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Are You a One Trick Pony?

Posted by William Esteb on

The chiropractors who believe they would be more successful with an expanded scope of practice that adds prescription drug rights seem to believe that their colleagues who just do adjustments are “one-trick ponies.”

Is the chiropractic adjustment a wimpy response to the health issues patients face? Is the adjustment too limiting?

Asked another way, is an adjustment that reduces nervous system interference to allow a patient’s stomach to resume secreting the proper amount of stomach acid a limitation?

Is an adjustment that reduces nervous system interference in such a way that the patient’s body no longer has to scream at its owner with migraine headaches a limitation?

Is an adjustment that reduces nervous system interference and finally allows a couple to successfully conceive a limitation?

Of course not. Unleashing the body’s ability to function as designed is not a limitation. In fact, based on the case histories on the shelves of countless chiropractors, it’s what gives access to resolving just about any malady known to man.

Granted, when it comes to fooling the body into not feeling pain (a real patient-pleaser, by the way), medications are faster, cheaper and far more convenient. And riskier. And more liable to be addictive. And they produce unwanted effects.

But there may be some other deceptions at work here.

1. A profound mistrust of the body. At its root, the motive of high-jacking the body and chemically overriding its innate intelligence is a sign of mistrust. This is the same logic that yearns to artificially lower fevers and sees vomiting as pathology.

2. Belief that chiropractic treats symptoms. Of course, patients seek health care providers because they have a symptom they want resolved. But that doesn’t mean you must agree to treat their symptoms! In fact, making this distinction when a new patient begins care is essential. But it’s difficult if you have…

3. Ineffective communication skills. Allowing patients to project their medical model of symptom-treatment onto chiropractors has to go. “You’re in the right place. We’ve helped a lot of people with headaches. But we don’t treat headaches. Instead, we locate and reduce the underlying cause of your headaches. In fact, if you simply want your symptoms to go away, have you considered consulting a medical practitioner who can prescribe a drug that can simply suppress these symptoms?”

4. Poor adjusting skills. I’m reminded of the paradox that 80% of drivers believe they’re above average. Statistically that’s impossible, of course. The truth is, some chiropractors are better adjusters than others. Which means that any two chiropractors are going to get different results. Is the desire to obtain prescription rights merely compensatory? Or is it due to…

5. Low self-esteem. Yes, you’re a doctor. You’re a Doctor of Chiropractic. Which, since its inception, has been drug free. In some instances, chiropractic licensure was granted specifically because it was a discipline that was separate and distinct from medicine. Didn’t you know that when you enrolled in chiropractic college? Didn’t you know that you were joining a rebel cause?

If patients want drug solutions, they have ample access to practitioners who are all too happy to write a script so they can help the next suffering patient. And the next. And the next.

In the same way patients don’t have a drug shortage, neither does chiropractic.

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