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New treatment melts away the poundsEdit

By: ERIN EDGEMON, Post Contributor
Posted: Sunday, April 4, 2010 12:00 am
Remember the saying if it seems too good to be true than it must be?

That is usually the case, but it’s a different story with a new non-surgical, cosmetic weight-loss procedure now being offered at the Goco Center for Aesthetics in Murfreesboro.

Dr. Paul Goco, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, is the first physician in Tennessee to offer Zerona, the only non-invasive, low-level laser treatment designed to slim and contour the body. The treatment causes no pain or discomfort and no downtime.

“It is for the patient that wants liposuction but doesn’t want the surgery,” Goco said.

Through the use of a low-level laser, the body is contoured, pounds and inches are lost and skin is toned and tightened.

The average patient loses between 3.5 to 11 inches, according to data provided by Zerona. Some patients have lost even more.

“Our patients have been pleased with the results from Zerona treatments and because there are no needles, no incisions and no recovery time involved, they can continue with their daily activities immediately after each treatment,” Goco said.

Zerona even has a guarantee that if a patient doesn’t lose at least three inches than he or she will get another six sessions for free, he said.

Goco said the procedure shouldn’t be used as a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise, but should be used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

Zerona isn’t recommended for use on obese patients or patients with a body mass index of more than 30.

On women the Zerona laser is concentrated on the stomach area, hips and thighs, but on men the laser is concentrated on the chest, stomach and hips.

But, patients see inches and pounds lost in the neck, chin, arms, back, stomach, hips and buttocks.

Patients undergo six sessions, a session every other day for two week. Patients are measured before and after treatments to verify the loss of inches.

Before the sessions begin, patients must take a week to hydrate and take supplements in preparation for the treatment. A week after the treatment, patients also must take supplements.

Patients lie under the Zerona for 40 minutes each session.

No side effects or complications have been reported in relation to Zerona, said Cherillyn Maddox, office manager for Goco Center for Aesthetics.

Clinical studies showed that Zerona’s low-level laser targets the body’s fat storing cells and stimulates the fat cell to liquefy the fat within the cell, she said. A small pore is then created in the fat cell allowing the fatty matter to seep out of the cell and be absorbed into the lymphatic system. The excess fat is then passed out of the body.

Erchonia, a global leader in low-level, health-care applications, developed Zerona.

Goco Center for Aesthetics has offered Zerona since November 2009.

“It has been catching on more and more as the word gets out,” Goco said, of the treatment.

Patients can receive a monthly membership at a reduced price to Gold’s Gym and receive a discount on the Lumicell Touch treatment at What’s New the Salon. The treatment involves a deep tissue vacuum massage technique that helps yield firmer and smoother skin.

Goco is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.

Goco Center for Aesthetics offers facial cosmetic surgery and a variety of non-surgical treatments including laser skin resurfacing, facials and chemical peels and laser hair removal.

The center is located at 1370 Gateway Blvd., Suite 120, across the street from the new Middle Tennessee Medical Center. Call the center at 848-9223.

Erin Edgemon can be contacted at

Laser Therapy Shown Effective for Neck PainEdit

by Clayton Simmons

Low-level laser therapy appears to reduce neck pain of non-neurologic origin, according to a recent meta-analysis.

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is mostly used in the United States by physical therapists and chiropractors. Evidence for its effectiveness as a noninvasive pain treatment has grown recently, said Roberta Chow, MBBS, president of the Australian Medical Laser Association, said. Two years ago, for example, the World Health Organization’s Bone and Joint Decade Project neck pain task force noted LLLT as a treatment option for the condition (Spine 2008;33:S123-S152),

In LLLT, practitioners train a laser beam, able to penetrate the skin up to several centimeters, on muscles and vertebral joints, modulating the physiology of cells. The effects of LLLT are not fully understood, according to Dr. Chow, an honorary research associate at the Nerve Research Foundation at the University of Sydney. But research suggests it may have anti-inflammatory effects, reduce oxidative stress and muscle fatigue, or alter nerve conduction.

For this review, published in The Lancet (2009;374:1897-1908), the four authors, three of whom are members of the World Association for Laser Therapy, searched for randomized studies comparing LLLT to placebo or active control in chronic or acute neck pain. They identified 16 trials, comprising 820 patients.

Researchers calculated the relative risk (RR) for improvement with LLLT in chronic and acute neck pain. For chronic neck pain, five high-quality studies reporting categorical data demonstrated an RR of 4.05 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.74-5.98) for improvement, indicating that patients were 4.05 times more likely to improve with treatment than with placebo. For acute neck pain, two trials of varying quality indicated an RR of 1.69 (95% CI, 1.22-2.33) for improvement with LLLT versus placebo.

