By Dr. Paul Varnas | November 8, 2010
There is an old joke about research that likens it to a man looking on the street for his watch. A policeman comes up and asks the man if that is where he lost it. The man replies, “No, but the light is better here.” What we learn from research is dependent on where we look. Those who are opposed to natural therapies, often feel that they are not “scientific”, or well researched. Often this is due to the fact that we are not looking in the right places. Unfortunately, there is a prejudice toward drug therapy, and against natural health care in the medical literature. A study was conducted at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (April9, 2008). It found that advertising by the pharmaceutical industry creates a bias against non-drug therapies in the journal. Researchers reviewed articles from 11 major medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA and the British Medical Journal, in one year’s worth of issues. The amount of pharmaceutical advertising in each journal was tallied and compared the coverage given to dietary supplements and natural health care. Journals with the most amount of drug company advertising were least likely to feature articles about dietary supplements. When article were printed in journals with lots of drug company advertising, they tended to view nutritional supplements in a negative light.
Influencing the information printed in medical journals has been beneficial to the drug industry. Retail prescription drug spending increased every year between 1995 and 2000. There was a 20% increase between 1999 and 2000, taking the total to $132 billion, according to the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. In 2005 sales reached $251.8 billion. According to the New England Journal of Medicine (February 14, 2002;346:498-505,524-531), in 2002, 80% of all Americans take at least one drug in any given week; with about half of the population taking a prescription medication. Also, about 7% of Americans take five or more prescription drugs in any given week. Advertising to the public may account for part of this spending. Spending on drug advertisements nearly between 1996 and 2000 nearly tripled, going from $791 million annually to $2.5 billion annually.
We often view health care as an altruistic, scientific undertaking. For many of us it is. To many, it is a business; and profits matter. It is why our approach to heart disease focuses on cholesterol medication (even though the benefits are marginal), and ignores natural substances like CoQ10, enzymes, gamma tocopherol, carnitine and resveratrol. Statins are patentable and are a big business, the natural substances are not. Over 100,000 people die each year because of prescription medication that is properly given and taken. Perhaps some of these deaths are due to our confusing marketing with science.
By Dr. Paul Varnas | August 2, 2010
We hear a lot about depression and antidepressants. Antidepressants are among the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States, accounting for approximately 14% of the total US outpatient pharmacy costs in 2000, according to the National Institute for Health Care Management. More than 164 million prescriptions were written in 2008 for antidepressants, totaling $9.6 billion in U.S. sales, according to IMS Health. In the decade between 1996 and 2005 the use of antidepressants doubled, going from 13 million patients using the medication to 27 million patients.
Without making comment on the value of the drug therapy, it may be a good idea to come up with some natural strategies that can improve your mood.
1. Smile and look up: Try this little exercise. Look up, pointing your eyes upward and your head slightly elevated. While looking up, put a big grin on your face. While you are doing that, try to feel depressed–you can’t. Everyone knows that when you are tired or depressed it shows in your posture and in your facial expression. It is also true that your posture and your facial expression can help to determine your mood. One of the really innovative treatments for depression is Botox. The doctor injects it into the facial muscles–particularly the ones involved with frowning or stress. The muscles become paralyzed and the patient’s mood improves. By learning to control your posture and your facial expression, you can improve your mood. Several times each day, stand straight, with your shoulders back, look up and SMILE.
2. Breathe: Just as posture and facial expression can affect your mood, so can shallow breathing. If you do not breathe deeply enough, your tissues do not become well oxygenated. Try the following breathing exercise and see how much it improves your mood and energizes you. Inhale slowly through your nose and count to yourself. When your lungs are full, hold your breath and count, reaching a number that is twice as high as the first count (if you count to 10 breathing in, hold your breath for a count of 20). Exhale very slowly, and count to a number that is four times the number reached during the original inhale (if you count to 10 while inhaling, then count to 40 while exhaling). Repeat this 10 times and see how much better you feel.
3. Move: There have been several scientific studies that show exercise outperforming antidepressants for patients suffering with mild to moderate depression. Much of this research is posted on www.wholehealthweb.com. You don’t have to do heavy workouts; just be active. Go for a walk, shoot some baskets, or ride a bicycle.
