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Dynamic Chiropractic – August 26, 2009, Vol. 27, Issue 18

Doctor, Wellness Thyself

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

A young lady who attends our church had a passion to become a health coach. She took courses for several years to get certified, learning all she could about health and nutrition. She tried to talk to many people about their health habits. But very few people ever came to her for advice and her dream of being a successful health coach never materialized.

What happened? Like your community, most church communities (ours included) are close-knit groups of people who have known each other personally for many years. While this young lady's passion was genuine, her lifestyle was not. Her eating habits were terrible (as witnessed every Thursday morning at the church's women's breakfast), she didn't exercise and she was overweight. People who knew her could easily see she didn't practice what she preached.

Another young lady who attends our church is also involved in health and fitness. She has worked hard to become a top personal trainer for a health club chain and is very knowledgeable about nutrition. She has been asked to present workshops for the women's group at our church and writes articles for To Your Health, our monthly consumer/patient magazine. Numerous people from our church, both congregation and staff, utilize her as their personal trainer.

The difference? She is conscientious about what she eats, works out four to five times a week, is noticeably buff and her body fat is under 15 percent. She is what she preaches and women in our church know this firsthand.

Every person on the planet should be a chiropractic patient. That includes you. So, are you a chiropractic patient? Notice I didn't ask if you are adjusted at least monthly; that goes without saying. What I mean by the question is: Are you actually seeing another doctor of chiropractic who has taken responsibility for providing you with chiropractic care for you and your family?

It has to be someone who will tell you what you need to hear, even if you don't want to hear it. Someone who will take the time to examine your health from all aspects. Clearly, if you are a wellness provider, there are well-demonstrated recommendations you should be making for yourself, your family and your patients:

  • Get adjusted as needed and regularly, at least once a month.
  • Take some form of nutritional supplements, depending on your circumstances.
  • Exercise vigorously for no less than 30 minutes a day at least three times a week.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and high in protein. (The Mediterranean diet has been shown to be very effective at maintaining health.)
  • Don't smoke.
  • Stay away from drugs.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  • Get plenty of restful sleep each night.
  • Keep your body fat and blood pressure at acceptable levels for your age.

This is not rocket science, but a surprising number of people just don't take the time required to do what they need to do to be healthy. And whether you realize it or not, people notice when you are (and aren't) looking healthy. It greatly contributes to their first impression when they see you.

If you are going to be the wellness coach in people's lives, your life has to be about wellness. Yes, it can be challenging, especially in these busy times. But your credibility requires you to live by example.

To learn more about the successful fitness trainer who attends our church, visit Chelsea Cooper's Web site ( and read her To Your Health articles online at

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

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