Mesotherapy — A new answer to America’s health problems
by Dr. J. Michael Pece —
Mesotherapy was first introduced in Paris, France, in 1952 by Dr. Michel Pistor. For more than 50 years, it has been used safely in France and much of Europe for treating pain associated with sports injuries, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It also has traditionally been used as a treatment to reduce fat and tighten the facial and neck muscles, as in a face lift. Now, American doctors are flocking to seminars and traveling to Paris to learn this procedure.
So what is this mesotherapy? Mesotherapy, as defined by Dr. Pistor, is a series of small injections into the mesoderm of the skin. Thus, the name “meso” therapy. During the procedure, a very fine, small needle is inserted into the middle layers of the skin and various vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs or medications are injected at multiple sites. Since the needles are so thin and small, little or no pain sensation is noticed by the patient.
If a patient is being treated for arthritis, sports injury or some other mechanical injury, the physician will do a series of muscle tests on the patient to determine the exact location of the pain or damage. The physician will generally mark the areas with a pen and, after cleansing and disinfecting the area of concern, begin a series of injections to relieve the pain.
The mixture injected depends on the nature of the pain. Sometimes an NSAID, anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant or vaso-dilator will be used, if the physician determines this is what the patient needs. Dr. Jacques Le Coz, past president of the French Mesotherapy Society and former student of Dr. Pistor, now tells his students that “you treat a painful area three times. If an improvement is not noted by three sessions, change your therapies.” Most painful conditions are treated once per week for three weeks, and the pain usually is resolved.
In the U.S., mesotherapy is being touted as an answer for fat loss and face lifts. For fat loss, the physician will inject either a single agent or a several agents that help mobilize the fat from fat cells. Usually, the areas treated are the abdomen, thighs, “love handles,” “saddlebags” and the infamous double chin.
During a fat reduction program, a patient is treated once every seven to 10 days, and usually it will take four to eight treatments before a difference is noted. Some people report losing from one to four inches from their waist or thighs. Once a patient reaches their desired size, the treatments are stopped and a maintenance program may be instituted every six months or so to maintain the size.
For face lifts, a different combination of injectables is used. Injections are usually made at the insertions of muscles of the face and neck, resulting in a tightening of the muscles and a younger looking face. The results generally last for six months or so before another set of injections might be necessary. Some of the injectables actually cause the skin to look younger, with a greater shine and more flexibility.
If you decide mesotherapy is right for you, it is very important to make sure the physician you go to has been properly trained, is knowledgable about the various medicines used, their purpose, proper injection locations and how often to inject.
Mesotherapy has a 50-year history of safe and effective use for pain relief, muscle healing, fat reduction and as a face lift. It is a therapy whose time has finally come in the U.S.
Dr. J. Michael Pece is a naturopathic physician.. email@example.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 23, Number 1, February/March 2005