Read the Transcript Below the Bio
Brendon Lundberg, a previous chronic pain suffer, co-founded Radiant Pain Relief Centres, along with David Farley, MD, a Harvard-MIT trained physician, with a vision to build the safest, most consistently effective and appealing solution to the epidemic of chronic pain.
Combining a mission to change the way chronic pain is understood treated with deep experience in healthcare management, marketing, business development and sales, Brendon and Dr. David Farley opened Radiant Pain Relief Centres in Portland, Oregon, USA, in February 2014. Following the success of the first center, they are laying out a plan for expansion to open new centers in new markets nationally and internationally.
Their story and vision for the future of pain management can be understood by reading their book, Radiant Relief – A Case For A Better Solution To Chronic Pain.
Previous to founding Radiant, Brendon played key operational and business development roles for two Portland-Area Portland Business Journal and Inc. Magazine Growth Award-winning companies and was the Director of Sales and Marketing for another Portland-based medical device start-up. Brendon holds a BS in business marketing and an MBA.
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Reena Jadhav: Hi everyone. Welcome to another very exciting episode today on the Healthier Podcast, talking about your disruptive way to get rid of your pain. I am super excited to welcome today’s guest, Brendon Lunberg. Background. He is a previous chronic pain sufferer, which explains why he probably wrote the book, although we’re going to get into that in a moment. He is the co founder of rating pain relief centers along with David Farley, an md from Harvard, Mit, who’s a physician together. Their vision has been to build the safest, most consistently effective and appealing solution to the epidemic of chronic pain. Now, of course, we all know about the opioid crisis. It’s been in the news and so I’m actually super excited to have Brendon share with us how someone who’s dealing with sort of addiction to painkillers can transition off of them as well. Brendon and Dr David Farley opened radiant pain relief centers in Portland, Oregon in 2014 and they’ve been hugely successful. Some some great results and I cannot wait to dive right in. So, Brendon, welcome again and tell us why did you write this book? What inspired you?
Brendon Lundberg: Um, well, I wrote the book to Evangelize a message to share a message of hope and really a message of new science. The scientific understanding of pain has changed significantly in recent years, the last five to maybe 10 years, but many both in the medical profession and certainly at the consumer level. Don’t, haven’t been taught that science, we know we experience pain. It’s, it’s a, it’s a human. I mean, we’ve come into the world creating pain and it’s something that we experience throughout our entire lives. And so, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting. Um, it’s a huge problem in the United States. Chronic pain. One hundred million Americans suffer with chronic pain, which is more than cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease combined and similar numbers exist of the world, as you mentioned last year, 72,000 people died of opioid overdoses of tens or hundreds of thousands if not more, that people are addicted to these medications or, or at least having their lives disrupted because of it. So I wrote it, I wrote the book to share a message of hope and of science and to help evangelize our message in the therapy that we’re, we’re trying to build and make available to more people
Reena Jadhav: Before we dive into the book itself, could you share with everyone who’s not familiar with radiant relief in your technology? What exactly is the technology itself? And then of course we’re going to dive into the different chapters and go far greater depth into them.
Brendon Lundberg: Yeah. So, uh, in order to understand the technology, it’s important to understand the science just in high level that even though we don’t experience pain this way, all paint actually comes from the brain, not from the tissue. And the in the area that we heard, um, pain is a protective function in the short term, you know, when you have an acute injury or you have disease pathology growing in your tissue, that pain experience is to get our attention and to trigger us to take action. Oftentimes that action is a very clear stop doing what you’re doing. You’re hurting yourself or take your hand off the hot stove or you’ve broken your ankle or go see a doctor because something’s not right in your know your tissues. And so it’s clear. But in chronic pain it becomes less clear. And what happens essentially is the brain becomes wired to expect the pain.
Brendon Lundberg: This is not when I say the brain is not in our frontal modern frontal cortex or modern thinking brain. It’s not something necessarily that you know were willing it into existence, at least not initially at a deep reptilian brain, kind of ancestral brain level, far below the conscious surface. But that basically becomes omnipresent driven by the brain, inexperienced in the tissue. And most of the therapies that we’ve had available are only addressing the tissue or they’re a drug that has impacted the entire chemistry of the body and can result in side effects and risks. So understanding that science and rather than just approaching it from a tissue level or giving somebody a drug, we use an FDA cleared technology that allows us to retrain the brain through artificial nerve impulses and essentially through neuroplasticity or the brain’s ability to learn, restore the brain, and then the body back to a more normal perception of pain to get released. It becomes lasting for almost all types of chronic pain without these complications and risks that we see with other.
Reena Jadhav: Incredible. I can’t wait to dive further into it. Chapter one, which is a simple introduction to a complicated problem. So Brendon, tell us a little bit about this chapter. So let’s start with what exactly is the complicated problems that you talk about in this chapter?
