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Is Chiropractic Seasonal?

seasonal.jpgYou got through December. Now most patients’ deductibles have reset and you’re waiting for March or April to get back into the new patient groove.

Sounds like you may have a seasonal practice.

Are subluxations seasonal? Are physical, emotional and physical stresses seasonal? If they are, then if anything they actually increase at the exact time most offices slow down over the holidays. If you find yourself a migrant worker in the business of health care, this would be a good time to make some changes.

The changes you’ll want to make begin with you. You must look beyond treating health insurance policies and HMO contracts. Extricate yourself from this mindset as quickly as practical or your dependency will permanently enslave you. Need some help? If you’ve surrounded yourself with people who value how their care is paid for more than their care, you may think that’s all today’s health care consumer cares about. And you’d be incorrect.

First, what these people are looking for isn’t health care. It’s sick care. So start calling it that. (The charade is perpetrated by sloppy language. There’s sick care and there’s life care. If this distinction is lost on you, imagine how foreign it is to patients!)

Don’t wait to escape the paperwork, restrictions and servitude of third parties before you start telling the truth to the folks who show up in your office. Here are a few of the politically incorrect truths you may want to take a stand for:

Doctors (of any ilk) and drugs don’t heal.
Drugs treat symptoms and ignore the underlying cause.
You can’t judge your health by how you feel.
Health (and beauty) comes from the inside-out.
Your nervous system controls everything.
Disruption in brain/body communications produces ill-health.
Many nervous system disturbances can be traced to the spine.
Quality of your nervous system dictates the quality of your life.
Chiropractic care is a lifestyle, not a short-term “diet.”

Most patients are already familiar with these. Uttering them won’t turn a single head or probably even raise an eyebrow. In fact, you may appear odd by your apparent reluctance to champion these truths. Patients are expecting (hoping) you’ll remind them and provide direction for a better life. (As long as you lose the preachy attitude and the standard issue guilt trip!) Where else are they likely to hear them? Deepak Chopra? At the health food store? On a Wayne Dyer PBS special? From their personal trainer at the gym they’ve just joined?

No need to become a raving, foaming-at-the-mouth zealot spouting BJ-isms! Plant seeds. Honor the patient’s choices. Be available. Think long term.

The first of the year would be a great time to set a new course. To speak up and tell the truth that kept you fired up in chiropractic college. Following the easy money out of fear that “everyone’s on the plan” or believing that chiropractic isn’t valuable enough that patients would pay for it themselves, has got to end! If you’ve relinquished your practice to the whims of third parties it’s time to take it back. But you’ll need the courage to tell the truth.

Will you?

Comments (1)

Elizabeth K. Murphree DC:

Chiropractic care is not seasonal. All I have to do is remember that each patient has different needs. As of Sept 11th, 2005, my office decided to no longer take any insurance other than filing for Medicare patients. I have endured alot of criticism but I will tell you that I would recommend the same path for all chiropractors. The day after the decision, a mountain of shame, guilt, and anger left my body.

I am free to be the best doctor and I get to spend time with patients who want that help. Deductibles and seasons only matter to those that don't matter. How many times have you seen the emergency call of a new patient??? Best wishes in 2007, Dr. M

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From January 12, 2007 4:58 PM

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