Who Teaches Chiros How to Offer Stem Cell Scams?

by Chris Centeno, MD /

If you read this blog, you know that we have an epidemic of chiropractic, naturopathy, and acupuncture offices offering dead amniotic or umbilical cord tissue as a “live” stem cell therapy. You might ask yourself how this works. Meaning, how do these alternative-medicine offices get in the business of offering what would normally be considered strictly medical or surgical therapies? In a word, “consultants.” If dead birth tissues being sold as live stem cell products are the wood that makes the marketing bonfire burn, the accelerants of that fire are the chiro practice consultants. Let’s dive into this today.

I Love Chiropractors and Hate Scammers

I have always worked with various chiropractic practices. I have immense respect for their total-body approach and their ability to tie together spinal issues with extremity problems. Some of my best personal friends are chiropractors. Having said all of this, I hate scammers. Meaning, there are physician scammers who are selling dead stem cell injections, as well as naturopaths, acupuncturists, and, yes, quite a few chiropractors.

Why Is This a Scam?

The most common therapy delivered at chiropractic offices offering regenerative medicine is an amniotic and/or umbilical cord “stem cell” procedure. The practice generally puts on seminars where they pitch that the patient’s own stem cells are “too old” and that they instead inject millions of live and young stem cells derived from amniotic or umbilical cords harvested during births. The problem? As we found out in our own lab tests and now data from Lisa Fortier’s lab at Cornell have also discovered, these tissues are all dead cell products with no living cells, let alone living stem cells. Don’t just take my word for it, listen to Dr. Fortier from Cornell University:

What Is a Chiropractic Practice Management Consultant?

While medical practices that take insurance have a very low failure rate, this isn’t so for chiropractic practices. Why? There is more saturated demand in many areas for chiropractic services, and these are largely cash businesses. To offset this issue, consultants have sprung up to offer services to teach chiropractors how to run a successful business. They generally call themselves practice management groups, chiropractic consulting services, or business coaching for chiropractors.

If you want to see inside on how crazy the chiro stem cell business is, watch the video below. This is a chiropractic business coach (Grant Cordone on the left) hearing a pitch from a couple who owns a consulting company that adds “stem cell” treatments to chiropractic offices. Who is Grant? He wrote a business book called The 10X Rule, and he runs a 10X chiropractic consultant course. Near as I can tell, he doesn’t seem to be directly involved in a chiro stem cell consulting scam.

They cloak this whole business scheme in an appeal to the Trump administration to end the opioid crisis.  They then go on about how they want Grant to help them scale their business of allowing chiropractic clinics to offer IV “stem cell” infusions and joint injections. (Start at around the 5 min mark to see the best and most ridiculous quotes):

Here are a few:

  • When injecting amniotic or umbilical cord “stem cells,” there is a 95–98% efficacy in joints.
  • The salesperson knows that what he is selling to these chiropractors is illegal per FDA rules.
  • The couple claims to have 350 client clinics nationwide.

David Singer Enterprises

Another one of the many consultants you can hire to make your chiropractic practice successful is David Singer, who is a chiropractor himself. He’s been helping chiropractic offices increase their revenue for decades. I have been hearing from my chiropractic colleagues that they have recently been bombarded by e-mails sent by Dr. Singer advertising that they, too, can now offer stem cells and make big bucks. One forwarded me an e-mail from Dr. Singer that led me to his website. Here I learned that I can master the art of the sale:

“This advanced course teaches you how to become a master at presenting and selling high value cash plans. It doesn’t matter if it is Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Stem Cell, Weight Loss, etc. What matters is your skill and this training is all about improving your skill to the max.”

On the stem cell page on Dr. Singer’s website, we see this about what we will learn at his course:

“2-DAY INTENSIVE SKILL TRAINING
-Train Yourself and Staff to deliver Stem Cell Workshops
-Close 80% of an Audience or More as New Patients
-Discover how to get people who scheduled at your events to show up and bring a referral
-Know how to schedule No Cost Stem Cell Events
-Learn how to Close More People on Programs in Your Clinic
-Take Your Regenerative Medicine Program to the NEXT LEVEL
-Double, Triple or EVEN QUADRUPLE Your New Patients
-And Much Much More!”

