NOTE: If you go on Amazon and type in “SHAPE ReClaimed drops,” a product comes up that is similar but not the drops sold by SHAPE ReClaimed practitioners. SHAPE ReClaimed products and plans are not available online for purchase. Rather, one must go through one of their practitioners, and rates for the products and their services vary.
SHAPE ReClaimed claims to provides a homeopathic alternative to the outlawed HCG diet. Its “Professional Homeopathic Formula” is the star.
The drops can only be purchased from a SHAPE ReClaimed practitioner; $60 for two fluid ounces, plus an extra $10 for the companion booklet.
For more information about SHAPE ReClaimed, located at 510 Baxter Rd. Suite 8, Chesterfield, MO 63017, call 855-296-8774 or email [email protected]
The SHAPE ReClaimed website states the company and its program were founded by Missouri chiropractor Todd Frisch and his wife Linda. The Facebook page adds the company was “born in November 2010.” There is no Better Business Bureau profile on them at all.
NOTE: Chiropractors do not hold medical degrees; though all states require that chiropractors obtain a degree from a Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) accredited college.
SHAPE ReClaimed Claims
The drops are combined with “healthy eating” by cutting out bad-for-you-carbs, and protein servings are adjusted by your SHAPE practitioner based on Urine Analysis monitoring.
Along with the drops, which are placed under the tongue, there is the actual diet, completed in phases beginning with a very low carb intake—excluding good carbs from vegetables. The list of foods one can eat includes a few fruits (berries and some citrus only), lots of veggies, a number of lean proteins, dairy limited to eggs and plain lowfat Greek yogurt, and condiments and seasonings that contain little to no sugar. (Say bye to your old friend ketchup). Permitted beverages consist of water, coffee or tea. For snacking? Seeds and similar foods.
If this sounds like the no-carb-diet-from-hell, you’re not alone. You’ll probably get used to it if you make it a week or two, but here’s where the drops come in: the SHAPE ReClaimed “Professional Homeopathic Formula” is intended to keep you out of starvation mode.
For the record, SHAPE ReClaimed denies it’s a 500-calorie-a-day diet like the original HCG plan, but it’s very, very close:
“…reducing carbohydrate intake and eliminating grain, sugar and most dairy during the initial detox and cleanse phase of our program. We require (urinalysis) monitoring while patients are following SHAPE’s Phase I: FasTrac in an effort to spot starvation markers.”
Co-founder Linda Frisch added in an email discussion with me:
“If you understood how to read a Diascreen 10 Urinalysis, you would clearly understand that we can spot metabolic issues when one is spilling into their urine. We adjust their program so their body/brain does not receive a message it is starving. One would need to understand brain metabolism to understand what we are doing with our program and all our practitioners are extensively trained. Tell me…how many years has the writer studied human physiology? I bet not 40 years like Dr. Todd Frisch.”
So you’ve made it through your first phase without “starvation markers.” Now it’s time to “Reclaim Your Health!”
The next step seems to be a little support and self-discovery. A Self-Empowerment Tool-Kit, selling for $100 on the site—and perhaps more through a practitioner—takes you to another separate site where you “write your story”—or explore, through a SHAPE ReClaimed list of negative feelings like:
- “I don’t have anybody who cares about me. Why should I care about myself?” or
- “I feel bad about myself. I can’t forgive myself, or others, there’s just too much.”
But here we enter a zone that includes much more than any diet or nutrition plan you have ever encountered. You can click on Positive Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or Bibliotherapy, which sound like professional mental health treatment therapies and protocol. With the tool-kit dieters use journals and other supportive materials to help transform from “Caterpillar” to “Chrysalis” to the “Butterfly” with the help of the “Chrysalis Cards;” flash cards with definitions for words and topics like love, peace, truth, etc. They’re designed to “provide a deep exploration of the word, including real life experience and application.”
And while you’re getting your mental and emotional health in order along the SHAPE ReClaimed journey, there are a couple of other products to buy and try.
