I have just completed a great on line nutrition class from a guy whom I have a lot of respect for. His name is John Berardi and he has a company called Precision Nutrition. I pay an annual fee to get access to his information. In short, he's the real deal.
The take home message for the course was the importance of metrics for keeping score and behavioral modification to achieve long term health benefits. By metrics, what I mean is having some concrete objective data to measure. With a nutrition program this could be weight, percent body fat, body measurements, cholesterol levels, et al.. For chiropractic, metrics include pain levels, range of motion, visual analog scales.
So metrics are important for monitoring change, but to maintain that change there must be behavior modification. Some examples for health and nutrition would be eating breakfast if you have not in the past, taking fish oil or a multi vitamin, surrounding yourself with healthy positive people, retooling the kitchen and pantry. For chiropractic it could be getting regular care, addressing postural imbalances with specific stretching and strengthening exercises, doing yoga or tai-chi. All of these activities represent behavioral changes, and if maintained lead to lasting improvements in health.
The metrics I use the most for nutrition and overall health are lipid or cholesterol profiles, percent body fat, and body measurements. These are simple numbers that give an excellent idea of overall health. For chiropractic I like range of motion, the overhead squat test (more of an assessment than a metric) and visual analog scales (pain level scores).
The class which I recently completed gave me some great new assessments for deciphering where people are getting stuck and allowing me to hone in on the areas which will have the greatest impact with the least amount of intervention. They largely involve behavior modification. The assessments include, but are not limited to, social support, ability to change, and a pantry/kitchen assessment.
For a long time I have given out these elaborate workout plans and or nutritional plans with very little compliance. These assessments will show both the patient/client and I where we need to make the behavior modification to best change the metric! A mouthful I know, but I'm pretty excited to start putting it into practice.
Whether you come in for an injury, a nutritional makeover, or a body assessment, know that we are going to come up with a goal, a metric to measure that goal, and a plan to change the behavior to meet the goal.
Dr. Chris Hastings, D.C., I.C.A.K.
289 Main Street, Burton House
Norwich, VT 05055
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