15 Years of Natural Healthcare Center, Part 3: A Future Full of Optimism

Dr. James Proodian owner of Natural Healthcare CenterNatural Healthcare Center opened its doors in July of 2003. All this month, we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary by looking at our humble beginnings, how Natural Healthcare Center has evolved, and what lies ahead. We couldn’t be more thankful for our patients, friends and family who help us make Natural Healthcare Center such a special place.

I’ve always told the Natural Healthcare Center team that this practice started as an infant. It had to grow through adolescent and teen years to become a young adult. Today, Natural Healthcare Center is a mature adult. We’re in our prime.

The heavy lifting has been done in terms of branding and name recognition. Although we’re always looking to become better, we have an all-star team now. Most team members have been at Natural Healthcare Center for many years. Our process has been perfected and we operate like a well-oiled machine.

The emphasis has always been on the patient experience and patient outcomes. That will never change. But I’m very excited about what the future holds.

The work being done in nutrigenomics is taking our clinical nutrition department to a whole new level. I’m looking forward to bringing a podiatrist on board in 2018. Natural Healthcare Center in expanding to take full advantage of our third-floor space, which will provide our team with more room to grow and allow us to establish our own fitness studio.

As you can probably tell, I despise complacency. I don’t like to stand still. Natural Healthcare Center and my role as a health educator are constantly evolving.

I’m planning to write a book. I’m having a number of videos produced to supplement my live, in-person speaking engagements. I’m considering an opportunity to become a college professor.

Dr. Proodian with Photos of his 5 Children

As my five children get older, I’ll have the bandwidth to take my public speaking to organizations all over the country. My goal is to touch as many people as possible and empower them with the knowledge to take control of their health. I’ll continue to teach people how to prevent, treat and even reverse chronic illness.

As optimistic as I continue to be, there is one thing that has me somewhat discouraged. When I came out of school, I thought my generation would radically change healthcare. I didn’t think I would be sitting here, entering my 25th year in clinical practice, and seeing people continue to decay into chronic illness.

At the same time, I’m inspired every day by Natural Healthcare Center patients who look at the bottles of pills in their medicine cabinet, recognize that they’re not getting any better, and say, “Enough is enough.” They’re ready to make permanent lifestyle changes and commit to healthy living.

These are the people who motivate me to take health education and public speaking to a national audience. These are the people who motivate the Natural Healthcare Center team to expand our model across the country.

We’ll continue to do everything possible to help people break free from the “sick care” mindset that reactively treats illness with medication. We’ll continue to encourage people to embrace true “health care,” which focuses on disease prevention and maintaining a state of balance and wellness.

This was my mission when I opened Natural Healthcare Center 15 years ago this month. And this continues to be the mission of an exceptional team that I’m honored and proud to lead.

To all who have contributed to the success of Natural Healthcare Center and the health of our patients, there are no words that can express my full gratitude. I thank God for allowing me to use my skills at this wonderful place, and I humbly approach each day for His praise.

I hope you’ll continue with us on the next phase of our journey as we look to end the chronic illness epidemic and help society as a whole feel better, function better and live longer.

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

15 Years of Natural Healthcare Center, Part 2: The Early Years

Dr. Proodian outside Natural Healthcare CenterNatural Healthcare Center opened its doors in July of 2003. All this month, we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary by looking at our humble beginnings, how Natural Healthcare Center has evolved, and what lies ahead. We couldn’t be more thankful for our patients, friends and family who help us make Natural Healthcare Center such a special place.

In part 1 of this post, I discussed the frustration I encountered in trying to partner with an existing practice and then trying to find a facility to purchase. Looking back, I know God wanted me to be at Natural Healthcare Center. He wanted me in this building, with this kind of practice, working with this incredible team, serving this wonderful community.

As I said at the end of the first post, people tend to resist change, and the previous practice had been doing things a certain way for 25 years. After opening Natural Healthcare Center, I implemented changes gradually, whether it was adding a new service or installing hardwood floors. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

15 Years of Natural Healthcare Center, Part 1: How This Wonderful Place Came to Be

My 2004 donation of all the Atlantic Chiropractic Center fitness equipment to the Long Branch Police Department.

