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Nutrition and its Role in Chiropractic Care

March 16, 2017 New York Chiropractic College
Hands holding a bunch of grapes

Many chiropractic students see the positive impact that eating well can have on their own lives and health, but it also can make for a great addition to a practitioner's services offered.

Ana Maria Mosie, CNS, LDN, an alumna of New York Chiropractic College's Master of Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition  (MSACN) Program, says that the nutrition program helped her take an evidence-based approach and look at nutrition with a critical eye and as part of an integrated model of care.

"Part of developing an integrative model involves collaborating with other healthcare professionals -- physicians, chiropractors, herbalists -- to provide the best patient care," she said. "Helping patients with severe gastrointestinal distress can be very rewarding. These individuals have often lived with years of discomfort. It's really empowering for them. It's a way for them to take control of their health."

According to Dr. Peter Nickless, Director of the MSACN Program at New York Chiropractic College and a doctor of chiropractic, nutrition can serve as strong support for the prevention of non-communicable chronic disease and the reduction of inflammation, which can lead to pain and breakdown of the body.

"They are both powerful tools, but work best when used together. In my experience, patients who receive nutritional support alongside their chiropractic visits recover faster from injuries and maintain health better," said Dr. Nickless.

The American Chiropractic Association notes one recent study that found 80 percent of chiropractors incorporate some form of nutritional counseling into their practice, and more than half of doctors of chiropractic did not limit their nutritional counseling to patients with musculoskeletal disorders, but additionally addressed coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes, and allergies.

"Chiropractic is based on the premise that the body is able to achieve and maintain health through its own natural recuperative powers, provided it has a properly functioning nervous system and receives the necessary health maintenance components. These components include adequate nutrition, water, rest, exercise and clean air," according to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiner's 2015 Practice Analysis of Chiropractic.

"Having worked as a chiropractor for years before adding nutrition to my practice, I can say that I would never want to go back to practicing chiropractic without nutrition ever again," said NYCC's Dr. Nickless.

Dr. Nickless recommends that any Doctor of Chiropractic students looking to specialize as Chiropractic Nutritionists pursue the MSACN degree along with their D.C. He hopes for all chiropractors to "experience the positive effects that an evidence-based, whole-foods nutritional plan can have on patient outcomes when accompanied with a traditional chiropractic approach."

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