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November 2006 Archives


The Price of Self-Responsibility

check.jpgAs I spend more time and energy discussing the importance of patient financial education and the need to begin transitioning to a cash practice, there’s an important distinction that’s showing up. If you’re inclined to think that having a cash practice is about a new financial policy and telephone scripting to handle the “Are you on my list?” question, think again. Having a cash practice is about attracting cash paying patients.

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Superiority Complex

bellagio.jpgIn a magazine I was reading to pass the time before I could use my computer on the airplane after take-off, I ran across this ad for the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. It was the two-word headline that caught my eye: Superiority Complex.

Claiming to be superior is so un-PC these days. And while claims of superiority to other chiropractors or other methods is often specifically restricted by your state’s chiropractic licensing statutes, I don’t think that’s the source of the mousey, demure and inferiority complex that is so common among chiropractors. Some suggest it’s the result of rampant low self-esteem. I agree. However, we might part company about how to escape from this perceptual imprisonment.

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Once a Week or Once a Year?

catchandrelease.jpgOn my most recent speaking gig, I and another speaker were invited to dinner by one of the attendees. As the dinner unfolded, I could tell I was dining with two chiropractors who take more of a short-term “catch and release” approach to patient care designed to ameliorate only the patient’s most obvious symptoms.

Eventually I asked how often both of them got adjusted.

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Monday Morning Motivation

Virtually every interaction with a patient can be categorized as either manipulation or ministry.

Manipulation is an expression of ego. To cause someone or something to conform to, or act in ways (even if it is in their best interest) that satisfies you. To control, rather than release. To impose, rather than facilitate. To exert influence for your personal gain.

Ministry is to serve without strings. To love without reciprocity or expectation. To accept without judgment. To honor the patient and their sovereignty, even when they make choices different from the ones you would. To assume a level of detachment that is only possible with clear boundaries.

When you care too much, you blur the boundary between ministry and manipulation. It’s like building a fence on your neighbor’s property. Instead of legal action, patients merely vote with their feet.


I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Help You

vote.jpgIt’s Election Day in the United States and it’s the usual showdown between conservatives and liberals. Some would assert that the difference between the two parties is a matter of great importance. Others, who are more cynical, see the choice as merely two shades of beige and the lesser of two evils.

I recently heard the terms liberal and conservative applied to the two major worldviews in chiropractic (mechanists and vitalists). As the terms were used, I surmised that conservative chiropractors are apparently those who limit their practice to the treatment of neuromuscular-skeletal complaints. And liberal chiropractors are those who think chiropractic can help virtually any health problem. This schism is what happens when politicians are in politics for power and chiropractors are in practice for prestige. Both overlook two factors far greater than the petty name-calling and the “I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong” division that handicaps this profession.

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$8.20 per Inch

economy_plus.jpgBecause of their Denver hub, I’ve been flying United Airlines for years, racking up over a million miles with them. Because of my loyalty, I’m practically guaranteed a seat in their Economy Plus section. This is an area of Coach in which the pitch between seats is 5” greater than Economy, allowing you to cross your legs and use a laptop without the passenger in front of you reclining their seat into your chest. So I was taken by the gate agent auctioning off seats in Economy Plus for $41 prior to boarding the plane this morning.

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Three Different Tribes

"So Bill, I couldn’t help but notice that you’ve spoken in Orlando the last three consecutive weekends for the Masters Circle, Breakthrough Coaching and Ward Success Systems. So, which group was the best?


I couldn’t tell if he was fishing for some affirmation that he had chosen the “best” coaching program or looking for distinctions that made each audience different or asking me to rate the merits of the three organizations.

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Monday Morning Motivation

Doubt is the real barrier to the life and practice you want. Sure, procrastination takes many out of the game. As does fear. But the atomic bomb of spiritual warfare is doubt.

Just a mustard seed of doubt contains enough "kryptonite" to cause you to question your purpose or make your life seem but a cynical waste of time. Doubt provides an access point for the enemy to place thoughts that sabotage certainty and confidence--the two unspoken things patients crave from you.

