The Secret to Aging Could Be In Your Hips (Literally)

Full-Body Stem Cell Therapy With Dr. Harry Adelson

Dr. Harry Adelson was one of the earliest adopters of the use of cell therapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain. Now, he is one of the only doctors in the world offering full-body stem cell makeovers using regenerative injection therapies. Stark’s CEO, Todd Vande Hei, traveled to Dr. Adelson’s clinic in Park City, Utah, to undergo this unique procedure. Todd and Dr. Adelson discussed his recent experience with full-body bone marrow cell therapy:

What is Stem Cell Therapy—And Why Bone Marrow?

The main objective of stem cell therapy is to use the body’s natural ability to heal itself by tricking the body into believing it suffered a new injury.

Dr. Adelson does stem cell therapy procedures on two types of patients: biohackers and people suffering from pain. Some people want to do the procedure preventively to remain active for as long as possible. Other people, like Todd, consider stem cell therapy to alleviate specific pain points. Most patients decide to undergo the full-body stem cell makeover because they’re already going to visit the clinic anyway.

Dr. Harry Adelson, wearing a blue scrub hat that his red glasses sit on, gives a subtle smile

Dr. Adelson explains the stem cell therapy process: “How does a wound heal? When you have a nonhealing wound, you’re not laying down new blood vessels or new skin. When you inject stem cells into a nonhealing wound, you grow new blood vessels and new skin.”

He continues, “Arthritis is a form of a nonhealing wound. It’s the same concept. Instead of your skin, it’s the joint surface. It’s irritation to the surface that’s angry, inflamed, and not happy. It just doesn’t get better on its own. That’s because you’ve overwhelmed your body’s ability to heal itself. That’s exactly why stem cell therapy is a perfectly naturopathic principle of using the body’s natural ability to heal itself.”

a microscope slide showing average tissue cells (colored light brown) in contrast to the bright red, healthy stem cells that have been injected into it

Dr. Adelson chooses to use bone marrow stem cells because they’re the most valuable type of stem cells for pain conditions. This type of stem cell therapy has the most research—and it works. 

Many people have a negative connotation of stem cell therapy because it was offered in many unqualified and unregulated clinics until a few years ago. These clinics were not screening people appropriately, injecting correctly, or using bone marrow.

In fact, these clinics used labs to produce umbilical or placental stem cell vials. The stem cell quality ranged from excellent to dangerous; several labs were putting out contaminated products. People were not benefiting from these procedures because they may or may not have received viable stem cells.

Luckily, the FDA stopped this type of stem cell therapy a few years ago. Stem cell therapy using bone marrow is much different (and more effective) because stem cells are extracted from the patient’s bones to insert into their joints.

Why Did Todd Get Stem Cell Therapy?

Todd says, “It doesn’t look like I’m injured. I have experienced a gradual decrease in chronic issues through Stark and naturopathic medicine. But not all of them. So today, here’s how I see any type of pain: if I’m just going for a walk and I start to feel a little bit of a pinch in my right hip, I look at that as an opportunity to try to reverse it.”

He continues, “I think most people just accept that as ‘getting older’. There are things we haven’t been able to correct as Stark—like the patella tendonitis, minor arthritic joint pain, chronic neck pain since my 20s, and periodic low back issues because of an injury in my 20s. Those are all things I’d like to try to minimize or completely reverse. Assuming that when I’m 80, if I don’t do anything today, it’s going to be much worse and considerably more difficult to treat at that point in time, assuming there are no technological advances.”

a man in his 70s sits on a bench holding his knee; his facial expression conveys that he is in pain

What Makes Dr. Harry Adelson’s Practice at ​Docere Clinics Different?

Dr. Adelson says, “What sets us apart is our kitchen skin approach and willingness to do these huge treatments. People fly to us from all over the world. Before covid, we were 25% international. More than that, if you count the Canadians. We’re really the only place in the world that does full-body stem cell makeovers—we’re the only place in the world that will inject that many areas in a single sitting.”

3 side by side MRI scans of L5/S1 with progressively worsening degradation

What Did Todd’s Stem Cell Therapy Procedure Look Like?

Dr. Adelson discusses Todd’s experience: “With Todd, we started with an inguinal disc. He’s got a desiccated L5S1, an injury he has from deadlifting back in his 20s—a very common weightlifting injury. When you have slightly less than perfect form with deadlifting, instead of having an engaged core that hinges at the waist, your back slightly bends, you lose the tenacity of your core, and the vertebral body slides one over the other when you go to lift.

With Todd, it was the L5 over the sacrum. What happens? It shears the inguinal disc, and it loses it’s moisture. A dry disc is a painful disc. That’s what really sets us apart. We’re one of the few places in the world that injects inguinal discs with stem cells. That’s not something we normally do with a full-body stem cell makeover. I won’t do that injection preventatively. It’s not normally something we do with the full-body cell makeovers unless someone needs it.”

He continues, “Then, we move into the regular full-body stem cell makeover, which is stem cell epidural injections at three levels—the neck, the upper part of your low back, and then all the way to your tailbone. We get stem cells into your entire spinal canal. Then we do set injections on every level, both sides, from the base of your skull down to your sacrum. Then, both sides of the iliolumbar ligament and the interosseous sacroiliac ligament (SI). I do the occiput (the back part of the skull). Many people with tension or post-whiplash headaches have pain there.”

The procedure isn’t done there. He then flips patients over—injecting both shoulders, elbows, wrists, thumbs, hips, knees, ankles, and great toes.

How Long Do the Procedure’s Results Last?

Stem cell therapy results last between two to eight years. Dr. Adelson expects about a five-year result for most patients. Patients’ health, lifestyle, and degree of joint degeneration before the procedure affect their results’ longevity. Luckily, Todd won’t be back to his starting point after five years. The five-year point is when patients begin noticing their body is starting to slide back.

In most cases, Dr. Adelson says patients want to get the procedure again because they love the results. He has performed more than 6,000 bone marrow cell therapy procedures—with a very small amount of patients who say they didn’t notice lower pain levels, the capability to be more active, or a higher quality of life.

in the middle of a gym, a man on his hands and knees arches his back up to mobilize his spinal vertebrae

Todd will need to take it slow for the next two months while his body fully recovers from the procedure, but the full-body stem cell makeover will help him perform at his best for years to come.


You can also listen to the podcast here or watch on YouTube here!

To learn more about Dr. Harry Adelson and his practice, visit his website www.docereclinics.com