SHAPE ReClaimed Skin ReClaimed Healing Lotion is “Made with 100% Amazing Organic Ingredients: Mountain spring water, coconuts, cinnamon, apples, thyme, geranium, sea salt, green tea, rosemary, aloe, matricaria chamomile, orange, vitamins A, C, & E.” Testimonials from three or four customers—identified by first name/last initial only—praise the product for healing otherwise unexplainable skin conditions. Their claim: “Apply to any external body part in need of ReClaiming optimal skin health.”
And then there’s pH Reclaimed, a small bottle of concentrated mineral drops that the site claims contributes to bone, joint and circulatory health, with very specific claims including: “…used as directed, you can experience dramatic results in bone, joint, and tooth strength; also help fight unwanted calcium deposits.” Allegedly these mineral drops decalcify and cleanse bodily functions and help with circulatory health by virtue of the magnesium and potassium packed inside. And it’s a boon for athletes, too: “endurance, improved hydration, increased stamina, reduced cramping, improved cardiovascular performance, and helps increase energy levels.”
Every health claim on the list—and there are many—features an asterisk which leads you to a disclaimer reiterating the lack of FDA evaluation and that nothing claimed is “intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” Okay, so perhaps it’s not snake oil, but it’s no miracle—they are simply minerals. Minerals which, aside from magnesium and phosphorus, aren’t even identified on the information page, and which do not seem to be available anywhere except perhaps on the back of the bottle itself (also unavailable on the web).
Then if you click on “Connections” on its website, SHAPE brings you to “Healthy Eating Made Simple: Homemade SHAPE Protocol” meal services. One is in Missouri, where SHAPE ReClaimed is based. Feed Your Vitality offers Missouri folks a chance to shell out $10 for each prepared and prepackaged meal, consisting of one protein and one vegetable.
SHAPE’s primary focus is being a force for positive change and working together with like-minded practitioners, from all disciplines of medicine, passionate to partner with us to create a healthier future! Collectively, we work in unison with our patients/clients, teaching new skills and choices to embrace a healthier lifestyle. FOOD IS MEDICINE. SHAPE shines a spotlight on negative eating habits that contribute to common health challenges.”
And this may or may not be relevant for potential clients: SHAPE ReClaimed is a self-described Christian business whose core principles are based on specific Biblical teachings and its “Tree of Life.”
Linda Frisch explains:
“It is “our” TREE OF LIFE…symbolizing the connection of all living things on earth and is a familiar design in science, religion and philosophy. The book of Genesis tells us that the “Tree of Life” has its origin in the Garden of Eden at the instance of life’s birth. … We honestly believe this amazing formula is a gift from God…to Todd…to share with humanity as a blessing for all his years of dedication and faithfulness in helping God’s family heal.”
- Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Placenta: 12x 30x 60x: These ingredients are processed from ovine (sheep).
- Nat Phos: 12x (Sodium Phosphate)
- Nat Mur: 6x (Sodium Chloride)
- Kali Phos: 6x (Potassium Phosphate)
- Mag Phos: 6x (Magnesium Phosphate)
- Calc Carb: 12x (Calcium Carbonate/Carbonate of Lime)
- Nux Vomica: 6x 12x 30x (Poison-Nut)*
- Graphites: 6x 12x 30x (Graphite)
- Lycopodium: 6x (Club Moss)
- Chelidonium Majus: 6x (Celandine)
- Carbo Veg: 4X (Wood Charcoal)
- Fucus Vesiculosis: 4X (Sea Kelp)
- Phytolacca: 6x 12x 30x (Poke-root)
- CoQ10: 12x (Ubiquinone)
- Chasteberry: 6x (Vitex)
- Glycoprotein Complex: (a combination of homeopathic sucrose and amino acids)
- Bach Flower Essences: Star of Bethlehem, Mustard, Oak (for assisting with the aftereffects of trauma, helping with source-unknown “deep gloom,” and for making a patient “sturdy,” respectively)
*Poison-nut, a moniker of the strychnine tree – and one assumes the amount in the SHAPE drops is minuscule indeed, as there have been no reports of anyone dying from strychnine poisoning while taking these drops on a regular basis. Still, WebMD urges caution in its use.