There is also a number of testimonial videos on this page, most of which are chiropractors from around the country singing the praises of Dr. Singer’s course on how to sell stem cell procedures. Let’s review some of these:

First, see a testimonial from Dr. Vida Puodziunas. She states that she no longer has to work as a chiropractor and that she has hired people to do the “stem cell” therapy. I attempted to look this clinic up, but what I found was that the Illinois board of chiropractic had suspended this provider’s license for failure to pay state income taxes. I did find an address for this practice, which was closed, but I found nothing advertised for Lockport, IL, and stem cells.

Yet another chiropractor (Dr. Ahn?) says in her testimonial video that her “close rate” for prospective patients attending her seminars has gone from 30–40% to 60–70–80%, and at times she closes 90%. Let’s think about that for a second, as what we don’t hear is any medical candidacy discussion. Meaning, if you close 90% of the patients at a seminar, what percentage of patients are not appropriate medical candidates for the therapy?

Next up? Dr. Benton Dammel states that Dr. Singer taught him how to revamp his stem cell protocol to improve its profitability!

Then Dr. Coyle from San Jose states that because of Dr. Singer’s course, he will easily make a million dollars more this next year!

Dr. Koenig on another video states that after what we learned from Dr. Singer, he will make an extra 2 million dollars off of his “Regenerative Medicine” program this next year!

Dr. Schilbeck says that he will make an extra million dollars using Dr. Singer’s sales techniques and that if you don’t do it, you’re crazy!

Digging Deeper into What Dr. Singer’s Graduates Offer

I’ve used some harsh terms here like “Scam” and “Scammer.” To learn why, we need to dive deeper into one of the websites of Dr. Singer’s graduates. The one who has clearly identified who he is and where he practices is Dr. Coyle. I easily found his website, and here’s all I need to see to know that he is running a bait-and-switch scam:

“The second type, which we DO use, is known as amniotic membrane and umbilical cord cell therapy. The cells contained in these tissues are effective in a wide variety of treatments. These cells can still be used to treat cartilage, muscle, tendon, ligament, and the most vital organ cells. One major advantage to amniotic stem cells is that they have not shown to form tumors.”

As you have clearly seen above, our data and that published by Dr. Fortier’s lab at Cornell show that these products contain no living and functional stem cells. In addition, we have no published clinical data showing that amniotic membrane is effective for a wide variety of orthopedic applications.

What’s Really Distasteful to a Medical Doctor

Any medical procedure has a success and failure rate and must only be applied to patients who are medically a candidate and a good fit for the therapy. My concern about chiro consultants and chiropractors who offer these therapies is that from listening to their seminars, their approach to “stem cells” is as follows:

  • This is magic pixie dust that fixes anything.
  • The magic pixie dust itself can be applied in almost any manner and it will still work.
  • Everyone or nearly everyone is a candidate.
  • Hence, it’s all about increasing your “close rate”—meaning the percentage of people who will buy the therapy.

Of course, none of the amniotic or umbilical cord stem cell products have live stem cells, and we have no or very limited clinical data that shows that these birth tissues are miraculous in any way. How you apply any therapy impacts the results. Not everyone is a candidate, and, hence, focusing on the “close rate” means that some patients will receive the therapy who were never appropriate candidates.

The Tip of the Iceberg

While most academics believe that there may be between 500–1,000 medical practices offering “stem cell” therapy, the real supercharger to that number is these chiropractic consultants. Meaning, they each have many chiropractic practices that they serve, and many are adding in a pitch, like the one you see above, to their clients to add “stem cells” to their practices. So the number of practices offering these stem cell scam therapies is about to explode.

