Expert Interview: Assisi Loop
Pulsating Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) technology utilizes the body’s ability to recognize electromagnetic energy in order to stimulate healing. The Assisi PEMF “Loop” is FDA approved for use in humans with non-healing wounds. The device produces energy which stimulates the production of nitric oxide, helps to promote angiogenesis – the growth of new blood vessels. When we improve blood flow to an injured body part, we are able to reduce pain and inflammation and increase the speed of tissue healing.
We use the Assisi PEMF Loop for pets with pain from orthopedic diseases, spinal pain, and neurologic pain. It has also been used in patients with spinal cord compression and intervertebral disc disease. It is a small, easy to use, portable device making it ideal for daily use at home.
Dr. Richter, obviously you went through the standard veterinary training in school. What other training and certification do you have?
I’m a certified veterinary acupuncturist, herbalist, and chiropractor. I am also trained in hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). I’m not trained in rehabilitation but I do have a rehab vet and whole rehab team at my clinic.
What made you want to go into holistic medicine?
I began my education and career as a very Western-minded individual. When I was in my fourth year of veterinary school, I saw an acupuncturist bring a horseback from the dead (not literally, but close!) That horse had been written off by almost the entire vet school staff until I watched a veterinary acupuncturist use a combination of acupuncture and herbs. Within two days that horse was doing well enough to go home. That definitely grabbed my attention. It wasn’t until I had been practicing Western medicine for about nine years that I had the time in my life to revisit holistic studies. I think it had always been in the back of my mind as something that I really wanted to explore.
How did you first hear about the Assisi Loop?
I first heard about it from Joe Thompson, the founder of Musculoskeletal Therapies for Animals (MTA). Joe and I have known each other for years and one thing I really like about him is that he only deals with products and therapies that he truly believes in. So when he came to me with the Assisi Loop, his endorsement was enough to get me to pay attention. We got a couple, tried them out in my clinic, and were very impressed with the results…the rest is history!
Do you remember the first case that really made you say “wow”?
Definitely! They were both dogs who had arthritis and joint pain. I also used a couple of them on pets with neck and back issues and they did really well.
Are you treating any patients with the Assisi Loop currently?
We recently had a Chihuahua come in with a blown disc in his back. He had already seen a neurologist who recommended surgery. Although he wasn’t yet completely paralyzed, he was very, very weak, painful, and was having a hard time getting around. He was also having some issues with bladder and bowel control. His owner decided against surgery for a number of so we decided to treat with the Loop paired with herbal therapy and chiropractic.
After a couple of weeks, we saw significant improvement. He was not painful and he was urinating and defecating normally. He’s still a little ataxic in the back end but overall, is much better. The owner was thrilled – she got her dog back without having to take him to surgery.
Have you found a specific condition that really responds well to the Assisi Loop?
I tend to reach for the Loop the most on dogs with spinal issues, especially disc problems. I find it to be really, really helpful with that. This is really more about the client than the patient, but when we have a pet that needs frequent treatment, it’s often difficult for the client to come back a couple of times a week. These may be owners with a work-schedule issue or people who don’t live nearby. The Loop is a really good alternative in that it allows the dog to get treated twice a day instead of maybe once a week, if that. This makes it easier to actually get the treatment but people also really like something that they can do at home. People get to doing something and really feel like they are contributing, especially with the rehab cases. We like to give “homework” for owners…exercises they can do with the dog and really get involved. That hands-on involvement can really help us get better results. It’s also great from a pain control standpoint. We can do acupuncture while they’re at our facility, but then they have to wait a week or two until we see them again. Now we can bridge that gap. It’s a nice pairing of traditional medicine and technology.
Interview conducted by: Kaysie Dannemiller, Assisi Animal Health