Steve Messineo, PT, DPT and Owner of All-Access Physical Therapy Inc. contributed this blog post today. Steve (a WebPT Member) started this discussion about nutritional supplements in a Linkedin Group and we asked him to dive deeper in a blog post for the rest of us! Steve has been practicing in an outpatient orthopedic setting since 1998. Thanks Steve for sharing your perspective.
Three years ago, my business partner and I decided it would be a good idea to move our growing physical therapy practice to a bigger space and build a fitness and training center under the same roof to provide an additional source of revenue. Opening a membership based fitness facility and sports training complex has taken some time to ramp up, but it has changed the way we practice physical therapy and as a result, our patients are getting much better short term and long term outcomes. (Check out WebPT’s detailed interview about starting a medically oriented gym.)
This all happened because we have changed our approach to patient care. We now not only inquire about a new patient’s injury, but also learn about their overall health and wellness in the categories of activity level, food consumption, confidence in their own health, energy levels, stress levels, and sleep quality. This information allows us to create rehab plans that incorporate use of our fitness center, thus introducing the patient to the benefits of long term health and fitness via exercise plans.
But exercise, as we all know, is only one component of long term health and fitness. Proper nutrition is the other key component. Traditionally, physical therapists have shied away from incorporating nutrition consultation services and supplements into their practices. Why? Chiropractors do it all of the time and I don’t think any of them are coming out of school with a greater knowledge of nutrition than physical therapists do.
There is no reason why physical therapists SHOULD NOT incorporate nutrition education in their practices. If we are truly going to be a doctoring profession, then we should be discussing nutrition with our patients. In fact, there are studies that show that a patient’s rehabilitation from injury is accelerated by proper nutrition intake. As clinicians, we all know how to read the research, and it is our professional responsibility to do so.
Learning about nutrition supplements and nutrition strategies for implementing with our patients is no different than learning about new joint mobilization techniques or exercise progressions.
This is why, starting about one year ago, my partner and I became distributors for a nutrition supplement company called Qivana. Why did we choose Qivana? Because at the end of the day, unlike several other nutritional supplement companies we looked into, this company had documented proven research behind each and every one of its products. Additionally, they have a top notch medical team and ownership group that makes sure the products truly work before they release them to the public.
The products the company offers include metabolism reset and fat loss supplements, cardiovascular system enhancing products, as well as products that improve immune and digestive system function. Of course, Qivana is just one example, but it gave us the best opportunity to create an additional revenue stream that could potentially grow into the tens of thousands per month for our clinic without having to stock a lot of product onsite.
Adding nutritional supplements and nutrition information to our practice has been an excellent source of additional revenue for us. More importantly, it has helped us become a more comprehensive physical therapy practice allowing us to do more for our patients than just treat their injuries.