Natural Healthcare Center opened its doors in July of 2003. All this month, we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary by looking at our humble beginnings, how Natural Healthcare Center has evolved, and what lies ahead. We couldn’t be more thankful for our patients, friends and family who help us make Natural Healthcare Center such a special place.

The first five or six years of my associate career working for other people were very enjoyable. I loved the 60-hour work weeks. I couldn’t soak up enough knowledge. My patients were incredibly happy.

But the last two years or so of my associate career were intensely frustrating. I put together business plans and buy-in strategies to become a partner in several practices, only to have door after door shut in my face.

I eventually realized God’s plan for me was to have no other partner besides my wife, Stacy.

Toward the end of 2002, I was commuting from Red Bank to Bridgewater and Wyckoff every day, we had just bought a fixer upper home, and Stacy was pregnant with our third child. I switched gears and looked for a place where I could launch my own practice.

I called Dr. Dennis Nitto, who I heard was selling his practice in West End. He said someone else had agreed to buy the practice, so it wasn’t available. I started trekking out to Princeton three days a week to look at available spaces.

At one point, I thought everything had finally fallen into place with a facility in Princeton Forrestal Village. My credit was excellent, the bank had approved my loan, and I had a solid business plan that I had spent years developing.

In March of 2003, I remember sitting at the desk I had set up in the basement – hardly a home office at that point – and finding out from the landlord in Princeton that the deal fell through.

Five minutes after hanging up the phone, I got a call from Dr. Nitto. I didn’t even remember calling him months earlier. He said the deal with the other interested buyer fell through and asked if I was still interested.

I went to meet Dr. Nitto that day. We agreed on a deal and I immediately began working for him at Atlantic Chiropractic Center.

I had never been to West End. I lived in Red Bank and spent my summers in Sea Bright. But I felt an instant connection with the community.

The next step was financing. The debt load was more than $1.5 million.

My house was collateral on the loan and I had to borrow money from my mother. Without a second thought, she took out a second mortgage so she could lend me the money I needed. Stacy, who was pregnant at the time, signed every piece of paper that was put in front of her. The unconditional love, trust and support of my mother and wife are why they’re still the two most important women in my life.

Me with the Mayor of Long Branch after first renovations in 2005

The purchase of Dr. Nitto’s practice and facility closed in early July. My attorney said it was the fastest commercial closing he had ever seen.

A week later, my son, James, was born.

I can state unequivocally that God had his hand on my back. This is where He wanted me to be. This is the kind of practice He wanted me to have. As always, He was right.

I finally had my own practice. Of course, the real challenge would be getting it up and running.

When you buy an existing practice, you normally spend at least a year in their office learning about the patients. I was only there for a few months, so not a single patient of Dr. Nitto’s knew me, and my business model and approach to care were nothing like the previous practice.

People usually hate change, but big changes were coming.

TO BE CONTINUED…

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Hammers Are Swinging at Natural Healthcare Center. Here’s Why.

Natural Healthcare Center 2nd Floor Renovations

The newly designed Physical Therapy and Nutrition offices on our second floor.

You may have noticed construction here at Natural Healthcare Center during the past few months. Rest assured that this is far more than a simple remodeling project. This is another investment in my 30-year journey that’s been dedicated to doing something different in healthcare.

It would be very easy for me to move to a small medical office, have a staff of three or four employees, work 20 fewer hours per week, treat fewer patients, and offer fewer services. But that would mean bailing on a 30-year journey, and I have no desire to do that. I started Proodian Healthcare because I wanted to do something beyond the norm. I didn’t want to take the safe route.

My goal is and always has been to create a new layer of healthcare. The layer between traumatic medical care and the horrific management of chronic conditions. This involves a great deal of risk and responsibility. It’s not easy. But it continues to be an incredibly rewarding journey.

I’ve very proud of the fact that I graduated from chiropractic school with 62 other people. I obviously wanted to be a chiropractor like everyone else, but I also saw the need for change that others may not have seen. I’m very proud of the fact that most people who come to Natural Healthcare Center, both as patients and as visitors, are enamored with our facility. What started as notebook doodle when I was a pre-med student in college has evolved into a true wellness facility.