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind SHAPE ReClaimed
In the 1950s, endocrinologist Albert Simeons found that injecting overweight patients with human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)—the hormone released in pregnant women to redistribute fat in preparation for a healthy childbirth—saw them lose weight when they were also on a very low-calorie diet. Since then, the HCG diet has been praised and banned, debunked and lauded; HCG itself is currently illegal in the U.S.
What SHAPE ReClaimed claims to have done is create an HCG homeopathic “copy,” in the form of drops a customer takes while on a calorie-restricted diet—mimicking what happens when a woman often cannot hold food down due to morning sickness; hence the release of the HCG hormone (It’s a theory).
Admitting right on its site that HCG itself is illegal, SHAPE ReClaimed says they’ve found the alternative answer in their drops, what they claim was a “gift from God…to Todd”—safe, effective and hormone-free.
But one has to wonder just how hormone-free it is, when the first active ingredients mentioned are hypothalamus, pituitary and placenta from sheep.
The hypothalamus in humans is responsible for a great deal of hormone production; likewise the pituitary. The placenta—an organ that forms in the uterus during pregnancy—supplies nutrients and oxygen, removes waste products, and produces hormones. So while SHAPE ReClaimed drops may well be free of human hormones (the basis for the original HCG injections), they hardly seem to be hormone-free.
It should be noted that while many homeopathic HCG drops programs begin their marketing messages with Dr. Simeons’ original work, they forget to mention that Dr. Simeons never used HCG drops. He injected his patients with HCG directly, bypassing the digestive process which breaks down substances.
And one of the very premises of homeopathy is that the lower the dosage of a medication, the greater its effectiveness. Some homeopathic products are so diluted no actual molecules of the original substance remain; only a “memory.” Think watering down whiskey until it’s literally no longer whiskey; it’s water. So there’s no certainty with homeopathic products what you’re actually getting.
The National Library of Medicine, which lists millions of clinical studies from around the world, has no clinical studies in regard to homeopathic HCG drops; only for the original HCG diet with direct HCG injections.
Having said that, a 500-calorie (or close) per day diet, rigorously monitored by a doctor to adjust protein levels to avoid hunger pangs, is going to cause you to lose weight no matter what else you’re taking alongside it. But there are no outside, peer-reviewed studies to indicate whether the addition of homeopathic HCG drops, of whatever formula, actually aid in weight loss or simply add a placebo effect because you think it’s what’s doing the job.
Also, in November 2016 the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decided to finally step in where the FDA has not: they announced in an emphatic report on homeopathic advertising that these substances should be held to the same truth-in-advertising standards as other health-claiming products. And while they can’t stop the sale of homeopathic substances (only the FDA can do that), they can (and are going to) require labeling statements that:
- There is no scientific evidence backing homeopathic health claims
- Homeopathic claims are based only on theories from the 1700s that are not accepted by modern medical experts.
Word on the Street About SHAPE ReClaimed
Visit any SHAPE ReClaimed distributor website and you’ll find plenty of testimonials, like this page from Thriveology in Sarasota, Florida. Even the Frisches appear on Thriveology to praise the Sarasota practitioners in turn, where they write: “In today’s world of professional apathy, we are honored to know and work with these two exceptional doctors.” Just as a clarification, neither Thriveology practitioner is a medical doctor (MD).
I didn’t check every single practitioner on their extensive list, but in the first 25 they are overwhelmingly chiropractors, with a very occasional MD or DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) thrown in. Please note again that whatever their certification, chiropractors aren’t medical doctors. Interesting to note: there isn’t a SHAPE practitioner west of Arvada, Colorado.
