The American Chiropractic Association’s most recent large-scale study found there were 628,825 patient visits to alternative-care providers in 1997, compared with only 385,919 patient visits to all primary-care physicians. What this tells us is that alternative-care practitioners (of which chiropractors are thought to be the most popular) are methodically and consistently expanding their practices. One of the probable reasons for this trend is the ever-increasing use of nutritional supplements by the “Baby Boomer” generation and the growing number of older adults turning to nutrition as a possible solution for their health problems.
With the right strategies, chiropractors can get their share of the growing alternative-care market. The use of nutritional adjuncts within a multi-discipline practice could fill a growing need in basically every community in the country. People are asking for these services, and you can benefit from this increased demand.
Weight management programs, vitamin counseling and many other nutrition-related services are now available in more chiropractic offices, but there is plenty of potential for those opportunities to be leveraged even further. Alternative medical clinics are growing in profound numbers. Dr. Andrew Weil, national author and speaker, was recently awarded a $5 million dollar grant by the National Institutes of Health to research the use of alternative therapies in the treatment of pediatric illnesses. What are you doing to capitalize on the explosive growth of nutritional and other alternative therapies?
There are three aspects of care that can help your patients attain optimal physical health:
- Structural balance – this is achieved by the use of many exemplary chiropractic techniques.
- Biochemical homeostasis – this can be accomplished by use of various nutritional and herbal supplements, as well as homeopathic formulas.
- Weight management – it is thought that as much as 72% of the U.S. adult population suffers from some degree of obesity. This is an alarming statistic, particularly when you consider that obesity can exacerbate almost every pathological condition and chronic illness. Obesity also exacerbates all lower extremity and spinal musculoskeletal problems.
Chiropractic by itself is not a panacea and cannot restore biochemical homeostasis; nor can it correct obesity. Therefore, chiropractic represents one-third of what human beings need to maximize physiological and anatomical efficiency.
Transforming your practice into an exceptional holistic health center is not difficult with a well-laid plan and the desire to help a multitude of people. If you do not offer these services, chances are your competition will in the very near future.
What’s the answer? Transform your practice (regardless of size) into a broader-range holistic practice, in which practitioners other than yourself are delivering additional services, complementing chiropractic care. With proper planning, this is not difficult to create and manage. For every additional service you add to the practice, you increase gross revenue, profit and market penetration to a larger degree than increasing chiropractic revenue exclusively. In other words, it is more profitable to develop a full-service holistic practice than merely growing a chiropractic practice.
Furthermore, chances are good that you will immediately notice an increase in patient compliance and referrals to the office. The fundamental reason is simple: The more services (and/or products) you have to sell, the bigger and more lucrative your practice becomes; this is an indisputable business paradigm to which there is no exception.
An added benefit of transforming your practice into a broader holistic facility is that a disproportionately greater percentage of income derived from these services may be cash-based rather than third-party dependent. Therefore, not only does your income grow, cash flow may grow even faster.
A Chinese aphorism proclaims, “May you live in interesting times.” Well, we are. Success necessitates alteration and transformation of thought. Offering more services, especially nutritional services within a holistic environment, is one way to start.
If you want to grow your practice, the perfect opportunity awaits. All you need is the desire to succeed and some solid planning. Best of luck and good fortune!