Brendon Lundberg: Well, pain is very complicated because, um, it’s a, it’s very human. We all experienced pain. We all have some level of understanding around it, pain sufferers and who have been in chronic pain physically often become more complicated because they don’t move. They’re in, you know, in their worlds like they’re supposed to do, like their bodies are intended to do because they hurt their sleep is often compromised and disrupted and that creates a other comorbidities or health complications most of the time. And they’re prescribed medications which start to compromise digestion and nutritional absorption and elimination of waste, uh, and maybe cognitive impairment. And so there’s so many factors that play into the complicated world of pain sufferer that make them, you know, a challenge and, um, and, and unfortunately, the western approach of just more drugs and then drugs to counteract the side effects of the drugs.
Brendon Lundberg: Just that problem even further. Right? So what I wanted to do is, is, um, you know, recognize that, that this is for many people an exceptionally complicated reality that they’re living with and multifactorial and, um, and then begin to plant the seeds. That part of our ability to create a better solution to this complicated problem is to start with our, with our thinking in the opening quote is from the very talented and inspirational Louise Hay’s. Okay. It says, I don’t fix problems. I fixed my thinking then problems fix themselves and I think. I think that’s kind of where it starts. It’s like, let’s, let’s, let’s step, let’s honor the reality of it and let’s start challenging our thinking a little bit around this and we can’t get. We’re not going to get the same results by thinking the same way.
Reena Jadhav: Pain by itself is such a complicated experience because it isn’t as simple as it hurts. There’s a pathology to it. Now, have you noticed that it doesn’t matter what that pathology is or whether it’s pain from a broken foot that didn’t heal right, or arthritis or migraines or that excessive golf related pain muscle that the answer is still all pretty much the same. Or do you find that actually you have to approach pain differently depending on what created the paint in the first place?
Brendon Lundberg: The answer to that question is yes and no. Uh, I mean, so obviously nothing is universally always the same, particularly when it comes to are very intricate and amazing human bodies, but we do know that all pain comes from the brain, not from the tissue even though we experienced it in the tissue. And so there is a commonality amongst almost all types of chronic pain that is neurogenic or brain driven. And um, and even though we experienced it in the tissue or even though there maybe was a clear injury or trauma or stress or in the tissue that caused it to begin, when it becomes chronic, it really is a problem of the brain. And in this is highlighted by, and there’s been studies that have shown you can take a high number of people who are asymptomatic. They don’t have pain and you could put them under MRI imaging and you’ll see a fairly high percentage of arthritis, herniated disc, torn meniscus or something like that.
Brendon Lundberg: They don’t know it because it doesn’t hurt. You had made a comment in the opening segment about the fact that you do yoga and obviously you’re so focused on your health and your on your wellbeing and so you don’t experience pain, but the truth is you may have had an injury at some point or done some damage to some tissue at some point and it may still be there. It May, it may not have ever fully healed or the scar tissue, it doesn’t, hasn’t left it in optimal know physical form, but it’s not bothering you. So it’s not a problem. Conversely, you can take a thousand pain sufferers and there’s been studies that have shown as an image of them were they hurt and you don’t see a correlated presentation of tissue abnormality. So it’s, I think it’s really important to understand that it really is a problem of the brain.
Brendon Lundberg: And I think, um, it’s, it’s always for us, very sensitive in we approach that and explain that to our clients because we don’t want to minimize. It’s a very real experience. It’s not something that’s fictitious to them. It’s not something they’ve conjured in their mind and you know, created without some sort of, um, you know, physical experience taking place to it as well. So how we, how we explain the brain’s involvement, I think, uh, is, is very important.
Reena Jadhav: So chapter two, the complicated context of chronic pain. Tell us a little bit about the essence of this chapter.
Brendon Lundberg: Will this essence gets into some of the industry and expert experiential aspects to pain? So in the first chapter we talk about the complicated world of it from an individualistic standpoint and how it complicates health and makes people more, you know, more complicated on their, on their health journey.
Brendon Lundberg: But in this chapter I get into a little bit more the understanding of the drivers of the industry. Uh, I just attended a conference in San Diego, a Jj Virgin, maybe know who she is, just phenomenal individual called mindshare summit that she puts on for health care professionals. And in that we had Dr. Mark Hyman, who maybe made me many, many of your great, great position, head of the Cleveland Clinic’s a functional medicine group and a and a US senator, senator from Ohio, Tim, uh, Ryan and those two gentlemen said, and it’s very true that industry in terms of our nutritional understanding, the nutritional guidelines that we’ve had promoted to us for decades was so heavily informed by industry that it changed the science. The same is true with pain because we all have pain. We all experienced it. We feel like we’ve have some level of understanding to it.
