Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Keys to your practice: New opportunities

Angelo Santin   

Features Opinion

Connecting to your community on a whole new level

Wouldn’t you agree that many chiropractors believe that prevention of spinal problems is an important part of practice? Although this is a really noble idea, I have to admit that even I believe this is not creating the opportunities we need to service a greater part of the population.

I don’t really like the idea of prevention in regards to what we do as chiropractors. Just to clarify, the definition of prevention is “to stop something from happening or arising.” This definition seems awfully defensive when it comes to our health and the health of our community. Instead, a relatively untouched opportunity for our profession and our practices to flourish in would be around maximizing a person’s health.

I believe strongly that if we can master this area we can create a new opportunity for chiropractors to connect with people who not only want to stay well, but also take their health to another level. Let me share three stories to clarify what I’m trying to express here.


Mike came in for a new patient appointment four weeks ago. His wife was a patient of mine and he came with her to her health-care class in which we give lifestyle recommendations and share how the chiropractic story can maximize a person’s health. Mike decided to come in as a patient for what I call a “chiropractic physical” or “wellness exam”. At his initial appointment, he stated he had no health concerns or complaints but he wanted to see if there was a way chiropractic could keep him well and improve his overall health. He started care and at his progress exam stated he is sleeping better, working out better, breathing better and has more energy.

Charlotte presented to our office with neck pain after a whiplash injury. During her history we briefly touched on when she believes the “problem” (subluxation process) first started. The key here was I went back and asked about her childhood, slips, falls and even her birthing process as far as she could recall. In this instance she had had multiple falls during gymnastics as a child and I watched her start to really put the pieces together as to why she was having her symptoms. I reached out to her to consider having her husband and son checked as well. Both will be coming in as new patients shortly. Neither have pain or symptoms whatsoever.

I recently did a talk at a local small business on reducing injury and maximizing performance. Yes we did cover injury prevention but we also touched on maximizing a person’s health. This included both lifestyle choices and the use chiropractic care to achieve optimal health and performance. The following week three out of the four, new patients that came in from that talk had no complaints on their intake form. They too were seeking ways to achieve optimal health, not just treat injury.

What do all these stories have in common and what can they teach us? They point to a new direction in which we can change the way we think, communicate, market and practice chiropractic. To dissect it even further, we need to do a few things really well in order for
this work:

  • Have unwavering confidence in chiropractic‘s ability to optimize a person’s health
  • Be able to communicate the need for an asymptomatic person to have a chiropractic exam
  • Be able to examine the spine not only for “the problem” but for subluxations’ effect on human function
  • Be able to monitor progress via re-assessments to demonstrate maximized health
  • Learn to share stories and market your practice around the idea of achieving optimal health

Looking at this list, I know there are areas in our practices that no doubt need improvement. I also know that tackling a list like this can be a little overwhelming. Make a commitment to make small steps starting with implementing one thing at a time. You will know that you are on the right track by the number of “well” people that you see as new patients.

I’m speaking to everyone who believes that chiropractic has the potential to change lives not only change spines. I’m speaking to those who believe that our profession hasn’t even began to scratch the surface of our true potential as far as serving our communities.

Begin with changing yourself and your practice and you will begin to see the change much needed in our

Dr. ANGELO SANTIN, DC, operates a busy subluxation-based family practice in Thunder Bay, Ont., and is president of the Thunder Bay Chiropractic Society. Dr. Santin is also a Carter Universal proficiency-rated chiropractic coach. He can be reached at or 807-344-4606.

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