hiropractic patients consistently rate their care services very highly, and yet many chiropractors must work hard to find and keep patients. I argue that just because everyone needs chiropractic care, it doesn’t mean you should market to everyone. I have studied entrepreneurs for years, and have found that the most successful ones target specific groups and prequalify their target population. Niche marketing has proven successful in countless applications, but only recently has this concept been applied to the ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) niche in the chiropractic profession.
ADHD is a neurological condition that is usually transmitted genetically. It is characterized by distractibility, impulsivity, and restlessness or hyperactivity. These symptoms are present from childhood through adulthood, and with a much greater intensity than in the everyday person, so much that they interfere with daily functioning. The Centers for Disease Control indicate that over 5 million children in the United States have ADHD*. Most children carry this condition with them into their adult years.
In my opinion, I see ADHD as neither a disorder nor a deficit of attention. I see ADHD not as a disability but as a trait. When managed properly, it can become a huge asset in one’s life. Patrick Gentempo, DC, a highly revered chiropractor and founding partner of the CLA (Chiropractic Leadership Alliance), and I immediately recognized the opportunity to blend my strength-based ADHD protocols with the CLA’s clinical and neurological expertise. With the clinical guidance of Drs. David Fletcher, Kira Bailey, Steven Genopolous, and Patrick Gentempo, SHINE For Doctors—Special Help Integrating Neurological Experience—has become the profession’s leading program in the education and training of DC's aspiring to care for the millions of people with ADHD.
These highly gifted and often highly troubled individuals are actively looking for drug-free assistance with their symptoms. SHINE For Doctors is designed to train DCs how to address and assist in the management of ADHD in children and adults using holistic, natural techniques.
The SHINE For Doctors exclusive web-based,on-demand, educational training program is chock full of comprehensive information including: ADHD content derived from my more than thirty years of experience; attention and psychological profile assessment tools; cutting-edge information about neurological retraining; comprehensive evaluation tools including patterns of spinal neural tension, hemispherisity, and visual ocular motor capacity; and clinical integration and marketing support. This was all designed to help practitioners quickly and effectively provide ADHD support within their existing chiropractic practices.
Q: How are Chiropractors uniquely positioned to help people with ADHD?
A: DCs offer something unique to the spectrum of care for ADHD clients and their families. The chiropractic profession, founded upon a deep understanding of nervous system function and its potential effect on all facets of a person’s life, health, and behavior, has long been involved in pioneering research related to the underlying causes of ADHD. In addition, a great deal of research by some of the world’s leading chiropractic experts has been devoted to developing drug-free, holistic ADHD management strategies.
Chiropractors around the globe have reported phenomenal success when working with patients with ADHD. The effect of a chiropractic adjustment upon the nervous systems of patients with ADHD has proven to be efficacious in reducing the symptoms they experience.
Q: How can a DC benefit from the ADHD multi-million dollar health care industry?
A: The answer is by aligning with a professionally branded, holistic, drug-free, neurologically based, and powerfully effective program of ADHD management that boasts association with Dr. Hallowell's three decades of ADHD expertise. Becoming a SHINE certified practitioner automatically adds increased credibility with prospective patients and the medical community. Many of the people with ADHD have created support groups in their communities and this association will enable the DC to leverage the authority that my reputation provides. The DC is already pre-qualified with this well-educated ADHD community. In addition, aligning with SHINE For Doctors also increases the DC’s ability to expand their service offerings and reach into their community beyond the spinal care model.
Q: What commitment will this take and how will it fit into an existing practice?
A: SHINE for Doctors is a unique program of ADHD management that incorporates the knowledge, skills, and research of some of the world’s leading experts in ADHD and chiropractic technologies. It is intended for the practitioner who is dedicated to learning this intricate product, and willing to make the commitment to ensure consistent success. DCs must consider that an investment in advancing their skill sets and knowledge bases into such a growing and “in-demand” niche market serves to distinguish their practices from the rest of their competitors, establishing them as distinct and prestigious “experts” in their field.
This program incorporates easily into the scope and framework of the existing DC practice and is complete. It is composed of in-depth, on-line, and on-demand training that delivers a superior knowledge base, system of analysis, and clinical protocols designed to facilitate success using the latest in research and technologies surrounding ADHD. Some practices choose to offer the evaluations on particular days and at predetermined times so that the ADHD clinics become an add-on to their existing client base.
SHINE For Doctors does not train the DC to diagnose ADHD; rather it provides the DC with the tools to make assessments consistent for people with ADHD and to achieve success when working with this population.
SHINE For Doctors Clinical Overview
Q: What composes the clinical content of SHINE For Doctors?
A: The clinical content of SHINE For Doctors is based within the neurological model of chiropractic and also advances the practitioner’s knowledge into what can be termed “brain-based care.” The theory of neuroplasticity forms the root of the SHINE clinical protocols. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections and for the brain, nerves, and nerve pathways to adjust their activities in response to new situations or changes in their environment. This approach is very much in concert with a host of new research on ADHD labeling it a “neurobehavioral” disorder; the structure and function of the individual’s neural array is directly linked to the expression of the classic, hallmark symptoms (inattention, impulsivity, and motor hyperactivity) of ADHD. Interestingly, Autism and Asperger's syndrome are also being placed along the same “spectrum” as ADHD. The current perception is that these syndromes are all different facets of the same underlying pattern of neurosensory dysfunction that characterizes ADHD.
There are a whole host of neurosensory processing disorders whose outward symptomatic expression mimics ADHD; consequently, these systems must be carefully evaluated.