The Fuel That Drives the Bonfire Is the Out-of-Control Amniotic and Umbilical Cord Vendors

Every bonfire has a fuel source, and here that’s the out-of-control birth tissues industry. Not all of the companies selling amniotic and umbilical cord tissue products are running scams; however, 5–10 companies out of dozens are rogue. These companies have websites and hire sales reps that falsely state that they’re selling live stem cell products. This is also illegal per FDA regulations. Medical providers hear these pitches and then repeat them to patients, like a game of telephone where the last person hears a garbled version of the original message.

The upshot? If you have ever wondered how chiropractic clinics end up offering “stem cell” therapy, now you know. Because there are many chiropractic office management consultants out there now hawking “stem cell” therapy to their clients, we have only seen the tip of a very big iceberg. So expect this to get much worse.

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11 thoughts on “Who Teaches Chiros How to Offer Stem Cell Scams?

  1. Jane Mitchell

    Call them all out! A (CPA) friend of mine who did the accounting for local chiro office was given the “opportunity” for no cost to him SC transplant (umbilical cord) for pitiful knee pain, etc. He was extremely knock kneed & his gait was agonizing to watch. Nearly 2 years later, he’s still going to physical therapy 3 times a wk & no matter what articles I send him or tell him, the chirp gets all the glory DESPITE the fact that he is still disabled. You are a man on a mission & I salute that rare attribute. Thank you! I’ll be in this spring!

    1. Regenexx Team

      Thanks Jane,
      It is a Public Health Crisis. We look forward to seeing you in the Spring!

  2. DavefromLA

    Thanks again for these warnings. It amazes me that they are able to get away with this, even in this era of what seems like hyper intrusive government regulation in other aspects of our lives. BTW, when is your Fish Oil supplement going to be available again? It’s been on back order for a long time now, and I want my Regenexx FO 🙂

    1. Regenexx Team

      Hi Dave,
      We’ll be shipping out bottles to all backorders and be back to normal in about 10-14 days.

  3. Vincent(Clyde) Ernst

    I was very impressed with your physician, Dr. Paras Shah, who is at your Kansa City facility. After undergoing a complete exam, he though I might be a good candidate for PRP in my cervical area. After looking at an X-ray that he ordered and also at an MRI that I had recently had, he thought it was best to pursue an EMG/NCS for the bilateral upper extremities. After having to wait nearly 3 weeks to get this procedure, he was able to get me in the office right away to look at the results. Based on EMG analysis, it was determined that all of my discomfort and pain was associated with peripheral neuropathy, and tha tit was unlikely that the PRP therapy would be affective. Although initially a little disappointed that your procedures couldn’t help me, I was very relieved not to have gone through a procedure that would not have produced the desired results, not to mention all of the added physical therapy time and expense. I was extremely impressed with his medical professionalism, integrity, and ethics as a physician. Also, I was also refunded my $500.00 deposit, that was initially applied.
    I would have no problem recommending his services to others looking for some potential alternate therapy.

  4. Isabel Papagno

    What I don’t understand is what seems to be overwhelming anecdotal evidence of people being helped. As an unprofessional, results hold weight. If these people have hundreds of offices giving measurable results to thousands of people, tthat matters. There would have been an avalanch of complaints if it weren’t true. So despite the science, how do you explain life changing results?

    1. Regenexx Team

      Hi Isabel,
      There has been an avalanche of complaints, as well as issues of contamination. While these products contain no live and viable stem cells, they do contain other things that can help, similar to PRP made from your own blood, for a fraction of the cost.

  5. Donna

    I thought I had researched the umbilical cord stem cell injections. For 2-3 years. I even called Liveyon the local stem cell bank. They gave me a local dr referral and I made appointment & spent $5,400.00 for iv stem cell.

    1. Regenexx Team

      Hi Donna,
      Unfortunately, you are not alone…

  6. Angels

    Need help with shoulder and hand left side

    1. Regenexx Team

      Hi Angel,
      It would be important to first get checked out medically, to rule out cardiovascular issues. If this is orthopedic in nature, we don’t have Regenexx Clinic in your exact area, but if you call 855 622 7838, our team can assist in finding the best location for you. Please see: https://regenexx.com/conditions-treated/shoulder/

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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