what they kill right there. They roll out an insurance reimbursement. They rely on these large patient basis and just putting people through the insurance system so they've never had to sell out of pocket cash services. Whereas chiropractors, because of the nature of our profession, most chiropractors have had to learn really good sales skills and how to present care plans and how to, um, how to make it work for patients and their lifestyle and their budget.

Speaker 1: (08:24)
So from a, from a business standpoint, from a financial standpoint, chiropractors are very, very well suited to implement this into their practice because we have the, the sales chops to make that possible. Now. Um, the other, the other reason I think chiropractors, all chiropractors should do regenerative medicine is because it fits our, our patient base. So the nice thing about regenerative medicine, it's not a drug, it's not synthetic. It's using cells, human cells and cells to help the body repair itself. And if you look at all healthcare professionals around the world who specializes in helping patients get out of joint pain, uh, musculoskeletal issues without invasive procedures, it's chiropractors. This is like our specialty. Yes, we do other things. But most people go to chiropractors because they have joint pain. Now, if someone has a worn out Lex, let's say of a worn out knee or an osteoarthritic hip, or they have like a worn out wrist or they have carpal tunnel syndrome, chiropractic can help those patients.

Speaker 1: (09:19)
Absolutely. But is it going to reverse their condition? Like absolutely not. And this is where regenerative medicine fits in. So take, if you go, if you put yourself in the position of a patient, let's say that you have a worn out almost bone on bone knee. What are you going to do? So first you go to your primary care doctor and maybe they'll give you some anti-inflammatories, but likely they'll refer you out to an orthopedic specialist. So the orthopedic doc is going to do one of two things. Either they're going to give you antiinflammatory medication or they're going to give you a cortisone injection. Some docs are doing like a hyaluronic acid injections, which is great, but it doesn't like it only lasts for a certain period of time. So it's not fixing the problem. Now the orthopedic doctor makes their money doing surgery, so they're not going to want the patient to be on a cortisone injections for the rest of the life.

Speaker 1: (10:07)
They want to get them in the operating room so they can make a living. And if you doubt that, like that's just reality, that's, that's how he drive their fancy cars. I make a bunch of money. That's okay. That's the orthopedic docs make their living. And so when you, um, so from a patient standpoint, like if you want a non drug noninvasive procedure, you're not going to get that from your orthopedic doc. That's not their bread and butter. However, if you want a nonsurgical, noninvasive approach to knee pain, you should go see a chiropractor or maybe a physical therapist. So this is why, like these are the patients that we're seeing day in and day out. In fact, if I walked into your clinic today, I could find dozens of patients who would like gladly raise their hand and say, yeah, I would love a nonsurgical, non-pharmaceutical approach to joint pain.

Speaker 1: (10:52)
And so these are the patients you're already seeing. So the question then becomes, if you're not doing the injection, who's going to do it? The answer is the MD or it's not going to get done at all. Um, one story like, uh, my dad passed away about five or six years ago and he, um, he had knee pain and uh, he took the traditional approach. He went to this orthopedic doctor, he was on like rounds of cortisone injections that didn't work. And eventually they said, well, you need surgery. And they didn't do a, a knee replacement on my dad. They did arthroscopic surgery. And so my dad at the time was 69 years old, was on a bunch of medication. Uh, they did the arthroscopic surgery and, um, he didn't get any better. And I'm like, that's funny. So they waited a few days, week turn days, turn into weeks and they realize that my dad had acquired an infection obviously from the surgery.

Speaker 1: (11:37)
And because he was like so sick and on so many medications, his body, his immune system was lower. He, his body couldn't heal. And after like, so he never got, never recovered from the new surgery. And to make a long story short, my dad eventually passed away from complications from not only his health but his knee operation. And um, at the time I had no idea what regenerative medicine was. No idea. My dad had no idea and his doctor gave him two options after the cortisone injections were up. You can either live with the pain or you can have surgery and we can fix the problem. Which one do you want? Of course my dad picked fix the solution. He picked surgery and knowing what we now know, we obviously never would have done that, but there was no other, the doctor gave him no other option, right?

