Implementing a Weight Loss Program Into Your Practice
By Richard A. Ochsmann, DC
As chiropractors, we learn in school or very early in practice that there are two things you do not talk about with patients; politics and religion. The challenge with nutrition in practice, which has yet to be identified, is that when you counsel patients in nutrition, you are entering the realm of both politics and religion. In such a diverse and educated world where people's beliefs are the standards by which they live, we as chiropractors should know more than anyone else that this should be respected. We want to help them, but need to respect their beliefs.
We want to integrate our natural philosophy into their lives. However, if we are not flexible in our ability to deliver our message to fit their established beliefs, we will never be able to deliver the message of health, the message of hope. Religious followings, the distrust of corporate landholders and philosophical leanings must be considered. Our message needs to be refined so that it can be delivered to anyone. What stands us apart is our ability to deliver this message universally.
Don't Tell Patients What To Do
Sounds counter-intuitive doesn't it?
But during detoxification and weight loss programs, telling your patients what they must include in their diet will get the most resistance from your patients. No one wants to be told what to do, your kids, your spouse and certainly not your patients.
In clinical practice, it works better to tell people what NOT to do, rather than what to do. They would rather be told the dangers of something they shouldn't consume, rather than what they should.
Ask them if they have observed how sugary foods or candy affect children's behavior. Then ask them if these same foods would affect their ability to perform well in school. You should have agreement now.
Then ask them, wouldn't your diet effect your abilities also? Do you have a mid-afternoon burn out that you treat with sugar, caffeine or an energy drink? Constipation, headaches, fatigue, loss of focus and of course weight gain are common symptoms of an overloaded system, usually starved for nutrients. What is assimilated into your body should be clean, natural and wholesome. Then your body has what nature always intended for it, the metabolic fuel necessary for health.
For optimal results, steer your patients away from toxins in their diet. People will avoid what is not healthy before they will change their eating habits to what is.
Make them believe in YOU, your philosophy and knowledge, and they will bring others.
The Current Model of Dieting
So what is wrong with our current model of dieting? How about everything! If we had any clue about what really caused weight gain and obesity, would we be the most overweight we have ever been? As The Doctors of Nature, we must also respect our own beliefs. We need to apply our philosophical approach to weight loss, with a respect for nature and its grand design.
What is the reason for fat cells? What function do they serve? Are we actually accumulating fat to sustain ourselves during a famine or are they there to make us self-loathing on major and Hallmark holidays? Saying that fat cells exist to store calories usually around our waist, is like saying cars exist to pollute the air, or swimming pools exist to drown people. It's the negative view of fat as a useless and bad thing to be battled, fought and conquered like a disease that is not congruent to our philosophy.
We don't treat disease and we don't treat symptoms, so why do we approach weight loss in this manner? As we know, lipids are required for all cellular life. So let's categorize them into good fats and bad fats. Really? This seems kind of primitive.
Today's good fat is sure to be tomorrows bad fat. Let's try applying our philosophy to this equation. There are fats that are natural and there are fats that are not. Let us take this natural philosophy even further. There are natural foods and there are foods (if you want to call them food) that are not natural. When the body assimilates what is a natural, wholesome food, it thrives. When the body assimilates what is not natural, it immediately goes to work eliminating this compound.
Nutrition is about two things, assimilation and elimination. It is the stress and eventual breakdown of this system which leads to weight gain, obesity and eventually illness. What stresses this system? Overload.