This week, confront your doubt. Whether it's taking post X-rays, conducting progress exams, resolving inconsistent sEMG scans or admitting that you're not going to get those receivables you've been carrying on your books. Whatever is producing your doubt, confront it, face it and stare it down. The path towards true healing is to muster the courage to go through, rather than around. To look at that which you don't want to see.


A Little Adjustment

grandfather_clock.jpgOur wonderful grandfather clock received service today. After 10 years of faithful service it needed some oil and attention. Mechanical (and non-mechanical) devices need an occasional tune-up. The symptoms? During the Westminster chimes, some of the notes were slurring. Not a serious problem, but one that portends future problems if ignored. So Tom showed up to do his voodoo. Towards the completion of his work, he called me downstairs to listen to his work. It sounded great.

“So tell me, what do you do?” he asked after demonstrating his handiwork.

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Premature Dismissal

goodbye.jpgQ: "I have more patients self-dismiss prematurely than I should. Do you know of some scripting for the ROF that would help to minimize this or at least change how they go about it?"

A: Depends why they self-dismiss. Here are a couple of possible reasons:

1. You're a rough adjuster, have an obnoxious personality or both
2. They're delighted with the care and don't see a need to continue
3. They're busy and visiting your office is an imposition
4. They don't see the need to continue their care

Need I go on? The list is endless.

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Monday Morning Motivation

“Oh, I could never do that!”

That’s not true.

You could become an accomplished public speaker, sharing the chiropractic model of health with thousands.

You could get out of debt, have a cash practice and enjoy financial freedom as you practice chiropractic the way you dreamed of in chiropractic college.

You could work half the number of hours and earn twice what you’re earning.

You could become a success incubator for new doctors, clueless as to what real chiropractic is. And what it isn't.

You could. However, taking you and your practice to the next level will likely produce feelings of fear and uncertainty. Feel those feelings and do it anyway. The membrane defining your comfort zone is plastic and will conform to the slightest pressure. That pressure can come from the outside (reactive) or from the inside (proactive).

This week make a conscious effort to put a dent in that translucent film holding you back. Like health, growth comes from the inside out.


Lifetime Value

inactives.jpgIn the popular book series, Rich Dad Poor Dad, author Robert T. Kiyosaki makes the distinction between assets and liabilities. Rich people invest in assets. Poor people spend their money on liabilities.

That came to mind as I was considering the wisdom of a chiropractor friend having a ball because he recognized the lifetime value of a patient. Turns out he “gets” the idea that his inactive patient files are assets. The names of people who know him, his personality, his results and his office location are a valuable asset. While other practices shuttle their inactive files first to the basement, then to the storage unit and then to the silver recycler, Steven understands that many of his inactives are merely waiting for an invitation to return!

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Wellness Wheel

Q: On the Wellness Wheel there are categories referring to mental health and spiritual health. If a patient has problems in one or both of these areas, what should a chiropractor do about it? What are you proposing?

A: Naturally, the same could be asked of the financial, family, social and career aspects of wellness. This is because wellness is much more than physical health or regular chiropractic care. Sure, having an interference-free nervous system is the foundation for virtually any notion of true health. But there’s much more to wellness than the integrity of the nervous system!

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Monday Morning Motivation

A recipe for unhappiness is to compare oneself with others. It is one of the surest routes to unhappiness.

For some, comparing the chiropractic scope of practice with that of a medical doctor may invite envy or jealousy.

Comparing your income with a patient or anyone else can invite feelings of anger or bitterness.

Comparing your patient numbers with any other chiropractor can breed confidence-robbing inadequacy or worse, prideful superiority.

Comparing yourself with anything or anyone distracts you from your purpose.

Someone, somewhere is wealthier, seeing more patients, better looking, happier, more fulfilled, more enlightened or more something than you. It’s also true that someone, somewhere is poorer, seeing fewer patients, having staffing issues or even more uncertain than you. (Perhaps because they’re comparing themselves with you?)

What are hoping to achieve by comparing yourself with others? It does not serve you. Catch yourself doing it and stop it. It is the fuel of resentment.

About November 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in November 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2006 is the previous archive.

December 2006 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.