Brendon Lundberg: And you know, going back to our primitive caveman days, we realized back then our ancestors that if, if we hurt, if we drink alcohol or if we take opium, we can feel better in the short term. It’s, it’s diminishing that pain experience. And so industry, the health care pain management industry really was kind of born out of this analgesic approach approach based upon chemical interventions that are not really much dissimilar to drinking alcohol or taking opioids. I mean, opioids essentially are a synthetic derivative and similar mechanism as, as that. And then you have, um, most physicians and clinicians in our country are trained in science from the 19 sixties pain science from the 19 sixties. So, you know, they’re ill educated and I know it’s something that’s important to you is as I’ve gotten to know you and your message is to help educate people that as well intentioned as our medical professionals, professionals are there not a mission.
Brendon Lundberg: They don’t know everything, right? I mean there sometimes, sometimes they’re informed by old science, by their previous education, by peers, by marketing. I mean, you know, the pharmaceutical companies are great consumer marketers, but they’re also equally great marketers to physicians and they inform that education. And so pain is certainly been been done this way. And so what’s happened is that the science of pain has changed so much in the last few years. We really now understand it to be a problem of the brain. But having knowledge permeate a, the medical world and to the consumers is, is a challenge, particularly when you have economic incentive to keep doing the things that we’re doing and, and, and not thinking differently about that. So I thought, Hey, we opened the book talking about the complicated reality for the, from the pain sufferers standpoint, and then we have to look at the complicated reality from an industry standpoint because Intel industry is able to change, the therapies, aren’t going to change, an industry frankly isn’t going to change and that’s part of what we’re doing in our businesses to say, look, industry is not going to disrupt itself.
Reena Jadhav: There’s too much money at stake.
Brendon Lundberg: Yeah. And so just like, you know, other notable disruptors, Uber, Airbnb, uh, it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. I mean those, those disruptors came from outside of the space. It wasn’t, it wasn’t an endogenous transformation. Right? And so the same is happening with radiant were coming even though my partner is a physician and I have spent my career in healthcare. We’re coming at this from a totally different perspective because we don’t have the same obligations and know industry drivers that other healthcare settings do.
Reena Jadhav: So the two big takeaways from the chapters that we’ve done so far to me anyway, are one, if you have pain, you have got to rethink your pain and the context of the pain as well as your approach to pain. Because if, if we’re not willing to to rethink a why am I experiencing this and be that maybe my approach so far isn’t correct, then the rest of the book isn’t going to help you. So please take a moment, deep breath and go. Okay, I’m going to be open minded about this because if you don’t, I think you’re going to listen to everything and go back to that same heavy duty pain killer Ron and nothing will change and my mission is that you, at the end of this book master class, you are able to transform yourself into a no pain life.
Brendon Lundberg: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if we’ll ever have a totally no pain life. It is part of the human experience. We don’t like it, right? I mean we experienced pain. The first thing we want to do is do something to get out of it, but it it is the master teacher. I mean it’s the reason that we’re probably in our human bodies having this human experience is so that we can learn that contrast between pain and joy and suffering and satisfaction and struggle and try if I mean that’s why we’re here, but I. What I hope to do is inspire people to say, let me think as you say, let me think differently about this and not not trying to minimize it, but what is my body telling me? Why in the acute pain, when you have your hand on the hot stove or you broke your ankle, it’s pretty clear what the body is telling you and chronic pain.
Brendon Lundberg: It becomes a little less clear, but our nervous system, our brain wants to keep us alive. It wants to get rid of that pain. Experience is still a protective function. It may not be so clear. Black and white. What that cause is later in the book. We’ll talk a little bit about maybe a better under a better analogy or understanding around this, but yeah, don’t, don’t just take a pill and mascot like, yeah, I understand. Let’s minimize the pain, but there are other ways that we can shift that and I think the first thing is having the appetite, the bravery, the desire to think differently about the pain experience right from the very beginning.
Reena Jadhav: All right. Let’s move on to chapter three, the genesis, birth and near death of a novel therapy. All right. Tell us, tell us how it all started.
Brendon Lundberg: Well, as I mentioned at the beginning, we use a technology that allows us to basically retrain the brain of a chronic pain sufferer to artificial nerve impulses and then through neuroplasticity, restore the brain back to a more normal perception of pain. It’s a. it’s a beautiful piece of medical technology and innovation and because it’s technology based that allows us to deliver therapy very consistently. However, because it runs contrary, or at least outside of the, the, the pain education that most physicians have been taught and most clinicians have been taught, they don’t understand it. And so this technology, um, has been a, is already FDA cleared. It’s been researched at the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University, very reputable institutions. Uh, my partner is a harvard and mit trained medical doctor, very reputable physician with great academic experience and integrity. But I’m again thinking, understanding the context. This technology sounds too good to be true when you know, clinicians are trained in an antiquated or older science and they’re used to therapies that produced much less efficacious results and typically how some level of risk or side effect that’s much greater than the therapy that we’re doing.
