To Your Health
December, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 12)
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The Expert on Self-Care: Your Doctor of Chiropractic

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h)

A national survey released earlier this year compared medical physicians' opinions on self-care with those of patients. Needless to say, patients want more than MDs are providing. Conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the Samueli Integrative Health Programs, the survey revealed that while 72 percent of patients are interested in discussing self-care with their health care provider, three-quarters (75 percent) haven't discussed self-care with their medical physician in the past two years.1

For this survey, self-care was defined as including "lifestyle changes, healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, and other alternatives to conventional medical treatment." The survey also revealed that almost two-thirds (66 percent) of patients are looking for more self-care resources from their medical doctors, would like to see their medical physicians more involved in all aspects of their health management (65 percent), and expect their medical providers to include complementary and alternative therapies (64 percent).

MDs and Self-Care: Don't Think Patients Care and Don't Know How to Provide It

The MDs surveyed underestimated patients' self-care interests, with almost half (46 percent) believing patients are not interested in self-care. And while the vast majority (93 percent) of medical physicians say they want to provide their patients with information on self-care, only about a quarter (26 percent) feel "very confident" in doing so.

ask an expert - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark A further indictment (which may not be limited to the medical profession) is that 80 percent of medical physicians believe practicing self-care is "very important," yet only 57 percent do so often.

Your Best Option to Help Meet Your Self-Care (and Wellness) Needs: Your Chiropractor

Based on this and other studies, John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, dubbed 2019 "The Year of the Wellness Revolution." Based on a survey in late 2018 with athletic apparel company Lululemon, they found that "more than eight in 10 people believe wellness is not a fad, but a lifestyle. And of those surveyed, 71% want to achieve mind and body balance."2

Are you looking for a doctor who will guide you toward a wellness lifestyle and provide care that is consistent with your efforts to maximize wellness – including teaching self-care and providing strategies for getting out of the bad habits almost one in five consumers admit prevent them from practicing self-care? That's where your doctor of chiropractic comes in...?


  1. "Survey Finds Patients Want More Guidance From Physicians on Self-Care." The Reis Group, July 23, 2019.
  2. Gerzema J. "2019: The Year of the Wellness Revolution Is Here." Forbes, Feb. 12, 2019.

Donald Petersen Jr. is the president and publisher of MPA Media, which produces To Your Health and a variety of other media resources on natural health and wellness, including trade publications for the chiropractic and acupuncture professions.