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Dynamic Chiropractic – December 2, 2009, Vol. 27, Issue 25
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Dynamic Chiropractic

Who Has the Answers? Chiropractic Does

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher

As the health care debate rages, the spotlight is beginning to shine on some of the real culprits behind our soaring health care costs: poor lifestyle habits. An alarmingly large percentage of this country's health care expenditures is directly attributable to the way we Americans live.

Our eating habits are largely out of control, tobacco use is actually increasing, and exercise is something too many adults haven't taken seriously since they were in high school. Add in high levels of stress, lack of sleep, and alcohol and drug use, and you have the obscene health care costs we face today.

Even our politicians (who are at times the last ones to recognize the obvious) are responding to the carnage these culprits are creating. Consider that Congress is considering taxing sodas and other high-calorie drinks. They see this as not only a way to compensate for the negative impact these beverages have on our health care costs, but also as a financial motivation to decrease their purchase/consumption. Consider these alarming facts regarding our nation's poor health habits:

All of the above are patient conversations waiting to happen with mom, dad and the whole family. Assuming your patients are fairly average in terms of their health habits (and thus likely to participate in one or more of the above unhealthy habits), you should be talking to almost every one of them about how those poor habits are impacting their health and quality of life. This is a perfect starting point for explaining wellness and how regular chiropractic care fits into a healthy lifestyle that will reap benefits for as long as they live.

Your patients are looking for answers. They are surfing the Web, talking to friends, and even asking the teenager that stocks the vitamin shelves at their favorite store. Shouldn't you be their source for all things health-related? Hopefully you are a living example of a healthy lifestyle. If not, it may be time to look in the mirror and makes some changes.

Health is a major focus in our world and it isn't likely to change anytime soon. People want to know how your care can impact all aspects of their health. They need to know about diet, nutrition, exercise, etc. Serving this need is a way to increase patient retention and referrals.

Take a look at the articles in the To Your Health magazine we poly-bag with DC every month for your reception area. These articles are not only educating your patients about leading wellness lifestyles, but also encouraging them to "ask their doctor of chiropractic" about these topics so they can get comprehensive answers from you. This is your open door to conversations that will make a difference in their lives.

If I sound like a person obsessed with the issue of leading a wellness lifestyle, it's because I truly believe it's the only way to live. My father and grandfather were both doctors of chiropractic - but they didn't live what they knew about wellness. They both died much earlier than they should have. I made a conscious choice when I was much younger to live what my father taught. I only wish he had done the same.

Quality of life is based upon health and wellness. Chiropractic is essential for health and wellness. Like my father and grandfather, you have the answers to health and wellness questions. Share them with your patients every opportunity you get.

References

  1. Krisberg K. "U.S. Obesity Trends Are Growing Worse, Adding to Health Costs: New Data Document Obesity Disparities." The Nation's Health, Oct. 14, 2009. www.medscape.com/viewarticle/709525
  2. Krisberg K. "Tobacco Law a Long-Awaited Victory for Public Health: Move Expected to Save Lives, Health Costs." The Nation's Health, Oct. 20, 2009. www.medscape.com/viewarticle/710012
  3. Lowry F. "The Obesity Epidemic in the US Is Due Solely to Increased Food Intake." Heartwire, May 15, 2009. www.medscape.com/viewarticle/702928

Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.

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