Acupuncture, chiropractic care and other forms of healthcare are typically fragmented, but we’ve integrated them under one roof.

Not everything we do here makes money. But everything we do is based on a certain code and core values. Everything we do is driven by the desire to change healthcare. That’s what Proodian Healthcare, Wellness At Work and Natural Healthcare Center stand for.

We’re trying to change how healthcare works in this country and make things easier for our patients. That’s why the construction has been happening.

We’re welcoming a neurosurgeon, an interventional pain management doctor and a physician’s assistant for two reasons. First, we want to minimize the number of places our patients have to visit. Second, we want our patients to receive care in a truly integrated health and wellness center.

All business owners, not just in healthcare, should reinvest in their clients.

I respect my patients. I want them to have a clean bathroom. I want them to enjoy fresh fruit in the lobby. I want to be involved in my community. I want to provide them with everything they need under one roof.

The construction, the new specialists who will be seeing Natural Healthcare Center patients, the little details that make your visit an enjoyable experience – these are all part of a 30-year journey to do something different and change healthcare.

I hope you’ll join the Proodian Healthcare family and me as we continue our mission to help people feel better, function better and live longer.

 

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Reflections on 2014

Natural Healthcare Center success storiesLike many people during the Christmas season, I like to reflect on the year gone by. I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have a family that I love, a job that brings me fulfillment, and a practice where I feel we truly make  a difference in people’s lives.

As part of my reflection, I go back through the emails, messages and letters I’ve received from people and organizations who I’ve done my very best to help over the course of the year. This not only puts a smile on my face, but it strengthens my faith in God and the mission of Proodian Healthcare.

It also motivates me to push forward in 2015 and continue the movement toward true health and wellness that is slowly but surely being embraced in our country. We can only combat the chronic illness epidemic in our country if education leads to motivation, and motivation leads to real behavioral change.

Here are a few examples of feedback that serve as motivation for my staff and me.

I had fallen into a rut, and I had become resolved to accept my post-menopausal elevated blood levels, increasing weight gain, stress, and fatigue until I attended a By Design Ministries seminar, where Dr. Proodian offered very practical and sensible information and solutions. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Thank You for 20 Years of Trust and Inspiration

Long Branch Chiropractor Dr. James ProodianGoing into my senior year as a pre-med student at Southern Connecticut State University, I was suffering from severe head pain. My nutrition professor sent me to see a chiropractor, who sent me to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for meningitis.

After recovering from such a serious condition, I decided to go back to that chiropractic office to do my internship on my way to degrees in public health and nutrition while preparing for my MCATs.

That experience opened my eyes and allowed me to see the kind of doctor I wanted to become.

I didn’t want to work in a hospital, and I didn’t want to prescribe medication for the rest of my life. In other words, I didn’t want to be a traditional, specialized doctor who focused on disease management and treating symptoms, believed the body and mind are separate, and remained emotionally detached from his patients.

I wanted to be a doctor who treated the patient as a whole, based on a true understanding of the connection between body and mind. I wanted to help people live healthier lifestyles by focusing on diet, lifestyle and preventive measures instead of simply treating disease. I wanted to be a partner in the healing process, providing not only medical treatment, but the genuine care and empathy that’s critical to physical and emotional healing.

So I went off to chiropractic school knowing only that one chiropractor from my internship, Dr. Michael Cocco. I went to the same school as he did – New York Chiropractic College. It’s hard to believe that I graduated 20 years ago this week.

Even after graduating from chiropractic school with a background in public health and nutrition, I still wasn’t sure how my career or practice would evolve. I had that notebook doodle of the type of facility I wanted to build – a large building with lots of windows, preferably near the ocean, where I could offer the kind of comprehensive care that would make it a true health and wellness facility.

Looking back on 20 years spent taking risks, spending money, working for other people, launching Natural Healthcare Center, educating audiences in the thousands, having a radio show and having five children, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life. With your support, I’ve been able to remain true to my core values, never letting insurance carriers or finances dictate or change how I deliver patient care.

