Sep30WedSeptember 30, 2015
Ask any health practitioner what the biggest challenge is to getting sick people well and most will tell you that it is compliance to the recommended care schedule.
After 30 years in practice serving thousands of patients and 15 years of coaching, I can tell you that the number one challenge in getting sick people well is getting them to stay long enough and come often enough to make a change in their spine, nerve system, and health.
Likewise, as a coach to chiropractors, the biggest challenge I have in helping chiropractors help their patients, is getting them to make recommendations that are long enough and frequent enough to have patients get well.
Why would a chiropractor who knows and believes that a patient needs a certain amount of care recommend less care than is necessary?
If you are a lay person reading this blog you must be thinking that this is crazy! Are you serious?
You're telling me that if I'm sick and I go to a chiropractor there is a 90% chance they are going to recommend less care than I need to get well?
That is correct. Chances are they will ease you into the idea that time and frequency are responsible for most healing.
"We will start you at three times a week for a few weeks and then twice and once a week, and then we will see what happens."
Why is it that your chiropractor doesn't recommend what you need to get well?
The reason is simple. The common mindset of you (the patient) is that healing is instantaneous. It should be quick, easy, and free.
Ok, not free but not more than the cost of a bottle of Advil!
If your chiropractor recommends what you actually need, chances are you will not accept it because it is so far from what you expect.
Not only that, you may visit Rate My MD and other review sites and claim that this chiropractor was trying to rip you off, recommending too much care for too long a time and for too much money.
So there you have the problem. Your chiropractor is too afraid of what you are going to think of him or her to give you your best recommendation.
Let's not lose sight of the fact that recommending too little care is keeping people sick.
A case in point...
I was so frustrated the other day. A patient was referred to me by another patient. He was an older gentleman with acute low back pain.
History revealed a previous disc injury and upon examination he was extremely antalgic and had very poor movement in the lumbar spine.
I recommended that we take a radiological series to evaluate his spine. He refused the X-rays, didn't complete his examination and walked out the door.
Curious as to why this happened?
He was in Montreal the week before and saw a chiropractor who adjusted him once and said that he should be fine after that.
He couldn't reconcile why this one chiropractor didn't need a compete examination and only needed one adjustment versus what I was recommending. The one adjustment worked for a few days and gave him temporary relief, so he wanted me to do the same.
What he needed was a plan to restore his spinal alignment and function to as close to normal as possible.
A plan that would take the pressure off of his nerve system and allow innate to work.
A plan to let the power that made his body heal his body.
A plan that would require time and frequency.
So what is the solution to the problem?
The chiropractor has to have a great report of findings or Doctor's Report to explain what care is necessary and why.
The chiropractor has to show that what you have been believing and doing about your health is not necessarily optimal, and introduce you to a new way of thinking about your health.
Then the chiropractor has to step into fear and tell you not what you want to hear but what you need to hear to get well.
The chiropractor has to train on communication at a world class level to be able to help you understand that healing is possible but that it takes time and it takes frequency.
Chiropractors, it's time to step up and do what is best for your patients.
Teach them how healing works and give them enough adjustments over a long enough period of time to allow the power that made the body to heal the body.
Can you begin to understand how doing a better job at teaching these two simple principles will begin to solve a lot of your patient compliance problems?
The most common stressors in practice are missed appointments and patients asking to decrease frequency before they are ready.
The highest stress adjustment is the tough love adjustment or red card procedure.
A patient that understands the principle of time and frequency will be much more compliant to their schedule and will have a much higher success rate with their healing.