Sponsored by Ward Photonics, LLC;
Aesthetic medicine is not just about looking better, it is also about feeling better and being healthier. As such, it is a space where wellness and holistic treatment philosophies flourish. Specific to the body contouring side of the market – especially in the wake of the pandemic and its unforeseen aftereffects – devices that can be easily integrated into that paradigm are flourishing as well. Thanks to ongoing advancements in light-emitting diode (LED) technology, one LED therapy system shaves inches off the silhouette non-invasively, representing a key move forward in medical light therapy (MLT). And, physicians with holistic, aesthetic and wellness-based practice philosophies are taking notice.
Unlike the majority of non-invasive, nonsurgical body contouring procedures, UltraSlim® from Ward Photonics LLC (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) does not destroy fat cells or remove them. Instead, it induces the body’s natural fat reduction processes to release their triglyceride contents to be processed over time by the body using high-power, ultra-narrow bandwidth 635 nm (+/-2) photonic energy. It is built on groundbreaking research from the early turn of the century by Rodrigo Neira and colleagues1 describing fat liquefaction due to low-level laser therapy using the 635 nm (+/-2) laser. Through a process called photobiomodulation, the laser causes fat cells in the treatment area to go into starvation mode, in a sense, which elicits a specific useful response from the cell. In the study, transmission electron microscopy revealed that a transitory pore is created, whereby fatty acids are released into the system as if there were a metabolic need. Subsequently, the fat cells shrink; local cells and capillaries remain intact, according to the study.
For body contouring, a later study done by Robert F. Jackson, et al.2 demonstrated that the technology could realistically be applied for body contouring, showing circumference reductions across the board to specifically targeted areas.
UltraSlim was invented by Terry Ward, MHA, a non-invasive body contouring provider with thousands of clients in Central Fla., and now the CEO of Ward Photonics. He was looking for a body contouring solution that was safe, effective, non-invasive and provided quicker results. “That is what brings patients back for more, and to be successful you not only have to provide results safely, you also need them to be happy enough to come back and spread the news by word-of-mouth,” he explained. “With UltraSlim we have harnessed photobiomodulation so that in each 32-minute session you will lose inches of fat from the waist, hips and thighs.”
Using the proven red light therapy at a wavelength of 635 nm +/- 2, UltraSlim effectively targets fat cells. When exposed to this red light at the right frequency and treatment duration, fat cells begin to convert stored fat into energy. Through lipid metabolism triglycerides are broken down into more basic lipids and enter into the Krebs cycle which then breaks these lipids down into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), powering many bodily processes. Lipid metabolism plays a huge role in weight loss as it helps convert stored fats into energy which can then be used by the body.
In essence, UltraSlim accelerates lipid metabolism to help reduce excess fat. By employing this innovative technique, individuals can achieve their ideal body shape without extreme dieting or strenuous exercise regimens – making it much easier for them to reach their goals with less time and effort. Moreover, since UltraSlim does not involve surgery or chemical treatments, it carries minimal risks yet still produces visible results over time, as long as users remain consistent with their treatment sessions.
Overall, UltraSlim is a great tool for anyone looking to reduce unwanted fat while maintaining their health and wellbeing safely and naturally. By understanding how it works and leveraging its capabilities appropriately as part of a larger wellness program, individuals can take better control of their lifestyle.
Key benefits include the fact that there are no known adverse side effects to the medical use of UltraSlim MLT and no downtime. The company’s own research* showed that their device not only works, but approximately 98% of treated patients see a loss of two inches total within the first visit; hence, many providers offer a money-back guarantee to their patients – lose two inches with the first session or get your money back.
Clinics around the U.S. are embracing UltraSlim for its capabilities and return on investment (ROI), as it attracts patients to the practice. For many users, the device is a great first-line move into the non-invasive realm, in response to understandable trends toward less invasive, less risky, hassle-free therapies with little or no downtime and a natural-looking result.
“I have a love for surgery, and for making people look and feel their best,” said oculofacial and full body cosmetic surgeon Sheila Barbarino, MD, founder and medical director of Barbarino Surgical Arts in Redondo Beach, Calif. and Austin, Texas. “Post COVID patients are embracing non-invasive technologies more and more. And they are doing so because nonsurgical, non-invasive modalities and technology are getting better than ever and have little to no downtime. They can recontour and maintain their physique through a course of treatment sessions.”
