has become a buzzword among the public, health care practitioners and legislators alike. But what exactly does it mean, and how can people benefit from it? The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) defines wellness as “an active process that promotes health and enhances quality of life.”
You may ask, “What can a doctor of chiropractic offer that is different from a medical doctor?” The answer lies in the way the two professions approach wellness. To achieve “wellness” in traditional terms, a medical doctor will simply screen you for diseases, you might be examined or have lab tests.
Typically, when a new patient visits a DC, one of the first things the doctor will assess is functional capacity. The DC will focus on decreasing pain and returning the patient to normal daily activities, including exercise. In the intermediate stage, a chiropractor will continue therapeutic care, but also begin to address factors that may have led to the patient’s pain by recommending lifestyle modifications. An example of intermediate care might include managing the patient’s obesity with counseling on diet and exercise. In the final stage of wellness care, a DC will help the patient take responsibility for his or her own health through patient education, enabling the person to independently maintain and even advance the level of wellness achieved.