It’s funny where life takes you on your journey.
In the beginning…
When I started the first laser and light therapy only clinic in Adelaide, South Australia we made the decision to not offer beauty treatments, fillers or injectables – just the amazing benefits that light therapies, in its many forms can offer.
One of the most common questions I remember being asked was whether “the laser will go through to my brain?”. It was certainly a transition for clients as well. Their experience had been, in most cases, limited to experiencing pampering facials and the short-term effects of traditional beauty treatments, to the long-term benefits and results focussed treatments of light therapies.
The Industry Evolves
Our clinic is still operating and going strong, but it has not always been easy. Staff issues, lack of legislation, increasing competition with franchise chains offering treatments at cost price to obtain market share have all made surviving in the industry harder. I made mistakes – plenty of them.
The lack of legislation and regulatory control in has meant that there exists more competition than ever before, but it also means inexperienced, untrained operators not treating to correct end points, causing lack of results and in many cases injury.
It can give tight therapies a bad name!
Our clients and patients are lot more informed and self-educated than all those years ago when I started – we have Dr Google and social media. The necessity to not rest on past success, maintain our education, standards and keep in step with this incredibly dynamic field.
We become industry mentors
Now after personally performing more than 100,000 treatments I am finding myself in the position of mentoring and supporting other laser and IPL therapists.
It began with our belief that all practitioners need quality training. This evolved into the development of the Australian College of Laser Therapy, the first government recognised educational campus in South Australia dedicated to training in light therapies. We train in Medical Class Four lasers, Intense Pulsed Light, Low Level Laser Therapies (3B) and of course the increasingly popular Light Emitting Diodes (LED).
The EnLYTEned Group evolves too
And so, the EnLYTEned Group began to evolve. Training expanded into the obvious mentoring of new therapists when doubting their treatment protocols. We were on the end of the phone or email to assist, increasing their confidence to become proficient therapists. These fledgling therapists opened their own clinics or introduced light therapies into existing salons as the popularity of technologically based treatments grew. Doctors began to introduce light therapies into their practices and the smart ones recognised that one day of training provided by machine distributors was not enough to provide patients with best practice advice and treatments.
and our project have been as diverse as the distances we travel. From rural Victoria to regional centres in South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales, we’ve had some very interesting cases.
And although we operate in a jurisdiction that, unbelievably, still does not protect consumers by insisting on formal qualifications, safety audits or even required safety standards, we have found the insurers becoming the new overseers of the industry.
The arrival of Laser Therapists Australia
Practice managers and clinic owners were under pressure to provide evidence of Laser Safety training, Risk Mitigation Plans and Clinic Safety Protocols. Our journey started to take us on another pathway – to minimise the confusion clinic owners and practice managers were experiencing in fulfilling these requirements. Laser Therapists Australia evolved naturally. We assisted in providing approved systems – laser safety plans, safety audit check lists and clinic policy and procedures. It was hectic but so rewarding to see years of work coming together.
Being approached by Evolvemed, a national distributor of TGA listed equipment, to provide national training to their clients introduced another exciting turn of events. We provide both laser safety and equipment training to their clients.
Our growth seemed quite scattered until last year when everything all seemed to flow beautifully together.
We were approached by a team of medical professionals, surgeons and nurses, who believed that their major regional centre was lacking a truly best practice aesthetic clinic.
We trained them, mentored them, introduced them to Evolvemed and other distributors who assisted in machine choices that would fulfil their treatment requirements.
We provided them with all the systems and procedures they required to open a clinic benefitting from our years of knowledge and experience. And of course we are always here if they need assistance.
From the opening day, it was truly an example of how a clinic should operate.
Just as the light therapies field is dynamic and evolving, so to do we.
Our journey continues with new and exciting services being introduced as both we and the industry grow. We are looking forward to exciting times in 2019.