MARYSVILLE – If you don’t want to go under the knife for a surgery, there is a less-invasive option – stem cell treatment.
This is not the controversial stem cell treatment that involves the destruction of human embryos. That has given stem cell research a bad name.
This procedure involves taking amniotic cells from a placenta after a C-Section.
Dr. Baljinder Gill, president and co-founder of Symmetria Integrative Medical in Marysville, said the fluid is injected into the body in the exact area that needs to be repaired, such as a knee or hip. The process takes advantage of the body’s ability to repair itself. It has anti-inflammatory properties similar but better than cortisone or steroid shots. Those shots only provide temporary relief. Stem cells actually restore degenerated tissue while providing pain relief. Amniotic stem cells are used rather than your own because it’s less painful and more pure.
More than 20,000 injections have been performed without any adverse side effects, information provided by Gill says.
And unlike surgery, there is no down time.
Gill graduated from Marysville-Pilchuck High School in 2006, and received a scholarship from the Marysville Kiwanis Club. He went to college to become a dentist, but changed after a few years. He said people usually aren’t happy when they go to a dentist. But he likes his new chosen field, chiropractic, because he could make patients feel better right away. Gill came back to Marysville in 2016 and became business partners with local chiropractor Doron Kantor.
Tina Dewey is one of their patients. She developed back problems after a car accident. With her job she is on her feet all the time and has to do some lifting. So, she likes to go in and get adjusted. When she’s done, she’s energized and likes to go home and clean. “Heck with energy drinks,” she said with a laugh.
She recently started a new program at the clinic for weight loss. She’s lost about a dozen inches with invisible red-light therapy.
Gill said that was one area of health the clinic was lacking.
“It’s a healthy lifestyle change and great for morale,” he said of weight loss. Dewey keeps going back because she loves the people there.
“They’re friendly, caring and understanding,” she said, adding, “while other people just blow you off.”
Gill said that friendly atmosphere comes from being part of the community. They like to have fun. When patients end their treatment, they get a graduation ceremony.
“We don’t like to keep them here forever,” he said, adding most patients come in three times a week for six weeks, and that’s it.
Because the clinic treats the whole person, they need a lot of information to figure out treatment. So usually the office sends the paperwork to the client. A case manager goes over all the paperwork and more questions will be asked if there is a particular area of concern – say from a car wreck, for example.
A chiropractor or nurse practitioner will do an exam. Then a team goes over all of the information and comes up with a treatment strategy. “That’s what separates us from others in the medical field,” Gill said.
They go over the plan with the patient, who must be willing to make the commitment to follow through because it won’t work otherwise.
One disadvantage of the clinic is many insurances don’t cover the procedures. But Gill has a theory about that. “We are way more cost-effective,” he said, adding surgeries cost so much more, which benefits the medical industry, big pharmacy, etc. However, if the patient was injured in a car accident, insurance will pay the clinic’s work. That’s because it will cost them so much less, he said.
To help patients, however, the clinic offers in-house payment plans with zero interest for 12 months. Gill said that is unheard of.
“Chiropractors are known for thinking out of the box,” he said.
Gill said the clinic uses some of the best equipment by American Medical Association standards. One detects range of motion, and Gill said that is being used a lot now on young people whose posture is bad because they are looking down at their tablets all the time. “We also see a lot of people in the trades” because of the physical nature of their work, he added. Gill said the motto of the clinic is Relief, Repair, Restore. Patients come there because of pain. The experts figure out the cause and fix it. But what has that pain kept the patient from doing?
“They want to dance at their reunion,” Gill said as an example. The experts use that to motivate the patient. “They become focus driven.”