Nutrition – Adding Value to a Chiropractic Practice

Dr. Ulan earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree at the Chiropractic Institute of New York, completing the 4500-hour, nine-semester program in thirty-six consecutive months. He graduated with honors in 1965.

Ulan Nutritional Systems (UNS) is a training center where nutritionally-oriented practitioners gather to learn, and attain mastery of the clinical and practice management techniques Dr. Ulan used in building his highly successful nu trition practice in upstate New York. While chiropractors comprise better than 80 percent of the UNS clientele, the professions of medicine, acupuncture, naturopathy, and even veterinary medicine are liberally represented in his seminars.

UNS got its start ten years ago in the offices of Dr. Ulan’s million-dollar, all-cash nutrition practice in Glens Falls, New York. With the help of his wife, Dana, he opened his doors to chiropractors and like-minded practitioners from all over the United States, instructing them in detail on the theory and nuts-and-bolts practical details needed to duplicate his success. Delivered monthly, the three-day seminar was officially titled Patient Management Secrets of a Million-Dollar Nutrition Cash Practice.

Wasn’t he, at least, a little bit worried about competition?

Far from it, he says. Swamped with patients from all over the country and even abroad who had heard about his techniques, he realized that it would take a veritable army of clinical masters to satisfy the demands of the public once they began to realize the truths about nutrition—and malnutrition—published as early as 1943 by Dr. Royal Lee and his pioneering colleagues.

Incorporated in 2005, Ulan Nutritional Systems has grown to a staff of thirty-five, including six doctors of chiropractic. The “Million-Dollar Workshop,” as attendees have affectionately dubbed it, continues to be a mainstay of UNS’ training lineup. Flanking it are basic and intermediate workshops in Dr. Ulan’s pioneering Nutrition Response Testing work. Dr. Ulan’s vision of an army of clinical masters finds its realization in his Advanced Clinical Training program (ACT), a 150-hour postgraduate-level course that shares everything that he and his New York clinic partner, Dr. Lester Bryman (a chiropractor for forty-seven years) evolved over decades of experience dealing with nutritional patients. ACT produced its first fifty-two graduates in 2006.

All the courses are taught in Clearwater, Florida, with the exception of basic Nutrition Response Testing workshops, which are offered in cities all over the country. UNS also provides doctors with test kits, equipment, and a wide range of educational DVD’s by Dr. Ulan, to augment their practices.

In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Ulan shares how he went from a straight practice to a million dollar nutrition cash practice.


TAC: Dr. Ulan, what inspired you to become a chiropractor? Do you have a specific story?

Ulan: My father owned his own business and was a weekend athlete. A devastating injury to his knee sidelined him from the sports he loved to play every weekend. Three different medical specialists told him he needed knee surgery and would probably never play ball again. He took a friend’s advice and consulted a chiropractor. After two chiropractic visits, his knee was normal and it’s been normal ever since. From that time forward, he became a chiropractic zealot. No matter what occurred or what condition anybody had, a chiropractor was called in. As a teenager, I’d get together with my friends to play cards and would end up practicing the chiropractic techniques I’d learned as a patient.

I switched from engineering school to chiropractic college when I realized that, although mechanics was my subject, engineering wasn’t. I was much more interested in dealing with people than with objects. Chiropractic made perfect sense. I graduated in 1965 with the highest degree in proficiency and diversified techniques conferred by the Chiropractic Institute of New York.


TAC: What types of patients do you generally treat or attract?

Ulan: Dr. Bryman and I have associates doing most of the active clinical work these days. Apart from the doctors I check at my seminars, I haven’t seen patients routinely in about three years.

I always tended to attract patients who were suffering from ill health, as opposed to personal injury cases. I would say the conditions I’ve most commonly treated are chronic fatigue, chronic immune dysfunction, chronic pain, weight problems (under- or overweight), and hormonal dysfunction.


TAC: What are your specialties?