Researchers also investigated the extent and duration of LLLT’s effects. In 11 trials employing a visual analog scale (VAS), patients in the treatment group reported pain reductions of 19.86 mm (10.04-29.68 mm) on average. Four studies that included data from 10 to 22 weeks post-treatment showed pain reductions of 23.44 mm (17.11-29.77 mm) on the VAS. Five studies offered evidence that LLLT reduced disability. Researchers did not detect publication bias.

LLLT’s efficacy in short- and medium-term treatment of neck pain, the authors wrote, “compare[s] favourably with other widely used therapies.” For clinicians, these results suggest that, “having done a clinical assessment and excluded red flags, you can safely go on to treatment,” Dr. Chow said.

Scott Haldeman, DC, MD, PhD, clinical professor of neurology at the University of California, Irvine, and president of the Bone and Joint Decade Project neck pain task force, said the meta-analysis used appropriate statistical methods and seemed to confirm that LLLT reduces pain. But Dr. Haldeman also noted that more and larger studies are necessary to draw conclusions about its long-term efficacy and its effects on disability. Cost-effectiveness trials comparing LLLT to standard treatments for neck pain would also be useful. For now, the review “offers justification for giving it a trial,” Dr. Haldeman said. “If it doesn’t work, you move on to something else.”

===Laser Therapy Shown Effective for Neck Pain


The Light Stuff  []Cold Laser Therapy Is Joining the Injury Treatment Team  By Lois Lindstrom, Special to The Washington Post, Tuesday, February 17, 2004; Page HE01 

The New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII with some help from a little-known form of laser technology that could change
the way athletic injuries and chronic pains are treated. The treatment, known as "cold" laser therapy or low-level laser therapy (LLLT),
has been used internationally for 18 years to treat soft tissue injuries, cervical neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress
injuries, tendonitis, hamstring injuries, arthritis and wound healing, among others. 
The lasers -- hand-held, flashlight-like devices that direct a beam of narrow-spectrum (but not hot) light at injured tissue beneath the
skin -- have been integrated into medical practice in Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, cold laser
therapy has become a preferred treatment for "whiplash" injuries, neuralgia and shingles. In Japan, the lasers were approved in 1987
and are in widespread use today. 
In the United States, the technology received marketing clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for treating
carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful inflammation of the wrists and hands that results from repetitive motion. But the mainstream
medical establishment still considers the cold laser's benefits unproven. Most U.S. users are athletic trainers, chiropractors and
practitioners of alternative medicine. 
"The medical community needs more scientific studies done in the United States," said Wayne Good, a general surgeon in Waterford,
Mich., who participated in the clinical trials that led to FDA clearance of the laser device. Good worked with General Motors Corp.,
which hosted the double-blind, placebo-controlled trials on serious carpal tunnel sufferers as a way to seek more cost-effective
treatment for the condition, which affects many auto workers. Good said the treatment proved about 70 percent effective in getting
injured workers, most of whom had failed to respond to other treatments, back on the job. GM offers the treatment to injured workers
in its in-plant medical clinics. 
But insurance payment for the procedure is also an issue holding doctors back, Good said. Many U.S. insurers will not pay for cold
laser treatment, citing the need for further research proving its benefits. "If the major insurance companies . . . do not pay for the
technology," Good said, "the doctor cannot be reimbursed for treating his patients." 
Sport and Health 
While mainstream medicine remains on the sidelines, practitioners of sports medicine, who are highly motivated to find new ways to
heal soft-tissue injuries and bruises, are getting right into the cold laser game. In the week preceding the Super Bowl, Boston based
registered nurse Ellen Spicuzza treated more than 10 Patriot players with cold laser therapy for tendon and muscle injuries. 
"A couple of days prior to the Super Bowl weekend, I treated [Patriot wide receiver] David Givens, who had a locked-up hamstring,"
she said. She rotated the pen-like laser over the "belly" of his hamstring muscle for about five minutes, she said. "The laser released
Spicuzza, an independent nurse/physical therapist in Boston, usually treats Patriot players' injuries with medical massage. For the big
game, she for the first time used low level laser therapy on the athletes' most troublesome pain spots. Before using the cold laser,
Spicuzza was skeptical. "I am not into gimmicks," she said. "I didn't think it would help." But she changed her mind after seeing how
the laser expedited healing of some players' soreness and pain. "I don't think [the improved recoveries were] a coincidence," Spicuzza
said. "It did help. I used it on a flared-up sciatic nerve, and the player had relief soon after treatment." 
The Light and the Tunnel 
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when tendons or ligaments in the wrist become enlarged, often from inflammation. Nearly 500,000
Americans have surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome each year; surgery costs $8,000 to $10,000 per patient, according to the
American College of Orthopedic Surgeons. 
Unlike surgery, treatments involving low level laser therapy are non-invasive and require no healing time. There are no gels or
ointments applied prior to the treatment. The most notable sensation is the pressure of the head of the laser on the skin, though some
patients report a small tingling. Cold laser treatments usually cost $25 to $50, with a typical course of treatment involving 10 to 15
sessions over time. 

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