The Wellness Paradigm: Why Chiropractors Should include Acupuncture
A lot of chiropractors are finding that adjustments aren’t the only way to make money in this industry. Acupuncture is another modality that has a long history of use, and is a successful way to treat various pain problems. If you want to add this service to your practice, you generally have two options: hire an acupuncturist or become one yourself.
Acupuncture is a great compliment to chiropractic care, if it’s done properly. it brings additional revenue to your practice, but it’s also a modality that can help you resolve patient cases that wouldn’t necessarily respond to chiropractic adjustments.
For example, direct muscle needling, or trigger point dry needling can often be used to successfully treat muscle tension. Acupuncture can also be used to treat a variety of nerve and pain problems that haven’t responded to other types of treatment.
Hiring An Acupuncturist
Most chiropractors hire an acupuncturist because it’s easier and the person has experience under his or her belt. No one likes being a Guinea pig. This option also allows you to accept more patients and establish a larger practice, effectively doubling your patient load.
It does come at a price, however. You do have to pay the person and, if they work for you, you will have to provide medical insurance and other benefits. That might be a jolt to your system if you’re used to running things as a one-person operation.
Becoming an Acupuncturist
You can also become an acupuncturist yourself. This involves going back to school and getting your Diplomate in Chiropractic Acupuncture. The American Chiropractic Association offers this degree after you complete a 100 hour course. You could probably complete the program in anywhere from 4 to 8 sessions. If you take a 200 hour course, double the time to completion.
Of course, the initial schooling and training is just the tip of the iceberg. You’re going to want to learn how to effectively apply acupuncture to patient problems, learn when it’s appropriate and when it’s not, and take time to deepen your understanding of the history of acupuncture.
Probably the best online tutorial to get you started down this long road is Chris Kresser’s series on acupuncture. He’s the only acupuncturist who has, so far, publicly disclosed the non-mystical basis for acupuncture, departing from the woo-woo nature that acupuncture is shrouded in, and provides solid research that substantiates his claim that there’s nothing mystical about the practice and that ancient Chinese acupuncture is completely consistent with our modern understanding of human biology.
If you want to get new chiropractic patients, this is the kind of understanding about acupuncture that even the most conservative and skeptical patient will understand and agree with.
Before you go ahead an add acupuncture to your list of services, make sure that you’re not going to be burdened with any serious regulatory problems and, if you are, make sure you prepare for them prior to offering services. The last thing you want is to offer service, get a complaint, and then have some regulator breathing down your neck.
Bonnie Stephens spend many years as a key part of a chiropractic practice. Now retired, she likes to spend most of her time outdoors. When the weather is bad, she likes to post her helpful articles on a variety of blog sites.