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August 2010 Archives


Monday Morning Motivation

"Are you leaving someone at home to develop the same problem you have?"

This one, from the how-can-we-guilt-or-shame-patients-into-bringing-their-family-in-for-care department, generally falls on deaf ears. Largely because regardless of what you tell patients, most subscribe to the "if-it's-not-broken-don't-fix-it" school of thought.

This reveals that for many patients, taking preventive measures before symptomatic episodes emerge is seen as a needless luxury. This myopic view is echoed by financial institutions who report that most Baby Boomers are not saving for their retirement.

So, don't take it personally!

Instead, take a more subtle, long-term approach. Make sure that every patient is aware that chiropractic helps with countless other issues than the one that prompted him or her to begin care. And secondly, provide ample clues throughout your practice environment that you see children. These strategies may not be as gratifying, but they avoid the use of guilt or shame and are considerably less manipulative.

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New Patient Mojo Episode 8

Abstract: Chiropractors who show up curious have the added benefit of being able to better help patients and avoid the practice-debuilding characteristics of the opposite of curiosity! Careful that you don’t turn curiosity into a “technique.” Discover why patient relationships (and referrals) are more likely to flourish in an environment of curiosity. 5:20

Tags: chiropractic patient education, curiosity, patient beliefs, patient behaviors, continuum, judgment, Yogi Berra-ism, internal chiropractic marketing.


Monday Morning Motivation

“Chiropractic adds years to life and life to years.”

If this were true, it would probably give an incredible boost to the popularity and utilization of chiropractic. Those patients and DCs who are of a more mechanistic bent see this sort of claim as over reaching, bordering on hyperbole—probably the price paid for having reduced chiropractic to a low-tech treatment of headaches and back pain for the last two decades.

While you’d think that a better performing nervous system, improved balance and increased flexibility would extend life and enhance vitality, it’s unlikely that the highest levels of proof (RCT) could objectively substantiate it.

My experience has been that those who need proof rarely get enough of it, or of high enough quality to be satisfied. As for me, I will continue to receive nonsymptomatic chiropractic care until the end. And without a parallel universe, we’ll never know for sure.

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New Patient Mojo Episode 9

Abstract: A further exploration of the reality that new patient attractability is a reflection of who you are being. How many times each day do you say “Thank you!” to others (or to yourself) for the way things are? Until you fully accept your practice as it is—good and not so good, and express your appreciation for all your blessings, you’re unlikely to be the recipient of further blessings in the form of more new patients! 5:48

Tags: new patient crack, gratitude, ice cream, no shows, pity party, licensure, jail, appreciation, new patient repellant, chiropractic products, DVD, t-shirt


Monday Morning Motivation

"Chiropractic works when traditional methods fail."

Yes, but with a few important caveats that are often overlooked.

1. Is the original stress still present? If subluxation is the body's attempt at accommodating physical, chemical or emotional stress, and the stressor is still present in the patient's life, the likelihood of chiropractic working is less assured.

2. Limitation of matter. In the same way we can't regrow lost fingers and toes, there are limitations to what is possible based on a patient's age, conditioning and their willingness to follow recommendations and make lifestyle changes.

3. Is the patient invested in their recovery? Some may enjoy secondary gains from their poor health and aren't fully committed to healing. Harnessing the mind/body connection is essential and one reason to employ effective chiropractic patient education.

Although not quite as sexy, it might be more accurate to say, "Chiropractic often works when traditional methods fail."

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Monday Morning Motivation

"If you miss an appointment you'll need to make it up."

Really? Can you actually "make up" an appointment? That would suggest that if a patient were on a three-times-a-week schedule and missed one, the following week they would need to be seen four times.


If it's just about the number of visits, why not cram their first 12 visits all into a single week? Or a day!

No, this linear, mechanistic notion of how a patient's body uses the energy added to their spine may be more about wielding power. As such, it's parental, emotionally draining and unsustainable. It's a form of bluffing that exposes an insecurity and mistrust of patients.

More likely? Missed visits could cause a loss of momentum, delaying or even preventing the recovery process. Instead of the quantity of visits, isn't it actually about their frequency and consistency?

Why not explain that to patients?

