The History of Shockwave Therapy
Only 34 years have passed since the first kidney stone patient was treated successfully with shock waves. What started as an experiment is now a success story: patients from around the globe benefit from the treatment. Today the waves have a wide range of application and physicians use them not only in urology but also in orthopaedics, cardiology, dermatology and veterinary medicine. New research results in the fields of wound healing and neurologic diseases show that shock waves will become even more important in the future. The first use for shock waves was in 1980 in Munich, Germany. A university hospital of the LMU Munich physicians began treating a patient with a kidney stone with a new method for the very first time. Instead of removing the stone surgically they wanted to break up the stone with shock waves. The principle behind the technology: shock waves are high-energy, audible acoustic waves that occur in the atmosphere. For example during a lightning storm or when a plane breaks the sound barrier. When disintegrating kidney stones, shock waves are generated outside the body and transmitted to the stone inside the body. When the energy reaches the kidney stone, the stone is fragmented into small pieces that then can naturally leave the body. The experiment at the university hospital in Munich was successful. Shortly after the first treatment the so-called Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) was regarded as a revolution. The thousandth patient was treated in 1984 and until today millions of other patients have been treated as well. Since then, the medical potential of shock waves has been explored continuously.
Shockwave Therapy for Treatment of Pain
Orthopaedists and Sports Medicine Physicians discovered the versatile waves in the early 1990s. They found out that shock waves do not only disintegrate stones but also initiate healing processes when transmitted into painful body areas. This effect, however, requires far lower shock wave energy levels. Bones, muscles, tendon insertions, shoulders, or heels: painful conditions like tennis or golfer’s elbow, calcific tendinitis of the shoulder, heel spur, as well as chronic shoulder or neck pain can be treated gently and quickly. Today, patients around the world are treated with shockwave therapy, especially when conservative therapies have failed. By relying on shockwave therapy, patients can avoid surgery or avoid staying in the hospital for a long time.
Shockwave for Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine
By chance it was discovered that shock waves can also be used in dermatology and aesthetic medicine. In these medical fields they are known as “Acoustic Wave Therapy” (AWT). During the treatment of athletes, physicians found out that acoustic waves also have a skin-tightening effect and they strengthen connective tissue. In recent years, physicians have been successfully using them to treat scars, pregnancy stretch marks and cellulite. Another interesting development is cardiologists also use them to treat Refractory Angina Pectoris. Although shockwave therapy is firmly established in various fields of medicine today, further fields of application are being researched. Manfred Schulz of Storz Medical, a company that develops shockwave systems, says: “New studies show good results in the field of wound healing. Research on the treatment of Parkinson’s disease also looks promising. There will definitely be new discoveries in the future. The medical potential of shock waves has not been fully explored yet.”
Shockwave for Cellulite Reduction
Cellulite typically appears on the thighs, buttocks and upper arms. An imbalance between fat production (lipogenesis) and fat breakdown (lipolysis) within the cells leads to the formation of large fat cells that are typical of cellulite, giving the skin the dimpled appearance.
Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT) can be performed on patients of any age. It helps the skin regain natural elasticity and firmness, improving figure and helping lose inches!
On average each cellulite treatment takes about 15 minutes. Depending on the degree of cellulite, 6 to 10 sessions at 3 to 4 times per week may be necessary. Studies conducted in Switzerland, Germany and the United States have shown a 110% improvement in skin elasticity in the female patients treated. All women participating in this study were highly satisfied with the Acoustic Wave Treament. AWT uses acoustic sound waves which are gently introduced into the affected bodyregions.
The results are:
- skin smoothing and rejuvenation
- breakdown of fat deposits
- connective tissue tightening
- slimming of affected body regions
Main Causes of Cellulite:
- Weight Gain (increased fat storage/fat cells)
- Breakdown of Lymphoid Flow
- Insufficient Metabolism
- Insufficient Circulation
- Pregnancy: Weight gain & Hormones
- Genetic: Weak Connective Tissue
- LIFESTYLE: Food You Eat, Smoking, Lack of Vitamins & Minerals, Increased Toxins, Lack of Exercise
Cellulite Fighting Foods
Items with lots of water in them will keep your skin supple and healthy Colorful veggies are loaded with vitamin C, which prevents collagen breakdown Whole grains, such as brown rice, help to keep your blood sugar stable, avoiding insulin spikes that signal your body to store fat rather than burn it.
Some examples are:
- Brown Rice
- Red Bell Peppers
Dry brushing is a technique used to promote lymphatic flow and to exfoliate skin creating radiant and vibrant looking skin. Did you know it is also an essential tool for increasing circulation, strengthening the immune system and stimulatingthe nervous system and guess what, this all helps with the treatment of cellulite. How to dry brush Start at your feet then continue to the legs using circular or quick short motions upwards, always towards the heart. Follow the lymph flow (pictured below) to the upper legs, buttocks, and abdomen. In areas with cellulite concentrate there longer (for best results to eliminate cellulite brush these areas for 10 minutes daily). Once you begin the upper extremities start at fingers and work your way to the upper arms, moving in the same motions towards the heart. Top it off with a shower, you could even alternate between hot and cold water to further stimulate the lymph system, and improve circulation.