Brendon Lundberg: And so as I spent time trying to promote this technology in other people did as well, most physicians or clinicians said, this sounds too good to be true. I don’t understand it. Therefore, it’s snake oil. Therefore you’re wasting my time. Therefore leave my office. You know, they did. They wouldn’t really even have an open mind to say, wow, let me, let me get into this because it was so far out of the paradigm of, of their, of their ingrained institutional thinking. The other thing is, and I think this is important to his physicians and healthcare industry, is all about replication, placebo controlled, double blinded studies, Longitudinal outcomes like really having the rigor and the study and that, that is certainly important, particularly for invasive things like a drug that’s going in the body or something that’s cutting, cutting is open. But this therapy, uh, is, is a little bit technician dependent, you know, and that’s because there’s a bit of an art to its application where we apply the electrodes on the skin, you know, the communication process with the client setting the right expectation.
Brendon Lundberg: It’s a very interpersonal kind of dynamic experience. And so there is a level of expertise that’s required in that delivery and that’s hard to replicate in a study. Right? So, so between that and the limited amount of capital that the former licensee for the technology had to be able to fund studies, there hasn’t been a tremendous, tremendous amount of overwhelming evidence that enough to help shift understanding and open, you know, open doors and minds amongst establishment. So consequently it’s been ignored and I mean that’s Kinda, that’s Kinda what’s happening. So this technology which has the ability to really help a lot of people, it’s just not been not been well understood to date and then economically there’s a disincentive as we talked about previously, stick away from the things that we’re doing now because insurance is paying for them. So the consumer will opt for the insurance coverage therapy even if it’s not as safe or as effective. And the doctors will continue to promote them because they get paid in some way for them,
Reena Jadhav: which is why it’s so important for the consumer to take charge of their own pain and their own wellbeing. And then look at technologies like these and share a little bit about the genesis of the technology itself. How did it come about?
Brendon Lundberg: Well, the inventor is a, I’m a biophysicist from Italy named Giuseppe Marinell and obviously a really brilliant individual to have created something like this. And it’s really interesting because, um, the evolution, the development of this technology really runs parallel to the neuroscience that, you know, the modern pain science, which is really neuroscience, uh, this has been evolving and most of that has come out of, out of not out of the United States actually, even. It’s mostly from Australia researchers like Lorimer Moseley and Adrian low and David Butler. Um, you know, there’s other even, you know, even just beyond pain, our understanding about the brain has really evolved so much in the last few years and our understanding about neuroplasticity, my medical partner, Dr Farley, again, Harvard and mit trained physician, he told me that, you know, they were taught in medical school that the brain is, that doesn’t stay plastic forever. Like it loses its ability to learn.
Brendon Lundberg: And that’s actually not true. We now know that an old person, their brain is still plastic as well. It’s just that they don’t give new novel information to challenge the brain. Right. And so also the brain can generate new sales sells. We didn’t know that that was possible either. And so our understanding and our enlightenment about the brain is really, you know, it’s, it’s very exciting time. But, but so professor Maraniel developed this technology, he fairly quickly immediately licensed it to a technology, you know, technology marketing company and they got an FDA cleared, but then not much has happened. And so it, it’s been lost in obscurity and I realized like after having spent time trying to sell this therapy that it wasn’t a matter of efficacy. It really does work remarkably well. But it’s a matter of how it’s been commercialized. And so previously in my life I had spent about a decade and the hearing aid industry and hearing aids, very sexy industry, right?
Brendon Lundberg: But hearing aids are not covered by insurance generally and they’re not inexpensive. It’s about a $7,000 of average sell price purchase. And I thought, well heck, if people are going to spend $7,000 for hearing loss, there are certainly willing to spend some money out of pocket to get out of pain at this. Really works and so I began to think differently about how do we frame it and we’ll talk more about that probably later on, but you know, I think it’s important, again, question our question, our thinking question, our experience and there’s probably many, many other therapies out there that are very safe and effective that haven’t seen the light of day because you know, the industry around them hasn’t supported it.
Reena Jadhav: All right. Chapter four, a vision and model for disruption that us a little bit about the essence of that chapter. What disruption do you envision?
Brendon Lundberg: Well, my goal is to change fundamentally how we understand and how we treat chronic pain in our country and throughout the world. Um, and, and you know, that is a not an easy task to do because you know, as we’ve talked about, there’s such institutional ingredient around certain therapies. The drug companies are obviously one of the most significant players in the healthcare industry. And so, so changing that is not an easy task to do. And I mentioned this a little bit in the, in the last chapter, but I’m seeing that this therapy really worked very effectively. But realizing it was really about how do we bring it to market in the right way. Um, I spent a lot of time really kind of thinking about, okay, if it works, what are the ways that we can model the business so that we can make it accessible, affordable, scalable, and really help and really help make it effective.
Brendon Lundberg: And so, um, that, that vision started with the idea that people spend money for a variety of things, hearing aids in particular, um, and uh, and they’re willing to spend money to get out of pain if this therapy really works. And so I built a really just, I guess a different business concept which is a direct to consumer business around this technology. And because I wasn’t trying to integrate it into an existing world of healthcare with, you know, economic drivers and operating structures, I was able to think from a blank slate and just say what, what is the business structure and what is the delivery model that’s going to give the best chance for the best results and the best experience to our clients. And so it allowed us to think totally a novelty, totally, you know, fresh with fresh ideas, fresh eyes about how do we build this and so that, that vision, you know, the business model is done, is built specifically to deliver this care in the most effective way to make it accessible, to make it affordable and then to create the foundation upon which we can really scale and build a business.
