« July 2009 |
| September 2009 »
August 2009 Archives
Today, Ngaire Cannon, my Australian distributor and I are off to Melbourne. The almost four-hour flight on Air New Zealand was on a gorgeous Boeing 777. We’ll be making a beeline for the new convention center and setting up the Cannon Communications trade stand for the Parker Seminar.
Co-sponsored by the Australian Spinal Research Foundation and Parker Seminars, this event is a fundraising effort designed to help pay for chiropractic research. Thankfully, they realize that there is little need for more low back pain studies and have concentrated most of their work in the areas of organic complaints and quality of life issues.
When you’re a speaker, you get to see a different side of an organization than attendees (called delegates in Australia). And I must say, in all the years I’ve been speaking in front of chiropractic audiences around the world, I have never felt so well looked after. No fruit plate and card here! I came back to my room after the team appreciation dinner and my room looked like a fruit stand and someone had robbed the health food store. Amazing.
Law of Supply and Demand
The Law of Supply and Demand suggests that the supply is created by the demand. Not the other way around. What do you supply? But a better question is, what do patients demand?
Careful that you aren't supplying something that patients don't want or value enough to pay for. Many chiropractors attempt to sell wellness to patients who simply want to feel better. Others sell spinal curve restoration to patients who merely want their symptoms to stop impairing their golf game or ability to earn a living.
Answering a question that isn't being asked, scratching where it doesn't itch and wanting true health for patients who have considerably lower dreams is a recipe for frustration, disappointment and misunderstanding.
Finding an existing need and filling it is more pragmatic than attempting to create a new need and filling it. Do you know what patients want? Find out. How? Ask!
When I encounter something new that produces a “That’s interesting” response, and then come across it again a few days later, I’ve learned to pay attention and take such cues seriously. That’s what’s happened during the last week or so when I have heard two people suggest that at the consultation chiropractors should ask patients why they have chosen to seek the services of a chiropractor… now.
Many, especially those experiencing a bit of scarcity, might equate asking such a question as “looking a gift horse in the mouth.” Be thankful someone warmer than room temperature has shown up and get busy! However, if you have an interest in creating deep, long-lasting, influential patient relationships, such a question could provide valuable insights into a patient’s worldview and their motivations. It might even shed some light on the best way to frame your chiropractic explanations.
I suppose a related question would be, “What other methods have you tried in an attempt to solve this problem?”
In other words, when a new patient manifests in your practice, there’s much more going on than simply a patient who has wandered into your practice and wants the services of a chiropractor.
Continue reading "Why Now?" »
I’ve become present to the fact that the long plane flight from North America becomes a convenient excuse to avoid visiting Australia. I suppose that keeps some of the so-called “Ugly Americans” from showing up here. But Australia is worth the long flight.
We share a common language, however there are words and turn-of-phrases that we don’t have in America. After more than a dozen trips down here, I’m still learning to appreciate the nuances of Australian terms such as “bloody” and “bugger.” Even the word “mate” has a different meaning here. There are many other nuances, however when I travel here I notice a culture that appears to be a unique mix that combines the best of Britain and the United States.
The Conversation Debrief yesterday in Melbourne went great. Every session is different. I’m especially interested to see how the breakthroughs that we witnessed turn up in the lives of the participants! (Turns out Australian chiropractors suffer from the same issues that dog North American chiropractors!)
Tomorrow (Friday) I catch up on some writing and prepare for the Sydney Debrief on Saturday.
I’ve never lived in a large city. However, after three days in a downtown Sydney hotel, I can see the appeal. While nature is largely absent, save for some self-conscious parks, there is incredible access to just about anything you would want. My needs are sparse, so, being able to walk across the street from the hotel to buy some fruit and water from a vast underground grocery store, or duck into the adjacent Japanese restaurant for some fresh sushi, makes these outings quick and productive. Quite a bit different from living in rural Colorado.
Completing the 13th Conversation Debrief yesterday was as delightful as ever. While each one is completely different, this one was doubly so since one of the participants was an attendee of the very first Conversation held three years ago in Melbourne. And while some of the journaling assignments have been tweaked over the years, I was curious what showed up for Dr. Sandy Clark that was different this time from last.
The fact that he was practically beaming, constantly grinning through the entire day was the first thing I noticed. The second thing was a sense of confidence and “centeredness” that I couldn't remember from last time around. The feeling of accomplishment and pride that I felt must be something akin to what chiropractors experience when they see a practice member thrive, living life to the fullest with ease, peace and good health.
Onward to India to meet up with my Perfect Patients website business partner Steve Anson. It’s a long trip, which includes a plane change in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Fortunately, my laptop, iPod and iPhone batteries are fully charged and ready for a productive flight. Anxious to see what turns up!
Law of Forgiveness
If it's true, as I believe, that the cause of many diseases is unresolved emotional issues, then certainly a common culprit is unreleased anger and resentment. What is so ironic is that these emotions are self-created; they are choices we make based on our own emotional reality.
Since they are self-created, it makes sense they can be self-destroyed, which is the purpose of forgiveness. Forgiving someone who you believe has wronged you is for your benefit not theirs!
Even the scriptures are clear about this self-righteous indignation: forgive those who have wronged you before expecting the blessings of God. Don't allow the sun to set on your anger.
If you desire to be a healer, rather than merely a spine mechanic, educate patients about the Law of Forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn't condone or approve of the behavior. It merely releases the emotional charge that's been given it.
