Diversity is the key to success for many businesses. Not random diversity, but intentional, integrated diversity. Many chiropractic practices across the country are filled with patients seeking relief from pain. Of course, helping patients with pain relief is one way to serve those in need. Pain reduction has long been offered by chiropractors through a biomechanic approach to musculoskeletal issues and it has been proven incredibly effective.
However, chiropractic is more than just pain relief. Many chiropractors embrace this notion and are venturing into other advanced ways of addressing nervous system dysfunction. As a DC, you may have added laser therapy, spinal decompression, or higher-level functional medicine approaches to expand your services and reach. Did you know there is even more you can do to round out service provision? Neuroscience has combined with technology within the world of chiropractic so comprehensive care can be extended to a DC’s current patients and attract a new body of different and varied patients to the office.
Where it began
D.D. Palmer once said, “There is a vast difference between treating effects and adjusting the cause.” The diversification that is necessary to propel chiropractic care, or more profoundly health care in general, into the future necessitates the identification and subsequent adjustment of the cause of a wide variety of brain-based neurological issues. As a chiropractor, you might not even know these challenges fall under your scope of practice, but they do.
Many underlying neurological issues that plague our society are perceived as cognitive or psychological problems, although the outward difficulties are merely the symptoms. ADHD, anxiety, and depression have been scientifically proven to be manifestations of improper neurological functioning in the brain. Thus, the diagnoses are the effects and not the cause. The cause is hypo- and hyper-electrical activity within the brain. Scientific studies show these irregular brain activity patterns can be identified using a quantitative electroencephalogram, or “qEEG brain mapping.” Once identified, the cause can be adjusted neurologically using neurofeedback therapy.
Hyperactivity, or too much fast processing speed of the brain, results in anxiety, stress, and physiological symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, and even tinnitus. Hypoactivity, or too much slow processing speed of the brain, results in ADHD, learning challenges, memory decline, speech and language issues, and motor problems. The irregular neurological activity can be considered a “subluxation” of the brain. These brain subluxations have been scientifically proven to be adjustable toward optimal activity for symptom reduction and alleviation.
The understanding that the above issues and more are a compromised central nervous system function can open your mind and practice to a wide variety of patients who need help. These new and varied patients can be served with state-of-the-art neurological chiropractic care.
What the science says
How do new, varied types of patients offer integrated diversification for the chiropractic office? Science proves irregular hyper- and hypo-active brain patterns occur in concert. What this means is that many people who have ADHD also suffer from anxiety. The brain compensates for too much slow brain activity by shifting into overdrive. Increased fast brain activity serves to offset the original slowness often leading to ADHD.
Inversely, those people who suffer from chronic anxiety often find themselves in a state of overwhelming low motivation or depression. This happens because the nervous system downshifts into slower speeds to compensate for the long-term sustained fast brain activity. Thus, patients at both ends of the brain activity spectrum are ideal candidates for care.
Often, patients have both fast and slow brain patterns and the symptoms that go with each create a great deal of suffering. This highly qualifies people for brain-based services before they step in the door. Their fast or slow brain activity patterns can be identified using qEEG brain mapping and then improved through neurofeedback therapy.
What about current patients?
When a person’s brain is stuck in a hypo- or hyper-aroused state, it can create a cascading effect throughout the body that makes pain, inflammation and metabolism worse and more difficult to treat. Thus, most of a DC’s current body of patients will have one or more of these underlying brain activity patterns. Adding brain-based services can improve outcomes for your current patients by assessing and improving brain performance. When their brain works better, their whole system works better, too. High-level integrated care can help all your patients feel and perform better faster and for a longer duration.
What does the science say?
These services are so effective that they are celebrated by neuroscientists at Harvard University. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association endorse neurofeedback therapy as a No. 1 top-level, best support for ADHD, anxiety, and depression respectively.1-4 This modality is considered an effective and scientific approach to remediating outward symptoms by treating the underlying neurological issue.5
The latest study of neurofeedback proved effects were strong for symptom reduction after a neurofeedback treatment program and were even stronger up to one year later. This is how neuroplasticity works. Once brain performance has been improved, if the person continues to use the new and more efficient brain activity pattern, this pattern will continue to hardwire itself in, improving performance and symptoms even more over time.
Adding qEEG brain mapping and neurofeedback therapy allows doctors to market to one or more niche areas they are not currently addressing. By establishing your chiropractic practice as the expert in this type of care, you can serve a greater number and variety of people. Patients with new and interesting challenges will come to you because these services are the only scientifically proven modalities to address the underlying issues that causing their problems.
The best part is that neurofeedback works, and it is measurable. Graphs of brain performance during each session make it so the doctor can track a patient’s progress and share it with them. Not only do patients feel and perform better, but the DC can show patients that relief is directly due to their brain-based chiropractic care. When your new niche patients get better with long-lasting effects, they will refer friends and family, and others will seek you out for top-notch care.
Like the stock market, investing in new state-of-the-art neuroscientific technology ensures a diversified portfolio of patients for long-term, integrated success in practice.
Trish Leigh, PhD, BCN, has been an educator for 20 years and operates a thriving neurofeedback practice, Leigh Brain and Spine, with her chiropractor husband. With a proven office system in place, she is dedicated to teaching professionals how to build an effective and profitable neurofeedback practice through her five-week online training course, Neurofeedback Experts. Program details can be found at drtrishleigh.com or by calling 919-401-9933.
1 Lenartowicz A, Loo SK. Use of EEG to diagnose ADHD. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2014;16(11):498.
2 Hammond DC. Neurofeedback for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety Journal of Adult Development, 2005;12(2):131-137.
3 Hinrikus H, A Sudhova, M Bachmann, K Asamsoo. Spectral features of EEG in depression. Biomedical Technology 2010;55(3):155-61.
4 Asher T. “Brain training: The future of psychiatric treatment?” Harvard University. http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2017/brain-training-future-psychiatric-treatment/. Published Feb. 2017. Accessed Nov. 2018.
5 American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.braintrainuk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/How-AAP-reached-conclusion-other-recent-evidence-July-2013-V3.pdf. Published July 2013. Accessed Nov. 2018.