Reena Jadhav: And, and what does that look like today? So as I understand, you’ve got a center in Oregon, is that correct?
Brendon Lundberg: A couple of pilot centers in Oregon. And um, we’ve just, again, probably talked about this a little bit later, but you know, we’re in the process of raising capital for this so that we can expand it and grow it. The business model though is one center with four devices in that center because not structured that we create from a business standpoint, a cost structure that’s fixed and we’re able to see a lot of clients through that, which means that we can keep the costs low, making it affordable and still have enough margin to be profitable as a company.
Reena Jadhav: Or You could just partner up at starbucks and throw a bunch of machines that corner and hey, you go in the morning, you get your coffee and you get your pain relief.
Brendon Lundberg: Yeah, exactly.
Reena Jadhav: Right before you go to work
Brendon Lundberg: You know, starbucks is it.
Brendon Lundberg: I love the starbucks story. Uh, I live in Oregon and we have awesome coffee is up here, so I don’t always drink starbucks coffee. We have so many great local roasters and things. But um, but starbucks changed fundamentally how we think about coffee, what we’re willing to spend for it. They created a whole experience around it and they didn’t do that by selling a better coffee product to the local diner and having the diner sell it. They created the experience and that’s exactly what we’re intending to do with radiant painterly centers. And, and that’s why I wrote the book and part two is because opening clinics, you know, takes hiring people and training them and building the center at that. That’s not an overnight process, but we can start the messaging to start setting the expectation now.
Reena Jadhav: All right, Chapter Five, grand and the safest, most consistently effective and appealing solution to the epidemic of chronic pain. Unveil it for us already. Tell us what is it?
Brendon Lundberg: Well, we do a few things, but obviously the key focus, which we’ve kind of talked about in this book, is using a technology and FDA clear technology that allows us to retrain the brain and restore it back to a more normal perception of pain rather than just masking it at the tissue level. So the way the technology works. And um, and I’ll talk a little bit more about our care model as well because it really is, like I mentioned before, it’s built and designed to create the best chance for a successful experience and outcomes for our clients. But the way the technology works essentially it acts like an artificial nerve and it generates a dynamic set or a changing set of artificial nerve impulses that more or less mimic their kind of a replica of what exists in us. Naturally when we don’t have chronic pain.
Brendon Lundberg: Essentially it’s a healthy no pain nerve signal or something that’s very akin to that, that professor Martin was able to basically create these replications, these algorithms that replicate this, you know, these nerves signals. So we, we identify with the client where their pain is and we actually attach electrodes outside of the pain but in proximity to the painful area. So just for example, if it’s a hand that hurts, it could be almost anything. Going back to your question earlier, it can be arthritis, it can be neuropathy, it can be shingles, pain, it almost really doesn’t matter. And um, again, if it’s chronic, it’s, it’s a problem with the brain. So we attach electrodes on the skin typically again in proximity, so it’d be on the arm or on the back, some place between the pain site and the spine and hop in line between where the brain is and where the pain is felt.
Brendon Lundberg: And Trans basically hop in line and send up new information through the nervous system the brain interprets received, it, interprets it as a self message and almost immediately begins to reduce the pain experience in the body. And then because the messaging is dynamic and changing, the brain has to work to interpret this, to understand it, and essentially this is what triggers and drives in neuroplastic change and through repetition and exposure. So in the first session, which we give for free, we can typically get a level of relief, but the process of changing the brain like anything, the brain is learning how to ride a bicycle, how to speak Spanish, you know, you know Algebra, it’s a, it’s a process of repetition and exposure. So typically the client experience will be a daily session for about an hour, about 40 minutes on the device, but about an hour of their time every day, Monday through Friday for two or three weeks.
Brendon Lundberg: As they come through that process, their pain experience typically gets less and less with longer and longer duration of relief until sometime typically around the second to third week, the brain is really locked onto this new messaging and it’s created new neuropathways. And the relief then becomes what we call durable or lasting for weeks or months. And in some cases even indefinite at that point. But the expectation that we set for our clients is they’ll need to come back in periodically for booster course, like our booster treatment, like a refresher course, if you don’t practice your Algebra or your Spanish, you begin to forget it. And so the, the brain will go back to those old pain wirings if they know those neuropathways, uh, if, if we don’t kind of reinforce that in many cases. So we set the expectation and we sell our therapy on an annual membership so that clients can have access to it as they need it throughout the year.
