by Jessica McElroy
Photos by Brooke Mathis: Beautiful Evolutions Photography
We are entering the halfway point of 2023, and once you get over just how quickly this year is flying by, it’s obvious that there seems to be a collective energy shift this year. We have walked through a lot as a community since 2020, and if these last few years of crazy have brought us anything, it’s a perspective shift. People seem to be tired of sitting still; they are building and creating more, as though they want to make up for the time lost when the world seemed to stand still. With that, we are seeing a huge push of people wanting to feel better, and take care of themselves in new ways. It’s no secret that the demand for Aesthetic services and Integrative Health practices have been soaring, and R&R Aesthetics and Wellness is working hard to meet that demand for those all over the Ft. Worth area. Local Life is excited to share a little of their story and highlight some of the incredible services they currently offer, as well as some of the very exciting things they have still coming.
In March of 2020, Kelli Vickrey (APRN, FNP-C), opened Direct Primary Care – a family practice that served the Ft. Worth area. It was a membership based primary care model that initially began with Kelli providing house calls to her clients. As the demand for her practice grew however, she shifted slightly and rented out a room in an effort to maximize the number of patients she could serve each day. When Kelli also began offering aesthetic services alongside family care, she saw an exponential growth in the demand of those services. Dedicated to serving her members to the best of her ability, she hired an esthetician and began expanding that side of the practice. Over time, she realized she simply enjoyed that part of her work more. “I have always loved art, and of course medicine which is ultimately what I pursued. Aesthetic work really feels like the perfect mix of those two passions.” That realization brought about the full shift in her practice that we see today. March of this year saw the closure of her Direct Primary Care practice and the official launch of R&R Aesthetics and Wellness, creating a one-stop-shop for those seeking both aesthetic and, in time, integrative health services.
Integrative Health still feels a bit foreign to many, but the demand is certainly growing. Patients these days are better informed, asking more questions, and ultimately are tired of masking symptoms and want to get to the root cause of their ailments. Kelli sees that desire and is working to meet that need. “I actually have MS and have suffered from migraines for a long time. Unfortunately, conventional medicine doesn’t have a lot to offer for conditions like that. That model of care often is unable to identify why they even occur and there are not great treatment options available. I know that I’ve seen the biggest benefits for my own health concerns through more functional approaches. I’m excited to bring more of that to our area.”
While Kelli is still taking steps behind the scenes to actively build the foundation necessary to offer more Integrative Health services, she is really excited about the growth the Aesthetics side of her practice has seen. Taking a look at R&R’s beautiful and extensive website will give you a glimpse into each of the services they currently offer. From the very popular teeth-whitening procedures and hydrafacials to laser hair removal, permanent makeup and even permanent jewelry, they have something for just about everybody. R&R has seen that IV hydration with added nutrients are growing in popularity, especially with the addition of NAD and peptides, which can help support many of our key cellular functions that are responsible for tissue and metabolic maintenance as well as healthy aging. They also offer micro-needling, a minimally invasive procedure that aims to stimulate your skin’s natural healing process by encouraging your body to produce more collagen and elastin, both of which keep your skin firm and smooth. Botox has also been growing in popularity over the years, and it can be incredibly effective to help relax facial muscles, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and even help reduce sweating.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement and Medical weight loss are also two quickly growing facets of R&R’s practice. Not only has Kelli found relief from her migraines and auto-immune condition through integrative health practices, she also has lost an impressive 135 pounds – and actually maintained it since. Anyone who has struggle with weight loss, especially due to an auto-immune or other chronic condition, understands just how difficult that process and maintenance can be on your own. “About 25% of our business right now is medical weight loss. We have several different approaches that we tailor to each client of course, but the biggest piece for me is supporting the mental aspect. We want the loss to be achieved in a healthy way and to be sustainable, and I refuse to just be a pill mill.” Through extensive lab work and a thorough consult with Kelli, you can expect to learn exactly what your body needs as you begin your weight loss journey. For some, that will mean understanding their hormones and how exactly to support optimal levels.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement (BHRT) is an option many weight-loss or hormone-support patients opt for. They are pellets placed just under the skin that deliver a slow release of hormones over time. These hormones are derived from natural sources instead of synthetic ones, and mimic the processes of the naturally occurring hormones in your own body. Those who opt for this type of therapy often experience more energy, better sleep, stronger nails and hair, fewer menopause symptoms and even improvements in their sexual health. The procedure is simple, can be done right in the office in a quarter of an hour, and requires very minimal down time making it a great starting point for those who just need a little support. It’s amazing the changes you can make in your life when you finally have the energy to do so!
