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May 2012 Archives


It’s Not the Economy

organic-produceWhen chiropractors reveal to me that their numbers are down, they reluctantly cite the economy as the culprit, almost as if they know it isn’t true.

“People just don’t have the money these days,” they observe.

Really? While it’s true that their $5,000 deductible insurance policy pretty much makes them a cash patient, their financial reserves are exhausted and their unexpected bout of back pain wasn’t exactly a line item in their monthly budget. (Read Financial Fragility which sums this up nicely.)

However, I’ve noticed that they’re still restocking the organic produce department at the grocery store. And I’m still seeing people putting the smaller, less attractive, more expensive produce in their cart—without expecting to be reimbursed by a third party. (The stock for Whole Foods Grocery hovered around USD $10 a share in November of 2008. Today it’s cresting over $80. Hello McFly.)

Apparently there are still plenty of people in your community who value their health enough to pay a premium for organic produce, grass fed beef, cage- and antibiotic-free eggs and rBGH-free milk. All this, while you’re holed up in your office yakking about the biomechanics of back pain and misleading patients into thinking that chiropractic is about bones rather than the nervous system and symptom relief rather than reviving their ability to self heal.

Continue reading "It’s Not the Economy" »


Monday Morning Motivation

I found myself sitting beside to two software programmers on a recent flight. After small talk about the projects they were working on and the computer language they coded in, the subject turned to something anyone could understand: complaining about their clients.

Their conclusion? The people they work for are stupid, change their mind too frequently, don't "get" the nuances of software development and fail to appreciate the elegance of the code they write.

Do you or members of your team have the habit of maligning the people who show up in your practice for help?

Talking about others in unkind ways when they are not present is a form of gossip. This is a character flaw of small people with small practices and small influence. Even the slightest contempt for the people who write your paycheck is a reason why you are not entrusted with more people to help.

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Germs! Germs! Germs!

Patient education about germsAfter you’ve been in as many hotel rooms as I have, you pretty much know what to expect. Electronic card opens the door. Closet. Bathroom. Bed. Television. Chest of drawers. Worktable. Sitting chair. Lamp. There seems to be about 4-5 floor plan permutations, but that’s pretty much it. And how much you pay for the room in which you spend most of your time with your eyes closed doesn’t seem to change that.

So I was surprised, even amused, when I checked into my hotel room Friday night in Sioux Falls to conduct a special Debrief for The Conversation and found something that broke the pattern. Next to the telephone (both of them) was an alcohol prep pad. Something one might use to sterilize an area of the body prior to giving an injection.

Since I’m a student of people’s health beliefs and attitudes, I couldn’t help myself when checking out yesterday, asking the twenty-something front desk clerk to explain.

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Monday Morning Motivation

What has been the defining moment in your life?

When you think back over the years of childhood, adolescence, college, courtship, marriage, family and practice, what event or circumstance prompted you to draw a line in the sand and make a personal vow? Do you know what it was?

This is helpful to know about oneself. It explains many things about our life's trajectory. Our preferences, avoidance's and gifts.

I often hear chiropractors say, "I didn't choose chiropractic. Chiropractic chose me."

Really? How exactly?

Instead, my guess is that delivering chiropractic care and helping relieve the suffering of others somehow advances, fulfills or redeems something deep in your soul. It would be healthy to know what that is. Spend some time this week mining your memories and exploring the motives of your career choice. Why not medicine? Or dentistry? Or physical therapy? Knowing this about ourselves is important. Perhaps essential.

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When Patients Blame You

Do you show up as a spine fixer?“So, what do you know for sure,” I asked Gene who had arrived to clean our windows.

“What I know for sure is that I only have nine teeth,” he replied with toothless grin.

“Wow, that’s not very many teeth,” I observed stating the obvious. “What happened?”

“I’ve had two really bad dentists.”

“What a string of bad luck,” I commiserated.

I suppose there is the possibility that this 56-year old had had two “bad” dentists in a row who were inclined to pull his teeth, but the more I thought about it, it occurred to me that his answer was simply a cover up; a rationalization and justification.

Continue reading "When Patients Blame You" »


Monday Morning Motivation

Confusion or uncertainties often prompt us to freeze, copying what others are doing or waiting for a new pattern to emerge before taking action. Smart strategy? Probably not.

Instead, it’s time to return to the immutable principles that have stood the test of time:

The body is a self-healing organism.
The nervous system controls everything.
Physical, chemical and emotional stress can overload the nervous system.
Nervous system interference can produce dis-ease.
Reducing nerve compromise revives the healing response.

Knowing this confidence-generating truth gives you a powerful advantage. It can overcome the doubts of patients, the vagaries of reimbursement and the seduction of the body-fooling effects of drug therapy. The truth may go out of fashion for a season, but it always comes back into style. Always.

This is not the time to fall prey to the media’s deceptive trance and herd mentality. Rise above it. Be in, but not of.

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Evidence-Based #%!@

evidence argumentSeems the phrase “evidence-based” is showing up increasingly frequent these days. I think I know why. And it isn’t just a reverence for things scientific. I think it’s just the reverse. Instead, it’s a sign of one of the most pervasive problems these days: an unwillingness to take responsibility.

In other words, if you worship at the altar of scientism, you don’t have to perform the taxing obligation of critical thinking if you depend solely on the sacrament of the double blind randomized clinical trial as your guide for whether something is true or not. Instead, this form of reductionist thinking makes it easy to dismiss the metaphysical in favor of a purely linear, mechanical view of the body. Convenient, but naïve.

The problem of this limited worldview, and that’s what it is even though it sounds progressive and enlightened, is that it ignores outlier data that doesn’t fit in the box.

Ask the evidence-based crowd to prove the existence of a sense of humor, imagination or the spirit and the shortcomings of their trusted tool becomes glaringly obvious. But there’s a far deeper problem than what someone of this mindset will accept as evidence.

Continue reading "Evidence-Based #%!@" »


Monday Morning Motivation

Here are some recent epiphanies that may not justify an entire message. Hopefully they will be helpful reminders:

You always get what you pay for. Only rarely is there such a thing as a true bargain. Conversely, those who overcharge rarely go the distance.

There is no shortcut to success. Those who try are brought down by not having the experience that only comes from failures and setbacks along the way.

The invisible world of the spirit is larger and far more real than what we experience with our five senses.

Seeing is not believing. Only when you believe will you see.

Don't attach so much to "no." No can mean a lot of things, such as "not right now," or "I can't afford it," or "maybe later."

Be fastidious about telling the truth. Especially when it's disadvantageous. It's a key ingredient of trust and your most valuable asset: your reputation.

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About May 2012

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

April 2012 is the previous archive.

June 2012 is the next archive.

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