Naperville resident Dan Lippmann was an active 60-year-old who enjoyed bicycling when he was diagnosed with osteoporosis.
His bones were becoming brittle and weak because the formation of new bone tissue does not keep up with bone loss.
“The pills that are usually prescribed for osteoporosis have serious side effects, and there are concerns over whether the bone the pills build is healthy bone,” Lippmann says. “My wife was working with a personal trainer who recommended bio-density as an option.”
For the next two-and-a-half years, Lippmann underwent a weekly 15-minute bio-density treatment with Perry Cammisa, a Naperville chiropractor with a Woodridge office. Lippmann experienced positive results. A scan in 2013 showed his bone density had improved by 14 percent. Today, at the age of 63, he no longer shows any symptoms of osteoporosis.
Other patients also have experienced positive results with Cammisa and his BStrong4Life system, which uses the bio-density equipment. He has been conducting a three-year study to examine the effectiveness of the BStrong4Life System in improving bone mineral density. The study, which was approved by the Edward Hospital Review Board, has yielded preliminary data analysis suggesting that the system is effective in increasing bone mineral density. The study will be complete in July.
The BStrong4Life System uses two different non-invasive technologies.
The first is a Power Plate, a machine that basically vibrates the whole body. Cammisa explains that the body responds to the vibration with a reflex contraction. This reflex stimulates the nervous system and muscle tissue to contract rapidly.
“It is like a warm-up for using the bio-density machine,” Cammisa says. “The Power Plate vibrates 40 times a second in three directions, so in 30 seconds of use, there are 1,200 contractions of muscle tissue.”
The amount of time and settings for the Power Plate are calibrated for each individual to obtain maximum results.
After several 30-second treatments on the Power Plate, clients move to the bio-density machine.
“This is where we use osteo-genic loading, which means we put a load onto the bone tissue,” Cammisa says.
The client pushes on a bar with his arms or presses against a plate with his feet for 40 second intervals. These short, intense periods of exercise stimulate the osteoblastic cells, the cells that create new bone tissue. This stimulation causes new bone to form.
“We complete a structural assessment for each person to create their personal blueprint and set the machines based on this information,” Cammisa says.
Lippmann says the sensation on the bio-density machine is similar to isometric exercise, the style of exercise where muscles are tensed up with minimal movement.
“It is like having a workout, but it is in a very short period of time,” he says.
Lippmann usually comes for treatment on his way to work wearing his suit and tie. He doesn’t have to change into special clothing to undergo the treatment because he doesn’t sweat or move an excessive amount.
“I just do the 15 minutes and then go to work,” he explains.
Joy Lahaye, another patient of Cammisa, also has had positive results with the bio-density machine.
“I had bunion surgery, and during all of the tests for surgery, I found out that I had osteopenia,” says Lahaye, referring to a condition where the bone density is lower but not as low as osteoporosis. “My mom has bone degeneration and is in a lot of pain with her bones crumbling. I don’t want to have to go through that, so I looked at my options.”
A friend suggested Cammisa’s program, and since she started treatment, she says her scan showed a 3 percent improvement.
“My chronic neck and shoulder pain is also gone, and my spine is much straighter,” she said.
Lippmann also reported that the bio-density treatments have had other positive effects.
“When I go on the first bike ride of the season in April, I usually feel it afterwards,” he said. “But after the first ride last year, I felt like it was an end-of-the-season ride afterwards.
“I also was concerned that the bio-density machine would affect my arthritis, but it has actually reduced that pain until now I am pain free.”
Cammisa says that doctors from other countries as far away as Japan and Australia have come to see the system work.
“The Power Plate equipment was originally designed for high level athletes, but we have found it helpful for medical purposes,” Cammisa said. “Our tagline for BStrong4Life is that you can experience increased strength, balance, bone health and prevent falls in 15 to 20 minutes once a week in your street clothes.”
He notes that some insurance companies approve benefits for the treatment.
“Our goal is to help people be as active as possible as long as possible,” Cammisa said.