Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

No such thing as bad publicity

Mari-Len De   

Features Opinion

“But what do you actually do?”

This may be a familiar question for many chiropractors when seeing a patient for the first time or talking to a stranger at a dinner party. Unfortunately, it’s a question that defines one of the most important challenges the chiropractic profession continues to face: public perception.

There’s no doubt chiropractic has gone through significant progress through more than a century of existence. The amount of scientific evidence supporting chiropractic care continues to grow and has allowed the profession to be recognized as an equal in many scientific and health care undertakings.


In reality, however, the progression of chiropractic through the years has not really made a meaningful impact on public perception – at least, not in a big way. It has certainly not given chiropractic utilization rates an upward trend – although utilization rates vary across jurisdictions, ranging from as little as three per cent to as high as 25 per cent. It’s worth noting that those provinces with comparatively higher chiropractic utilization rates have, in the past, embarked on a multimedia information campaign that aimed at educating the public about chiropractic.

It’s time to take progress to the next level and go public. Through the years most chiropractors have successfully relied on word-of-mouth and patient referrals to grow their practice. That strategy, while proven effective in the past, might not be enough to sustain a practice in today’s competitive marketplace.

Remember those disturbing  TV commercials run by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board graphically depicting serious workplace accidents? Public reaction to these disturbing ads led to greater awareness about workplace safety. Health and safety practitioners loved those commercials. It made their jobs of promoting safety at work much easier.

Perhaps professional associations can get a little more creative with resources. Perhaps, instead of an association publication written for chiropactors, how about a publication targeted to the public, distributed through health clubs, community centres and clinic waiting rooms?

Social media platforms are another cost-effective alternative to reach the public: an aggressive, consistent social media campaign promoting chiropractic benefits; a YouTube channel that’s regularly updated with engaging videos and consistently cross-promoted across social media channels; a Facebook page filled with useful information about people’s most pressing health and wellness concerns.

Make the chiropractic case to the public and see what happens.

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