Veterans & Laser for Pain & PTSD, Facebook Live
Facebook / Los Angeles, CA December 21 2017
Video was sponsored by Brass Bonds “Brass Bonds is an association of veterans and allies that are passionate about getting veterans out of the house for things they actually want to do” and features Kelly O’Brien from LMDPR
[Marc] Alright what is up guys? Mark here with Brass Bonds and Atlas Defense. I'm just getting our friend Kelly invited to the live stream here. If you guys have any questions throughout it, you can always ask them. We're going to have Kelly O'Keefe on and she's with LaserMD out there in southern California, and I was actually introduced to Kelly, I think through some mutual contacts and I see you, great…. looks like we have her coming on soon. Well, Kelly should be viewing soon. She'll be on with us here but anyway like I said, I was introduced to her through some mutual friends.
And it just happened to be one of those things that seemed to make a lot of sense because I'm passionate about trying to share other types of alternative treatment, other than what we've been told that we have to take or use by the VA. And honestly when I was out there, I'm studying at the Brass Bonds Club in Southern California. It was a good experience and we knew that we made a lot of progress there when we were there. And one of those things that we decided to do was do these types of ….oh there we go, is do these where we want to share the information. And one of those ways that we could do that is by
[Kelly]... Hello how's it going? I'm great.
[Marc] Great. I was just getting started up here and most of the guys already know who I am so can you just take a minute to introduce yourself so we kind of know what you specialize in and how you guys kind of came to be there in Southern California.
[Kelly] Great thank you. So, I work with Dr. Harold Kraft and he started a laser company two years ago in Manhattan Beach, California and opened up a second one in Santa Monica. And he was a pain management doctor for twenty years, anaesthesiologist, and then retired from the medical field and then got back into it, only after he saw and researched the laser and it helped people, and they have a bunch of tests on animals too. So, I started working with him almost a year ago, and I've watched it help people and it's been a fantastic pain relief option for people who don't want to be on medication and don't want to have surgery or get injections for their pain. So, I'm pretty excited to be working with him.
[Marc] I think that's where our paths crossed. There was a lot of guys that are interested in things other than just the regular treatments or the medications and whatnot that are handed out. So anyway, that was good. What kind of jumped out, I think most of these guys do is where they really connected that kind of need is we want to try something other than what's being told that we have to take those medications or what not.
[Kelly] Sure, yeah so it's great. So, a lot of our patients come in with moderate to chronic pain. So, some people might get something simple, an injury. I shouldn't say simple but like a rotator cuff tear that's recent and other people have had back pain for over 20 years. So, how the laser works is, it's light energy. We use the highest laser called the Class 4 laser that's approved by the FDA and it helps with inflammation in your body. So, pretty much, pain comes from inflammation. So the laser is light that penetrates your body about an inch and a half and it goes through the bones, the tissues and gets absorbed by the cell. So, the photons get absorbed by the cell and the cell creates more ATP which is energy, and creates its own anti-inflammatory response. So, it doesn't melt or burn anything in your body. There's no injections, there's no pre-care or aftercare and it's just an awesome way if you are one of the six out of ten, seven out of ten people that respond well to it, it's like a life changer for some people who haven't been able to travel just because they can't even sit on a plane for a couple of hours.
[Marc] That's really interesting how that technology works. I was actually just kind of catching up a little bit on those days or whatnot that you shared with me. I think that what's worth mentioning too is that this treatment isn't necessarily something that's like brand new either. I mean, they've been using lasers to treat things like estheology and skin care and stuff like that before too so a little history on it. How far back do you think that laser treatment has already gone?
[Kelly] So, there's a lot of different types of laser. So, ours is for pain management. A laser if you get wrinkles or stuff done to your face, that's more for aesthetics and it's a whole different laser. So, our laser is a hot laser, so comparative is people who have gone to a chiropractor, they might have experienced a cold laser before. Ours is probably like a thousand times more powerful than that laser and we get pretty high doses when we give our treatments. So, we tend to see a lot more great responses because we go past a little bit of the threshold of what other doctors may use and a lot of doctors actually don't use it. A lot of chiropractors do.
[Marc] Okay and I think I remember you saying that there is a little bit of like a warming sensation when you're using it for pain management. So, when the laser is directly on your body or where it's targeting that pain area, they're going to experience a little bit of warmth but that's about it though.
[Kelly] Yeah so that's about it. It doesn't burn anything and we move the laser. If I were to hold it and not move it, it would burn someone. I don't do that. I'm very good at what I do, and we do have ice packs too so that when the patient says it's getting too hot, I just turn it off and I put ice on someone. So, we have a cooling system and stuff so it's not painful and it's up to the patient just to say when things get too hot.
[Marc] When you're doing it with Marines, you might have to because they're not going to say it.
[Kelly] We tell those people like five times and I can tell too. I stop sometimes, I can feel the back of my hand. Like I can tell and usually their skin gets red so all the vasodilation. And also for people who have tattoos, if you know anyone Marc. So, I normally don't laser over tattoos because the ink at the tattoo, sometimes if a photon gets absorbed into it, and it will jolt the person's body, so ideally if someone has an issue, if they don't have tattoos over it. We can use it and I've gone over one person's tattoo before and I just ice it, but it takes about 50 minutes instead of 5 minutes to do the process because I'm stopping the laser all the time.
[Marc] Well, that's a good thing to keep in mind I guess, especially knowing the nature of guys who would be interested in this kind of thing. And that being said, how much do you work with other veterans I know they're in Southern California you're probably bound to run into a good amount of guys that are either active duty or retired or anything like that. But how much would you say that you work with those Marines or soldiers that are out there?
