For a business built on keeping the population healthy, nutritional guidance is an easy friend. With the majority of illnesses in the United States attributed to preventable diseases, nutrition is an important factor in the wellness plan of every individual. So knowing this information, why don’t more chiropractors incorporate nutrition into their practice?
In many ways, nutrition is the perfect complement to a chiropractor’s standard practice. By giving the body pure, nutritional supplements, we’re helping it heal itself naturally and maintain overall wellness. Even though Chiropractic education heavily focuses on nutrition, this doesn’t mean that you cannot extend that education after graduation day.
Sustaining Health Naturally
Chiropractic education centers on the commitment to health and wellness and the prevention of illness, not just its treatment in times of trouble. Advocating for nutrition not only helps your patients, but it opens up a conversation that may not have otherwise begun. Conversations and talking points can be a chiropractor’s best friend. Especially in efforts to connect and cultivate lasting relationships with patients. Good relationships create good reputations, and good reputations create great referrals.
Consumers are starting to become disillusioned with modern healthcare tactics. As preventative care remains sorely overlooked, the modern patient is turning to alternative and secondary care providers for a better way of maintaining their health. Natural methods are gaining greater popularity as patients buck the rising costs of prescription medications and surgery that come with a reactive healthcare system.
Patients are beginning to understand that they don’t need the next big pill; they need real guidance and a clearer road to sustainable health. And for the chiropractor, the ability to help patients sustain long-term health equals improved outcomes as well as better business. You may only be able to able to reach your patients physically while they are in the office but nutritional recommendations can remind them of your care. Reminded of your care and their overall wellness path, every time they reach for a nutritional supplement you provided them.
A more well-rounded practice creates a more well-rounded experience for the patient, and helps provide a higher semblance of quality and greater credibility. When patients feel they can trust their chiropractor and lean on them for maintenance of their health, they will be more likely to come back for care.
Nutrition can be a benefit to your practice and your patients. But be careful to avoid over prescribing supplements or over inflating health claims related to the nutritional guidance you impart to your patients. In the face of a profession that has long suffered a rocky perception paired with dispersal of nutritional supplements that are not as well-regulated as we would like, overinflated health claims not only impede your business, but they help bar the door to the profession.
The best way to overcome this issue is by conducting your own due diligence. Research – and even conduct onsite visits – of supplement manufacturers. And ask the right questions:
- What is the source of the raw materials you use in the manufacturing of your supplements?
- Are your raw materials gluten-free?
- Do your labels accurately reflect the contents of each bottle?
- What percentage of the nutrients come from your primary ingredients versus “other”?
- What is your track record when it comes to FDA inspections of your facilities?
- Which doctors speak on your behalf at trade shows and conferences?
- What kinds of training will I receive on each supplement?
- What types of patient educational materials do you provide?
- Do you have independent research studies showing the efficacy of your supplements?
- What is your process in developing new supplements to take to market?
The nutrition industry is plagued with bad actors. For example, retailers like Walmart, Target, and GNC were found to be selling supplements whose labels did not accurately reflect the ingredients inside the supplements. As a result, the patient relies on their healthcare provider to have conducted due diligence on their behalf.
Nutrition can be daunting, not just for the chiropractor trying to incorporate it into their practice, but for the patient who is faced with learning an entirely new way to live. Keep the tone light and avoid complicated terminology. Most importantly, offer your patients ideas on how to begin their journey to better health through small, sustainable changes. This can help keep your nutritional counseling palatable for both you and your patients.
A few messages that are easy to offer include encouraging them to eat more whole foods, pay attention to their hunger signals, stay away from foods that are heavily marketed, address the underlying cause of their health issues and not the resultant symptoms, and help the body heal itself naturally with the use of supplementation. All of these messages are already an integral part of chiropractic care.