Ulan: Since 1993, I have specialized in Applied Clinical Nutrition, which I had determined to be the missing component to restoring health naturally through chiropractic. That was when I had put the pieces together enough to realize that at the heart of all chronically recurring subluxations—and the loss of health that inevitably follows those chronic subluxations—is the nutritional deficiency or imbalance component, which is then exacerbated by toxins, environmental stressors, and endogenous poisons.

Our specialty evolved into the most efficient and accurate analysis to determine the real underlying causes of each patient’s condition, and a system that guided us into the creation of the most effective, extremely personalized protocols that would correct the causes and eliminate any factors that would prevent the Innate Intelligence of the body from doing its job of fully restoring health.

As an integral part of this, we had to determine how to develop patient programs that were affordable, lowest possible pill count, that would be so easy for the patient to comply with that the program would then do all the work and the patient would get the results sought. Looking back on this, these were all major accomplishments, and—without losing any of the unique individuality of each patient’s program—resulted in totally standardized procedures that opened the door to helping more people than we had ever helped before, with less stress and more satisfaction, and then being able to train others to achieve the same results routinely in their own practices.

TAC: Is your Nutrition Response Testing like Contact Reflex Analysis or muscle testing? Perhaps you could give us a brief description of the process.

Ulan: While all analytical systems which utilize muscle testing have muscle testing in common, there are several key factors that make Nutrition Response Testing truly unique.

First, it is the only system that is based entirely on the actual structure and anatomy of the body, and which assesses the functional status of the autonomic nervous system directly, discovering whether or not the body is even capable of benefiting from any therapeutic intervention—and, if not, what needs to be done to correct that situation rapidly.

We have identified the most common factors that can prevent the body from healing itself, and how to deal with these, when present, as the first step toward optimal health recovery. This one discovery opened the door to the most effective, most economical, easiest-to-comply-with, lowest-pill-count program ever. And THAT is the key secret to our success. Once these factors have been identified and handled, our system prioritizes each succeeding step, not based on any pre-determined flow chart, but strictly on the basis of our extremely effective reassessment procedure that enables us to monitor the exact progress of each patient in a series of brief follow-up visits that bring them through one or more “Healing and Observation” cycles, until they are truly ready for graduation onto a maintenance program for life.

TAC: What percentage of your practice is made up of the following: men, women, children, families, elderly?
Ulan: One of the purposes of my practice is to create a healthy next generation. We learned a long time ago that the way to help the most children is to help the mothers. So, our clinics are designed to attract mothers—especially working mothers in the thirty-five to fifty-five age bracket. These are the people who carry the biggest burden in this society. They’re more concerned with how they’re functioning than how they’re feeling. They know that, if they go down, everything goes down. How many husbands know how to take care of the kids and keep the family going if Mom gets sick?

 All of our marketing is directed to the working mother. She deserves the most help. The majority of our clients are women and the rest are their families and friends.

TAC: Which techniques do you use and why?
There is an abundance of chiropractors with effective techniques for handling subluxation and muscular-skeletal problems. The scarcity is in nutritional support, so we specialize in that. Very little spinal manipulation is done in our offices today.

 But, obviously, every patient needs the benefits of chiropractic adjustments, and I have learned, over the years, that there is an enormous number of effective chiropractic techniques that are valid in well-trained and competent hands. 

 I graduated from the Chiropractic Institute of NY with honors for having obtained excellence across a wide diversity of techniques. I have enormous respect for my colleagues who have honed their skills and specialized in specific techniques, and I have seen every technique produce miracles in the hands of those who had mastered them. Over the years, I have concentrated on different approaches ranging from Upper Cervical Specific to Cranial Sacral Technique, to various full-spine approaches and, as a result, I tend to fall back on my wide experience and determine what to do regarding structural correction on an individual basis. 

 Interestingly, in my small town in upstate New York, there are approximately thirty-five chiropractors within a short driving distance of my office. Since many of our new patients are referred to us based on the miraculous results we have gotten through our unique nutritional systems, I long ago adopted a policy of determining if a patient already had a chiropractor they liked to work with, and encouraging them to continue with that chiropractor for structural support while we worked on the nutritional aspect.

