Anti-aging profiting from patient perception

Anti-aging is strong and getting stronger says economist and White House advisor, Paul Zane Pilzer, the author of the Wellness Revolution. Pilzer, an advocate of natural healthcare, cites anti-aging as part of the upwardly spiraling wellness industry, destined to grow from its current $200 billion per year to $1 trillion by 2010.

The driving force behind this trendy explosion is the buying power of the baby boomers, whose prime objectives are health, fitness and perpetual youth.

These wellness advocates have now reached mid-life or retirement and disclaim the inevitability of decrepitude. Topping the list of their expenditures are megavitamin regimens to stay young.

According to social observers, aging issues will reach their zenith by 2011 when the first of the boomers turn 65 and the country experiences an age wave of people over 50. What long-life advocates will not settle for are the slumping hormones, weight gain, memory lapses and dimming vision that have historically typified advancing years — not to mention heart disease (number one mortality rate at 29.6 percent) or cancer (number two at 23 percent).

Attracting patients — old and new

For chiropractic doctors, the life-extension movement means a ready-made market of over half the country’s population that are predisposed to the products and services you provide. Compared with the 60 million who have been to a chiropractor at least once, and the 20 million per year who are active patients now, the untapped market still leaves over a third of the nation’s potential consumers primed for alternative care, a figure that could double or triple by 2010. Anti-aging is not only real, it’s the closest thing we’ve seen to a paradigm shift from conventional to natural.

The key to tapping this market is preparation. Putting new life into your practice could be as easy as stocking targeted formulas that health-conscious patients are looking for.

Wellness and anti-aging are financial plums in a shifting economy. Unlike other desirable commodities, there is no real outlay of time required for nutritional consumables. Expenditures of time, writes Pilzer, are the biggest drawback for repeat sales.

By nature, anti-aging shoppers are repetitive. Once they find a product that works, or hear about product results from someone they know, they track it down and continue to purchase it. If your office has the know-how, you become the source.

According to Dr. Louis Sportelli, CEO of NCMIC, a diversified financial services company that — by the nature of its business — looks at futuristic trends, “Lifestyle intervention will be demanded by tomorrow’s boomer patients. Supplements are an integral part of lifestyle education and belong in the chiropractic practice of the future. Keeping abreast of the latest research is mandatory, other you risk losing credibility and patient confidence. Suppliers often have top speakers who lecture on the latest advancements in nutrition. A reputable supplier is essential to ensure quality products and sound clinical management advice.”

Aging is a process, and evidence is compelling that the process can be vastly improved by spinal care and targeted nutrition. The shift toward holistic has raised the bar of life expectancy to 74.5 years for men and 80.2 years for women. But the real goal is living healthier, not just longer. Nutrition has come a long way since Mark Twain’s wry commentary, “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like and do what you’d rather not.”

With therapeutic nutraceuticals, aging need no longer be a one-way ticket to decline. And the process of delaying it can have lasting rewards for you and for the patient. Best advice? Keep apprised of these age-old remedies and do away with the term “old” age. Like Woody Allen once said, “I prefer to achieve immortality by not dying.”

Linda Rhodes, DC, is managing editor of HealthSense, a nutritional publication from the American Council on Collaborative Medicine (ACCM) directed to health care professionals and patients. She is also director of professional communications for Progressive Laboratories in Irving, Texas. She can be contacted at 800-527-9512.