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The Two Brains of a Chiropractor

business-brain.jpgIt’s becoming clearer and clearer to me why so many of my overtures during the last 29 years have produced polite head nodding among chiropractors, but have rarely been implemented. And while it’s disappointing to acknowledge the inability to inspire significant change, it’s at least a small comfort to finally understand why.

And it’s not just my unique “patient’s point of view” perspective. It goes far deeper than acquainting chiropractors with the beginner’s mind of an anxious, apprehensive new patient encountering a radically different health care paradigm. Instead, what I’ve learned explains why so many of the suggestions I’ve offered chiropractors over the years in my chiropractic seminars and chiropractic books are acknowledged as truthful—even good, but remain unimplemented.

It all began with the realization that most chiropractors wanted a practice, but found themselves in a small business.

Continue reading "The Two Brains of a Chiropractor" »


What I'm Reading

wild-west.jpgThe recommendation of Wild West 2.0, How to Protect and Restore Your Online Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier in the Denver Post appeared within days of a chiropractor friend commiserating about an irate patient who had left a negative review about his practice on Google. I was curious. How do you protect and restore your reputation on the Internet? Besides attempting to resolve disputes in the real world so a permanent, worldwide record of the incident isn’t created in the first place (not always possible), you’ll want to avoid the Barbara Streisand Effect and know how to build a Google wall.

However, since your primary focus isn’t the Internet, you might want to turn to page 234 and browse Chapter 13. In it, the authors describe the appropriate response to a practitioner’s less-than-favorable review. (And by the way, plan to get some.) The authors assert the same thing I have, that a negative review here and there can actually serve to validate the overwhelming preponderance of positive, glowing reviews.

You are encouraging patients to write reviews about your practice, aren’t you? That dog-eared copy of “Our Patients Speak” in the reception room might be affirming, but doesn’t help persuade a prospective new patient checking you out online who is thinking about beginning care.


Monday Morning Motivation

"Get the big idea and all else follows."

This is probably one of the most profound chiroisms of all, attributed to B.J. Palmer, a collector of aphorisms, epigrams and pithy one-liners.

What is the big idea?

Some believe it's our self-healing, self-regulating capacity. Others believe it's the universal intelligence that runs the universe and its counterpart, innate intelligence that runs us. Still others believe it's about reductionism versus deductionism. Or how a lack of ease ultimately leads to dis-ease, the precursor of disease.

Regardless of which one(s) resonate with you, contrast it with some of these "small" ideas. Like the germ theory. Small germs. Big fear. But small idea. Or symptom-treating. Big expense. But small idea.

Once you have a grasp on the significance of chiropractic, and as B.J. put it, "The Bigness of the Fellow Within," fear drops away, practice procedures simplify and patient communications are more direct and powerful.

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New Patient Mojo Episode 10

Abstract: This sixth way of being attractive to patients deals with being optimistic. Your optimism conveys hope, an essential ingredient of the healing process. In this Mojo Podcast, Bill explores the seven reasons why you should be optimistic about the future—regardless of what it is! 5:47

Tags: optimistic, baby boomers, organic food, drug recalls, media, health care reform, stress, supplies for chiropractors

What I'm Reading

wired.jpgI only subscribe to one magazine. Wire Magazine is the “Popular Science” of the Internet Age (there’s a great magazine title!) and cuts a wide swath between cool gadgets, software, website stuff and cutting edge thinking. Imagine my surprise when the Simon Singh UK drama showed up on page 112. The tipoff was a blurb promoting the article on page 8 or page 008, as they like to number the pages: “Journalist Simon Singh dared to write that chiropractic can’t help childhood asthma. His reward: a libel suit.”

If you want, you can probably read the two-page interview at the newsstand. And if you’ve had your head down and don’t know what your UK brethren are facing, you should. But what caught my attention in the Robert Capps article and interview was this statement: “Such is the state of science, where sometimes even stating simple truths (like the fact that there’s no reliable evidence chiropractic can alleviate asthma in children) can bring the wrath of the antiscience crowd.”

Didn’t know I was part of the antiscience crowd by trusting the testimonials of countless patients and the firsthand experience of hundreds of chiropractors.

That’s not reliable?

Gosh, I was hoping that the truth (or Truth) didn’t require a double blind randomized clinical trial published in a peer-reviewed journal!

About August 2010

This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in August 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2010 is the previous archive.

September 2010 is the next archive.

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