 Regardless of what technique each of those good doctors was using, many of them reported that their patients were now holding their adjustments much better since embarking on the nutritional program we had designed for them. Per D. D. Palmer, each factor of the subluxation complex needs to be addressed. The spinal adjustment addresses the subluxation directly and is most effective in dealing with primary subluxations while, by addressing the nutritional component, one can often eliminate the visceral-somatic reflex that constantly re-creates the “secondary subluxation.”

TAC: What other therapeutic modalities do you include when treating a patient?
Ulan: In our own practices, we concentrate on nutrition, but many of our clients integrate Nutrition Response Testing into their chiropractic, acupuncture, medical, or veterinary practices.

TAC: What type(s) of diagnostic testing procedures do you use and why?
We do not diagnose as such. We do an assessment of the functional state of the autonomic nervous system using a combination of Nutrition Response Testing and Heart Rate Variability assessment.

TAC: We understand that your Nutrition Response Testing reveals nutritional imbalances that keep people from staying healthy. Could you tell us a little bit more about your experiences?
Ulan: Dr. Royal Lee forecasted, in 1943, that modern mass food processing techniques would lead to a sharp decline in American health and a sharp upswing in the rate of degenerative disease. That’s the trend I began to observe in the early decades of my chiropractic practice. The structure wasn’t sound enough to heal itself. The body’s innate intelligence had been driven into apathy by poisons.

 Dr. D. D. Palmer talked about the nutritional component and the various causes of subluxation: primary subluxation by injury or accident, secondary subluxation caused by toxicity, nutritional deficiency and stress.

 The majority of the patients that we see today have recurring subluxations. This is not because chiropractic doesn’t work—on the contrary, it is far more effective than ever in correcting subluxations. What we have today are secondary subluxations caused by autonomic nervous system stress, caused, in turn, by nutritional deficiencies, imbalances, and toxicities.

 Our mentors—Drs. Royal Lee, Francis Pottenger, Melvin Page, and Weston Price—discovered that the autonomic nervous system determines the person’s health status. We have discovered how to consult the autonomic nervous system and find the key departures from optimum functioning. We then strengthen and rebalance the autonomic nervous system with nutrition, providing genuine replacement parts for the body through very high-quality nutritional supplements derived, primarily, from organically grown whole foods.

 “Routine miracles” in chiropractic are no longer a thing of the past.

TAC: Tell us two or three of your most amazing patient success stories.
Ulan: A middle-aged woman came into our office with her hands wrapped in gauze. Her hands had been seeping and she’d literally lost all the outer skin off her hands, even the fingerprints. This had been going on for well over a year. Many doctors had tried many different things on her. 

 Our Nutrition Response Testing analysis revealed a minor parasitic situation that we were able to correct in a matter of weeks. The seeping and pain in her hands stopped. After six weeks, she was carrying her granddaughter—something she’d only dreamed of ever being able to do.

 Then there was Andrew Oldham, the original producer of the Rolling Stones rock group, who had been addicted to cocaine for twenty-five years. He was consuming five packs of cigarettes a day, several pots of coffee, and more than a dozen medical and psychiatric drugs, not to mention other street drugs and alcohol.

 Andrew called a music business friend to say goodbye—he’d be dead in a couple of weeks, the doctors said. 

 At his friend’s urging, he flew a great distance to visit us in Glens Falls, New York. He arrived in great pain and barely strong enough to walk. He, literally, couldn’t go four hours without a cocaine fix because of the withdrawal pains. It took us three to four days of intensive nutritional work to get him through the cocaine withdrawals, primarily, vascular collapse. His hands and fingers and feet would go into very painful gripping spasms. It took us a few days to get him through that.

 He was loaded with multiple immune dysfunctional states. We had to rebuild his immune system, his cardiovascular system, his muscular system. All along, we were providing nutrition for his endocrine system, guiding his diet, slowly tapering him off cigarettes and coffee. Over a period of two years, we were able to get this guy totally operational and back to work. He’s back in the music business today, totally drug-free.