Brendon Lundberg: And even though they may be in there every everyday for the first few weeks, we can do, if they sign up for it and pay it on it, on the annual membership, they can push that cost out over the year and making it much more affordable to them. And as I mentioned, on average, it’s about 10 bucks a day, uh, when you average it across the years time. And so when you think of it in those terms, even though it doesn’t have insurance coverage to get your life back and to get functioning, to get a higher level is very much worth it.
Reena Jadhav: So it is an annual membership. You don’t do it. You don’t set it up as a monthly subscription plan or a quarter of the planet. It is. You are asking for an annual commitment upfront.
Brendon Lundberg: Yeah. But, um, but most of the time the clients are very fine with that. We give the first treatment for free, you know, we work with them and they see the value in that. We also tell them, look, we, one of our core values is doing the right thing. And so we look at doing the right thing is two things, number one, doing everything we can to get you to start to help you get started because it’s really in that process that you’re going to see the benefit. Second, secondarily though, is if you aren’t seeing that progress, the membership price includes I’m 20 sessions and additional sessions can be purchased while they’re on the membership for only $35 a session. So it’s negligible, you know, fairly inexpensive cost if they need additional treatments beyond 20, but we’ll say look, we’ll work with you for those first 20 sessions and if we don’t see a noticeable improvement we’ll let you out of the membership.
Reena Jadhav: And what are the prices? Let’s, let’s actually dive into the actual numbers themselves.
Brendon Lundberg: Yeah. Well when we started to your point like we didn’t know exactly how to, how to packages and how to price it and so we would, we had two options pay each time you come in and the price that we realized we kind of needed to be at from a business standpoint was about $250 a session so that can add up. So we realized well if we can sell a package of 10, because we knew it was a process of ongoing. We sold a package of 10 for $2, so a 20 percent discount. And most patients that, especially after the first free treatment, like wow, this is great. I’m willing to spend $2,000 to try to get my pin contained and get my life back and I’m so we sold a lot of packages of 10 treatments early on, but what we found is that 10 became the magic number in somebody’s mind that they got better before 10.
Brendon Lundberg: They’re like, well, what about these other ones I paid for 10 million to do. I get a refund and we’ll say, well, you probably need them in the future for a booster, so let’s bank them, or they needed more than 10. And then they’re like, well, I thought 10 was going to solve my pain and if 10 was the right number for them, then they would go up, back living their life and they would delay coming back in for a booster because they didn’t want to buy another package of 10 are starting each one. So with the membership, what has done is it’s improved our outcomes because people just couldn’t access it when they need it. And it allows us to push that cost out over an entire year’s time, make it a much more affordable to everybody. So that’s why we’ve modeled that way. It’s $3,500 is how we have it priced for the annual membership.
Brendon Lundberg: Again, that includes 20 sessions and you think, well, $3,500 for a lot of people is a lot of money. It is, you know, I fully recognize that, but uh, I can tell you that most of our clients tell us is the best investment they’ve ever made and you know, again, breaking it down into monthly payments, it’s fairly affordable and if you divide $3,500 by 365 days, it’s about 10, $10 a day. So, you know, you start thinking in those terms and you know, the option to opt out after the, you know, the first few weeks if you really aren’t seeing improvement, which rarely happens. I mean our clients are typically so ecstatic about the response they’re getting this. It’s pretty clear that it’s the right decision.
Reena Jadhav: Very exciting opportunity to clearly for a lot of people. But you know, as I listened to you, it’s obvious to me that it’s not gonna work for everyone with all kinds of pain. It’s going to very specifically work for those were pain is becoming a quality of life issue, meaning if I can pop an aspirin and get rid of it, I’m not investing in for people were aspirant isn’t doing it or to your point. Now I’ve ended up in this opiate crisis issue where I’m like downing them by the dozen and it starting to have side effects. And so
Brendon Lundberg: yeah, most of our clients had been in pain for years or decades and they have, they have tried it, tried everything in their mind and, and there is some level of significant disruption to their life and I can think of, you know, if you go to our website and we only use actual clients, no stock imagery and we have phenomenal stories of life reclaimed and it’s a beautiful thing to be a part of and something that we’re very intentional about. How do we, now that we’ve opened this door back to health, what do we do to help somebody go, you know, improve. Somebody was just saying, it’s kind of like they’d been in prison and I’m like, yeah, they’d been trapped in their bodies and so we’ve released them from prison, but we have to rehabilitate them into a, into a world that’s back to normal so they can function in and so, you know, later we’ll talk about that.
Brendon Lundberg: But, um, you know, I can think of one guy in particular, he minor broke a bone in his foot. It was misdiagnosed. It didn’t heal properly. He was given medications and prescribed, you know, physical rehab. Those things didn’t really resolve his pain, just kept getting more and more dosing of medications. They tried injections series or different injections. Those didn’t resolve his pain. He was then, um, the, the operated on a split, trying to correct whatever, you know, perceived pathology or real tough algae issues they thought were happening that didn’t resolve the pain. He then was given a spinal cord stimulator. So this is an implanted medical device that stimulates the spine and the nerves as invasive procedure and they implant the device aspect of it into the buttocks of the body. They didn’t implant it into the buttocks has been the trial. They just put it into the spine and then how he does and so he didn’t respond from that and so now he’s like, what do I do?
