The fully integrated, functional wellness program

Healing is a God-given birth right, said Dane Donohue, DC, CEO of 8 Weeks to Wellness, at the 2019 Integrative Healthcare Symposium in New York City.

Our current healthcare system is reactive, not proactive, said Donohue. It focuses on treating disease after it presents, rather than preventing disease and helping patients live optimally. In fact, 98 percent of healthcare spending is on sickness, not preventative treatment, he said.

This is one of the reasons why Donohue decided to launch 8 Weeks to Wellness, a multidimensional approach to patient care that incorporates:

  1. Chiropractic
  2. Functional Fitness
  3. Massage
  4. Nutrition
  5. Mindfulness

His program follows Leroy Hood’s model of clinical practice, which states patient care should be predictive, preventative, personalized, and participatory.

“We can all agree with this,” said Donohue. “Patients have to be responsible for their healthcare decisions.”

One of the main struggles in patient care is motivation, Donohue said.  

“How many times have we had patients who say I know what to do, but I’m not motivated?” he said. “They don’t have a big enough “why” and it’s the biggest patient complaint.”

Donohue encourages practitioners to develop a clear direction and goals with the patient. The goals of the patient may be different than the goals of the practitioner. However, physiology never lies, but sometimes patients do, said Donohue. They may have a positive allusion about their health, but they’re chronically ill.

That’s where Donohue’s Wellness Score comes in to play. Donohue assesses patients over 25 parameters, including weight, height, resting heart rate, body mass index, waist circumference, visceral fat index, core strength and flexibility, fasting glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Each parameter is given a rating based on how the patient scores, and the ratings are added up to equal one complete Wellness Score.

From there, Donohue develops a wellness plan based on the patient’s goals and current health status. This includes a combination of chiropractic adjustment and posture correction, functional fitness mobility, endurance, and strength training, targeted muscle therapy massage, and meditation. Nutrition is a big component of 8 Weeks to Wellness, and Donohue recommends what he calls a “Meta-Paleo-Keto-Terranian” Diet.

The body has an innate ability to heal itself,” said Donohue, “if we don’t interfere with that process.”  

However, the Wellness Score and Wellness plan will only work if the patient trusts the practitioner. Donohue. The key is to develop relationships with patients, Donohue said. Talk with them about their goals. According to a qualitative study published by the Society for Participatory Medicine, patients are looking for a practitioner who listens, is caring and compassionate, will explain things well, and is accessible. Many times, lack of motivation is simply lack of purpose. Integrative practitioners have an opportunity to help patients find their “why,” Donohue said.  

“Stop treating disease and start treating biology that starts the disease,” said Donohue. “People want their diseases treated, but we have to meet them where they are. We, as practitioners, are therefore responsible for bridging the gap to their goals.”