Anti-aging health care is the fastest-growing specialty throughout the world and is founded on the application of advanced scientific technologies for the early detection, prevention, treatment and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders and diseases.
It is a health care model promoting innovative science and research to prolong the healthy lifespan in humans.
Baby boomers across this nation are now seeking the health care expertise of anti-aging doctors to provide very early detection, as well as effective treatment, to help them live long and fulfilling lives. Anti-aging is advanced preventive health care. The therapies employed in anti-aging are quite compatible with the wellness philosophy of chiropractic. Anti-aging diagnostic and treatment protocols can be readily integrated into the chiropractic practice.
More than 80 percent of anti-aging medical diagnostics and therapeutics can be accomplished by a doctor of chiropractic. The chiropractic practice can offer the full complement 100 percent if they partner with an MD or DO.
In regard to diagnostics, a hallmark of anti-aging medicine is the assessment of biomarkers of aging. Various technologies are utilized to ascertain "biological age," the performance of the body's cells, tissues and organs. These may include one or all of the following:
- Laboratory testing: Blood, urine, saliva and hair testing to assess the biochemical disposition of an individual. Determines endogenous levels of hormones, vitamins, neurotransmitters, enzymes; influence of therapeutic interventions; toxicological and genetic factors revealing predisposition to disease.
- Anthropometric performance: Physiological measurements of changes in functional state of body organs or systems over time.
- Psychometric evaluation: A series of assessments for psychological traits and cognitive processes.
- Sociomedical state: A multifactorial assessment of the self-perceived determinants that comprise an individual's quality of life.
Biomarkers assessment aims to identify disease at its very earliest stage, when it may be most effectively and efficiently treated, as well as identify relevant preventive strategies. Today, the armament of anti-aging therapeutics includes the following:
- Dietary supplementation to improve or maintain peak physical performance and mental acuity as we age.
- Natural detoxification to cleanse toxins from the body.
- Chelation to remove heavy metals from the body.
- Aesthetic procedures to reverse the physical signs of aging.
- Immune modulation and restoration to counteract the aging, weakened immune system.
- Weight-management training to facilitate efficient weight loss.
- Fitness education to promote physical activity.
All of these therapies may be dispensed by the chiropractic practice (check with your state as to regulations governing scope of practice). By partnering with an MD or DO, the chiropractor may offer patients two other anti-aging interventions: bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which aims to arrest age-related declines in hormone levels, such that the natural peaks achieved in youth are maintained through life; and anti-aging pharmaceuticals, such as nootropics, for treatment of specific memory- or cognitive-related medical conditions, as necessary.
One of the best ways for doctors of chiropractic to qualify in the anti-aging arena is to become a Diplomate of Anti-Aging Medicine through the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners (ABAAHP). Founded in 1999, the ABAAHP program provides advanced education, representation and specialty recognition of health care practitioners, including DCs, who practice anti-aging health care.
Additionally, anti-aging DCs should attend the Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine and Regenerative BioMedical Technologies. Taking place in three sessions throughout the year, the congress is co-sponsored by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), among the world's fastest growing medical societies, growing from 12 doctors in 1993 to a current membership of 20,000-plus. At the upcoming winter 2007 session of the congress, the A4M will welcome more than 6,000 physicians from all medical specialties. Several hundred chiropractors will attend this conference and you are invited to be among them. Event information, including the program, speaker biographies and online registration, are accessible at: www.worldhealth.net/event. You also can subscribe to a free e-mail newsletter that will help you stay up to date on the latest anti-aging research and information.
Chiropractors whose practices include an anti-aging component are encouraged to list their practices at the online directory at the World Health Network, www.worldhealth.net, the Internet's leading anti-aging portal and educational Web site of the A4M. Through the online directory, the A4M channels more than 1,000 referrals to anti-aging doctors each month.
As an anti-aging DC, you set your practice apart from others as you practice advanced preventive health care. Anti-aging is compatible with the wellness philosophy of chiropractic, and the specialty's multi-disciplinary approach toward wellness can help your patients achieve both maximum quality and quantity of life.
Ronald Klatz, MD, is the president of the American Academy of Anti-Aging (www.worldhealth.net), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, detection and treatment of aging-related disease.