Brendon Lundberg: And so he realized he was addicted to opioids. He put himself through Rehab and went through this whole hassle and it was just so discouraged. He finally fed up. This is now after probably six, seven, eight years of this, went to his doctors and said, I can’t live with this pain in my leg. I want you to amputate my leg. So he elected. He chose to have his leg amputated. The poor guy, they chopped his leg off. It doesn’t resolve the pain because it’s really not about the tissue. It’s a problem of the brain. And so, um, now he’s, you know, he, he tells us now retroactively retrospectively, that he was at this point, very suicidal because it’s like, what do you do when your body has betrayed you so much and nothing is resolving this? Fortunately, he didn’t take his life. He was able to come in to see us.
Brendon Lundberg: We restore them back to a normal level of function and he tells his story and you just get so emotional, you know, being able to play with his grandkids and have his life back and that’s a dramatic example, but it’s not unlike what we see, but you’re right, I mean some of that has, you know, a periodic sore muscle from playing tennis isn’t gonna come in here or something that’s not, you know, not significant. And we modeled the business to get people thinking about their why because sometimes they’ve become distracted from distance, I guess is a better word, distance from who they really are. Like the things that bring them joy and productivity and connection and we want them thinking about those things because if they’ve lost those things because of pain, those are the people that we really want to help.
Reena Jadhav: And I would think that athletes would be a great target audience as well as professional athletes.
Brendon Lundberg: Yeah. If you see, I’m Joe Montana, he doesn’t make many television appearances anymore of the poor guy can barely walk, you know his body and you know, all these professional athletes, they just push themselves so much. Their bodies after these careers in many cases or crippled, right. And you know, poor joe is that a playlist if you see in like, you know, he’s, he’s in tough shape and yeah, I think that we can have a lot of people begin because just like just like anybody, if he started taking medications, there’s going to be side effects. Inevitably your body is going to become tolerant to them. You have to keep up in your dosing. There is some disruption to sleep and function and cognitive impairment and all of that snowballs and compounds and becomes very, very complicated for a lot of people. So those are the, those are the people we want to help and to see them, you know, to be able to address like this, they come in this big complicated bundle of conditions and to be able to extract out a key component of this probably be initial component in many cases, which is the pain, get them feeling better, they can then get off of medications they and they want to.
Brendon Lundberg: I mean, that’s one of their goals. Many times it’s to reduce or eliminate the medication they’re on and as they do that, they start to feel better globally. They become an, you know, they become different people again. And it’s a really beautiful thing to be a part of that.
Reena Jadhav: All right, chapter six, the challenge of challenging the status quo. Um, wow. You’ve had a long journey, long journey of trying to challenge the status quo. So tell us a little bit about all these challenges that you face and what is the essence of this chapter?
Brendon Lundberg: Well, this essence, you know, this book is obviously telling our story, paint a picture of what we intend to do with our business to change the way that chronic pain is understood and how it’s treated, but, you know, disruption, building something that sounds too good to be true, building something that’s outside of the confines of what we’re used to institutionally and um, and then what’s been promoted, you know, financially is a hard thing to do and anytime you’re doing something that nobody else is doing or has done, either you’re an idiot. And frankly because there’s not a market, you’re, you’re just, you’re, you’re creating isn’t exist or you’re going as a Wayne Gretzky quote, you know, you’re skating to where the puck is going to be. And I think that that’s what we’re doing because we see 100 million Americans and the number’s growing in pain. We see way too many people’s lives disrupted because of opioids.
Brendon Lundberg: Everybody knows we need a better solution. But as I’ve talked about before, industry itself is not going to change that. So we’ve, we feel, I personally feel both a tremendous amount of opportunity, responsibility, and privilege to be able to advance something that is so amazing at helping people get their lives back. But that’s a hard process to do. You know, you have to raise money, you have to convince a lot of people that you really have something in Intel. It becomes kind of socially proven and, and understood. You seem like you’re a whack job out there trying to, trying to do something that sounds too good to be true or whatever. So it’s been a hard road. I mean, finding capital, um, you know, I don’t know how many of your listeners care about this kind of stuff, but it’s an important consideration I think is that um, you know, raising money is not like you see on shark tank.
Brendon Lundberg: It’s not easy to do. It’s so grueling hard process in many cases and investors want proof that it’s going to work. They don’t want to risk their hard earned money and you know, in something. And so, you know, finding the right capital mixes is an important and challenging aspect. What we do, and you know, having clinicians and medical professionals tell us that, you know, it’s it’s snake oil or it’s too good to be true or it’s placebo or whatever. I mean, you know, we’ve had a lot of uphill, but we keep fighting that uphill battle and we always will because of the outcomes that we see in our clients lives and seeing them get get, get back to that, and so I talk about it in the book and try to keep it very simple to understand, but because our clients go through a similar journey, they have to fight. You have to fight to reclaim their lives, and so we honor the fight. We don’t go away from it, we don’t shrink from it. We say, look, it’s part of this process of building something that’s new and better and safer is that we’re going to have an uphill battle doing it, and so we can complain about that or we can embrace it, and we really consciously tried to embrace that struggle in that process as much as possible.
