If your patients aren’t sleeping well, their waking hours are a struggle.
You’ve heard it a thousand times: the most important factor contributing to your health and wellness is the amount and quality of your sleep. Sleep well and you will live longer and presumably be “healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
And you have seen the long list of maladies that result from poor sleep habits including poor circulation, insomnia, sleep apnea, swollen legs, arthritis, breathing problems, snoring, fibromyalgia, leg cramps, asthma, musculoskeletal pain, restless leg syndrome, COPD, acid reflux disease, ad nauseam.
Experts routinely admonish the public to get more sleep and, once asleep, to get more quality rest and rapid eye movements (REMs). But there’s more: Don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t use drugs, lose weight, exercise more, eat healthy, get a firmer mattress, go to bed earlier, get up later—where does it all end?
The medical profession has created an industry around sleep disorders and specialty practices abound with spend- the-night tests and observation testing monitored by EKG hookups, face masks, cameras, and pulse oximeters to tell patients how poorly they are sleeping.
Medical doctors are quick to prescribe continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, mold an oral device that repositions the lower jaw at night, or even prescribe surgery to clear out air passages to manage sleep apnea. (The cure is often worse than the disease.)
Where is the doctor of chiropractic in all of this? Of all the healing arts professionals, isn’t the chiropractor the one who is best trained, best suited, and uniquely qualified to address issues of spinal support during the 33 percent of one’s life spent sleeping?
A proper platform
And what about the furniture your patients sleep on? For most people, that’s a mattress on a bed frame. A mattress provides more comfort than a hardwood floor or concrete slab. Is it a luxury item like a featherbed or a piece of therapeutic equipment? MDs prescribe, and insurance carriers pay for, durable medical equipment (DME)—yet people never think of a mattress in that context.
Change the way you think about mattresses, and look for the relation- ship between the therapeutic purposes of a mattress and sleep quality. Chiropractors should be leaders in the “sleep disorder” and “sleep wellness” arena, and reorient patients to understand that their mattress is the single most important factor in determining their level of sleep wellness. A properly aligned and maintained spine is important, but your work is defeated if the patient sleeps a third of each day on a worn- out mattress with improperly matched firmness.
A mattress is a critical piece of durable therapeutic equipment, as important as a wheelchair is to a paraplegic, or an oxygen tent to a patient with emphysema. Knowledgeable salespeople can help customers looking for mattresses, but few stores carry therapeutic mattresses specifically manufactured to chiropractic specifications. When it comes to knowing a particular person’s spinal support needs, you are uniquely qualified to prescribe a correct sleep surface and have exclusive access to therapeutic mattresses for your patients.
A mattress represents a financial investment of at least eight years and, with recent advances in mattress technology, the norm is now 10 years. The largest sizes of major brand-name mattresses, with all the bells and whistles—and slick marketing programs—can cost as much as a used car (some as high as $10,000).
If you have to take out a loan to buy a mattress, the interest rates will significantly add to the cost. And that in a nutshell is the main reason virtually everyone continues to sleep on worn- out mattresses long past their shelf life, despite advice to the contrary.
Make it easy
The good news is that recent game changers can put you in control of the process for your patients’ benefit. New technologies allow a variety of mattresses to be compressed and packaged in smaller boxes with lighter weights. This allows manufacturers to ship directly to a patient’s home and
Thereby avoid delivery costs and hassles associated with store-bought mattresses.
And new alternative financing plans can qualify a patient to acquire a therapeutic mattress with no credit check, no debt obligation, satisfaction guaranteed.
All these details, which entail specifying the right mattress for the patient, ordering it, and shipping it directly to the patient’s home, can be handled by your CA or receptionist. What’s more, patients can save 50 to 70 percent buying a mattress from you compared to one of identical quality sold at a retail store.
This is a win-win for patients and you. Besides ensuring patient satisfaction, offering therapeutic mattresses at your office can total upward of several thousand dollars a month. There’s no inventory cost, and the manufacturer is responsible for the satisfaction guaranteed.
Isn’t it time you became a sleep- wellness expert in your practice?
Tom Temple is president and CEO of Allassea Sleep Systems, a premium mattress manufacturer with a complete line of therapeutic memory foam, coil, and hybrid mattresses specially made to chiropractic firmness specifications. He has over 35 years’ experience in the furniture and bedding industry. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through themattresssecret.com.