A nutritionist in a chiropractic practice can help patients understand how nutrition can make a difference in the way they feel
Provide diet plans with functional medicine membership
Using a focused, specialized consultation, technology and in-office testing, a customized diet plan can become the cornerstone of functional membership in your practice.
Functional medicine membership programs have become the new buzz topic in chiropractic and traditional medicine. Memberships are cash-based and focus on value, not the number of patient visits. Patients are often tired of not having a personal relationship with their doctor. But with membership, they become part of your tribe.
A focused specialized consultation uncovering short- and long-term health goals is the cornerstone of a functional membership practice. This communication skill takes time to develop. Discovering the underlying reason the patient wants to live longer, look better and feel better is not an easy task.
Technological advances also allow patients to complete detailed questionnaires to assess all three levels of complexity of a customized diet. You can provide them recipes, grocery lists, fitness videos, appointment reminders and educational videos to keep them connected to your practice.
Low-cost in-office technology can be used to objectively quantify the questionnaire results. Body composition analysis is a great example of objective data that can demonstrate results and keep patients motivated about their health journey. The practice of the future will only provide symptom-based care initially. Value-based education from you will expand your patients’ worldview.
Bill Hemmer, DC, has been in private practice for more than 30 years, and he has expanded his practice to include customized health recovery plans within his functional membership to meet the needs of a changing health care environment. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diet can’t cover everything, and a nutritionist makes sense
For the record, I am not a chiropractor; I am a functional nutritionist. But after studying the chiropractic philosophy, I realized that we speak the same language. The body is innately intelligent and designed to be not only self-healing and self-regulating, but also a vehicle to harbor all of life’s unlimited potential.
Everywhere you turn today there are different opinions about what constitutes a healthy diet. The diet of your patient directly impacts your effectiveness as a health-care practitioner, whether you are a chiropractor or a functional nutritionist. Does healthy tissue receive a chiropractic adjustment better than damaged or diseased tissue? R.W. Stevenson believed it did, as noted in his “Chiropractic Textbook.”
While the need for nutrition in your chiropractic practice can be explored from both a historical and philosophical perspective, it is also important to focus on the benefits it brings to a practice.
As your patients continue to be adjusted and receive nutritional education about the benefits of whole foods and whole food nutritional supplements, they will begin to understand how both of these things together make a difference in the way they feel.
If it fits your practice better, there are also companies you can collaborate with virtually. These companies are a resource for training you and your staff, and providing a support system.
The bottom line is that a nutritionist’s ability to educate, empower and feed people — especially chiropractic patients through nutrition — supports and enhances what you do as a chiropractor.
Jennifer Franco, CN, ACN, has an educational background in kinesiology, is certified in clinical nutrition, and is an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) certified personal trainer. She can be reached at societyofwellness.com.
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