4. Change your “oil”: The kind of oils and fats in your diet have a huge effect on your nervous system. There are many studies that show that taking omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA help with a variety of conditions including depression, anxiety and ADHD. Find a practitioner at www.wholehealthweb.com and ask him or her what kind of essential fatty acids you should be taking. Similarly, there are oils and fats that you should strictly avoid. You don’t necessarily want to go on a low-fat diet, but you do want to avoid hydrogenated (and partially hydrogenated) oils and trans fats.
5. Smell a pleasant aroma: The olfactory nerve (the nerve that enables you to have a sense of smell) is literally an extension of your brain. There are studies that show that certain aromas can affect blood circulation, the nervous system and the endocrine system. Some practitioners use scented oils therapeutically–and there is research to back this up. One study showed that patients who smelled lavender before having dental work, experienced less anxiety than patients who were not given the opportunity to smell the essential oil. You can purchase lavender oil and place a tiny drop under your nose.
6. Watch what you say to yourself: We all have an internal dialog. What kinds of things do you say to yourself? Do you focus on positive things, or on negative things? Slowly wean yourself away from negative thoughts. The questions we ask ourselves are very powerful and you should be careful how you phrase them. If something is not right in your life, your internal dialog can help you find solutions rather than just feel bad about the problem. If you are out of work, for instance, you may be tempted to say to yourself, “Why can’t I find a job?” Your mind is very powerful and will find answers for you. You will get answers like: “You are too old”, “Your skills are out of date” and so on. If you phrase the question differently, your mind can actually go to work on solutions. Ask this question instead, “How can I earn enough money to support myself and my family.” Your mind will go to work on the solution–and you will feel better than you did when you were asking the negative question. You could even challenge your mind a little and ask the question, “How can I get rich?” Do a little mental house cleaning. Change your internal dialog, ask better questions and see how MUCH BETTER you feel.
7. Create an anchor: An anchor is like a stimulus response. When Pavlov’s dog heard the dinner bell and expected food, the bell was an anchor. If you hear a song that makes you remember an emotional time in your life, that song is an anchor. You can create anchors in a systematic way, to create states, emotions and feelings that you want to feel when you choose to feel them. For example, if you want to create confidence at a moment’s notice, create an anchor. Remember a specific time when you felt confidence and/or can you fully associate to the confidence. Breathe the way you breathe when you are totally confident. Say what you say to yourself when you are totally confident. Double those feelings. Triple those feelings. Use your senses of sight, sound and feeling to recreate that confidence. When you are totally, completely in a state of confidence, make a fist with your right hand, squeezing it tight. Later, when you want to feel confident, squeeze your fist in exactly the same way you did during the exercise. We have an anchoring exercise at www.wholehealthweb.com. You can listen to the recording and create positive anchors for yourself. The exercise is on the front page with the MP3 files. It is entitled “How to Change Your State of Mind”. Here is the link: http://www.wholehealthus.com/how_to_change.html
Try these techniques and let me know what you think.
By Dr. Paul Varnas | April 12, 2010
Health care costs in the United States exceed $2 trillion per year, which represents more than 15% of our GDP. Most industrialized nations only spend about 10% of their GDP on health care. The US ranks 15th out of 19 nations with regard to preventable deaths. It is estimated that 115 per 100,000 people die who would have survived if timely and appropriate medical care was administered. France scored highest in this category, with only 75 deaths per 100,000. The US ranks last in infant mortality, with 7 deaths per 1,000 births. The top three countries have 2.7 deaths per 1,000 births—less than half our number. We are at the bottom of the list in life expectancy. American children miss more school for illness than the children from the other industrialized nations. Fewer than half of American adults receive the recommended screening tests appropriate for their age and sex. Preventable hospital admissions for chronically ill patients (e.g.; those with asthma or diabetes) were twice as high compared to the nations at the top of the list. The rate of readmission of Medicare patients ranges from 14-22%.
We spend more on health care and we get much less than other industrialized nations. More utilization of natural health care would reduce this bill. For example, there are a number of studies that demonstrate that asthmatics will have fewer attacks and fewer hospitalizations if they eat a diet that is high in fresh produce and essential fatty acids. Studies have also shown that supplementation with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium have all benefited patients with asthma. Such recommendations are not given in medical offices. The reasons given ignoring natural health care include, the studies are too small and inconclusive, a cure has not been proven, and “vitamins don’t cure disease”.
Treatments for diseases are usually singular: we give Ritalin to children with ADD and ADHD–not essential fatty acids, exercise, or a diet that is free of sugar and additives. We don’t even augment the drug therapy with natural approaches that are researched and show promise. Large follow-up studies are usually not performed to “prove” the efficacy of the natural treatments. Even though natural health care treatments are low-risk and high-gain; doctors tend to want them to be proven by large studies.
