Are Stem Cells the Future of Medicine?
Sandstone Chiropractic continues to employ innovative technology in its approach to treating patients.
In January of 2010, Dock Line Magazine conducted its first interview with Dr. Tony DeRamus of Sandstone Chiropractic. At that time, Dr. DeRamus was a solo practitioner with two staff members, and one office in Montgomery, Texas. Since then, Sandstone Chiropractic has grown to four offices with nine doctors and almost three dozen employees. In 2018 and beyond, Sandstone has plans to open many more clinics in the area.
If you ask Dr. DeRamus what was responsible for the company’s growth, he will tell you it consists of two things; a solid vision of the future, and the right people to believe in it. Dr. DeRamus says, “We have been able to achieve an astounding 45% annual growth rate in the nine years we have been around. You can’t do that without having the best people supporting you.”
Many people think that a successful company starts with happy customers. Dr. DeRamus says it actually starts with happy employees. “Your team is who ultimately creates the experience for the patient, or customer. If they are happy, and love what they do, everyone benefits,” laughed Dr. DeRamus.
When entering their clinics, you immediately know you are visiting a Sandstone office. Each office is modern and beautifully decorated, but the best part is that you are always greeted with a welcoming smile when you arrive. Dr. DeRamus said, “Initially, we wanted Sandstone to become the largest chiropractic company in Montgomery County. Now, our goal is to become one of the top-rated employers in Montgomery County.”
Since its conception, Sandstone has always exercised innovation by employing the latest knowledge and technology in its approach to treating patients. It doesn’t take a doctor to realize that emerging technologies will soon be changing the landscape of healthcare, and Sandstone wants to be at the forefront of it.
“We are seeing a shift in healthcare to a more preventative approach. Chiropractors have always practiced with this philosophy, even to the point of being ridiculed, but many medical doctors are beginning to move in this direction as well,” explains Dr. DeRamus.
However, another rapidly emerging area of healthcare is “regenerative medicine.” In particular, stem cell therapy. Although this type of treatment is still in the early stages, it has shown very promising results for many patients who have suffered with debilitating arthritic knees, shoulders, and even certain spinal conditions. Stem cell therapy has also been very successful with inflammatory conditions, and injuries, to tendons and ligaments.
Are Stem Cells the Future of Medicine?
So, what are stem cells? Aren’t they controversial? As far as the controversy, that has diminished since stem cells are ethically collected using various types of methods. Stem cells can be harvested through bone marrow, your own adipose (fat) tissue, or the placenta during birth that is typically discarded or thrown away after the baby is born.
Stem cells are a very different type of cell when compared to other cells in the body, such as in bone, nerve or other tissues. Regardless of how stem cells are collected, they all have three general properties:
- They are capable of dividing and renewing (replicating) themselves. No other cell in the body can self-replicate. Stem cells left in the laboratory can potentially replicate millions of times over.
- They are unspecialized. A stem does not possess the ability, or is not programmed, to provide any special function. For example, a stem cell cannot deliver oxygen molecules to the muscles like a blood cell.
- They can give rise to specialized cell types. Stem cells have the unique ability to transform into many different types of cells in the body, such as the blood cell previously mentioned. This is the regeneration in “regenerative medicine.”
Of course, stem cells have to be administered by a qualified medical provider, such as a medical doctor, or a nurse practitioner. Stem cells are not covered by insurance, and they can be costly, so you need to make sure that whoever is performing the procedure is well- trained and experienced.
The idea that we have procedures that can help repair, or even regenerate, damaged cells within the body is amazing,” says Dr. DeRamus. “We already have very successful programs in our offices for treating knees and shoulders, but adding stem cells to our programs, takes it to a different level.”
Many of Sandstone Chiropractic’s advanced therapies like the MLS Laser, and a revolutionary procedure called Trigenics, have helped patients achieve a high level of care. By integrating other innovative procedures within healthcare, Dr. DeRamus believes they can make a much bigger impact on patient results.
Collaboration Amongst Healthcare Providers in Texas Helps Strengthen Patient Results
During this past legislative period, a bill was introduced for the State of Texas that now allows various healthcare providers (medical doctors, chiropractors, podiatrists and osteopathic physicians) to jointly form partnerships or own health organization corporations, professional associations, or professional limited liability companies.
Until the passage of the bill, Texas was one of the few states that did not allow “non-physicians” to own a medical entity together. Now that this has been eradicated, the people of Texas will see more collaboration amongst healthcare providers. “This will ensure patients are getting the most complete care to meet their needs,” explains Dr. DeRamus.
One of Sandstone’s objectives has always been to create a new experience in chiropractic. With the passage of the ownership bill, Sandstone is now looking to create a new experience in other areas of healthcare. “By teaming with the right medical professionals, we can take our innovative thinking and current practice philosophy, and create an entirely different experience for the patient,” says Dr. DeRamus.
The Neurofeedback Center of Texas
What can we expect to see from Sandstone in the near future? Sandstone is currently creating new divisions of their company, outside of chiropractic. The Neurofeedback Center of Texas will be the first addition to the Sandstone brand. “Neurofeedback is a very interesting technology that has shown very promising “drug-free” results with conditions, such as ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, and even memory,” says Dr. DeRamus.
“We wanted to create a model that surrounds the effectiveness of neurofeedback with the most successful and accepted treatments for these types of conditions.” The people of Montgomery County can expect The Neurofeedback Center of Texas to be opened in The Woodlands in March. For more information about neurofeedback, please visit www.neurofeedbacktexas.com.
For more information on Sandstone Chiropractic, please visit www.sandstonechiro.com