 In another case a woman came to our clinic who was overweight and in a lot of pain with continuous headaches. She was also suffering from depression and anxiety. She was so loaded with psychiatric drugs and pain pills that she could hardly function. We addressed one problem at a time in the exact priority that our testing procedure indicated and, over a period of six to nine months, she had gotten herself off all the medications.

TAC:  What has really impacted your growth as a chiropractor and that of your practice?
Ulan: I grew up seeing chiropractors who were true holistic healers, and I was very fortunate to go to a school that had several brilliant chiropractors on staff.

The most significant thing to the expansion of my practice was learning that success depended 20 percent on being a great chiropractor and 80 percent on knowing the actual technology for managing a practice—specifically, the Hubbard Management System, which contains all the basics of practice management.

The next thing was my own life falling apart because I was not paying enough attention to nutrition. I had an active life, traveled a lot, but was eating fast foods. My health deteriorated from 1986 to 1991. I hit rock bottom and literally did not know if I would survive another year.

I was in bed with chronic pneumonia. Nothing would fix; couldn’t hold adjustments. How do we reverse this? 

When Dr. Bryman and I asked that question often enough, our eyes were opened to a whole new universe. Before this, straight chiropractic was the answer to all our health problems. We had to teach ourselves nutrition.

We searched relentlessly, refusing to accept answers that were not workable until we got the common denominators (which took us back to the four great nutritionists mentioned earlier). Their teachings, when combined with our wonderful chiropractic training and our ability to assess the autonomic nervous system, took on immense practical significance.

Today, I bicycle six to ten miles every morning, just to celebrate being alive. I’m far younger now, physiologically, than I was before. That is what led us to expect the extraordinary, rather than the ordinary, in terms of practice results. I had discovered the missing component in a chiropractic practice, and felt I had to get the word out.

TAC:  What marketing strategies do you use to attract new patients and to keep current patients?
First, we identified the correct public to promote to. Through extensive surveys, we found that this was the working mother. We found that we could reach her most effectively through public education workshops at clubs, functions, and organizations. 

The true key to our marketing is simply great results. With a precise nutritional program the patient can easily afford, we put her health—and the health of her family—back under her control.

We survey doctors at our seminars. Typically, they rate their health less than optimum. It’s not uncommon to find that they have an unresponding physical condition. After they’ve been working with us a while, nutritionally, their health has markedly improved. They become zealots (like me!) in their practices. Patients respond to a doctor who exemplifies the kind of health improvement they hope to attain for themselves, and who truly walks the walk.

TAC:  What single piece of advice would you give a new chiropractor just starting out?
First, I’d ask his purpose for going into chiropractic. If it is to get patients well, he needs to add a nutritional component that will reinforce the effect of chiropractic adjustments. He’d also better learn how to manage the nutritional patient correctly from day one. The road to his success is already paved; he just needs to take the first step and then keep going.

TAC:  What general advice would you give an established chiropractor whose practice might be struggling?
Ulan: Again, learn how to add a viable low-stress nutritional component to your practice. It will improve chiropractic results, compliance, and referrals. It will greatly improve your success financially and clinically. Our programs are set up so that the doctor gets the tools to implement nutrition in his practice the next day.

TAC:  Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?
Insurance has played itself out. I see a growing awareness in the population concerning nutrition. They’re tired of drugs, side effects, no results, and chronic illness. I see the future of chiropractic with nutrition as laid out clearly by Palmer in 1914. He said it was a holistic system of healing that includes what you put in the body. We feel we have realized his vision in the combination of chiropractic and Nutrition Response Testing.

TAC:  Any final words for our readers?
Ulan: Nutrition isn’t “the wave of the future” anymore; it’s headline news. Newsweek recently devoted thirty-five pages to the subject. Supermarkets are adding entire organic foods sections, not just a shelf or two. These are unmistakeable signs of growing public demand for what we, as practitioners, have to offer: better nutrition, better information, and better health.

You may contact Dr. Ulan at Ulan Nutritional Systems, 1170 NE Cleveland St., Clearwater, Florida 33755, (866) 418-4801. Website:

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