The drug companies buy ads in the medical research journals, they also endow medical schools with money and they sponsor post-graduate education for doctors. They don’t necessarily have to suppress any research (although that has been done in the past). What they have been able to do is create this single treatment paradigm–it is an approach favors drug therapies. Doctors don’t give vitamin C and fish oil to asthmatics–even if it would improve the health of these patients. It is not a “cure”, but it does improve symptoms and reduce hospitalizations. They have been taught not to do this–their entire education, from medical school to the grave, is influenced by the drug companies. CoQ10 can help prevent heart attacks, there are supplements that can speed recovery from surgery and shorten hospital stays, and there are many other natural health approaches that can cut our medical costs. Unfortunately they are largely ignored by the medical community. Supplementation does not fit their paradigm.
For more natural health information, go to: http://www.wholehealthweb.com
By Dr. Paul Varnas | March 25, 2010
For some reason doctors and patients seem to think that pain medications treat pain and inflammation. The fact is that they relieve pain. This seems like a subtle difference, but by a slight shift in attitude we can cut our health care costs.
An advertisement for a popular pain medication touts that taking it before intense physical activity to reduce the amount of pain caused by the activity. There are some problems with this thinking. Pain medications actually increase oxidative stress, so while they offer temporary relief, they actually promote an environment that favors pain and inflammation. NSAIDs can actually cause cartilage to break down, increasing the potential for injury. So many people take medication for arthritis pain, but they are trading short-term relief for long-term degeneration. One of the popular pain medications (classified as a Cox-2 inhibitor) actually doubles the chance of getting a heart attack.
Also, pain medications can lead to a host of other health problems. According to the July 27, 1998 issue of the American Journal of Medicine: “Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nosteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone. The figures for all NSAID users would be overwhelming, yet the scope of this problem is generally under appreciated”
The New England Journal of Medicine (December 20, 2001;345:1801-1808) published research that linked pain medication to kidney failure (in patients with existing kidney disease). An article published in the New York Times (January 29, 2002) covers concern of NBA players over the regular use of these medications. This is in the wake of Alanzo Mourning of the Miami Heat developing a kidney disorder and Sean Elliot needing a kidney transplant. Basketball players commonly take large amounts of NSAIDs before a game.
Taking pain medication can have an adverse effect on the cardiovascular system. According to the Archives of Internal Medicine (February 11, 2002;162:265-270),
patients who had filled at least one NSAID prescription were nearly 10 times more likely than those who didn’t use the drugs to have a relapse of CHF. According to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (October 28, 2002;162:2204-2208), frequent use of pain-relief medications may result in an increased-risk of high blood pressure in women.
The cavalier attitude our medical system has in treating one of the most common conditions, pain, can lead to further health complications and cost. How much more are we spending on health care because we don’t choose natural methods for pain control first?
more health information at: http://www.wholehealthweb.com
By Dr. Paul Varnas | December 22, 2009
There is a growing number of people who (rightly or wrongly) believe that vaccines may be responsible for the explosion in the number of autism cases. They argue that we did not have autism before we started vaccinating and that the number of cases of autism have increased as the number of vaccines have increased.
Parents are concerned, but the medical establishment considers questioning the wisdom of vaccines to be crazy. We have been told that studies have been done; vaccines are safe. The research denouncing the idea that mercury in vaccines could be causing a problem says things like, “Gee, we gave the kids vaccines and tested the blood, stool and urine for mercury and didn’t find any.” or, “Gee, the Danes use a lower level of mercury in their vaccines and they have as much autism as we do.” or, “Gee, we checked kids with autism and those without and the mercury levels were about the same.” No one has done a study that compares the health of an unvaccinated population to one that gets all of the required vaccines.
Whether the medical profession realizes it or not, they have a credibility problem. Many people are of the opinion that medical science in the United States is at best tainted and at worst corrupt. I don’t really believe in conspiracies or that there is a monolithic force working to suppress natural health care. I do, however, believe in good business practices and in growing your business. Journals run drug ads. If I am a drug company and I want my profits to grow, I may want to use as much leverage as possible to make people think well of my product.
