Throughout the history of Western medicine, there has always been suspicion of different forms of healing that do not fit Western norms. Traditional Eastern medicine is a great example. Western practitioners have long resisted Eastern medicine under the assumption that it was nothing more than folklore and mysticism. Unfortunately, regenerative medicine suffers under some of the same constraints. Yet there may be something else at work: regenerative medicine is disrupting traditional thinking, and many people do not like that.
The last several decades have given rise to quite a few disruptors that have gone on to change their respective industries. One of the first to come to mind is Amazon. Amazon started out as an online bookseller looking to disrupt the decades-old model of retail bookstores found in suburban malls and downtown business districts. The company has since gone on to become the world’s largest retailer. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is among the world’s most wealthy and influential individuals.
The problem with industry disruptors is that they face opposition from nearly every direction. Companies like Amazon and Uber manage to withstand those early attacks to go on to be highly successful businesses. But more disruptors fail than succeed. Which side of the track will we find regenerative medicine on in the future? A lot of people are betting on success.
Basic Concepts of Regenerative Medicine
At Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) outside of Salt Lake City, doctors come to be trained in stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) procedures. Both procedures fall under the regenerative medicine banner. They are used to treat sports injuries, soft tissue damage, chronic pain, and more.
The basic concept behind both procedures is the same concept that applies to regenerative medicine in general: using material donated by the patient to encourage that patient’s body to naturally regenerate lost or damaged tissue. That is where the ‘regenerative’ portion of the name comes from.
Admittedly, regenerative medicine is just beginning to emerge as a viable option in the West. It is also true that the total number of regenerative procedures now available to the public is considerably limited. But research is ongoing. With each passing day, scientists are discovering new ways that regenerative medicine might be useful for treating everything from cancer to diabetes to heart disease.
Surgery and Drugs
The point of this article was to discuss regenerative medicine as a disruptor. So just how is it being disruptive? Consider the following:
- Surgery – Many of the patients electing PRP and stem cell procedures are doing so out of a desire to avoid surgery. That is quite disruptive. Surgery is the default standard in many cases. Take Tommy John surgery, for example. It should be obvious that surgeons do not want to lose business to a procedure that can be equally effective with fewer risks.
- Pharmaceuticals – Some patients who seek out regenerative medicine procedures do so in the hope of finding relief from chronic pain. When they find that relief, they may no longer need pain medications. Fewer pain medication prescriptions are as disruptive to pharmaceutical companies as fewer surgeries are to surgeons.
A Shift in Western Medicine
Regenerative medicine is disrupting the traditional thought patterns of Western medicine. That is a good thing. As research continues to yield positive results, those who would argue against regenerative medicine will be forced to rethink their positions. In the meantime, doctors and clinics willing to get on board with regenerative medicine now will find themselves ahead in the game. As such, Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute encourages doctors across the country to seriously consider PRP and stem cell training for their own practices.