Some of the newest and most exciting treatments the R&R team is now beginning to offer include Ozone and UV Therapy. The range of ailments that can be supported and eased with ozone therapy include but are certainly not limited to Lyme disease, chronic fatigue, allergy issues, Epstein-Barr Virus (EVB), chronic pain and even cancer. It’s a truly incredible healing medium that Kelli and the whole team at R&R are thrilled to bring to their clients.
Ozone is one of the most effective healing agents, detoxifiers, and sterilizers when it is used medically. When clients opt for this treatment, blood is drawn and mixed with a bag of saline. Ozone is then introduced to this saline-blood mixture. This ozone, noted as O3, contains an extra molecule of oxygen than the two-atom oxygen molecules that we normally breathe. This mixture is then re-introduced back into the patient’s own bloodstream. This treatment is known to boost vitality and metabolism, balance hormones and increase cell oxidation and energy. Simply put, it helps to stimulate a person’s immune system and boost healing. This process is scientifically known as autohemotherapy and is currently more common in Europe than it is in the United States, but the demand here is certainly growing.
Autohemotherapy is showing far more efficacy than the typical conventional medicine approach, and comes with virtually no side effects – which can certainly not be said for the majority of approaches conventional medicine utilizes. R&R offers both Minor Autohemotherapy (mAH) and Major Autohemotherapy (MAH) depending upon each client’s physical needs. While both mAH and MAH are similar in practice, the differences include length and number of treatments, alternate re-introduction methods, and are dependent on each client’s goals. For example, mAH may be enough to have profound effects on acne, allergies, skin disorders or chronic respiratory diseases and can meet its full potential in 8-12 treatments. Whereas MAH has shown to be effective in supporting healing with conditions such as macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and tumors, and may need up to 30 treatments to reach peak effectiveness.
The benefits of ozone therapy can be taken up a notch when it is combined with Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UBI). The process of this treatment is much the same as the ozone therapy detailed above, but during reintroduction the ozone-saline-blood solution passes through a special tubing that is filled with UVA, UVB, and UVC lights. This combination is going to increase the biological activity of the blood cells, further increasing the immune boosting effects of the treatment. Some of these boosted effects include improvements in blood and clotting, metabolic changes such as improvement in glucose tolerance and reduction in cholesterol count, as well as improvement of immune defenses. It is important to note that UBI does not purify the blood but instead works with the body’s immune and circulatory system with the goal of helping them function more effectively. Because it is a non-specific therapy, it is able to support the body as a whole in a multi-faceted healing manner. Put simply, this means that the benefits reach farther.
Ozone Joint Therapy (OJT) is another incredible method of support R&R clients can utilize. It is an impressive and effective alternative treatment for those dealing with joint pain or injury. A common cause of joint pain is degeneration as we age, which can be caused by lack of nutrients or oxygen, overuse, improper nutrition, or poor circulation. Due to the nature of ozone, it is able to work synergistically with an added homeopathic solution inside the body – providing nutrition and oxygen supply to a particular area or joint. The homeopathic solution filled with vitamins and minerals is first added to the injured area where it begins reducing inflammation and increasing circulation. Next, when the ozone is given, it is able to infiltrate the area and spread the solution even further than an injection alone would. This combination allows the treatment to reach further, impacting not only the joint or bone structure itself but also supporting the muscles, cartilage, ligaments and other tissues that surround and are attached to it. Unlike steroid injections, which lower inflammation for a short time, this method has been shown to actually regrow new tissue. This makes it a pain management option, yes, but also an alternative to surgery. For a full scientific breakdown of exactly how these methods work, reach out to the team at R&R, they will be happy to provide you with the literature detailing these incredible processes.
While this article has certainly covered a lot of information, it is still only a piece of what Kelli and the team at R&R Aesthetics and Wellness currently offer, and only a fraction of what is still to come. While Kelli is working diligently behind the scenes to lay the foundation necessary to bring more integrative care options to R&R, she is working just as diligently in office offering the incredibly expansive list of aesthetic services. She reiterated that none of this would be possible without the team she has assembled. “I have such a great group of girls that run the machines and do procedures around here. They really care about each client and do an excellent job. We just are a really solid team and I’m excited for us to continue to grow that and serve more and more people.”