UltraSlim is FDA cleared for immediate fat reduction, treatment of the skin, and reduction of pain and inflammation. “It uses LED technology to tighten the skin and reduce body fat without creating other problems,” Dr. Barbarino explained. “I was skeptical from the FDA approvals that I initially saw while visiting a meeting exhibit hall. But, seeing the FDA clearances of fat loss and skin tightening, I decided to try the technology, was impressed by the results it delivered, and I ended up bringing it into my practice. Patients who were treated recommended it enthusiastically to their friends and family members, driving more patients into the practice. My staff received treatments and they were over the moon with the results they had, making them ambassadors for this technology in my practice.” Dr. Barbarino also uses UltraSlim for patients post procedure.
The photobiomodulation effect of UltraSlim is impressive, according to Dr. Barbarino, but the results ultimately depend on the patient’s willingness to keep the fat off through lifestyle. “This is true for any fat reduction technology,” she explained. “The mechanism of action for this machine is that fat is broken down into carbon dioxide and water which then leaves the body through respiration. If the patient does not make lifestyle changes, they will regain the fat that was lost through this process.
With traditional liposuction, or energy-based devices which destroy fat cells via apoptosis or necrosis, you can get surface irregularities,” Dr. Barbarino continued. “But because we are not damaging cells with UltraSlim, the natural ups and downs of weight management will not reveal irregularities and maintain the patient’s natural surface contours. An advantage with the UltraSlim technology is that in the event the patient regains some fat, it still looks natural, based on their own genetic predisposition.”
With a practice in New Hartford, N.Y. – far removed from the hotbed of aesthetic medicine – Barbara Drake, RN owner of New Hartford Wellness Clinic says UltraSlim’s ability to pull in clients is a testament to the device’s appeal and potential for solid ROI.
Ms. Drake’s clinic has been open for two years and is thriving, but “this is not the big city, and it often takes time for new aesthetic technologies to filter their way down to smaller communities,” she shared. “Although we certainly have an adequate patient population, there is a learning curve for the local patient base. We have generated a lot of interest being the first in the area to offer this technology.
“I added UltraSlim to my practice just six weeks ago, and I just signed up my 40th client and will soon be in the black,” she continued. “All of my patients came through my existing wellness practice or the ad I placed on the radio. Our marketing team worked hard to get the word out about UltraSlim and how it works – that there is no downtime, you can use it for any body mass index (BMI), and that you can see lost inches right away. You do not have to wait months to see the first results and that is both appealing to patients and keeps them coming back to our clinic.”
In Ms. Drake’s practice, UltraSlim is part of a medically supervised weight loss and wellness program. “I like that it is non-invasive and that instead of damaging or destroying fat cells, UltraSlim works with the body’s natural way of reducing fat,” she expressed. “I myself am down 15 pounds and have lost a full pant size between healthier eating and UltraSlim therapy, which makes me my own best advertising and a good example for my patients as to what the device can do when paired with a healthier lifestyle.”
Results fuel motivation, which can be a challenge with lifestyle changes and compliance with medical treatments, so harnessing that concept is a big plus. Melissa Morgan, owner of UltraSlim of Vancouver (Vancouver Heights, Wash.), spent 15 years working with physicians in the medical field before stumbling onto an UltraSlim brochure in an office. “I asked about it in more detail and thought it was too good to be true. I took up the challenge to research the device myself and could not find anything negative, so I called Ward Photonics directly. Now I have a clinic based around UltraSlim, which I can do because it is so safe, easy to use and non-invasive.”
Ms. Morgan also uses UltraSlim as part of a wellness and weight-loss oriented program. “A large percentage of my clientele comes in because they have tried several different diets and cannot seem to lose any – or any more – weight although they are working out and eating well. They have no idea what is going on so we start by analyzing their metabolism and connect them with a dietician to create a diet based on the foods they typically eat, as well as their metabolic rate. UltraSlim is added to enhance the program, clients see the inches come off faster.” Most people, choose eight to ten sessions of UltraSlim,” she noted. “We usually do the UltraSlim first, then they do a 20-minute consultation with one of my specialists.
“Enhanced results help keep patients motivated to listen carefully and stick to the plan, which is a win-win where the lifestyle and device-based results complement each other,” Ms. Morgan added. “They are able to meet their goals while keeping the revenue stream flowing as well – another bonus.