The following two reviews were blasted by Linda Frisch in my email conversation with her. First, she claims Sandy Plass’ review should be disregarded because she “presented herself as qualified,” and they later found out she was not. And Linda says they “never worked with Sandy personally and had no knowledge of her health.” Yet Plass was a SHAPE practitioner.
Interestingly, Plass’ review is glowing, so I’m not sure why Linda wanted it out. That said, readers may judge for themselves.
Self-described esthetician, skin care therapist, and massage therapist, Sandy Plass says after learning all about HCG, and then hearing Todd Frisch speak, it was a “blessing.” She listened to Todd explain that his drops “pull out the yellow fat from the body thus reducing inflammation. Excessive inflammation…is responsible for most of the bodies (sic) aliments.” He spoke of his success getting patients “off their diabetic medication, lowering their blood pressure, eliminating joint pain, sleeping sounder with fewer trips to the restroom, and simply feeling and looking younger.” Sandy was sold, reached out, and was accepted as a distributor in 2012, receiving her practitioner manual and SHAPE ReClaimed drops.
According to Sandy, Linda Frisch suggested that even though Sandy was in no way overweight, standing 5’ 7”at 140 pounds, she was sure Sandy still had inflammation in her body and should use the drops, too. That “statement would change my life and the my clients.”
Sandy says she used the drops, severely restricted her calorie intake and went down to 125 pounds (The Centers for Disease Control say that 125 pounds at 5’7” does fall within the range of a healthy weight, albeit on the low end). She calls the drops a “gift with which God has blessed” her and it’s her job to pass them along to others.
- “Drop the Drops”—com
On Spark People, a health and wellness website, one reviewer from 2015, “DieticianBecky”—who identifies as a registered and licensed dietitian and has more than 28,000 posts—calls SHAPE ReClaimed “a weight loss scam.”
“There is no research evidence showing a weight loss benefit with a glycol-protein complex,” she says, alleging the “30 years of experience” the Frisches have is more like three decades of “taking people’s hard earned money… not 30 years of controlled research studies supporting weight loss.” The absence of any clinical trial studies published, let alone double-blind, peer-reviewed studies, doesn’t really naysay this allegation.”
For Becky:“Bottom Line: This is just another weight loss scam. Save your money. Avoid!”
Another reviewer from the same year, “ZoomeeZoomee,” claims there is little to no science or information online—“…every blog that mentions it mysteriously hasn’t been updated”—and that in and of itself is a problem.
In rebuttal, Linda Frisch said via email that the SparkPeople site is
“yet another group who has no knowledge of what our program is (yet) writes we are a ‘weight loss scam.’ They have never interview(ed) SHAPE ReClaimed and write crap they know nothing about.”
- The Middle Ground – com
Rule #1: Check how long the company has been in business! (3 yrs good minimum)
Rule #2: Check if they have good support group. (scams don’t bother)
Rule #3: Check their social accounts. (solid, detailed, active content are best)
Rule #4: Check where the product is sold.
“Scams rarely sell their products outside their own website. The reason being…it is…hard to control negative customer feedback if the product is sold on Amazon, well because customer will write bad reviews…”
Rule #5: Be critical! (there’s nothing wrong with being a skeptic and checking the science or the business for yourself)
The Bottom Line.
Is SHAPE ReClaimed worth a try?
Problematic.If you believe in homeopathic medicines despite the lack of any scientific evidence, this will sound perfect. If you’re looking for a journal-and-pep-talk-cards semi-spiritual experience with a diet plan tossed in, and don’t mind forking out $160+ up front and then $60 on a 9-month regular basis for drops that may or may not work, SHAPE ReClaimed may be right up your alley.
Or, quite frankly, you could opt for a book on basic Buddhism, join a meditation group, and have your MD supervise you through a ketonic meal plan plus exercise for a lot less money.