Whom do you need to forgive?
I found Chris Anderson’s previous book, The Long Tail to be fascinating so when I heard his interview with Terry Gross on NPR, I immediately got his new book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Plus, Chris is the editor of Wired Magazine, the only periodical I subscribe to and read.
We’re all familiar with free, as in “buy one, get one free” or “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” And Chris tackles these and other manifestations of free. However, he makes his greatest distinction by contrasting what free means in the realm of atoms (tangible products and services) and the realm of bits (digital content). From music sharing sites and China’s blatant disregard of copyrights and intellectual property to Google’s free search engine sponsored by paid advertising—Chris covers it all.
And while he doesn’t specifically cover the “free spinal exam” phenomenon we see far too often in chiropractic, it probably falls under the “if-it’s-free-it-must-not-have-any-value” discussion that he touches on in several places in the book. If you’re a bit of a geek like me, you’ll enjoy the issues and thought-provoking ideas he explores.
By the way, you can download the free audio version of the book here.
Every time I get together with Steve Anson, my Perfect Patients business partner, it’s nonstop work. It’s not actually work, but it’s what we do to add value to the business. This unique collaboration has attracted 27 employees located on three continents who all contribute virtually.
From Perth, in Western Australia, Steve has recently moved his family to Bangalore, India. Since I was so close (relatively speaking), we decided it would make sense to spend some “face time” together. As usual, it was very productive.
India is different. In fact, it is so different it’s virtually impossible to communicate the many distinctions with words. Or pictures. Or even video. Guess that’s why I don’t take many pictures—much to the dismay of friends and family who want to see pictures. “Go on the Internet and you can see plenty of pictures.” Apparently, that’s not the same. “We want to see pictures with you in it,” they clamor.
Is it because they don’t think I was really there?
When you travel to India, here are some of the things you can expect.
Continue reading "Bangalore, India" »
It might surprise you to learn that the airport security in Bangalore, India is, well, over the top.
You can’t even enter the airport itself unless you are a passenger. So, goodbyes are handled outside at the glass doors within handshaking distance of the machine gun toting militia member who is checking your airline reservation printouts and passports. That was repeated two more times between the front door and entering the aircraft, complete with separate lines for male and female pat-downs.
Clearly, the travel gods have been smiling on me, getting a surprise upgrade from economy to Business Class on the 8-hour flight out of Bangalore to Frankfurt. With a bit more space and the ability to recline just a little bit more than economy, it makes it easier to sleep. And that’s what my body wanted to do for about 5 hours, dramatically shortening the perceived length of the flight.
The Frankfort airport is large. A lot of walking to get to my connecting flight to London Heathrow. But everything went like clockwork. And after a short visit to the Star Alliance lounge at Heathrow to recharge my iPhone, I boarded the United flight bound directly for Denver. Boeing triple seven. My favorite aircraft.
Following the sun all day, starting at 2:00 AM will turn August 16th into a 36-hour day. In other words, the longest day of my life.
After circumnavigating the globe during the course of the last three weeks, I reach one obvious conclusion: we live on a planet of water. The soil you stand on is actually pretty rare. But then we are too.
Law of Reality
Remember the lyric from the 1980s song, "I fought the law, but the law won." Same thing with reality. What is, is. It won't be argued with and it always wins.
Most suffering comes from attempting to deny, ignore, dispute or resist reality. Reality always comes out on top. What is real for you?
Take an inventory of your resources, whether it's your time, talent and experience or your health, perseverance or sense of humor.
Take an inventory of your debts, whether they're financial, psychological, relational, poor health or poor character judgment.
Take an inventory of your assumptions, whether it's your beliefs about patients, your support team, the economy or the future.
Take an inventory of your habits, both the constructive and the destructive ones.
That's your reality. Since past performance is the best predictor of the future, if you want a different future, change the only thing you can: you.
Law of Hierarchy of Values
Actions rarely lie. They are symptoms of beliefs. Beliefs reveal our values. Ultimately, what we value prompts us to action, whether it's the value we place on our appearance, our family or in the case of patients, the value they place on their health.
Patients who place a high value on their health are more open to patient education opportunities, nonsymptomatic care and more likely to pursue opportunities to maximize their well-being.
Patients who place a low value on their health are inclined to spend minimal amounts of time and money on themselves. They have other things that they value more. Perhaps it's their career, grandchildren, travel or the latest gadget.
It's their free will choice you know. (Law of Reality).
There is little you can do to change their values. You can talk until you blue in the face or light your hair on fire. No change.
Love them anyway.
Law of Gratitude
Are you facing a challenge? Be thankful. Are you still paying for a past decision? Be thankful. Are circumstances less than desirable? Be thankful.
The natural tendency is to resist or condemn situations that are less than ideal. Be grateful instead!
"But if I'm thankful, it's as if I'm inviting still more problems," we lie to ourselves.
Not true. Virtually every circumstance has a lesson for us if we're willing to look deeply enough and learn. Especially our so-called "failures." Begin by first giving thanks for them.
You can't leave somewhere you've never been. Gratitude is the discipline that provides the access for something better. Accept what is (the Law of Reality) and be thankful for it, good or bad. Not only does life get instantly better, but what you thought were challenges, difficulties or trying circumstances are reduced to helpful reminders of what doesn't work. How great is that?
This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in August 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.
July 2009 is the previous archive.
September 2009 is the next archive.
Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.