If I spend millions of dollars advertising in medical journals, I would want their editorial policies to reflect favorably on my product. If I sell Ritalin, I may not look favorably on a journal that published research that showed diet to be beneficial in children with ADD. I would not look favorably on articles that questioned the wisdom of giving children vaccines, or even those favoring limiting the number of vaccines.
The people who believe that vaccines are harmful are told that the burden of proof is on them. That would be true if the movement was seeking to ban vaccines for all people. That is not the case; people just want the right to say, “No.” The government requires that you vaccinate your children—there are loopholes, but you have to know what you are doing to use them. Can you be any less free than having your government require that you MUST inject your children with a series of viruses and toxins?
There may be nothing to the concerns about vaccines, but the people who question their wisdom are not crazy. There are some legitimate concerns that the scientific community (and the medical community) have not adequately answered.
If you want to inject my child with a foreign substance, the burden of proof that it is harmless rests with you. If I do not believe that you have adequately tested the safety of the substance, I should be within my rights to refuse. Vioxx was kept on the market for two years after we knew the danger it posed to the heart. Other Cox-2 inhibitors also increase the risk of heart disease and they are still on the market. Journals tend to err on the side of the drug companies, so being a little suspicious is not crazy.
By Dr. Paul Varnas | October 20, 2009
In sixth grade science class we were told that it was impossible for a bumble bee to fly, according to all of the knowledge available in aerodynamics at the time. When you measured the size of the bumble bee’s wings, computed the speed of the wings and weighed the bumble bee, mathematically it was impossible for the creature to fly.
I knew an old chiropractor who was fond of saying that there were two kinds of people in the world, researchers and bumble bee watchers. There was not much research proving that he, as a chiropractor, could make asthmatics better. Yet his office was full of asthmatics that had gotten better. He would say, “I don’t pay much attention to science; I watch bumble bees.”
It turns out that after some advances in high speed photography new calculations were able to be made. Scientists were able to see that the wings of the bumble bee fill up like a parachute on the down stroke—greatly increasing the surface area of the wing. They were able to plug the new surface area into the calculations and declared that the bumble bee could indeed fly—much to the relief of bumble bees all around the planet.
Working in natural health care is an exercise in following research and looking at bumble bees. In asthma, for example, there is a fair amount of research that shows that a good diet, antioxidants, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids can all help improve symptoms. Many of us are getting results with giving betaine HCl, improving digestion, adrenal support and chiropractic adjustments, even though there is not a lot of research to support it.
My friends who are locked into the medical model are fond of saying things like, “The research just isn’t there; you really need to be more scientific.” That statement is often enough to make many of us feel that we are somehow less than our medical brethren. We shouldn’t feel that way; much of medicine is not very scientific. I usually just respond, “I will if you will.”
Most of the medical journals sell ads to drug companies, so you are not going to see a lot of research that says natural health care is good and drugs are dangerous. Take statins, for example. Statin medication is a $25 billion per year industry. Yet if you look at the research, the drugs really don’t do a lot to prevent heart attacks. In most studies, the death rate in the placebo group and the statin group is about the same. One interesting development is the dramatic increase in the number of people developing heart failure. The drugs destroy coenzyme Q 10, and we know that low coenzyme Q 10 levels are related to heart failure. We also know that one of the side-effects of statins is muscle destruction. Since the heart is a muscle, it is obvious to the bumble bee watcher that the medication is at least contributing to this problem. The researchers just haven’t gotten there yet; it may be unfair to say that the presence of statin ads in the journals keep this from happening.
There is a difference between science and research. Anecdotal information, clinical observations, statistics and other information are part of science. Science forms theories based on earlier observations. If you know that research shows a strong correlation between oxidative stress and asthma symptoms, and you know that poor digestion leads to oxidative stress, it is not much of a stretch to expect that improving digestion will get your asthma patients better. Research is a way of focusing on a single thing and determining if your observations mean anything. Science incorporates lots of sources of information, including (but not limited to) research. Truth is truth, whether the research has caught up or not. Bumble bees flew long before we could prove it was possible.
