The Beginnings of My Practice Journey
My wife and I started DBC—den Boer Chiropractic, at that time—in 1989, supporting our small but growing family with just six weeks of operating expenses saved up. We had to adopt a higher-volume practice model and quickly learned the incredible impacts on not just our patients’ musculoskeletal (MSK) health but their overall health as well.
Yet some of my patients kept coming in again and again with the same issues. Different treatment protocols and exercises seemed to hardly matter. That’s when we clued in and realized there were several issues we were not addressing, thus doing the patients a disservice.
Introducing Nutraceuticals and Functional Medicine
One of the key problems I was not adequately handling was the emperor of all diseases: inflammation. Although critical to health, dietary and structural changes alone were not enough since most of my patients were stuck in a chronic inflammation mode that required an additional push to resolve. We also needed to help them compensate for years of toxin exposure and undernourishment. Hence our nutraceutical dispensary, Nature’s Remedies, was born.
I initially resisted the idea of having a dispensary since a physician “shouldn’t be compensated that way” (see blog: Elephant in the Room). But I soon realized the inadequacy of the science, quality control, proper dosing, etc., that plagues the supplement industry, and I knew it would make it difficult to properly address a patient’s individual health care needs. The dispensary at that point was exceedingly simple; it covered the basics of MSK, gut and overall health optimization and maintenance.
Integrating Different Approaches
Word spread about the unique benefits of our office, and we have not been able to keep up since. The need for this kind of care is so great that we must schedule new patient appointments six months out. Demand remains high, and with the ever-increasing tide of inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, we as chiropractors are exceedingly well-positioned to be at the forefront of this emerging health crisis.
Providing chiropractic care with functional medicine was effective and attractive to our patients. Not only was this my experience, but many other providers in the lifestyle medicine space see improvements in health outcomes and strengthened businesses when they integrate multiple modalities.
As for the chiropractic piece? All these years later, it is still a major component of our care. Our doctors and I love adjusting our patients, positively impacting their nervous systems, talking and teaching at the same time, and providing a human touch that is so missing in healthcare.
Whichever medical discipline we choose should be leveraged as a cornerstone of our approach to healthcare. To offer more comprehensive healthcare, it is beneficial to adopt different and additional tools.
What additional forms of healthcare can you incorporate into your practice?
P.S. I partnered with Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center because they facilitate the adoption of functional medicine for a wide variety of providers: chiropractors, nurse practitioners, medical doctors, naturopaths and many more. I believe that healthcare can be greatly improved with wider adoption of a functional medicine foundation and with collaboration between providers.
ADRIAN DEN BOER, ND, DC, IFMCP
Educated in both the Netherlands and the United States, Dr. Adrian den Boer is a board-certified and licensed Naturopathic and Chiropractic physician. In addition, Dr. den Boer is fully certified as a functional medicine doctor. Dr. den Boer has treated over 10,000 patients successfully by utilizing multiple resources to manage patient care. Most recently, he joined the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center as the Clinical Expert serving the MSK Solutions Pain Recovery Program.