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March 2012 Archives


Adapting to Chiropractic

adapters.jpgThe first chiropractic seminar I attended was in January of 1981 as I was doing research for what became the profession’s first patient education videos.

I still remember a huge insight from that three-day Renaissance seminar: the nervous system is the master system that controls and regulates every cell, tissue, organ and system of the body.

You know this. In fact you probably take it for granted. But trust me, most patients have never heard this essential, dot-connecting piece of information.

More troubling is the other takeaway I gleaned 31 years ago on the second floor of the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington: the nervous system is responsible for our ability to adapt to the environment. Again. I know. Obvious. But rarely are patients presented with this simple physiological precept in a chiropractic practice.

The reason I bring this up is to ask this. Have you adapted your practice to chiropractic and its principles, or do you attempt to practice by making chiropractic adapt to you?

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Monday Morning Motivation

Do you set statistical goals and production targets?

Just remember that when you do, you’re focusing on effects, outcomes and results. In other words, symptoms. Focusing on the symptoms of your practice is as risky as focusing on a patient’s symptoms!

More resourceful would be focusing on the underlying causes of how your practice performs. Granted, they are far more difficult to measure. Perhaps that’s why they are so often overlooked:

Your presence. How present are you when you are with patients?
Your happiness. How much joy are you experiencing?
Your own health. Are you physically, mentally and socially healthier than most patients?
Your higher purpose. Are you committed to something greater than your own survival?
Your optimism for the future. Are your best days behind or ahead of you?

Granted, these are largely subjective, but focus on the subjective statistics and the objective statistics generally take care of themselves.

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Patients Aren't Dogs

Come when called.At yesterday’s seminar in Birmingham, England, we were discussing patient follow through and the frustration that one chiropractor was experiencing because patients seemed to ignore her recommendations. I assumed that not all patients ignored her recommendations, but maybe enough did that she thought it was her fault.

By the reaction of the audience, this is apparently a common annoyance in practice.

I’d heard this before. However, this time I used a metaphor. About dogs.

“I’m not particularly an animal lover,” I began. “However, I’ve noticed something about dogs that might be relevant here. Seems that dogs will love just about anyone unconditionally, especially if you feed them regularly. Apparently, this constant adoration and tail wagging is an attractive quality of dogs. But because you don’t have to do much to earn it and many dogs will even take a liking to total strangers, their indiscriminate appreciation diminishes its value. In other words, when someone or something will revere you so blindly and generously, you’ve confused puppy love with real love.”

If patients were dogs, I think you’d quickly tire of their obedience after a month or two. And if not, you might want to reflect on why you would want so much power over others.


Monday Morning Motivation

To stand out you have to stand up.

While some show up as being anti-vaccination or anti-therapy or anti-first visit adjusting, you can't win by being against something. Success requires that you be "for" something. As in being for trusting the wisdom of the body. Being for self-responsibility. Being for natural.

When you stand for something, you risk offending or polarizing those who may feel threatened by your conviction. That's the rub. Far too many are unwilling to take a stand because someone might object or disagree. Those who have been deceived into believing that showing up beige, lukewarm and being all-things-to-all-people makes you more attractive, take the safer path.

To mediocrity.

Avoid the temptation to fly under the radar. Playing small doesn't grow you or your practice. Worse, it requires far too much tongue biting, political correctness and second-guessing your instincts. To attract you must be willing to repel.

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Dear Bill

You stated in a recent email describing your We Speak Chiropractic poster that “…one of the things that makes chiropractic attractive is that it isn't medicine.” I understand what you mean but the fact is, chiropractic is "medicine." Here is the definition of medicine: The science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (in technical use often taken to exclude surgery).

Chiropractors do diagnosis, treat and prevent disease (or at least they should). Hence, we practice medicine.

I only bring this up because I believe that your use of the term in your article reflects and reinforces one of our problems in chiropractic. That problem is we feel so insecure in our position that we have this tendency to criticize and castigate what the medical doctors do and try so hard to distinguish ourselves from them in any and all aspects, which has never served us well but only succeeded to further isolate us from medical science and the public.

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Monday Morning Motivation

Have you put off a difficult conversation? Is there something you're tolerating? Is there some aspect of your life you're afraid to expose to the light?

This week, have that conversation. Address what you've been tolerating. Bring out the bright lights!

While you probably imagine the pain, the difficulty or discomfort of doing so, allowing circumstances to fester always makes the inevitable more painful, more difficult and more uncomfortable. Always.

The continuing avoidance is an act of irresponsibility and the self-limiting belief that you're a powerless victim. It's an all too common form of self-sabotage that erodes our confidence and blunts our impact. Unresolved emotional subluxations such as these can cripple us as much or even more than a misalignment along the spine. In fact, they are probably the underlying cause of a host of spinal complaints.

Worry and dread are far more damaging than the act of confronting them.

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Monday Morning Motivation

Never. Always. Every. These are absolutes. As in no exceptions. As in "You never..." Or "I'm always..."

These assertions are rarely true. Instead, when patients use these terms while describing their situation, they often reveal something far more significant is going on below the surface. Are you discerning (or curious) enough to hear the clue and pursue it?

This is why listening skills, especially at the consultation are so important. The word choices patient's use can often hide (or reveal) what's really going on. Which you're likely to miss if you're merely going through the motions or know what their visit schedule is going to be without an examination or even touching them!

Remember, their physical complaint(s) are usually the result or effect of some other event or belief. If you're inclined to address the cause, rather than treat the symptoms, your ears may be more important than your eyes!

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Is Practice Worth It?

burnout imageI’m encountering more and more chiropractors in my one-hour consultations who are, or are on the verge of, burnout. Income is down. Savings are dwindling. Documentation is too much of a bother. Patients are problems rather than opportunities. The joy is gone.

With these and related circumstances, some chiropractors are questioning their career choice. Disguising their disdain for patients and their unhappiness in practice has become an increasingly difficult acting job. Many think they’re able to successfully hide their frustration and feelings of being trapped or stuck in a practice that produces less and less joy and satisfaction. (Take this burnout quiz.)

When I work with these chiropractors, many of them are surprised to learn what underlying emotion is producing their lethargic, take-me-out-of-my-misery pity party.

Continue reading "Is Practice Worth It?" »

About March 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in March 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2012 is the previous archive.

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