Two wellness companies are planning to expand to Nashville with promises of reversing aging and providing other services described by some as biohacking.
Dave Asprey, the creator of Bulletproof Coffee, has agreed to franchise in Nashville his Santa Monica-based Upgrade Labs, which offers services described as biohacking, for which Asprey is touted as the father. Asprey defines biohacking as “the art and science of using technology and the environment around you in order to have full control of your biology.”
Biohacking practices can range from genetic modification to simple meditation practices, some medically proven and others not.
“It’s not fair that only billionaires, celebrities and professional athletes can use technologies to become superhuman,” Asprey said in a press release.
Orlando-based Serotonin Centers, which offers hormone therapy, aesthetics services, weight loss plans and personalized vitamins, among other services, partnered with two local physicians turned franchisees with the aim of opening three locations in quick succession near Nashville.
Upgrade Labs offers more common services like infrared light therapy and cryotherapy, but it also has The Cheat Machine (which promises to give a week’s worth of resistance training in 15 minutes), a magnet meant to activate cells and heal painful muscles and The Big Squeeze, marketed as a lymphatic drainage massage machine.
“The problem is that the government says you should exercise about eight hours a week,” Asprey said in an interview. “Well, no one believes the government anyway because they’ve proven their incompetence around health over the last couple of years. But on top of that, no one has time to do it and no one has energy to do it. The point behind Upgrade Labs is that ‘hey, what if you could get the same result in one hour, would you do it?’”
When asked if there’s any limit to the benefits of biohacking, Asprey said he and his organization haven’t found one yet.
“There are a documented set of abilities that a few humans have that we just don’t see very often, but we can learn to tap into those,” he said. “One of the things that we’ve all heard about is the stories of, say, a mother lifting a car to save her daughter. How’d she do that? This is a capability we all have; we just don’t know how to turn it on yet. I don’t know either but I’m going to find out.”
Upgrade Labs is seeking more franchise partners, with the goal of awarding 100 licenses by the end of 2022. In Nashville, the franchisee and medical director is Dr. Lee Howard, who also owns and is the medical director of Compass Cellular Healing and Belle Meade Medical Spa.
“Introducing the Nashville community to the leading brand that is challenging the way we see health and wellness is a unique and special opportunity for me,” Howard said.
Serotonin Centers will be led by franchisees Jody Junia and Olumuyiwa “Olu” Esuruoso, who are both hospital physicians.
In addition to weight loss and hormone therapy, Serotonin Centers offers typical wellness services including red light therapy and IVs, while entering into the aesthetics market by offering coolsculpting and Botox – all in the name of anti-aging.
“When you look at the way medicine has evolved over the years, at some point you’re wondering, what’s the next step?” said Esuruoso. “It’s becoming obvious that more and more people are interested in a wellness kind of thing. … Not just preventing illnesses or curing cancer or heart disease, but just making sure that they have a sense of wellbeing. To feel very comfortable with themselves, with how they look and how they’re equipped to fight illnesses.”