Speaker 1: (12:21)
It was surgery or nothing. And so had I known about this, this men have had, it had a much bigger impact on my dad's life and my family's life because he would have had another option. And so chiropractor's oftentimes a fit in that area where, where patients don't want that stuff, they want alternatives and we can provide those alternatives to patients. So, um, that's why I think a chiropractors are very, very well suited to run a regenerative medicine program. So, uh, should Kairos get into it? I think so, but if you look at it from like a, from a take the philosophical stuff out of the argument, right? Don't look at it that way. But if you look at it this way, whenever you look at implementing something in your practice, there are always three questions that go through my mind. Number one, does it help the patient?

Speaker 1: (13:05)
And with regenerative medicine, we get amazing, amazing results. Talk to other doctors who do it. You'll find the same thing. They get good results. It works. So that's number one. Does it help the patient? Number two, is it legal and ethical? So again, chiropractors cannot legally do regenerative medicine, but you can partner with MDs and nurse practitioners to make illegal in your state. But also, here's the ethical thing, like so many times a doctor is spoil things, right? And especially this is especially true with regenerative medicine is doctors will like over the oversell the benefits of regenerative medicine. And here's what I mean by this. Don't make it sleazy. So if a patient comes in and they have true bone on bone degeneration and they can barely walk and there's no cartilage, don't tell them that STEM cell therapy is going to regrow the cartilage in their knee.

Speaker 1: (13:49)
I hear that from so many doctors like, yep, we're going to make your turn your knee into an 18 year old person's knee. Like that's not true. It's not going to happen. However, if someone comes in with, uh, with like phase two or phase three degeneration, they still have some cartilage left. Again, don't tell them you're gonna like rebuild their knee with STEM cell therapy, but can you help with their inflammation? Can he help with their, with the pain? Can you help them with their mobility and their quality of life? Can you help them push surgery off a later down the road if necessary? Absolutely. That's what STEM cell therapy therapy can help with. So don't like, don't oversell it. Don't over-hype it. Be honest with patients. So that's number two. Like is it legal and ethical? Absolutely. So as long as you're not like, you know, selling snake oil and yes, um, this fits that category and the number three is a profitable, I have never known anything to be more profitable than regenerative medicine.

Speaker 1: (14:38)
And again, like I've tried everything in chiropractic, functional medicine, weight loss, uh, traditional conventional medical integration, like all the decompression, all these different things and nothing was more profitable than regenerative medicine. And you ask doctors who have been in this long enough, like it's massively profitable. That's why it's become so popular in chiropractic for most people. Is it, it, it allows you to generate a ton of income, cash, income in your practice. So, um, that is, so this is regenerative medicine in a nutshell. Um, if you don't, if you didn't know what regenerative medicine was, I hope this helps sort of put, um, uh, some bookends on it, what it is, what it isn't, how it works in your practice, and let me know your thoughts. So if you, um, if you agree with me, let me know. If you have questions, let me know. Uh, if you totally disagree with what I'm talking about, also let me know.

Speaker 1: (15:26)
Um, so I don't mind a critical feedback because this is a really a red hot topic and it's also, um, uh, it's polarizing in our profession. So I want to know what your thoughts are, what you think about it. Um, but I also wanted to present this to you and how this is fitting in to the simplified integration lifestyle for chiropractors in their business and their patients. So I hope you found this beneficial dot. Great to have you on here today. I hope you're having a great day. And we'll talk to you soon. Bye. Bye.

Speaker 2: (15:53)
Hey, innovators. Thanks for listening to the simplified integration podcast. Fact that you're listening tells me that you're like me, someone who loves simplicity, and the truth is those who embrace simplicity are some of the greatest innovators. So hope you got a ton of value from what we covered on today's episode. Be sure to subscribe and share with other docs that you feel could benefit from greater sophistication through simplification and innovation. If you've got specific questions that you'd like answered on this podcast or you've got specific topics that you'd like me to discuss, just shoot me an email at info@simplifiedintegration.com

Speaker 1: (16:29)
that's info@simplifiedintegration.com.

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