Through the family practice, dr. Eric plasker helps chiropractors grow their practice and become life-style leaders in their community
Dr. Eric Plasker is a graduate of Life Chiropractic College and former owner of two highly successful family practices, where he practiced for 16 years.
In 2000, he founded The Family Practice, a personal coaching company that offers marketing and patient education programs which helped thousands of doctors grow their practices. As the author of the best selling book The 100 Year Lifestyle and, soon to be released, The 100 Year Lifestyle Workout, Dr. Plasker has defined a new health care model that includes chiropractors as leaders.
He is an official media correspondent for The American Chiropractor, who has generated over 70 million media impressions and counting for chiropractic through The 100 Year Lifestyle.
In an interview with The American Chiropractor, Dr. Eric Plasker tells us about his path to success in chiropractic and life.
TAC: Why are you so passionate about chiropractic and the message of lifetime care?
PLASKER: Chiropractic saved my high school football career and, through ongoing care, I was able to continue playing and excel in sports. My family has experienced incredible quality of life because of the chiropractic lifestyle.
From a practice perspective, the principles of lifetime care helped me to build two highly successful family practices that provide an incredible life for my family. And, through The Family Practice, I have seen thousands of doctors duplicate this success with their clinical results, their practice growth, and their financial success. I get nice letters from doctors and their patients all the time expressing their gratitude. This is very rewarding and fuels my passion.
TAC: Why do you think chiropractors are so successful with this model of practice?
PLASKER: Their success is very exciting. The doctors who we track are growing by a collective $20 million per year and they are becoming Lifestyle Leaders™ in their community. One doctor saw 52 new patients last month, without spending a penny on advertising. Several doctors just reported that, in the first quarter of 2009, they were up by over $25,000 compared to the first quarter of 2008, even in this down economy. That’s $100,000 increase for the year.
One reason for this is that these doctors are filling a very important void in our heath care system. There are no family doctors in the world of medicine anymore and people are searching for healthy, drugless solutions. Chiropractors who are practicing this model are meeting the demands of the public who are starving for answers.
You’ve heard the expression, “You should practice what you preach.” Chiropractors need to do just the opposite. We need to start preaching what we practice. Most chiropractors are under regular chiropractic care, and so are their families and their teams. When doctors focus this practice around their truth, they begin to attract five, ten or even twenty new patients at a time, instead of just one at a time, because they are attracting families. This could be the traditional family which includes mom, dad, kids, parents and grandparents or it can be the inner circle family, which includes your patient’s friends, co-workers, sports community or religious affiliations. This leads to immediate and lasting growth for a practice. These patients stay for life. They value their care and are willing to pay you, regardless of third party involvement. You become their primary care doctor and they will pay you for life, so you don’t have to worry about new patients all the time. This gives many doctors the stability that they have been so desperately searching for, and it sure beats accumulating an office full of inactive files.
TAC: The 100 Year Lifestyle has become a bestselling book that has gained incredible media exposure for chiropractic and for chiropractors. Why did you write it?
PLASKER: To the world, The 100 Year Lifestyle is a book that people love to read, share with their families and use as a reference guide for healthy living. I am honored by its success and I love that it is changing so many people’s lives. This is one reason why I wrote it. The second reason was as a strategy, and that strategy is to create a brand new health care model, in a world of extended life span, that includes chiropractors as leaders.
Many people are unaware that 100-year-old people are one of the world’s fastest growing segments of our population. Unfortunately, they were blindsided by their extended life. They are outliving their life expectancy—which was only 50-years-old when they were born—by a staggering five decades and they are suffering because of it. Our generation is the first generation in history that is getting the advance notice that we will probably live longer than we ever thought, whether we want to or not.
There are 79 million Baby Boomers who are seeing their aging parents and grandparents deteriorate and end up in nursing homes and they are thinking to themselves, “Wow, I have their genes, but I don’t want to be like that when I am that age.” The 100 Year Lifestyle uses what we call this Leverage of Longevity to motivate Baby Boomers to make lifestyle changes now, in the present, for themselves and their families, so they can age differently than their parents and grandparents, and make the most of their extended lives. Obviously this includes chiropractic care to keep their spines and nerve systems healthy for life.
TAC: When you work with families, do you have a hard time getting everyone involved?
PLASKER: If families are an afterthought for you and your team then, yes, you may struggle with getting everyone involved. However, if it is a core part of your procedure, your marketing, and your clinical skill set, you will attract them naturally.