I understand that every time you walk into a doctor’s office, you’re putting supreme trust in the doctor, and I thank you for trusting me with your health and well-being. Outside of my relationship with God and my wife and kids, there is nothing more important to me on this planet than my patients and audience.

This 20-year road has been constantly evolving, and I’m nowhere near being done. I’m always in school, always learning. Healthcare and medicine are changing so rapidly right now as the national movement towards true healthcare and away from sick care is being embraced by more and more people.  I’m excited to be part of that movement, and I’m determined to help as many people as possible ride this wave and take back their health.

Again, I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to be part of your lives for 20 great years as a Doctor of Chiropractic and Health Educator. A special thank you to my mom for the loans and never-ending support, and to my wife, Stacy, for being everything to me and so much more than anyone could ask for. I look forward to making 2014 the best year yet!

Sincerely,

James Proodian

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

How Denise Changed Her Life: A NHC Success Story

Proodian healthcare Patient Success StoryOver the course of the year, I’ve shared a lot of information, offered a lot of advice and voiced a lot of very strong opinions on my blog. The main drivers behind the topics covered and the passion I have for living a “wellness lifestyle” all year long, are real people – people who have made the decision to change their lives in order to feel better, function better and live longer.

As we wind down 2013, the year of the family, I’d like to share some of these success stories that I’ve been privileged to witness here at Natural Healthcare Center. One such story involves Denise, who I first met years ago during a lunch-and-learn seminar at the Asbury Park Press.

Denise had been dealing with weight issues since she was eight years old. This led to self-esteem issues, whether she considered herself the “fat girl” in the group or couldn’t find clothes that fit. This caused her to go through an endless cycle of diets and weight loss gimmicks, losing weight temporarily and gaining back that weight and more.
Denise was looking for a program that would provide the structure and direction she would need to make a true lifestyle change. At the time, she was dealing with pain in her back and swollen ankles. A blood test revealed significant inflammation, which I believed could be addressed through proper nutrition.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

10 Years of NHC: From Notebook Doodle to True Wellness Facility

Our 10 Year Anniversary at NHCAs a pre-med student back in college, I remember drawing a picture in my notebook. It was a building that offered a number of services – what we now call a true health and wellness facility. This is where the idea for Natural Healthcare Center originated – with a notebook doodle.

I spent the first 10 years of my career working for others when I began my mission to find a building to create my idea. After convincing the bank to lend me a lot of money even though I was pretty broke and they threatened to take my house if things didn’t work out, I purchased Atlantic Chiropractic Center in Long Branch, the company and the building.

For the first two years, I worked seven days a week. After the office closed, I worked on construction projects until midnight or later, replacing outdated equipment, removing every last remnant of sea foam green that seemed to cover every wall, and remodeling the empty second and third floors.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Vitamin Supplements 101: What I Take and Why

Vitamins

When I give presentations at corporations and organizations on a variety of topics, one question that inevitably pops up is, “What supplements do you take?” Fair question, and I’m happy to share that information with you.

First, we need to understand why we get sick and the role that supplements play in lives. Americans are getting sick and dying because of chronic degenerative and inflammatory diseases. These conditions are most commonly caused by a poor diet, inadequate exercise and stress.

Drugs don’t cure these conditions. Neither do supplements. The first step to treating conditions caused by an unhealthy lifestyle is to understand the true definition of wellness.

Wellness is a state of physical, nutritional and psychological balance. Wellness can only be achieved by adopting and following a “Wellness Lifestyle” that incorporates all three of these components.

The role of supplements is to support this effort and help prevent illness and disease, not cure them. Here is a list of supplements I take and my reasons for taking them.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Make 2013 The Year Of The Family

I was very fortunate to grow up with a close-knit, loving family. Today, as a husband to a beautiful wife and father of five beautiful kids, I’m very fortunate to have a close-knit, loving family of my own.

Unfortunately, I feel like our culture has drifted away from the family unit – the family that lives together, eats together, plays together and prays together. This disconnect can often lead to an unhealthy lifestyle on many levels, whether it’s poor nutrition, poor physical condition, or some combination of mental and emotional stress.