The neural pathways through which the body’s nervous system takes in, processes, and mounts an appropriate response to sensory stimuli can be affected by many factors during development and can be altered in response to their current environment as well. Exposure to stress, in the form of physical trauma (both macro and micro), poor nutritional habits, emotional trauma, radiation, heavy metals, drugs (prescription and nonprescription), alcohol, smoking (both first-hand and passive), and a host of other factors in combination with genetic predisposition all affect neurological development and the subsequent ability of the body to process and integrate sensory information. The symptoms that define ADHD are a direct result of the struggles of an individual’s nervous system and brain to process, coordinate, and respond appropriately to stimuli coming from the world around it. As such, ADD/ADHD is commonly misdiagnosed by professionals who perhaps do not understand or do not adequately screen for sensory processing disorders, including those related to vision, hearing, and sensory “over” or “under” responsiveness. There are a whole host of neurosensory processing disorders whose outward symptomatic expression mimics ADHD; consequently, these systems must be carefully evaluated. It is important to note that it is not the goal of a SHINE for Doctors practitioner to diagnose ADHD, but rather to evaluate and assess the individual’s strengths and weaknesses in order to understand the potential source of the behaviors being observed to the best of their abilities.
The base of the SHINE model is neurological rebalancing through the application of the chiropractic adjustment. Proprioceptors located in the joints and muscles of the spine provide the largest source of information coming through the cerebellum into the brain. It is therefore crucial to ensure that there is no neural or dural tension or stress being held in the spinal structures. Adjusting the spine affects brain and nervous system function through enhancing the quality and quantity of information being conveyed into the cerebellum and subsequently the prefrontal cortex. Therefore, it is critical that the chiropractor ensures that the spine is free of all forms of tension and stress; a structured program of neurologically balancing adjustments focused on restoring neural integrity in the patient with ADHD accomplishes this goal.
The next layer of the SHINE model is an expansion upon the basic premise of the model’s foundation, an appropriately integrated neurological system. The SHINE doctor will use the results of their clinical analysis to create an individualized program of Neuro-Integrative Movements (NIM’s) designed to strengthen, balance and improve brain function. The NIM’s training exercises work precisely to strengthen specific neuro-sensory pathways, such as cerebellar function, balance and proprioception, vestibular function, basic visual and ocular-motor function, core strength and stability, and right vs. left hemispheric re-balancing. By isolating and strengthening specific pathways through consistent training protocols the individual’s ability to integrate and process information is improved. It is through this re-training process that the brain is able to better interpret incoming information and mount a more appropriate motor response, decreasing the outward expression of ADHD symptoms.
The apex of the Life Essentials model is Metabolic Shift. There is a characteristic association of brain and gut dysfunction in those with ADHD that needs to be addressed in order to create positive symptomatic shift. Of course, the metabolic status and digestive function of each person is unique, but there is a wealth of scientific research into the characteristic patterns of gut function, inflammation, and food sensitivities of those with ADHD. The Metabolic Shift protocols of the SHINE program focus upon two principles: eliminating inflammatory and low nutritional status foods from the diet (gluten, casein, sugars, artificial preservatives, and colorants) and supplementing with nutraceuticals that augment neurological and digestive function while suppressing systemic inflammation (EFAs, probiotics, zinc, vitamin B6, magnesium to start). When the brain is given the appropriate fuel for optimal function, and pro-inflammatory elements are removed, we once again see an upshift in function and a downshift in symptomatic behaviors.
The SHINE for Doctors clinical care model is designed to create maximal healing and reorganization within an initial 90-day window of transformative shift. It was also created to integrate as seamlessly as possible into a chiropractic practice. The SHINE patient can be adjusted during the normal flow of patient interactions, with some coaching and monitoring of the NIMs exercise protocols and dietary changes delivered at measured intervals. Rebalancing a person’s neural and metabolic function in combination with Dr. Hallowell’s unique approach to coaching and facilitating success, provides a phenomenal platform for change within the patient with ADHD. Patients and those close to patients (parents, teachers, and coworkers) report improved school and work performance, better behavior, a happier home, better teacher, student, social, work, filial and romantic relationships, a sense of “feeling” better both emotionally and physically along with better sleep and increased ability to focus and improved self-esteem. SHINE For Doctors is the ADHD choice for the Chiropractic profession
Dr. Edward Hallowell is instantly recognizable within the medical and educator communities and his position as a co-creator endows credibility and prestige upon the DCs implementing SHINE for Doctors into their practices. It is the ideal program for practitioners who wish to offer superior service to the ADHD population, access an increased market share, generate new income streams, and distinguish themselves from the rest of the chiropractors in their region. This program is poised to be a game changer in the chiropractic profession; the goal is to change the lives of a million patients and families of those with ADHD. If you are a keen and self-motivated chiropractor who wishes to be a part of this phenomenal community, SHINE for Doctors is your best avenue to achieve unique practice success.
To learn more, visit www.shinefordoctors.com
Edward Hallowell, M.D. a leading authority on ADHD, is the co-founder of the SHINE For Doctors program. He is a gifted psychiatrist, a NY Times best selling author, and was on the Harvard Medical staff for over 20 years. He is the founder of the Hallowell Centers in New York City and Boston, and has appeared on numerous national TV programs including Dr. Oz, Oprah, Dr. Phil and Good Morning America. You may contact Dr. Hallowell at
or visit www.drhallowell.com.Kira Bailey, DC, the Clinical Implementation Director at SHINE For Doctors, is a co-contributor to the chiropractic clinical portion of the SHINE for Doctors program. She has a large family-oriented chiropractic practice, and has spent the last few years creating and operating a successful ADHD management center in Ontario, Canada. You may contact Dr. Bailey at
or visit www.guelphchiropractic.com.