“Patients feel better, they are out doing more exercise, they can lose weight and inches and keep them off,” Ms. Morgan continued. And, she says their patients stay in touch with them after they have finished their UltraSlim sessions and are eager to share their victories. “Patients leap for joy at losing even ten pounds, which does not sound like much until you remember that they have not been able to shed a pound in years and may be 50, 60 or even 70 years old. I have had brides come in and after six treatments they fit into their wedding dresses. Their bra fat has melted away! The lost inches we see with UltraSlim are a huge part of those kinds of stories.”
According to Ms. Morgan, the added benefit of pain control also appeals to patients. “We have people who have shoulder or back pain from their jobs, and with a little extra treatment on the affected area, they walk out without pain. We have one guy who lives several hours away coming to us for that reason; he thought he would come for the weight loss but sees us every few months to get a treatment to help alleviate back pain while driving home. So UltraSlim is great for inflammation for a lot of my clients.”
Another big plus for Ms. Morgan is the company itself. “Ward Photonics has been very helpful and responsive. Whenever I have a problem with the device it is usually my own internet connectivity that is the real issue. And by offering a guarantee to patients, they are more likely to get on board.
The wellness-based practice of Delina Bishop, MD in Mooresville, N.C. relies on UltraSlim as an overall adjunct to their programs in many cases because of the device’s versatility. “UltraSlim photobiomodulation therapy is FDA cleared for immediate fat reduction, and reduction of pain and inflammation. I can use this on virtually anyone who comes into my office, and I recommend it. As a physician with a regenerative medicine and wellness practice, which of my patients is going to come in without being overweight and/or dealing with pain and inflammation? Add to that it has no side effects for patients and is easy for us to use,” she noted.
Her first encounter with the device came during a search for local body contouring providers. “I had gained weight over several years as a result of medication,” Dr. Bishop began, “and when I looked into it, I figured I would rather get an UltraSlim device for my practice if I was going to pay for the treatment myself. I talked to Ward Photonics, underwent their training, and by early 2021 I was using UltraSlim in my practice. We typically use it to thin out thighs and saddlebags, or for abdominal fat. We have used it for non-invasive reduction of adipose tissue of the breast.
We are seeing great results. The use of LED technology for photobiomodulation shows results that were previously only achieved through higher risk, higher cost and painful modalities such as lasers, freezing and surgery.”
Arguably, according to Dr. Bishop, as many patients seek UltraSlim treatment to combat inflammation and pain as they do for slimming. “UltraSlim is a fantastic augmentation to virtually any therapy I do, and the natural, noninvasive way in which it works appeals to me and works well within my practice philosophy.”
Bringing UltraSlim into the fold is a snap, Dr. Barbarino expressed. “I have found UltraSlim simple to integrate into my practice; it is easy to use and safe enough to delegate to ancillary staff. They have been excited to share their enthusiasm for the device and their personal results with our patients.”
Kamau Kokayi, MD is a general practitioner and holistic specialist in Brooklyn, N.Y. “We live in a time where the use of light therapy will replace the use of drugs as a safer and more efficacious therapy in many areas of healthcare optimization. UltraSlim by Ward Photonics has been a fantastic choice for my practice. This high-wattage red light device allows me to get red light deep into the body’s tissues, combating inflammation as well as reducing unwanted fat. Combined with dietary counseling, UltraSlim has provided my clients with an easily acceptable way of optimizing their health. It is truly appreciated.”
“This is such an exciting time for medicine as the paradigm for improving health and healing shifts from surgical and biochemical treatments to treatments that use physics and light-based therapies to stimulate the body naturally,” Dr. Bishop stated. “UltraSlim and Ward Photonics are truly at the heart of this shift, and we are so fortunate to be a part of it!”
*Data on file, Ward Photonics LLC (NCT02867150 at ClinicalTrials.gov)
1. Neira R, Arroyave J, Ramirez H. Fat liquefaction: effect of low level laser energy on adipose tissue. Plast Reconstr Surg 2002 Oct;110(3):923-5.
2. Jackson RF, Dedo DD, Roche GC, et al. Low-level laser therapy as a non-invasive approach for body contouring: a randomized, controlled stud. Lasers Surg Med 2009;41(10):799–809.