Want more information about chiropractic and natural health? Go to http://www.wholehealthweb.com
By Dr. Paul Varnas | October 7, 2009
Go to www.wholehealthweb.com for more free health information
In the decade between 1990 and 2000 the cost of asthma care went up 54%, according to Family Practice News (October 1, 2000:5). Perhaps if more focus was placed on diet, lifestyle and supplementation these costs could be reduced. Also, a bit more attention should be paid to drug therapy and efforts should be made to reduce drug intake. Inhaler overuse is an important issue, and can lead to increased hospitalizations and death. An article appearing in Family Practice News (April 15, 1993;46) stated that deaths from asthma could be cut by 50% if physicians monitored beta agonist inhaler overuse by patients. An inhaler should last one month, but often prescriptions are given with unlimited refills and the doctor has no idea how often the patient is using the inhaler. Other medications can contribute to asthma attacks. An article in the Annals of Allergy (June 1992;68:453-462) stated that drugs may be responsible for as many as 10% of asthma attacks. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may be responsible for 2/3 of these drug-induced attacks. Other drugs, like muscle relaxants, beta-blockers, or antibiotics can trigger asthma attacks as well.
Diet is seldom stressed by the medical establishment, but it plays a role in asthma. Research appearing in the European Respiratory Journal (2009; 33:33-41) looked at the dietary habits of 54,672 French women and the association with asthma attacks. Of the subjects, 1,063 currently had asthma with 206 having asthma attacks at least once per week. There was a strong correlation between the frequency of asthma attacks the adherence to a “Western” diet including pizza, cured meats, sweets and other processed foods. Also the types of fats in the diet affect asthma symptoms, according to research appearing in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005; 59(12): 1335-46). It found that omega-3 fatty acids were especially helpful for preventing exercise induced bronchospasm. This was supported by a review article appearing in the Australian New Zealand Journal of Medicine (1994;24:727), which found that a diet low in omega-3 fatty acids and high in omega-6 fatty acids, and the increased use of margarine may be part of the reason that asthma is on the rise. The article notes that asthma is low in Scandinavia and in Mediterranean countries where there is less omega-6 consumption and more consumption of omega-3 and olive oil.
In Clinical and Experimental Allergy (2000;30:615-627) reviewed research about nutrients that may affect asthma. Magnesium supplementation was found to reduce bronchial reactivity; magnesium is also a mild broncodilator. Vitamin C intake has been shown to reduce exercise induced asthma. Vitamin C levels tend to be low in athmatics. Research in the journal Thorax (2009; 64(7): 610-9) also reviewed nutritional studies related to asthma and the intake of antioxidants, namely vitamins A, C and E. The authors concluded that “Relatively low dietary intakes of vitamins A and Care associated with statistically significant increased odds of asthma and wheeze.” This was echoed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1995;61(Suppl.):625S-630S). A study appearing in the journal Thorax (May 2006; 61: 388 – 393) looked at 1,030 subjects and found that dietary vitamin C and manganese intake were inversely associated with asthma symptoms.
Diet is a simple and inexpensive way to improve asthma symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, manganese and antioxidant supplementation (especially vitamin C) can be of value t these patients. Unfortunately diet and supplementation are seldom recommended in medical offices.
By Dr. Paul Varnas | September 30, 2009
When marketing a practice, most practitioners engage is identity marketing. It is an ethical way to get your name out in the public domain and hopefully drum up some business. A typical chiropractic ad will list the doctor’s credentials, the types of conditions he or she treats and contact information for the practice. Unfortunately, it is not a very effective way to get patients to contact you.
Direct marketing is usually much more effective. Generally the ad should target a single complaint, make an offer and urge the reader to contact the office. The problem this poses for chiropractors is that it is hard to make a direct marketing ad that is ethical. Writing a compelling headline is hard, because you cannot make guarantees. Making an offer is difficult, because you do not want to give away x-rays, consultations or any of your services; people do not want to go to bargain basement doctors.
But there is a way to ethically and effectively utilize direct marketing without harming your reputation. You can offer free reports, DVDs or CDs relating to as specific condition. Some of this material is available for free; www.wholehealthweb.com has free MP3 files to teach your patients about ADD/ADHD, Pain and Diet. You can burn a CD with your practice information and offer them in your ads.
Getting a patient to come through the door is difficult, but getting them to contact you for something free is easy. Build a list, and then send newsletters and other correspondence. You are now building a relationship with potential new patients. When they finally decide to do something about their health, guess who they will call.
Chiropractic can be the future of health care if we effectively market and we broaden the scope of conditions that we treat. Incorporate nutrition and have a credible approach to most chronic complaints. Offer wellness care. We are the sensible alternative to the overpriced and ineffective health care offered in this country.
I actually have written detailed instructions on marketing. Two FREE ebooks, “Practice 911” and a “Workshop Manual” are available for free at www.marketingwholehealth.com.
