When it comes to holistic medicine, chiropractors are king. They are trained to think “outside the box” in all areas and this allows them to include more aspects of health in their gamut of services. My brother-in-law is a chiropractor and he specializes in some of the new techniques, such as NET and CRA, as well as offering a wide variety of nutritional supplements and techniques that address “the whole person.” If you are a chiropractic practitioner who wants to offer a holistic health approach to your patients, here are a few things you can do:
1) Offer nutritional supplements
By offering patients nutrition on the side, you can address patients’ nutritional needs as well as their chiropractic ones. This is a step toward offering a more holistic health approach.
2) Offer massage therapy in addition to spinal manipulations
This type of therapy allows you to help patients with muscle issues as well as other problems not directly addressed through standard chiropractic adjustments. Dr. Steven Cooper of Conway, Arkansas figured out a way to have massage therapy within his business. He hired a licensed massage therapist on the other side of his building to give them a muscle workout after they get their adjustment from him. Some patients elect to only do chiropractic, and others only massage, but this gives them a choice. If they want the thorough treatment, they can do both. This is just one way he includes a holistic approach in his own practice as a chiropractor.
3) Do intermittent consultations
Most chiropractors do this at the beginning of treatment, but not much after that. One alternative is to offer this on a regular or semi-regular basis, using updated x-rays or other data to inform the patient of how they are doing. This lets them know you are approaching their issues from a holistic standpoint, and not just treating one area.
4) Listen to patients
This is important in any business, but particularly in a chiropractic or medical setting. Listening is one of the most basic needs people have, to believe that what they say is important. And it is a common courtesy that you should pay to customers and patients. Also, by listening, you can treat their issues in a more holistic way by knowing the whole picture and the background of their situation. Treating each patient differently, and according to their needs is the essence of holistic health.
5) Gather data continually
Along with listening, doctors of any kind should correlate all the data, x-rays, background information, and family history they can, in order to meet all the needs of their clients. By having the whole picture, you can work toward a more holistic approach with each patient, and make them feel their needs are important to you.
To be a holistic health practitioner as a chiropractor, it is important to combine the more essential elements of holistic health, such as data, family history, and current status, with the less obvious factors, such as the need for nutrition, exercise, and muscle therapy. Keep in mind most importantly that not every patient should be treated the same. Strive to find the best combination of these factors to best suit the patients’ needs. This is the essence of holistic therapy, a “big picture” approach to their care. Chiropractic is just one of the areas today that is moving toward this approach. If you are a chiropractor, you owe it to your patients to look into this delivery model.