“I am not in the business of ‘fixing’ anything. I am in the business of helping to build confidence and enhance beauty that is already there.”
That’s how certified nurse practitioner Ashley Willeford describes her role as owner and clinician of Elevate Wellness & Aesthetics. Located in Norman, the clinic opened its doors in 2018 and offers non-invasive health and beauty procedures that treat a full spectrum of skin problems and other medical and cosmetic issues.
The most popular services at Elevate utilize the Aerolase Lightpod Neo Elite. It’s an FDA-approved, safe and painless laser that’s used to treat numerous conditions and is effective on all skin types. This single device, Willeford said, can be used as a treatment for acne, angiomas, decubitus ulcers, melasma, pigmented lesions, psoriasis, PFB (“razor bumps”), rosacea, scarring and spider veins. It’s also effective for removal of unwanted hair, tattoos and warts.
In addition, Elevate offers treatments that restore hormonal balance and eliminate its many unpleasant side effects. IV/IM therapy addresses chronic dehydration. The Verju laser, meanwhile, is another device that effectively reduces fat and cellulite without the need for anesthesia or recovery time. Injectable Botox cosmetics and Juvederm fillers also are offered.
Among the most life-changing treatments offered is MiraDry, an FDA-cleared treatment that dramatically reduces underarm sweat and odor. Even with good hygiene, some people experience underarm sweating and body odor that they cannot control. One of Willeford’s most satisfying cases personally was a client who had struggled unsuccessfully with this problem her entire life. It was so severe that the patient had been bullied her entire life and even fired from a job as an adult. After MiraDry treatment, the woman’s problem was resolved and her self-esteem transformed.
“Being able to help with something that seems so small, but is really huge in improving someone’s life, is so rewarding,” Willeford said.
Willeford got her start in the health care field as a labor and delivery nurse. After obtaining her master’s degree and nurse practitioner credentials in 2010, she joined a large OB/Gyn practice, where she began working with women on a more personalized and long-term basis. Those relationships, plus the growth of her own family, gave her the desire to do something uplifting for women who often put their own needs on the back burner in order to prioritize their family and career.
“When Elevate became a dream of mine, I wanted to find a way for women who give so much of themselves daily to be able to enjoy a few self-care activities, even if it was just for 30 minutes a week,” Willeford said. I came across the quote ‘Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you,’ and it really struck a chord with me. At Elevate we truly want women and men to be able to feel and look their absolute best as they face whatever the world brings their way.”
About 80% of Elevate’s clients are women between ages 25 to 55; the remaining 20% are men, typically ranging from 30 to 45.
While procedures performed at the clinic are not covered by regular health insurance, the practice does accept CareCredit, which is a zero-interest health care credit card that allows purchases to be paid off over a 12-month period. Memberships for a variety of ongoing treatments are offered and start at $99 per month.
There are several clinics in the area that provide similar services, but Willeford says she sees them as colleagues, rather than competitors.
“I believe in community over competition, and many of those businesses have women that I am blessed to call friends, have learned from and look up to,” she said. “Each of us are different in the ways we treat and diagnose concerns or ailments, and you have to find what works for you. I will say, though, after you walk through the doors at Elevate, I will most likely call you a friend. I have a personal relationship with most of our clients, and am so blessed to be able to share in life events with them on a more personal level.”
When critics assume Elevate’s services are nothing but “vanity” treatments, Willeford is quick to respond.
“Anyone who has sat with me through a consultation will know that I am not one to push services or point out all of the numerous things we could possibly do for vanity reasons,” she said. “I honestly believe every single person I see is beautiful. I also know that we are our own worst critics. I do not feel there is anything vain about a little boost in self-confidence.”
Elevate Wellness and Aesthetics
2322 N. Interstate Drive, Norman