A few months ago, I was thinking about my goals for Proodian Healthcare, and I made the decision to make 2013 the year of the family. I want to refocus on the importance of family, and how a strong support system can have such a positive impact on our health.

Then Hurricane Sandy hit. More recently, there was the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

When something terrible like this happens, it gives us perspective. We think about our families more than ever. Like most fathers, I went home and hugged my kids. I just wrapped my arms around them without saying a word.

As difficult as these events have been to even comprehend, I’ve become even more passionate about making 2013 the year of the family.

I want to do more than help you look good and feel good when you look in the mirror. Mental health is an essential component of the triad of health, which addresses your physical, nutritional and psychological needs. It’s our choice to move forward and learn better behaviors that affect us and those around us – namely, our families. We can do this by reading more, learning more and watching less TV.

If something positive can come from the events in Newtown, I hope it brings more attention to the treatment and care of the mentally ill at every age, because we as a nation have fallen woefully short.

I also pray it brings more attention to the importance and value of family. We need to take care of and look after one another. We can’t prevent natural disasters and tragedies, and we’ll always have obstacles and struggles to overcome, but we don’t have to do it alone.

Family is what gets us through these times.

For some, that may mean simply picking up the phone and beginning the process of rediscovering the bond you used to have with certain family members. If you never really had strong ties with your biological family, that doesn’t mean you have to deal with everything yourself. Look to your friends, your church and other community organizations for family support. And please don’t hesitate to look to us for support.

Personally, I’m not big on resolutions. I believe in sticking to your values, sticking to your work ethic, and standing by your family – day after day, and year after year. It’s a rather simple approach, but in this case, simplicity is good.

I wish you all the best in the New Year, and I hope you’ll join the Proodian Healthcare family in making 2013 the year of the family.

Dr. James ProodianDr. James Prood­ian is an accomplished chiropractic physician and health educator who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise for the past two decades has been in physical rehabilitation, and he has successfully established himself as a spinal specialist. In his practice, he advocates the science of functional medicine, which takes an integrative approach to treating patients by addressing their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs. Alarmed by the escalation of complex, chronic illness in our country, Dr. Proodian has been speaking to companies and organizations through his “Wellness at Work” program since 1994, motivating thousands of people to make positive lifestyle choices and lead healthier, more productive lives. He can be heard weekly on his radio program, “Proodian Healthcare By Design,” on Tandem Radio.

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Why We’re Committed to Staying on Top of Advances in Pain Management

I recently announced that I’ve become certified in the Cox Technic System of Spinal Pain Management. Without getting too deep into medical mumbo-jumbo, Cox Technic is an innovative, non-surgical approach for relieving spinal pain caused by disc degeneration, disc herniation and stenosis. It’s also used to treat other conditions that cause pain in the neck, upper and lower back, shoulders, arms and legs.

The great thing about Cox Technic is that it has been scrutinized in federally funded research projects. Published evidence shows Cox Technic flexion-distraction protocols have effectively relieved disc pressure and back pain caused by a number of conditions.

In other words, it’s not a theory. Cox Technic is the real deal – a well-respected, well-researched, gentle, safe and successful approach to pain relief.

I’ve also announced that my colleague, Dr. Kurt Hostnik, recently became a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (ACNB), distinguishing himself as a board-certified, chiropractic neurologist experienced in the successful treatment of a number of conditions, such as tinnitus, vertigo, inner ear imbalances and dizziness.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, we don’t share this news to brag about career achievements or direct your attention to fancy new certificates hanging on our office walls. We want you to know that we never rest on our laurels. We believe it’s our duty as healthcare professionals to constantly explore new and innovative ways to improve the quality of life for our patients.

No two human bodies are exactly the same. No two people have exactly the same lifestyle. As a result, no two approaches to pain relief should be exactly the same. That’s why we’re so committed to staying on top of the latest advances, news, research and trends in pain management – and sharing this knowledge with you.

There may be a certain kind of treatment that will work well for you, and that’s great. But if there’s a breakthrough treatment that we feel will work even better, we’re committed to finding it, learning it and offering it.

For us, “good enough” is never good enough. Exploring new ways to help you enjoy a better life isn’t just our job. It’s our obligation and our passion.

 

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.