Here is our story. Our names are Todd Austin, D.C. and Eugena Austin, L.M.T. We run a holistic healthcare clinic in Central IL. As a Doctor of Chiropractic. I was first introduced to Cold Laser Therapy at a nutrition seminar in June 2004. The presenter, a well-known D.C. from the West Coast who is on the payroll of a well-known LLLT company asked the question: “You guys and gals have heard of Cold Laser Therapy, haven’t you?”
Out of nearly 100 doctors in the classroom that day, none of us mid-westerners had! At the next class break, he arranged for a vendor to join us shortly with a fancy 5 milliWatt 635 nanometer (wavelength) LLLT device that had tons of pretty whistles and bells.
When the LLLT vendor arrived (from his company of course), she asked for the toughest most chronic shoulder problem in the room. An elderly D.C. who hadn’t been able to raise his right arm above shoulder level in two decades came forward. The vendor doctor did a 3-minute neck and shoulder exam. In that time, she identified one lower cervical spine vertebral level of involvement as well as 2 shoulder muscles. She proceeded to spend 1 minute lasering each of the 3 areas for a total of 3-minutes of treatment. She then asked him to raise his right arm and voila! His range of motion was 100% normal! I nearly fell out of my seat.
After the class ended, I checked out the LLLT vendor’s booth at the expo for more information. This time I was standing up, yet I nearly fell over again! This particular cold laser device sold for $14,000. The saleswoman gave me flashbacks of being a customer on a used car lot. Yes, she was offering a “show special” of NO down payment, NO payments for 6 months, and wanting to hook me up with a lease that would only be a ~ $250 per month for 60 months!
We’re Dave Ramsey followers. So we don’t believe in buying things that we can’t afford to pay cash for. Likewise, we don’t believe in buying things before we’ve discussed them with each other and we’re both in 100% agreement. We also believe in always “sleeping on it” before we buy any big ticket item. Therefore, I politely declined the LLLT saleswoman’s offer.
The next day reality set in. I’d been practicing chiropractic since 1993. I’d been very good at extremity adjusting since 1997. But I hated tough shoulder and knee cases because my track record with them was pathetic. I realized that adding LLLT to my practice could take me from being a shoulder ‘CHUMP’ to a shoulder ‘CHAMP’. I decided that next time a LLLT seminar came to the midwest, I’d be there.
8 months later, the $14,000 whistles and bells laser company offered a midwest seminar. The seminar was a one-day affair dedicated to shoulder issues. I made the 5-hour drive there. Knowing that I’d get hit over the head with a major sales pitch, I wisely locked my wallet in the glove box of my vehicle. No one was going to sweet talk me into whipping out a credit card. I was simply there to learn all I could that day about LLLT for shoulder problems. There were 20 D.C.’s in the seminar that day. Amazingly, I was the only one that left without signing a lease agreement. I practically got called a ‘fool’ by that day’s salesperson for not buying one. I mean, “how dare I”!
I did acquire a wealth of great information from that seminar, but $14,000 still seemed like a pretty penny to us. We decided to devote the next 5 months to doing two things:
1) Learning all that we could about LLLT, different companies and individual cold laser devices &
2) Saving up the money to buy OUR laser (or lasers).
When we finally took the plunge in July 2005, we purchased 3 cold laser devices for a total of $7,200 with no financing. Our goal was to have them pay for themselves in 6 MONTHS. Within a matter of weeks, as a Doctor of Chiropractic, I became MUCH more confident at solving tough shoulder and knee cases! YES!!!
Since then, some more modern cold laser devices have also hit the market. We’ve since added 3 other cold laser devices to our practice. Once again, we always do our ‘due diligence’. All in all, we’ve spent just over $15,000 for our 6 core cold laser devices.
For the record, we don’t really NEED 6 cold laser devices. The truth is we only need 4 unique LLLT devices to be a TOTALLY FULL SERVICE COLD LASER CLINIC!
But we’ve turned into laser junkies at this point. Besides, if we ever have a laser in the shop for repairs or re-calibration (occasionally it happens), then let’s just say that we have a couple of backups waiting in the wings!
And do we ever count our daily blessings that we didn’t plunk down $14,000 on the aforementioned cold laser device. You see, it’s a veritable toy compared to any of the devices we currently own! By the way, As a D.C., I’ve been to over 20 low level laser therapy seminars led by LLLT company salespeople. I’ve encountered less than a handful of them that haven’t embellished the truth, intentionally deceived the audience or flat out told at least one little white lie in an effort to SELL not only their product, but their MOST PRICEY laser device! Shame on them!