By Dr. Paul Varnas | May 15, 2009
Statins work by inhibiting the enzyme methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. They prevent the production of mevalonate from HMG-CoA. The body converts mevalonate to cholesterol and a variety of other products. One of the things that melvalonate produces is Coenzyme Q 10; so these drugs ultimately prevent the production of coenzyme Q 10. Patients taking these drugs commonly experience exercise intolerance, myalgia and myoglobinuria. Studies show that these drugs have the potential to cause myopathies and rhabdomyolysis with renal failure. The FDA has warned about liver failure in conjunction with these drugs. These more serious side effects occur in about 1% of the population taking the drugs.
A study published in the journal Diabetes Wellness (May 2005;11(5):4) showed that giving coenzyme Q 10 to patients who take statins reduces muscle pain. Subjects received either 400 IU of vitamin E or 100 mg. of coenzyme Q 10. Eighteen of the 21 subjects receiving the coenzyme Q 10 (90%) experienced pain relief; this compared to three patients out of 20 in the vitamin E group. Coenzyme Q 10 levels decrease after taking a statin drug. In the June, 2000 issue of Archives of Neurology a study was published that showed a reduction in coenzyme Q 10 levels after the subjects took 80 mg. of a statin drug. The mean blood level of coenzyme Q 10 in the 34 participating subjects went from 1.2 mcg/ml to .62 mcg/ml.
The heart contains high levels of coenzyme Q 10 and these levels are found to be lower in people suffering from congestive heart failure. According to an article appearing in The Lancet (1998;352(Suppl. 1):39-41) notes that the incidence of heart failure has dramatically increased in the last three or four decades. The prevalence of heart failure has increased by 70% between 1990 and 2000.
Research on pravastatin appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (December 18, 2002;288:1998-3007,3042-3044) shows that the drug does indeed lower cholesterol, but does not reduce the risk of death or heart disease in those with moderately high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
There are a number of studies that show that statin drugs may affect behavior, leading to aggressive behavior or depression. Research appearing in the journal Psychosmatic Medicine (1994 Nov-Dec;56:479-84) links aggressive behavior and depression to low cholesterol It has been postulated that there may be a connection between cholesterol and serotonin.
There are nearly 130 million patients taking statins, and many having serious side-effects. It is worth while to take a look at what these drugs do and to take the simple step of giving patients on these drugs coenzyme Q 10.
For research and information about a variety of health topics, go to
By Dr. Paul Varnas | April 22, 2009
There is a recession, you can’t turn on the news and not hear about it. Many practices are suffering. Business is down and incomes are shrinking. Yet some practices are doing well.
The fact is that people still get sick, even during tough economic times. In fact, stress from a poor financial situation increases the chance of pain, illness or injury. People still need your help, but they are becoming more like traditional consumers. They are looking for inexpensive answers to their problems. You need to adjust your marketing and your approach to help them.
So how do you develop a practice that thrives in a recession? There are five easy steps:
1. Utilize nutrition: Get good results by addressing the nutritional needs of your patients. The method you should use should be easy and effective. Many doctors utilize nutrition, but they do it in a hit-and-miss fashion that does not help their practices nearly as much as they could.
2. Utilize direct marketing: Your message should be precise and delivered to as many places as possible. Even during a recession, people need your services. Good marketing teaches them your value.
3. Work smarter, not harder: There are ways to increase the cash-flow in your office. If you are dependent on insurance companies, Learn marketing secrets designed to get your practice as busy as you want it to be: Marketing is a science—in many ways it is more scientific than a lot of the approaches taken in health care. When done right, the results are amazing—in any economic environment.
4. Do workshops: When the economy is bad, it is easy to get people to come to a workshop. They are looking for inexpensive answers to their health problems.
5. Make a plan: A general would not go to battle without a plan. You cannot grow your business without a plan. There is actually a good, detailed plan available at http://www.thebetterhealthnews.com, it is entitled “Practice 911”. There is even a FREE workshop book available for you there.
There is one other thing that will help to grow your practice (and other chiropractic practices). It is patient education. People need to look at health care a bit differently than they do now. There is a site available that will help you with this, http://www.wholehealthweb.com . It offers hundreds of articles about chiropractic, nutrition, the dangers of drugs and other information about natural health care. Your patients can even download the free eBook, 50 Ways to Lose Your Blubber. The more they understand about what you do, the more likely they are to rely on you and refer to you.
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