We know, we know! The title screams new age – maybe hippy dippy – certainly more California than Tennessee. However, to assume that this post has no relevance to the real practitioners among us and to the membership of the TSLMS as a whole, is short sighted. Afterall, while the title is misleading to some, the content here is serious business. We aim to use energy-based treatments to get the better of what nature intends to do.
What are Energy-Based Therapies
Largely, these are laser-based, but there are other emerging treatments that fall into this category and are helping those of us in the cosmetic and aesthetic field accomplish the goals that our clients used to think were impossible. The great news is that technology is expanding so rapidly that there are tons of choices for the practitioner and something to get at almost any issue that one’s clients can imagine.
We have written extensively about this before and are providing you a summary of that here:
The most common type of device and treatment is the laser. Lasers first came onto the market in the very early 1900s.
Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (laser) is a device that amplifies light and produces coherent light beams. The root of this technological innovation lies in physics research. Albert Einstein first proposed the idea of stimulated emission in the early 20th century, and Theodore Maiman at Hughes Aircraft Company created the first working laser in 1960. Dermatologists have used artificial light sources for the treatment of skin conditions for centuries including the Finsen lamp for lupus vulgaris (1899), wound healing and rickets (1901), and psoriasis (1925). The construction of new laser systems led dermatologists to study the therapeutic effects of lasers. (Source).
The technology has become increasingly advanced. According to the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), today’s devices offer a range of options thanks to continual new developments and discoveries in wavelengths of the light use and fiberoptic systems now allowing for the delivery of lasers on nanometer scales. This makes way for even more precise and targeted devices that have adjustable wavelengths, allowing for different treatment options.
Intense Pulsed Light Devices
Since their invention in 2003, these devices have been a common tool for those working in esthetic clinics and for dermatologists. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) works through diffusing a multi-colored light with various filters that concentrate both visible and invisible energy from the light. The devices emit high amounts of light energy that are effective in treating such things as varicose veins, moles and freckles, acne, and even remove hair. According to ASLMS there are more than 50 types of IPLs on the market today.
Commonly known as LEDs, light emitting diodes are actually semiconductors that need an electrical charge to emit light. They are less powerful than lasers, but have proven incredibly effective for medical and cosmetic purposes because they allow for treatment of a large area at one time and can be adjusted to the needs of the practitioner. They work by improving cellular respiration and the overall circulation of blood in the treatment area because they force nitric oxide to be released. This helps with inflammation, wound healing, and acne.
In 2009 this technology was first brought to the market. Today, these devices use radio frequencies and ultrasounds to firm the skin by heating, tightening and lifting it. It has been described as a “novel energy modality for transcutaneous heat delivery that reaches the deeper subdermal connective tissue in tightly focused zones at consistent programmed depths.” The goal is to produce a deeper wound healing response at multiple levels with robust collagen remodeling and a more durable clinical response. The Ulthera device (Ulthera, Inc, Meza, AZ), with refined microfocused ultrasound technology, “has been adapted specifically for skin tightening and lifting with little recovery or risk of complications.” (Source). Essentially it prompts the skin to produce new collagen, providing benefits that can mimic a minor facelift without the invasiveness, but that are not as sudden as a facelift. The results may take 2-3 months to be fully recognized, creating a longer-term patient relationship.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery assures us that this group of devices is as safe for use as a skin tightener as any other device in the hands of a certified, experienced, well-trained practitioner. It works by sending a calm and slow spectrum of electromagnetic radiation into the skin. The devices available produce varying degrees of heat through various technologies, but all work by targeting that heat into the skin’s deep layers to stimulate the creation of collagen and elastin, driving cellular turnover. This creates thicker and more youthful looking skin.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons the use of this cold treatment to break down and remove fat is one of the most common non-surgical treatments in the world. It works exceptionally well on localized fat bulges and is otherwise known as CoolSculpting. By applying low temperatures to targeted areas of the body using thermal conduction over the course of several treatments, patients will see a gradual, but remarkable reduction in fat. This makes it one of the fastest growing businesses for skin spas and clinics in the country.
Each of these treatments works to overcome the natural, or premature, aging process that almost every person seeks to avoid. Much more discussion on this is happening at SCALE2019 Music City.