Wellness for Everyone
Dr. Patrick Gentempo has always been into wellness. While he was growing up, his family ran a health food store, "Here's Health," in Ramsey, New Jersey. His parents were ahead of their time and it was a great struggle just to keep the doors open. Although they never made any real money, their investment paid off handsomely for their son Patrick, who grew up to be a multimillionaire wellness revolutionary that has brought wellness to hundreds of thousands of people.
"I can remember taking vitamins and eating Tiger's Milk bars when my friends in school were all drinking soda and eating Baby Ruth bars," Patrick recalls. "I liked being different and it was important for me to perform on a high level so I could demonstrate by example the results of my non-mainstream choices."
Patrick performed—he was a five-time New Jersey State and two-time national AAU karate champion, and also wrestled his senior year of high school.
Everything changed for Patrick one day when he injured himself during wrestling practice.
"I remember bridging up on my neck and feeling something give," Patrick reflects. "I had immediate pain in my neck that radiated down both arms. My muscles were in spasm and something was swollen. My family medical doctor explained what happened: 'You have cervicalgia, myospasm, and inflammation.' I asked, what's that? He said neck pain, muscle spasm, and swelling, and explained that 'for the pain we will give you a pain killer, for the muscle spasm we will give you a muscle relaxant, and for the swelling we will give you an anti-inflammatory.'"
The drugs made Patrick feel sick and did not alleviate the pain. After two weeks of pain and missing school, his mother brought him to a chiropractor. After his adjustment, he felt 90 percent better and became fascinated about the practice of chiropractic—gathering and reading everything he could about chiropractic. He decided to become a chiropractor.
Chiropractors focus on the nervous system, that master system of the body that controls healing, regulation, and general wellness. Chiropractic adjustments help remove subluxation; interference in the nervous system that is caused by lifestyle stress. This nerve interference reduces a person's ability to express health and well-being.
Patrick graduated chiropractic school in 1983 and entered practice. He also developed educational programs for chiropractors with another chiropractor, Dr. Christopher Kent. They both quickly realized that Dr. Gentempo's practice, and the profession of chiropractic itself, needed better diagnostic tools and standardized training materials for its professionals.
Patrick and his partner founded the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance (CLA), which today provides the chiropractic profession with advanced technology, educational programs, and business development strategies.
I first became acquainted with CLA when I visited my local chiropractor, Dr. E. J. Raven, in Park City, Utah. Instead of just checking out my spine with his hands, before I was examined by Dr. Raven his assistant performed a series of high tech scans of my spine and nervous system with CLA's Insight technology. These scans produced a colored map of the temperature around my spine as well as a pattern of electrical activity produced by the muscles surrounding my spine. When I then consulted with Dr. Raven, he used the colored scans to tell me about my clinical status and also used them as a guide to completing the exam. Moreover, as my care progressed, he reperformed the scans on a regular basis to track my results.
Patrick and his partner grew CLA into a multimillion-dollar company with thousands of chiropractor customers. In addition to maintaining his own practice, he achieved personal wealth and success far beyond his wildest dreams. But something was missing.
Everywhere he traveled he saw the same thing again and again. Millions of people were discovering wellness, chiropractic care, and how to take better care of their bodies. But many millions more were getting more unhealthy every day because they lacked the information they so desperately needed about nutrition, exercise, and psychological well-being.
His observation struck home in 2000. His Aunt Joanne, a 48-year old schoolteacher and mom with two young children, dropped dead of a heart attack in front of her daughter while visiting a local nail salon. Patrick's entire family was devastated, but no one felt more to blame than Patrick. Aunt Joanne was obese, and everything Patrick had done until then to help millions of chiropractic patients had been in vain when it came to helping this member of his own family.
Shortly after this tragedy, Patrick began to focus on what he could do to bring wellness not just to chiropractic patients, but to the tens of millions of Americans who didn't even know that wellness existed. His solution was the Creating Wellness Alliance, which he founded in 2002.
Dr. Gentempo knew that baby-boomers, who drive half of our economy, were looking for longer and better lives through wellness.
He also knew that there were multitudes of deconditioned soccer moms who wanted to reclaim their health and fit bodies. And there were millions of business executives who had lost their health while building their careers. He wanted to create a model that allowed wellness to be affordable to the masses, not just the wealthy. He recalls, "The big question was, how do I massively customize a meaningful wellness program that is affordable to the masses?"
He knew that he had to have a program that worked. "When somebody tries and fails, it is worse for them than not trying at all. It lowers their self-image and they give up."
In order to do this right he would have to (1) define wellness, (2) measure wellness, and then (3) customize a wellness program for the individual that covered all three dimensions of lifestyle stress that cause one to lose one's wellness. These three dimensions are physical, what you do to your body; biochemical, what you put into your body; and psychological, which relates to the mind/body connection. In his words, "be fit, eat right, think well."
This is exactly what he and his team at Creating Wellness built. They developed an operational definition of wellness based on the three dimensions of lifestyle stress. They developed technology and software, the Creating Wellness Assessment Station, which measures an individual in all three dimensions and calculates their Wellness Quotient. And finally, they developed a system to produce a customized wellness program that covers all three dimensions, which is assembled and shipped to the client.
Every week while on the Creating Wellness program, the client gets a weekly wellness coaching visit to hold them accountable and provide education and motivation. Since a core value of Creating Wellness is measurable results, every five weeks a new Wellness Quotient is performed on the client to track progress. The minimum program is 15 weeks, because Dr. Gentempo feels it takes that long to make real changes that become habits that stick. As he states,
"If someone is not committed to 15 weeks, they are not committed to changing their life and this program is not for them. There are too many wellness failures out there and I won't be a part of it."
To really make it turnkey, the Creating Wellness System includes all necessary products in each dimension. This includes exercise DVDs with the necessary equipment to perform them at home, daily supplements, a meal planner that directs the client on what to eat and the timing of the meals, customized audio programming to give psychological support, and weekly coaching. The suggested retail price for the Creating Wellness System, including all the products and services, starts at $800, which can be paid with $200 down and $40 a week for 15 weeks.
The biggest surprise for Dr. Gentempo and Creating Wellness has not been the number of individual customers, but the number of employers signing up to bring wellness into their workplace.
At this time, there are over 200 Creating Wellness Centers across North America. Dr. Gentempo projects Creating Wellness to have over 1,800 centers by 2010. He explains: "Millions of Americans have lost their lives to the fast food industry, the beverage industry and other industries who market life-depriving products to them in overwhelming ways. Our goal is to have them reclaim their life from these industries so they can live longer and better. When we have as many Creating Wellness Centers as there are stores in a major fast food chain, then we will have done our jobs."
From a child who was born to a mother that was told not to have any more children after spinal surgery, to a wellness revolutionary, Dr. Gentempo is a passionate wellness entrepreneur who drives a business with a purpose. As he explains,
"Creating Wellness is a purpose driven business. We earn a profit by creating worldwide wellness. It is crystal clear to me how capitalism is completely compatible with a social conscience."