Dr. Phil Exclusive Q&A Featured in the Los Angeles Times
Q: How did you get so successful in treating those suffering from the most difficult to treat pain syndromes?
For over 15 years, I had traveled the world doing a lot of research into combining traditional and alternative treatments for those suffering from severe pain. While working as a medical missionary in Central America I first experimented combining phototherapy with acupuncture and got decent results. I then ran 2 pain clinics in Korea where I treated the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Special Forces Personnel.
Furthermore, I decided to travel to Europe to further my studies in chiropractic sports medicine and was invited to treat Olympic athletes at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. During that time I had teamed up with the other sports doctors and we combined Eastern and Western medical procedures and got great results.
I also was solicited to treat entertainers on tour such as Beyonce, & the Pussy Cat Dolls due to the reputation of getting performers back on stage as soon as possible when injured. It was very rewarding to contribute to getting the soldiers back on their missions, the athletes back to competition, and entertainers back on stage.
After all my research which spanned four continents, I came to the conclusion that although the combination of allopathic and alternative therapies benefited most of the population, there were always those stubborn cases that did not respond to either drugs, injections, surgery, or even conservative therapies such as physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc. I knew there had to be something else to offer these folks suffering from stubborn pain.
Q: How did you get into Laser Medicine?
Upon returning to the United States, low and behold, I had injured my back doing vigorous cross fit exercises and was diagnosed with a herniated disc and sciatica. The pain was so bad I could not even drive more than 30 minutes without the sharp electrical like pain shooting down my buttock and leg. Needless to say I had tried everything from spinal decompression to chiropractic but nothing had relieved it.
I also did not consider surgery an option. Fortunately, I had discovered class IV hi-powered laser therapy and within a few weeks the sciatic pain had disappeared and I was totally cured! Incidentally I had also suffered from a bad case of shingles which caused severe peripheral neuropathic pain in my back, buttocks, and groin. I had even developed some neuropathic numbness and tingling in my lateral foot and ankle.
Again, it was the laser therapy which saved the day for me. That disc and neuropathy I had turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I had finally discovered the holy grail of non-invasive pain management through using hi-powered class IV laser medicine.
Q: How does the laser work to treat degenerative discs, spinal stenosis, and peripheral neuropathies?
To keep it simple, the laser increases the healing response by delivering photonic energy to damaged discs, soft tissue, and nerves through a process called photobiomodulation. ATP, Oxygen, and blood are delivered to damaged tissue which decreases inflammation and speeds circulation and healing. And just as sunlight produces vitamin D3 when it is absorbed by the skin to make strong bones, the laser energy does the same thing on a more focused level.
Q: What makes your class IV laser different from others?
The ability of the laser to deliver sufficient photonic energy in deep tissue is proportionate to the laser’s power. And power is measured in watts. Most class IV lasers only produce 6 to 12 watts of photonic energy. Our Lifelite Lrx60K Laser delivers a whopping 60 watts, thus is 5 to 10 times more powerful than any other laser out there. Thus we get deeper and more powerful healing laser energy into the tissue resulting in shortened treatment times and superior clinical results.
Q: Is the class IV hi powered laser therapy covered by insurance and Medicare?
When I came back to the U.S. I played the insurance game and billed Medicare and private insurances for our therapies and found that they either refused to pay, or did not cover the laser procedures at all. I felt frustrated that the insurance companies and government run Medicare tied my hands as a doctor and I could not deliver the proper care that my patients desperately needed.
So I got out of the insurance industry and decided to create the concierge clinic concept where the patients would pay a fair fee to us directly which would allow the patient to get the care they needed, and in return we would be able to deliver superior hi-quality health care, without the red tape of dealing with insurances. This would benefit both parties as our staff time could now be 100% devoted to the patient instead of wasting time and resources fighting the insurance companies resulting in patient and practitioner frustration.
Furthermore, other costly procedures such as Lasik and dental implants are not covered by insurances, but people still invest in these services because you can’t put a price on a healthier and higher quality of life which these procedures provide.
Q: Can you tell us about any successful cases of patients who have undergone your laser procedure?
Sure, we had Dr. Reynaldo Landero M.D., a famous Geriatric Specialist from Carson who came in with severe neck and neuropathic arm pain from degenerated discs in his cervical spine. His pain was significantly reduced after only a few hi-powered laser treatments.
We also had Carla Visnic, a registered nurse who came in with crippling peripheral neuropathy pain and tingling in her feet for over 20 years and had been taking Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Gabapentin with no relief. After just 3 treatments with the 60 watt laser her pain scale dropped from a 10 to a 6, and she got feeling back in her feet.
The other day Tyler, who is a 3rd baseman for the Baltimore Orioles came in with carpal tunnel wrist pain, especially when batting, so he was worried he would be cut from the upcoming season. He had some injections and physical therapy from his team doctors but nothing helped. His wrist was so bad he could not even do a pushup due to the wrist pressure. But after one laser treatment his pain was relieved and he was able to do multiple pushups and it looks like he will be playing this season.
Q: How available is the class IV Lrx60K hi-powered laser procedure to those suffering from chronic pain?
The problem is that because we are the only 60 watt class IV laser provider on the entire West Coast, we have no choice but to limit the amount of cases we take. If we take too many, the quality of our care would drop, and we refuse to compromise our 5 star quality of care standards.
So to make the Lrx60K hi-powered laser available to more chronic pain sufferers, I am starting a Laser Medicine University where I will be training other doctors on our state-of-the-art laser medicine protocols and how to implement the concierge clinic client centered concept.
Q: What other conditions can be treated with the hi-powered Lrx60K laser?
We have had excellent results with treating those suffering from fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, shingles postherpatic neuralgia, golfer’s/tennis elbow, tendinitis and tendinosis of the shoulder, and a host of other nerve, joint, muscular, inflammatory and degenerative disorders.
Please keep in mind that like any medical procedure the laser is not a cure all and we often refer or co-manage difficult cases with other medical professionals. In fact at our Newport clinic we share office space with Dr. Jacobs who is a senior neurologist and Dr. Lee who is a general surgeon both with Hoag Hospital privileges. This ensures that our patients can have access to the best doctors around.
Q: What should chronic sufferers do?
If you or someone you know has a sport, spine, or neuropathy disorder, Dr. Phil invites you to contact him today to find out if you are a candidate for the highest powered laser procedure.