A functional medicine chiropractor never knows exactly what his or her day will bring. Patient problems vary, and functional medicine chiropractors address them with a big collection of tools. In addition to spinal adjustments, the doctor may prescribe exercises, acupuncture or other holistic treatment options.
Instead of simply treating symptoms, functional medicine physicians search for the root cause of the disease. This requires more time and communication that you’d expect from an ordinary MD. Your doctor of chiropractic might want to talk with you for a full hour to learn about lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that influence your health. This means a chiropractor’s typical day includes long appointments. A functional medicine chiropractor must have patience, superb people skills and the ability to focus. Chiropractic workloads are usually especially heavy in the early morning and evening — before and after a nine-to-fiver’s workday.
In addition to hands-on exams, chiropractors rely on X-rays and other lab tests. These may be conducted in-house if the chiropractor has the necessary facilities, or they may be outsourced to an offsite lab.
In functional medicine, patients are active participants in their health. The chiropractic doctor spends a lot of time both listening to and educating patients. The chiropractor must clearly convey the importance of adopting health-enhancing behaviors. The chiropractor and patient work together to come up with realistic ways patients can improve their diet, sleep patterns, exercise and other relevant behaviors. Functional medicine chiropractors also constantly improve their own education by attending trainings or reading books about new or unfamiliar therapeutic modalities.
Functional medicine doctors are open to using a wide range of safe therapies to optimize their clients’ health. These include acupuncture, orthotic fitting, recommending supplements or changes in diet, exercise and electrical stimulation. The chiropractor may juggle several patients at once, consulting with one while another undergoes therapy in a treatment room.
Taking Care of Business
Chiropractors in private practice must either take care of administrative duties themselves or hire a staff to take care of them. In addition to practicing functional medicine, they read lab tests, train staff, run staff meetings, write reports and do the marketing, banking and accounting. These administrative tasks can take up to eight to 16 hours per week to perform. When you consider that a typical patient load is 15 to 30 daily appointments, a day in the life of a functional medicine chiropractor is busy indeed.
If this holistic approach appeals to you, call our clinic today to set up an initial consultation.