[Kelly] Yeah, so I just started doing community outreach so I'll go into the PTSD part in a bit. But when I go out to different events and then I do searches like on Eventbrite and that's how I found you originally with your fundraiser out in Santa Monica. And we're getting veterans that are coming in where we accept a veteran's choice now in Tricare so we're just learning those systems as a new way to bill insurance.
[Kelly] And we take Medicare too so if the veteran is disabled and has Medicare, usually it's after you're 65, but there's other ways to get it as well. We pay that and then we write off all the co-pays for the veterans so it's a free pain treatment.
[Marc] Oh yeah, I think that's worth mentioning to these guys is that this treatment is covered not only by the VA or their insurance, but you guys basically operate more or less free for the guys that need it anyway. So, I thought that was really cool too.
[Marc] I mean it sounds like it's nothing more than just a pain management that you guys can accomplish with the use of the laser treatment. What other things have you guys been being using it for or had used it for besides physical pain? I mean I know that we talked a little bit about tinnitus and I wish I had more time to go there for as many treatments as they suggested, but again, the neurological damage or the test damage can be worked on with that technique.
[Kelly] Yeah so, we're starting to treat traumatic brain injury and PTSD. We had one patient that came through right now or a couple months ago, and she dropped in her level of PTSD from a 64 to a 4, and she's pretty much what's considered normal now, and she can sleep throughout the night. She doesn't get easily irritated when she's driving or someone annoys her. This used to set her off and she just said she feels even better before she had the concussion to her head, and so that's really fascinating. So, I'm doing again outreach that I'm doing for veterans. Also, we're doing free treatments for people living with PTSD and looking for people who are willing to shave their head because we have to laser skin so they have to be willing to do that, and it's the treatments are only 5 to 10 minutes long, and you have to come in 3 to 4 times a week for 3 weeks. So, usually if people are living in the LA area that's ideal, but if they're from out of town and are willing to take a couple of weeks to come out and stay at a hotel or Air B&B, it's something that could be life-changing for them.
[Marc] And that's very exciting to know you guys are working towards those types of goals and what not too because there's so many other conventional methods that just keep on getting the same results. And when you keep on trying to do the same thing every time, you would expect a different result, that's what kind of drove me in this direction where I'm going now. So, it's awesome to hear that you guys are working on that kind of stuff. Do you have any other frequent questions that come up when people ask, and you guys that are watching, feel free to drop any questions or comments you might have too, because if you're coming another time here, we'll be able to answer those.
[Kelly] So, I'll go a little bit further into how we treat and how many treatments. So, if someone comes in, again I usually use the explanation of the rotator cuff tear and choose someone who has low back pain for 20 years and has failed surgery. So, the first person would come in and usually between three to six treatments, they'll know if the laser works for them. So, therefore we're not wasting anyone's time if your cells don't respond in the way that some other people do. With a person who has chronic pain, it could be somewhere to 15 to 20 treatments, but again, if your body does respond, usually after the first couple, you'll see a drop in pain level even if it's just a little bit, and then it may come back up a little bit and then drop even more. So, the data research that Dr. Kraft has gathered shows a particular pattern of people who respond to laser. So, that just depends on each treatment as well.
[Marc] Have you guys noticed any kind of profile for people that do respond or don’t, or is it just completely dependent on each individual's physiology?
[Kelly] Yeah, it depends on the physiology so there's no way to know.
[Marc] Yeah, and I think I do remember you mentioning it’s like 7 out of 10 or something but still I mean, given other types of treatments, I figure that's not bad; that’s a chance I’d be willing to take.
[Kelly] Yeah, it's not time consuming and out-of-pocket, we charge $120 dollars so if someone didn't have insurance, it's almost like getting a massage, so trying a series of treatments is worth it, and we're considerate of people's time and their money and all that. So, we tell them it's not working for you, sorry you've got to go. So, we're not trying to get people to come in and stay forever. So, usually when people's pain goes down, then it's up to them to come back in as needed. So, maybe they come in once a week for a while and then once a month, and then either never again or just when they need a tune up.
[Marc] Yeah, I think that's good to make a distinction sometimes from other types of therapy. It's like thinking, oh no I needed this all the time and it's not like it was a very finite type of goal, and once that goal is met, that’s what the treatments for, right?Good information. For anybody that's not necessarily within driving distance of the Los Angeles area. What would somebody be looking for if they're on the East Coast or in the Midwest if you try to find a similar clinic, or if they really could try to find a way to make it out …
[Kelly] Yeah so ….
[Marc] What should they be looking for?
[Kelly] For the pain management part, I would look for someone who has a Class 4 laser, and that would be the best route to go. And then ideally, like asking them about the amount of light energy that they use just so you know that you're getting enough, but I think just talking to them and again, the Class 4 laser is the biggest part of it.
[Marc] Cool. I think that was pretty much everything we wanted to cover. I really just wanted to share the knowledge and shine a light specifically on LaserMD and again, thank you guys for your support.Even just this past couple of months ago, and this is just part of that series for everybody that it has been watching here, this is just part of that series that we're trying to build out into the next year where we just want to be able to share other approaches to pain management or to other types of chronic issues that veterans tend to come across in the time after service, or after you come back from deployment, or any type of injuries that you have sustained. I just think that I'm just here to use the platform as best I can and hopefully you guys got some value out of this today. By all means, share the video. It should be published. If you guys have any questions that you see that you decide to bring up after we post this video, [Illegible].
[Kelly] Thank you so much for having me.
[Marc] Yeah, of course. Well thanks for your time you guys ? and Kelly, we'll be in touch.
[Kelly] Thanks, sounds good have a great night.
[Marc] You too.