If you’re nearing graduation, it may seem daunting to think about treating patients on your own.
This will be especially true if you’re building your own practice from the ground up, but it’s also true if you’re joining a practice with a group of other doctors. Either way, you’ll need to begin with good business habits that will help you build your patient base from day one.
To really build your business and get better clinical outcomes, it can make a big difference to incorporate nutrition into your practice right from the start. This will help you become a full-service provider who serves as a primary care physician to many of your patients. When you have a well- rounded regimen for your patients to follow, they’ll turn to you for relief from a wide variety of ailments.
The three Ts
D.D. Palmer, the father of chiropractic, taught that there are three Ts to consider when treating a patient—thoughts, trauma, and toxins. According to Palmer, the more holistically you address these three aspects of health, the greater success you’ll have in improving your patients’ wellbeing.
When you incorporate nutrition into your practice, you can address the toxin element of this equation, rather than just the trauma. This will help you to get better results, have happier patients (who’ll jump at the chance to make a referral), and increase the cash flow that you’ll need to further build your practice.
The effects of good nutrition are underestimated by doctors and patients alike. When you teach your patients how to eat the right diet and take the right supplements, you will be helping them combat pain, inflammation, and a multitude of other problems stemming from a nutrient-deficient diet. With this in mind, take a look at some of the tools you can use to implement these concepts in your practice.
Recommend good eating
First, a healthy diet will help to repair the body, reduce inflammation, and prevent further damage. Suggested dietary guidelines include the following:
- Limited use of grains and dairy
- Lots of organic dark leafy greens and brightly colored vegetables
- Limited quantities of organic fruits
- Organic poultry and eggs
- Wild-caught fish
- Sparing use of organic grass-fed red meat
- Unrefined, cold-pressed olive and coconut oil
- Whole-grain products
- Conventional (non-organic) fruits and vegetables
- Conventional (non-organic) poultry and eggs
- Farm-raised fish
- Refined olive and coconut oils
- Unrefined cane sugar, natural sweet- eners (honey, maple syrup, agave)
Foods to avoid:
- Refined grains (white bread, pastries, cookies, crackers)
- Refined vegetable oils (soybean, canola, sunflower)
- Refined sugar (found in soda, candy, ice cream)
- All fast food and junk food (anything heavily processed and refined)
- Large amounts of red meat (beef, pork)
- Alcoholic or caffeinated beverages
Steering your patients away from processed and unhealthy foods will enhance the results you get through adjustments and bring you more success as a healer. With the right nutritional protocols in place, you’ll find that your patients are more successful than ever before.
The three phases of care
Different nutrients are important during the different phases of care: acute, corrective, and long-term wellness. While a patient should be following the dietary recommendations above throughout each of the three phases, there are also supplements that you can prescribe for accelerated healing.
- Omega-3 fatty acids—curb joint stiffness and increase the effectiveness of other anti-inflammatory agents
- Vitamin D—reduces inflammation associated with age-related diseases
- MSM—breaks up pain-inducing calcium deposits and helps cells absorb nutrients
- Glucosamine—inhibits inflammation and stimulates cartilage cell growth
- Chondroitin—gives cartilage strength and resilience and slows degeneration
- Flaxseed oil—rich in omega-3 fatty acids, counters the inflammatory response
- Vitamin B12—plays a vital role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system
- Antioxidants—prevent some forms of cell damage by blocking free radicals
- Protein shake—rebuilds tissue and supports long-term wellness
- Multivitamin/mineral—fills nutritional gaps to provide well-rounded support
- Digestive enzymes—facilitate the absorption of nutrients from food
- Probiotics—promote gut health, which supports the entire body
The above guidelines can go a long way toward improving your patient outcomes and building your business. As you launch a well-rounded practice, your treatments will be more effective, you’ll develop a happier patient base, you’ll find it easier to get referrals, and you’ll increase your income. If you implement these habits from the beginning, you’ll thank yourself for years to come.
Todd G. Singleton, DC, is an author, speaker, and consultant in practice for more than 25 years. He has an all-cash nutrition practice in Utah specializing in weight loss, neuropathy, spinal decompression, knee pain, and other nutritional deficiencies. He teaches fellow chiropractors how to add these modalities to their practices. He can be contacted at 801-917-0900 or through nutritionforchirostudents.com.