The target market of The 100 Year Lifestyle is Baby Boomers and, in particular, Baby Boomer women. Women buy more books and make the health care decisions for their families. When you get the Baby Boomer women plugged into this model, you will get the entire family under care right away.
TAC: Can you tell us the significance of The 100 Year Lifestyle brand and how doctors can utilize it?
PLASKER: Over the past 2 years, The The 100 Year Lifestyle has generated over 70 million media impressions through television, including CNN, TBS, Movie and a Makeover, FOX, ABC and NBC, hundreds of radio interviews and print media ranging from small local newspapers to Family Circle and Women’s World magazines. Doctors are co-branding with The 100 Year Lifestyle through our licensed marketing and training programs to build their practices and become Lifestyle Leaders in their communities. Co-branding is a very important business strategy, especially in this economy. Think about FedEx Kinko’s, Microsoft/Intel, Delta/American Express, Apple/ATT, and the NFL/United Way, to name a few. The list of strong co-brands goes on and on. Co-branding with The 100 Year Lifestyle helps doctors stand out in the health and wellness crowd.
Since wellness has become such a confusing mess and, in the mind of the public, includes everything from cancer treatments, wonder drugs, massage, beds, nutritional supplements and chiropractic care, just to name a few, The 100 Year Lifestyle brand gives chiropractors the edge ahead and provides them with turn key co-branded marketing and training resources to help them grow. All of the co-branded marketing is very high integrity and includes simple implementation strategies such as newsletters and very creative patient handouts to power point presentations, flyers, gift certificates, media campaigns, ads and more. We often use themes to target specific groups of people including families through our Healthy Generations Campaign, corporations through our Stress Less, Live More Campaign, women and men through our Go Girl and Stand Strong outreach programs, athletes, kids and so on. These campaigns are extremely effective and are producing great results for doctors. It saves them hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars that it would take to put marketing like this together, plus they get to capitalize on the media impact of The 100 Year Lifestyle brand. This Family Practice Program also includes training and implementation support and can be viewed on our website.
TAC: You have developed a Certification Program which is being implemented by the California Chiropractic Association, with many other associations considering coming on board as well. What is the purpose of this Certification Program?
PLASKER: We created a brand new health care model for a world of extended life spans that includes chiropractors as leaders. I am excited about this program because, in working with the state and national associations, we are creating clinical excellence in this model which, combined with the co-branded marketing, can cause social change. We will not only train doctors to deliver chiropractic care through this model but we will also be able to raise the resources through the associations that will enable us to pass laws for our profession and cause social change. I have traveled around the world for the past ten years helping chiropractors grow and have been very fortunate and successful. Now, for the next go around, we will, through this growing and very recognizable brand and our collective efforts, elevate social consciousness around the issue of longevity, human performance and chiropractic. The best part is that it is working across the board.
TAC: Do you have any plans for building your brand in the future?
PLASKER: I believe that, for chiropractic and chiropractors to be relevant during this time of rapid health care transition, we must be leaders in the areas of longevity, fitness and human performance. The soon to be released 100-year Lifestyle Workout will tell America and the world that, if you want to live an active, healthy, long life, then you must Get Your ESS in Shape. The ESS stands for Endurance, Strength and Structure, and all three are essential if you want to have quality of life as you age. The fitness industry is poised and positioned to lead health care. They have all the research. The structural component of the ESS, which obviously includes the spine and chiropractic, is a critical piece and is at the core of this model. The chiropractors who are implementing this in their practices now are booming and building relationships with fitness centers, personal trainers, nutrition companies, corporations and municipalities to deliver this very effective, fun and important message.
TAC: So, you mentioned that several figures have endorsed your program; could you mention some of them?
PLASKER: Everyone. This has been very exciting and humbling. In addition to being endorsed and utilized by thousands of chiropractors and endorsed by doctors in nearly every chiropractic association and college, it is being endorsed by individuals such as Jack LaLanne, Stedman Graham, NFL Grammy Winner Great Roger Craig, Olympian Terry Schroeder, and Usher, as well as companies and associations such as Foot Levelers, Gold’s Gym International, Les Mills International (creators of BodyPump), and the National Academy of Sports Medicine, to name just a few. The list is growing every day as chiropractors spread the word and attract business and community leaders in cities around the world.
TAC: What is your ultimate vision?
PLASKER: My vision is to create a healthier world through this new health care model. Through the public relations and media capabilities of The 100 Year Lifestyle and the on-the-ground delivery of chiropractic care through doctors, we will reach the masses. I believe that the combination of these elements is essential to the success of the individual doctor and our profession. I am very grateful to The American Chiropractor for their leadership in bringing this message to the profession.