How to Run a True “Wellness Center”

By: Kent S. Greenawalt

Most Chiropractors advertise pain relief without drugs and care for injuries. Recently, some doctors and practices have begun labeling and promoting themselves as “Wellness Centers.” What does “Wellness” mean? Is this just a euphemism like some “Health Center” for a medical doctor’s office? Why would someone want to have a “Wellness Center?”

The Label Isn’t Always the Reality

A survey of advertisements for Wellness Centers across the country reveals at least half of the sample use the name to draw attention to typical Chiropractic services. The first line may use words like holistic and family health, but then the rest of the page lists all the injuries, subluxations, and conditions the doctor works with. Giving something a new name doesn’t make it new.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “wellness” as, “The condition of good physical and mental health, esp. when maintained by proper diet and exercise.” A Chiropractic practice that is focused on adjustment, correction, and rehabilitation would not, then, be a “Wellness Center.” But what would be?

Pro-Active vs. Reactive

When most of your patients limp through the door with painful conditions affecting their ability to function normally, it is difficult to imagine a practice where healthy folks come in to make sure they stay that way. Or a situation where the ones who come for acute conditions, come back for regular check-ups, long after the pain has gone. There does seem to be quite a shift in point of view necessary to effect that kind of change in behavior.

When you know that an aligned, well-maintained body has a strong immune system, it makes sense to have proactive Chiropractic care as the first line of defense against illness. It makes sense for people who do not spend their lives walking barefoot on sand to have custom-made functional orthotics before the arches fall and pronation knocks the body out of alignment. Wellness is a great concept, one of those win-win situations for doctor and patient. But where to start?

Wellness Starts in the Brain—Yours!

Your experience is a great teacher and can be a great limiter of your future. You can probably think of dozens of people who wouldn’t “get” wellness as a concept. But until you really get it, believe it and, live it, your prospects for changing their minds and your practice are dim. Success in Wellness starts with you. Remember, a lack of ideas is a lack of information.

About the Author

Kent S. Greenawalt is president and CEO of Foot Levelers, Inc. He is also chairman of Foot Levelers’ Educational Division, which presents license-renewal seminars and other programs throughout the nation. Greenawalt has helped revolutionize the way Chiropractors treat patients by developing and patenting many Chiropractic products for everyday patient use.

In 1991, Greenawalt received the American Chiropractic Association’s “Humanitarian of the Year Award” for his service to Chiropractic and mankind. In both 1999 and 2003 the ACA bestowed its President’s Award upon him for the invaluable educational and fund-raising work he has done on behalf of the Chiropractic profession.