Reena Jadhav: All right, chapter seven, the future of chronic pain management. Tell us a little bit about how do you see the future of chronic pain management unfolding?
Brendon Lundberg: Well, uh, I believe that we are going to be able to significantly change how pain is understood and how it’s treated and create kind of a social shift around this. Um, because 100 million people have chronic pain because you know, hundreds of thousands if not millions are disrupted because of opioids or other medications or other therapies that aren’t doing an effective job. This is really a relevant problem to all of us in society. Whether or not we suffer from chronic pain, there’s a good chance that somebody in our family in our circles is dealing with this right? So, you know, the ability to create a inroads mta to touch the lives of so many people is this is an important part of what we’re doing. And as I talked about before, not just masking the pain, but helping people create a different relationship to their pain at different level of understanding and a safer result through our therapy.
Brendon Lundberg: You know, getting their lives back. So what we’re modeling this, the way that I look at this in the future, and I don’t talk about this all the time, but I think it’s. It’s this, it’s exciting to me. It’s not just ease suffering, but know do that obviously on a significant scale, reduce people’s suffering that’s happening way too much, but simultaneously educate them and empower them with the tools and with the motivation and what the internal kind of like fire being religious in their own lives to say, if my pain can be reduced so much by changing my brain, what else am I capable of? And they become empowered. They become motivated to lose weight. They start addressing their sleep behaviors and patterns. They start wanting to eat better. They start moving better. If they start changing their mindset, they start to invest in themselves.
Brendon Lundberg: They start to reconnect back to the things and the people that make them feel fully alive and fully vibrant. And that’s what excites me the most and I hope the future of healthcare, the future of chronic pain management is this model. Not just masking the pain, hoping it goes away, but really getting somebody educated about it. We didn’t talk about the analogy that I make in the book, which is that that pain, chronic pain is really more like credit card debt. It’s not a one to one experience ratio. There’s an accumulation of events. So if I. If I give you a credit card with $3,000 limit and you start using that credit card to buy gas and groceries and school supplies for the kids, as long as you pay bank the minimum payment every month, everybody’s happy, right? The bank is getting paid and you have access to this, but.
Brendon Lundberg: And that’s kind of what happens in our nurses and we have all these different events that are taking place. The nervous system’s kind of keeping track of them, but if there’s an event that puts us over the tipping point. So in the credit card analogy, let’s say the car breaks down and you didn’t need to buy a new transmission for $1,700, but you only have $1,500 of available credit on your credit card. Metaphorically. This is a painful experience because you have this big bill. Now you have over limit fees and if you were relying upon that credit card to buy gas to get to work or to buy food for your kids or to keep your utility was paid because you don’t get your paycheck for another week and a half. Then the impact of what this is costing you is made even worse and so the.
Brendon Lundberg: The nervous system’s job is to keep us alive, so it’s taking or are basically a, a deep subconscious record of everything that are perceived as a threat to our ability to stay alive like a, like a charge to an account and for whatever reason we have different levels of threat that tolerance and threat accumulation rates. And so for some reason when somebody goes into a chronic pain phase, it’s like they’re at that credit card limit and even normal sensory experience like a touch or walking or sleeping. Things that shouldn’t cause pain, all of a sudden just start to be interpreted as a threat or as a pain experience. And so we think of it, oh, it’s because of this event that I’m in pain. Well, yes, that was maybe the tipping point, but if you didn’t have all this accumulation of aggregation of threat events on your system, if you were processing those out healthy genome in a better way, this event would have been a minor thing that you would have healed from it. And then back. So educating people and you know about this and then giving them the tools in which they can be empowered is, is so exciting, so fun to be a part of.
Reena Jadhav: Absolutely. You’re doing amazing things and I wish you nothing but the huge list of successes because that meant that would mean that we’ve put a lot of people walking around painfree out there. So Brendon, again, thank you so much for the rest of you. Keep in mind if you’re listening to this as a podcast, there is a video as well that you can check out on healthbootcamps.com. We are going to have show notes so you can check out on the show. Now the link to the site, you can click and buy the book, which of course is a lot more details and what we reviewed today and over the last few video interviews that we did for the book masterclass share, you know, I’m sure you know lots of people out there that have pain and wouldn’t it be great if you could help your loved ones deal with pain as well, not just yourself and Brendon again, thank you so much.
Brendon Lundberg: Yeah, thank you. It’s been an honor.
P. Brendon Lundberg
Radiant Pain Relief Centres
121 C Ave
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034 USA
t: (503) 379-0790
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