Wellness by Design Offers Stem Cell Therapy
by Roberta Bolduc
The Mayo Clinic’s website describes stem cell therapy as being “the next chapter in organ transplantation”, a step forward from using donor organs, which are limited in supply. What we used to think of as medicine of the future has not only arrived, but it is available at Wellness By Design, a holistic, alternative medical clinic in Greenville, South Carolina.
The clinic is owned and operated by Dr. Connie Casebolt Carver and her husband, Randy Carver. Dr. Carver is a 36-year board-certified physician who also has a Master’s Degree in Public Health. Wellness By Design is housed in an 8,000 square foot facility, and over the last three years, has offered a wide array of integrative health services ranging from bio-identical hormone therapy to addiction cures. Dr. Carver’s most recent medical area of expertise is stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine for both men and women.
Stem cell therapy can be used for a number of degenerative conditions. The most common is for joint regeneration such as in the knee or hip. Dr. Carver reports their clinic has treated ankles, shoulders, knees, necks and lower backs “with great results.” Stem cell therapy injections to relieve back pain is now common and it is being increasingly used to treat neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
An important discussion in stem cell therapy involves the source of stem cells. An individual’s own stem cells can be used but as the body ages the number of stem cells decreases. At birth, one in ten thousand cells are stem cells. An adult over the age of 60 averages one in 10 million that are stem cells.
Because of this fact, many medical practices opt for stem cells provided by cord blood banks. These are stem cells that originate from the umbilical cord after the birth process. Dr. Carver notes that in most hospitals after the cord has been clamped it is disposed of; but, with the parents’ permission, often the cord blood may be donated to special blood banks to be stored for future stem cell therapy.
The cord blood bank utilized by Dr. Carver is owned by a physician with 20 years of experience. The cord blood is stored in a cryotank, preserved at a specific temperature and tested monthly. According to Dr. Carver, they have the highest concentration of stem cells available and result in greater rates of regeneration.
An important component of stem cells are exosomes. Exosomes are small “bubbles” called vesicles that contain signaling molecules and growth factors. Our cells release these vesicles in order to send messages to surrounding cells. Exosomes are released by all cells—but those released by stem cells contain the most growth factors. Stem cell therapy may include an injection of exosomes alone which accelerate the healing process and help rejuvenate tissues.
Depending on the patient’s specific needs, Dr. Carver sometimes adds a Meyer’s cocktail IV and/or some ozone therapy prior to injection of stem cells. “The process of injecting stem cells is quick and painless. It’s a five minute procedure with no need for anesthesia and no down time,” says Dr. Carver. “The body will continue to see improvement for up to three months.”
Because stem cell therapy is relatively new, it’s difficult to say how long improvement can be expected to last, although some studies show mid-to-long-term relief of symptoms and a high level of patient satisfaction. It should be noted that stem cell therapy has not yet been approved by the FDA.
The cost of stem cell therapy can vary. Dr. Carver states that, on the average, one can expect to pay between $5,000 to $7,000 for hip or knee therapy. Typically, medical insurance does not cover this procedure.
Wellness By Design will host a free workshop on stem cell therapy on Tuesday, March 3, at 6pm.
For more information, visit wellnessbydesign.center. To attend the free workshop, call 864-558-0200. Wellness By Design is located at 850 S. Pleasantburg Dr., Ste. 103, Greenville. See news brief regarding the workshop here.
Roberta Bolduc is a writer and the publisher of Upstate Natural Awakenings magazine.